The twelve days of Christmas, ill. by Karen Erasmus

cover image

Hachette, 2013. ISBN 9780734414922.
(Age: 4+) Christmas, Picture book. Anyone wanting the music and words to the old carol, will find this to their liking. The soft watercolour images which accompany the text include an array of children in modern clothes, many in school uniform, from a variety of backgrounds. The two introductory children on the front cover are on each page, as the number of animals and people swell, from a partridge in a pear tree to twelve drummers drumming.
As with the original carol, counting is an integral part of the rhyme, adding a new number of animals and people as the song goes along, reinforcing the number as each line is sung.
I have seen few examples of this old carol being published more recently for a younger generation, so it is timely. Younger readers will know the tune and easily pick up the words as they sing along. The simple one line melody at the end of the book can be easily picked out on a piano for a beginner giving the tune to the children.
Included in the book is a double page of illustrations for the students, I was surprised that it did not follow the one to twelve idea of the original carol, so ensuring that children would be able to use this as an aid to learning to count.
But all in all, a useful book to have in the classroom for that time of the year, to learn an older carol, unlike the ones heard in the supermarket and department store.
Fran Knight