A young white woman named Cyndi Lou is presented with unusual (and sometimes-unwelcome) gifts for the 12 days of Christmas by her suitor, Billy Ray.
Cyndi Lou looks like a young Carrie Underwood, with a poufy ponytail, denim shorts, and cowgirl boots. She lives with her grandmother, Memaw, in a double-wide trailer in a country setting somewhere in the South. Billy Ray’s gifts are shown on left-hand pages, with chatty, amusing thank-you letters to Billy Ray from Cyndi Lou on the right-hand pages. While the letters are humorous, the illustrations are rather unsophisticated in composition and technique. Cyndi Lou likes her first few gifts, including “a possum in a sweet-gum tree,” two armadillos, and five razorback hogs. Things go downhill with subsequent gifts, including six gun-toting, smelly deer hunters (all men), eight Walmart shoppers (all women), and 10 NASCAR drivers (only one, a man, is pictured). By the conclusion, Cyndi Lou has married one of the NASCAR drivers, Memaw and friends are armed with 12 gifted muzzleloaders looking for Billy Ray, and the sheriff’s deputies (from problematically named Coon County) are looking for Memaw, “considered dangerous.” The main characters are all white; some of the hunters, shoppers, and other secondary characters are black or brown.
A humorous but flawed parody best suited for young adults and adults rather than the picture-book audience. (author’s note) (Picture book. 11-adult)