The Twelve Days of Christmas

The traditional English carol, "The Twelve Days of Christmas," has been sung and enjoyed throughout the holiday season for centuries. In keeping with its courtly tone, most illustrated treatments of the song use a formal art style. Now, a new version is geared specifically to young readers, using playful images of animals romping and cavorting to the song's lyrics. Imagine beret-wearing French hens, four "calling" birds chatting on the phone, or frolicking frogs as the lords-a-leaping. Colorful, lighthearted scenes by acclaimed illustrator Dan Andreasen bring a whole new interpretation to the holiday carol. From the first day to the twelfth, readers of all ages will enjoy this rendition of counting down the days of Christmas.

Format List Price Your Price Qty
$14.99 $14.99
$26.99 $26.99
Interest Level Kindergarten - Grade 2
Reading Level
Dewey 782.42 E
ATOS Reading Level
Guided Reading Level
Language English
Publisher Sleeping Bear Press
Available Formats Hardcover (9781585368341), PDF (9781627531054), Hosted ebook (9781627535526)
Copyright 2013, 2014
Number of Pages 32
Dimensions 10 x 10
Graphics Full-color illustrations

A Review of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" in Kirkus Reviews

This version of the traditional holiday carol features a restrained, streamlined interpretation intended for younger children who may not be familiar with the song’s complicated cast of characters. Most illustrated editions of this song use a cumulative approach, resulting in concluding pages crammed with dozens of characters to count and an overall frenetic vibe. This version’s approach focuses on a baby partridge that is ever more bewildered by each new set of animals that arrives day by day. The first delivered gifts are comical-looking turtledoves, and the later groups of characters are animals in costumes: cats as milkmaids, rabbits as dancing ladies and tortoises as drummers. Each of these larger groups has its own visit with the partridge, with a final spread showing the partridge hiding from the increasing cacophony and a wordless, final page showing the tuckered-out partridge in post-holiday exhaustion. The animal characters are amusing but not compelling, set against muted, cool lavender backgrounds that convey the calm atmosphere this petite partridge prefers. Though there are several sumptuously illustrated versions of this song in print as well as many clever parodies, this is the only simpler edition of the song currently available.

Suitable for the holiday story shelves in larger library collections and families with very young children. (Picture book. 2-5)

Illustrator: Dan Andreasen

Dan Andreasen's career began as a sculptor for American Greetings Corp., designing figurines, Christmas ornaments, and gift products. He has illustrated more than 25 picture books and is the illustrator of the American Girl characters, Felicity and Samantha. Dan is also the illustrator of the new Little House series of books, "The Rose Years", "The Caroline Years", and "The Charlotte Years". He lives in Medina, Ohio.

Full-color illustrations