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The Twelve Days of Christmas Review by Tess Hamre

Dan Andreasen
Sleeping Bear Press
315 Eisenhower Parkway, Suite 200
Ann Arbor, MI 48108

Roughly 28 pages long this full color, hardcover book is sure to delight everyone from the small child to the child within the adult. This is not a book that you read for the words; they are simply the lyrics of the popular Christmas song about the gifts given on the 12 days of  Christmas. This is a book to be enjoyed for the imaginative illustrations of Dan Andreasen which center on the plight of the partridge.

Each 2 page spread covers one day of Christmas. This isn’t a book you read so much as it is a story to be shared through pictures. As I sat and looked through the book with my daughter who is developmentally approximately 6 years old, we talked about the partridge and what the partridge was doing.  I’d ask her questions such as “why do you think he’s covering his ears?”  Or make a statement like “oh look, he fell out of the tree.” Mr. Andreasen’s illustrations provide an excellent opportunity for young students to narrate or put to words what they see in the pictures.

The first time I “read” through the book, I found myself singing the words. By the time we reached day 3, most of the family had gathered around and we sang each page taking turns pointing out things in the pictures.

Though I had saved this book to read during the 12 days of Christmas, I frequently found my teenage children or my husband flipping through the book. This book is hard to resist with alligator drummers, leaping frogs and dancing rabbits. My 15 year old daughter came to grab the book from the table telling me “I just love the partridge!”

Mostly, we just enjoyed this book as part of our family time during the 12 Days of Christmas but this would make a great leaping off point for a study on the Christian symbols represented and conveyed in the song. Next year I’ll add in more of an educational focus.

Though I will be packing up this book to put away with our other Christmas items, it is a book that we will treasure year after year. It is a classic that all ages can enjoy together.

Product Review by Tess Hamre, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, January, 2013