This geographically based series with a “Twelve Days of Christmas” structure continues with the latest entry set in Washington State.
A boy named Max is visiting his cousin Molly and her parents at their houseboat in Seattle for the Christmas season. The format places a letter from Max to his parents with the details of the group’s travels around the state on each left-hand page. On the facing pages, the “Twelve Days of Christmas” parody unfolds with all the gifts that Max received from his cousin, beginning with a welcoming gift of a goldfinch in a hemlock tree and ending with 12 boats a-blinking at the annual parade of Christmas ships. Lots of interesting sights, sounds and events are described in Max’s letters home, and additional facts and trivia about the state are included in a concluding two-page bulletin-board spread. Brief biographies of famous Washington residents and a note about Mt. St. Helens are also included. Cheery illustrations of Max and Molly enjoying their travels skillfully accommodate the busy format.
Younger children who are not ready for all the information in the letters will enjoy just singing along with the clever parody, while older kids will appreciate Max’s witty writing style. (Picture book. 3-9)