Nope, that's not a typo -- this is the book that inspired my whole picture book series! As a song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas" has always seemed a bit weird to me. Really, are these gifts anyone would want? The five gold rings maybe, but seven swans a-swimming? Ten lords a-leaping? Give me a nice sweater or a box of chocolates (or better yet a book) anytime!
But somehow, in the hands of the ever-talented Rachel Isadora, The Twelve Days of Christmas just works. For one thing, she's included a rebus that helps you remember which gift comes next (don't know about you, but I always get lost in all those birds). And best of all, this version is set in Africa. Believe me, you've never seen pipers piping until you've seen them dancing along, shadows against a dazzling African sunset!
Each page includes colorful, cheery mixed media spreads depicting each of the famous 12 gifts. Isadora's collage style lends itself beautifully to this tale, which incorporates inspirations from all across the continent. The three french hens are going home to roost under a coconut tree, and the drummers are banging out tunes on drums from Nigeria and Ghana. Now that's a gift anyone would enjoy!
We read -- okay, sang -- this as a family last night and Sprout just loves it. He gets a huge kick out of having the very last line "parpidge in peah TREE!". A fun addition to your pre-Christmas bedtime routine. :)