In which Ariel makes a confession and then proceeds to make sure you never forget it. Hint: She really likes Christmas music. This post contains affiliate links. If you buy the featured products using our links, you're helping to keep Busy Nest News running. Thanks!
The Twelve Days of Christmas
So I have a confession to make. I unashamedly love Christmas music. I have been known to put it on during the “off season” as a means of cheering up a particularly dismal day. So when Bean fell in love with Elmo’s Twelve Days of Christmas last year I did not complain when she continued to pull it out all year long. I gladly sang it in the spring, in the summer and the fall. Anxiously anticipating when it would again be relevant! Now that I have the whole dang thing memorized, it’s relevant again!
In tribute to Bean’s all-time favorite book – yes all two glorious years of her life – I compiled a review of our favorite renditions of The Twelve Days of Christmas. Some are silly. Some are beautiful. One has monsters! But all are fun to sing. Come sing along with us!
On the first day of Christmas the library gave to me:
The Twelve Days of Christmas by Greg Pizzoli!
This book is a romp and a half – for littles AND parents. Full of Pizzoli’s signature playfully expressive illustrations, this book will bring joy to your festive book reading. It features three elephants – a parent (presumably a father based on the books dedication) and two little elephants. In the exuberance of first love, the one elephant goes a little overboard with presents. And the facial expressions on the shocked father are laugh-out-loudable. But the best part! Because the books takes place in the personified world of animals, the “presents” are also unexpected guests. The last page is a fireplace bedecked in 81 stockings. That poor parent.
On the second day of Christmas the library gave to me: A Firefly in a Fir Tree by Hilary Knight
Though it is currently out of print, I had to include this sweet retelling of the classic gift-giving saga. Instead of elephants this time it's mice! But since mice live on a whole different scale, so do the presents. Instead of a partridge in a pear tree, it’s a firefly in a fir tree. Instead of a two turtle doves it's two silver pins. Instead of three French hens it’s three thistle dusters. Not only are the illustrations creatively conscious of how mice might use these unique gifts, each page is chock full of details to discuss with your little. For example, each illustration features a different way to enjoy the gifts, such as the silver pins. Are they for knitting? Or to be used as chopsticks? But what I really appreciate is how Knight breaks the fourth wall. The pages are illustrated to be reminiscent of a photo album. Each one has a border, and takes up only half the page leaving over half the page for the caption and text.
On the third day of Christmas the library gave to me:
The Twelve Days of Christmas by Jane Ray
There are so many simply stunning renditions of the song out there. It was a hard choice. It really was. So I have to mention the two runners-up; The Twelve Days of Christmas by Laurel Long, and of course the perennial classic The Twelve Days of Christmas by Jan Brett. You could get lost in their pages. But what made Jane Ray’s version stand out was how she featured the love story, because at its heart the song is a love story. Let’s just say, this person’s love language is definitely gift-giving. Each page features a woman in love, gladly receiving increasingly more ridiculous gifts from her admirer. At its culmination her love finally arrives.
On the fourth day of Christmas my sister gave to me:
Elmo’s Twelve Days of Christmas by Sarah Albee and illustrated by Maggie Swanson
Elmo’s Twelve Days of Christmas, the book that sparked a revolution. To be honest there is nothing truly special about this book. It features Sesame Street’s lovable fuzzy monsters. Each verse is silly and whimsical. On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me a red monster up in a tree! Hint: the red monster is Elmo. It’s a solid little board book. But for me the real magic happens when I look at my daughter’s bright eyes as she turns the pages eager for the next verse. If your child is a member of the Elmo fan club like mine, go purchase this book. You won’t regret it. Based solely on her unending love for it, I have to give this little book five eggs.
On the fifth day of Christmas I stopped singing because Holy Hannah that’s a lot of maids a milking.
Children’s books are fun to read as is, with their clever rhyme schemes and silly stories. But when you illustrate preeminently singable festive tunes, I reach a whole new level of holiday cheer. I have cheer coming out of my wazoo.
Are you a not-so-secret fan of Christmas music too? If so, what it your personal favorite?
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Ariel and Brianna are friends who met while working in a library. Now they collaborate to develop life-enhancing book club experiences.
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