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Children's LiteratureThis is essentially an updated version of the "Twelve Days of Christmas," with gifts more practical and appreciated than three French hens. It begins with "On the first day of Christmas my mommy gave to me a puppy under the tree," and progresses until the child's friends present "twelve balloons a-flying." The artwork is bold and colorful, which helps the book serve double duty as a counting book since the objects are clearly depicted and the right size for small children to point to while counting. The repetition of each day's gifts makes no more sense here than it does in the original song—why would grandpa give "four furry bears/three hula hoops/two storybooks and a [puppy] under the tree" if mommy already put the puppy under the tree? This does make it easier for children to repeat the story/song endlessly. 2004, Sterling, Ages 3 to 7.
—Dr. Judy Rowen