Twelve Days: A Christmas Countdown

Overview

On the first day of Christmas, my parents gave to me: A star-topped little pine tree.

On the second day of Christmas, my parents gave to me: Two candy canes to hang on my little pine tree.

Hey, wait a minute! That's not how "The Twelve Days of Christmas" goes!

In Twelve Days, Gordon Snell brings a modern perspective to a much-loved carol, while Kevin O'Malley's illustrations fill each page to the brim with ...

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Overview

On the first day of Christmas, my parents gave to me: A star-topped little pine tree.

On the second day of Christmas, my parents gave to me: Two candy canes to hang on my little pine tree.

Hey, wait a minute! That's not how "The Twelve Days of Christmas" goes!

In Twelve Days, Gordon Snell brings a modern perspective to a much-loved carol, while Kevin O'Malley's illustrations fill each page to the brim with boundless good cheer. This new countdown to Christmas overflows with holiday decorations as a family joyfully empties the attic to deck their halls. A dash of Christmas magic unexpectedly turns a quiet tree-trimming party into a larger-than-life adventure, complete with a trip to the North Pole and a visit from Santa. Start a new holiday tradition with this warm and wacky Christmas fantasy.

In this adaptation of the traditional English folk song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas," a child's parents provide an increasing number of items to decorate a little pine tree.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Snell (Thicker Than Water) tracks the rhyme scheme to "The Twelve Days of Christmas" in a modern-day variation featuring a girl, one "star-topped little pine tree" and an ensuing plethora of ornaments. O'Malley (Halloween Pie) supplies the fun as his pictures work out just how the little tree stays able to support all those baubles: he shows the narrator's father inflating the tree with a bicycle pump, and, with a little holiday magic, transports the whole shebang to the North Pole. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-In this amusing twist on the traditional song, the gifts that a child's parents bestow on her begin in a practical vein as decorations for the Christmas tree: two candy canes, three nice mice, four teddy bears, and so forth. As the gifts become bigger and more numerous, Dad must make the tree larger and larger (he pumps it up with what looks like a bicycle pump), until it is so big that the house disappears, the white sheet under it becomes a snowy landscape, with the family outside in a wintry wonderland. The gifts then escalate to 10 live red-nosed reindeer and 11 eager elves. Parents and child delight in the increasing madness of carting down the decorations and getting them onto the tree, and at the end the little girl gets a ride in Santa's sleigh. Was it all a dream? Maybe. The inspired lunacy of O'Malley's illustrations will work with larger groups, and plenty of funny details will invite readers to take a closer look.-M. A. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Snell (Thicker Than Water, 2001, etc.) provides new words to the old Christmas song of "The Twelve Days of Christmas," with a more modern theme that may be more accessible to today’s children. For the first day of Christmas a little girl’s parents give her "a star-topped little pine tree," which fits the rhythm of "a partridge in a pear tree" neatly. On subsequent days they offer decorations for the tree, and as the ornaments increase in size, so does the tree, dad pumping it up as the surrounding decorations changing shape as well. For the last few days of the song, the house has fallen away and the tremendously tall tree is outside, where it is surrounded by nine smiling snowmen, 10 red-nosed reindeer, 11 eager elves, and 12 Christmas angels. In the final two spreads, Santa himself arrives, giving the little girl a ride in his sleigh. O’Malley (Little Buggy, 2002) hides some clever details in his illustrations, particularly in the first and last pages showing the little girl (still) asleep in her bedroom. Some of the items in her room are used as the decorations for the tree, and in the last illustration, Santa has left some little surprises for Christmas morning that children will delight in spotting. This offers lots of possibilities for Christmas story times, using the music or props or flannel-board pieces. Its magical illustrations definitely call for repeat readings. (Picture book. 3-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060289553
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/1/2002
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.24 (w) x 8.76 (h) x 0.33 (d)

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