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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Hardcover|Change
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on April 1, 2003
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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on November 21, 2003
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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on May 25, 2000
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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on November 11, 2012
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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on January 15, 2014
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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on April 10, 2015
Jan Brett always delivers beautiful books, and this one is one of our favorites. Our granddaughter loves to read this and sings the words every time she comes for a sleep-over with us. She loves it so much that we bought her one for a Christmas gift. Jan Brett has illustrated so many beautiful books, she has blessed our lives with her talent.
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on January 2, 2010
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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on March 6, 2015
What a beautiful book! There is so much going on in every page. Typical Jan Brett, stories within a story. This was a huge hit for my toddlers during The Christmas season. Any book that you can also sing is always great for them.
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on January 10, 2013
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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on March 2, 2013
It surprised me how much my 18 month old daughter enjoyed this book at Christmastime. She liked that I sang to her as we read and she liked pointing out all the animals and actions the humans were doing. She also identified several of the presents under the tree at the end of the story. It seems like a book she will continue to enjoy for Christmases to come. She wasn't familiar with the song until I read her this book. Lots of beautiful artwork to look at on every page.
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