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THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS by Philemon Sturges

THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

A Piñata for the Piñon Tree

By Philemon Sturges (Author) , Ashley Wolff (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-316-82323-4
Publisher: Little, Brown

The words of the traditional Christmas song are adapted here to reflect a Southwest theme, with influences from Latino and Native-American cultures. On the first day of Christmas, a grandmotherly animal of undetermined species looks out her kitchen window to see her amigos bringing her a piñata for her piñon tree. The three friends (a skunk, a pig and an armadillo) bring in more decorations and more animals as the days of celebration progress, right on up to an 11-member mariachi band and 12 raccoons drumming. Wolff’s busy, brilliantly colorful illustrations depict the huge cast of characters slowly filling up the town square as they celebrate. An additional illustration on the left fourth of each double-paged spread holds the text and shows the hands (paws?) of the grandmotherly animal baking Bizcochitos cookies step-by-step. That simpler scene helps to set off a calm spot on the pages. A recipe for these cookies and the music to the song with the rewritten words can be found on the endpapers, though those will be partially covered by the book jacket in library use. The final scene, a double page of glowing windows set in snowy mountains and facing the sparkling tree, is just plain breathtaking. (Picture book. 4-8)