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The Twelve Days of Christmas Paperback – October 6, 1997


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books (October 6, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0698115694
  • ISBN-13: 978-0698115699
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #414,242 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"On the first day of Christmas,/ My true love gave to me/ A partridge in a pear tree." A straightforward beginning to a carol that grows increasingly complicated as both the list of presents and the numbers involved accumulate. Brett's lavish treatment of the song portrays various levels of meaning; she has illustrated the fantastic gifts in outrageous splendor (seven swans swim in folkloric Russian headdresses), turned them into a border of tree decorations, included a menagerie of animals carrying banners with "Merry Christmas" in different languages, and set into the outer edges of each page an ongoing story about a family's preparations for the big day itself. In the final frame, the decorated tree serves as the centerpiece for their own caroling. The artist demonstrates, once again, that she will not relinquish a project before every last glorious detail is in place; the clarity of her vision is stunning.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

A warm book to the touch." The New York Times Book Review --This text refers to the Board book edition.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
91%
4 star
0%
3 star
6%
2 star
0%
1 star
3%
See all 33 customer reviews
Jan Brett's illustrations are detailed and beautiful.
Danielle L. Carr
I, like almost all children loved christmas and this book brings back so many memories for me of Christmas' past.
Jessica Dehnert
Great book, totally recommend adding it to your Christmas reading collection!
Angela

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 56 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 1, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book because 'The Twelve Days of Christmas' is one of my son's favorite songs. I love the illustrations, they're beautifully done. However, the order of the lines appears to be an older form (and somewhat less standard now). The way I've always heard it sung was 12 drummers drumming, 11 pipers piping, 10 lords a-leaping, 9 ladies dancing... this book has the lords and ladies first, then the drummers and the pipers. I realize that this sounds like a funny gripe, but little kids can get really focused on something being in the 'right' order and since this version is going to differ from the way kids hear it sung, it has the potential to bug them.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Jessica Dehnert on November 21, 2003
Format: Paperback
This was one of my favorite books growing up. I, like almost all children loved christmas and this book brings back so many memories for me of Christmas' past. I can remember sitting and just marveling at the illustrations of the book. There are so many differnet things going on in each page that I could literally sit for an hour just going through the different scenes. There is of course the famous christmas carol progressing beautifully through the center frame of each page, but along the sides there is the story of a young husband and wife cutting down a christmas tree and having a beautiful 19th century christmas celebration with their two children. And on each page there is also the phrase "Merry Christmas" in (I think) 12 different languages.
I truly loved this book as a child, and even now as an adult (I'm 20). I'm writing this review from memory, if that shows how much of an impact this book had on me.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed reading this book and Jan Brett's illustrations were beautiful! I liked learning how to say Merry Christmas in many different languages. This is one of Brett's most colorful and actively illustrated works.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By B. White on November 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
The lyrics don't match the versions of the song that you will commonly hear played in the U.S. I borrowed from the library before purchasing so that I could test it out, and I am taking it back and not buying. I want my daughter to learn the lyrics that everyone else sings, so that she will be able to sing along, so this book won't do us any good. To be specific, it should be "12 drummers drumming... 11 pipers piping... 10 lords a leaping... 9 ladies dancing..." The book instead uses these lyrics: "12 lords a leaping... 11 ladies dancing... ten pipers piping... nine drummers drumming..."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By first words...God's breath on January 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book is basically an illustrated story of the original song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas". What is significant about this book is that Jan Brett's style is to feature side panels, alongside the main page which carries the words for each of the twelve verses.
The words and music to this song are on the first few pages. From there on, the main idea of each verse is illustrated in the center panel on two pages, while the side panels depict the other part of the verse. For instance, on the first day, you are shown a partridge bird sitting in the pear tree, while the side panels show "the true love", the young man riding his horse to his fair lady's house. This young man is courting his fair lady, and each day he gives her another present; each day, the amount, or the number increases.

As the story goes on, you see that he has captured her heart and once they marry and have children, the story continues on, for twelve days of gift-giving. The author illustrator, has such fine skills in illustrating the animals, and provides details for all the illustrations.

Even the top panels over the main page, hold simple but definite illustrations of exactly what the gift for that day is. While it's a small book, it's a possible idea for a table-setting for all those invited to dinner. Here's to many more Christmas celebrations!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Edwina Putney on February 1, 2009
Format: Board book Verified Purchase
As a school librarian, I needed a copy of The 12 Days of Christmas that could withstand heavy use and not-so-careful handling by Pre-K, K, & 1st grade students. This poster board edition filled that need beautifully.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is such a great book! My daughter checked it out from the library and after seeing it, I just had to have it! One, you can not beat Jan Brett's Illustrations. She is a master of creating beautiful art from a story and also creating a side story along the page edges. Two, who doesn't love the Twelve Days of Christmas! We also own another version of the twelve days of christmas called Christmas Song of the North by Marsha Bonicatto. It's a great story with lovely water color illustrations by another artist. This used copy was in fairly good condtion. Only the jacket had some minor tears and dirt. the book itself was undamaged. Great book, totally recommend adding it to your Christmas reading collection!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I teach music and find the repetition aspects of this holiday song helpful, for students to both remember the tune and improve their memories. Rather than take the time to make elaborate flannel boards, sharing this book allows me to show the next gifts so everyone can keep singing the song. The illustrations are large and engaging, and traditional objects are presented in contrast to alternate versions now available. Jan Brett is a gifted artist who has illustrated many other children's stories, and she maintains her signature "illustrations in the margins" technique which makes this book a fun read for an individual child, in addition to being a good read-aloud choice.
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More About the Author

Jan Brett is the author of the New York Times bestselling Gingerbread Friends, The Three Snow Bears, and The Mitten, as well as many other classics. She lives in Norwell, Massachusetts.

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