Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The 12 Days of Christmas by Greg Pizzoli (2017)

I loved singing this song as a kid; not so much as an adult.  The idea behind this picture book is not something new:  receiving twelve days of hens, geese, swans etc. is a huge pain in the ass.  Perhaps the original song was meant to be that exact thing (it was a chant before it was a song; no one knows the exact origin; first English printing was 1780; the music is only from 1909).  Pizzoli adds his retro flair; I always love his illustrations.  They are bright and colorful; the expression on the adult elephant's face at receiving each day's worth of gifts is a hoot - s/he steadily becomes more annoyed with each haul.  The crocodilian character from The Watermelon Seed makes a fun cameo. 

The 12 Days of ChristmasThe 12 Days of Christmas by Greg Pizzoli
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The idea behind this picture book isn't really something new: the twelve days of Christmas gifts from the true love steadily grow to be an enormous, messy, expensive, noisy, crowded pain in the butt. But Pizzoli's take is cute and enjoyable. An elephant family (genderless, which I love) are the receivers; an the adult elephant page-by-page becomes more and more annoyed by various birds, musicians, dancers and so on that have invaded his/her house. It's amazing what a strong, good illustrator like Pizzoli can do with simple lines and colors to indicate a round of emotions (annoyance, fear, frustration, etc). This is a colorful and fun addition to the large group of 12 Days of Christmas books out there, and well worth a holiday purchase or a bedtime sing along.

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