This handsome rendition of the classic holiday song features a striking black cover with a folk-art–style floral border and the title in gold letters.
The visual story begins with a little girl dressed in an old-fashioned coat, receiving her first gift of a partridge in a potted pear tree. The smiling girl has light skin, pink cheeks, and a long, dark braid. On subsequent days, she receives the next gift on the left-hand page with the accumulated earlier gifts attractively arrayed on the right-hand page. The girl wears a different costume on each day, always with red bows on her braid. The double-page spreads effectively use white backgrounds and delicate floral borders augmented with tiny details appropriate to that day’s gifts. In the later gift days with human characters, each person within a group wears a different style of costume, and half the characters within each group are people of color. The final spread shows the little girl back home with her pear tree and partridge, with a light-skinned boy coming up the path, tipping his hat to his “true love.” Top-notch production values abound, including the intriguing cover, floral endpapers, thick paper, and an appealing, accessible overall design.
A tip of the hat to this delightful rendition of an old song, updated with memorable illustrations and a modern cast of characters. (Picture book. 3-7)