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The Twelve Days of Christmas

by Colleen P Moyne (Colmo) (follow)
I'm a freelance writer living in the beautiful river town of Mannum in SA, dreaming of the day I can retire from the 9-5 to write full time.
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Book The Twelve Days of Christmas
Image courtesy of Colmo

A Classic Rhyme Illustrated by Don Daily.

Although the words of this book were written around 1780 and have been sung every Christmas since then, this version gives the rhyme new life and appeals to a whole new generation.

The illustrator, Don Daily sadly passed away in 2002, only two years after this particular book was published. Don was a celebrated author and illustrator whose beautiful drawings have brought to life other classics like The Nutcracker, The Velveteen Rabbit and The Wind in the Willows.

Book Illustration Partridge in a Pear Tree
Image courtesy of Colmo

This version of the classic rhyme is a rather large, impressive book, and one that is perfect for the traditional Christmas Eve reading of the tale with the children gathered around your feet (Yes, I did this with my children every year until they were teenagers and deemed themselves too old, and now they do it with their own children.)

Book The Twelve Days of Christmas
Image courtesy of Colmo

The animals depicted in this story are beautifully detailed and the pictures are busy and engaging. The eight maids a-milking are cute cats and the nine ladies dancing are glamorous dancing pigs with personality-plus.

One of my favourite pages is the ‘Lords a-leaping’ portrayed by well-dressed reindeer.

Book The Twelve Days of Christmas
Image courtesy of Colmo

I've seen many versions of this rhyme in print. The one I read to my children for all those years has become a bit worn and dog-eared but I still keep it. This newer version by Don Daily was given to me as a gift in 2003 and I treasure it. While I’d love to pass it on to my children, I just can’t seem to part with it yet. Maybe it will go to my first grandchild when she is old enough to read it to her children!

Rating: 9/10
Published: 2000

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