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Author: English folk song

Illustrator: Gennady Spirin

Reserve at the Library

Publisher: Marshall Cavendish Children,

Material: hard cover

Summary: This is an art-quality rendering of the traditional Christmas song, The Twelve Days of Christmas. This picture book presents the 12 Days of Christmas with printed word and art.

Type of Reading: family reading, playtime reading, independent reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 8; read yourself: 5 to 9

Interest Level: 4 to 9

Reading Level: 1.2

Age of Child: Read by an 8-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: Because our daughter knows the song, she didn't really want to read the text. She was more interested in the artwork and how each of the additional gifts were placed around the tree.

Adult Reader Reaction: What a beautiful book. This is a coffee-table version of the well-known Christmas song. It is most definitely meant to be shared, but it isn't a book you give to young children to "play with." The presentation of the text is excellent, and when you combine the style with the repetition, it is a perfect choice for developing readers. This is the kind of book you purchase for your holiday library collection. I will be looking for other books by this illustrator in our library!

Pros: Beautiful illustrations add depth to this well-known Christmas song.

Cons: Although all kids know the song, this isn't a songbook.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. If you love Christmas and/or art, this is a must-have book for the collector. Families can enjoy sharing the book not only exploring the imagery, but also learning about the song's history.


Educational Themes: This is largely a book for sharing together. That said, don't discount it as a book to help new readers. Additionally, the illustrations offer the opportunity to practice colors and counting, as well as contrasting and comparing the pictures to see what's different. For example, the trees change in various ways. There is a two-page history of the song itself at the end, too.

Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, music, Christmas

Date(s) Reviewed: January 2010

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