The Twelve Days of Christmas

by Laurel Long

Hardcover, 2011



Local notes

394.2 Lon



Dial Books (2011), Edition: Ina, 32 pages


An illustrated version of the traditional song.


Original language


Physical description

32 p.; 9.38 inches


0803733577 / 9780803733572



User reviews

LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
The immensely talented artist Laurel Long, whose breathtakingly beautiful illustrations can be seen in such fairy-tales as The Lady and the Lion and The Magic Nesting Doll, turns her attention to the Christmas season in this latest offering, giving holiday picture-book aficionados cause to celebrate. With an incredibly rich and varied palette of colors, and an amazing array of visual details - decorative borders, floral motifs, fairy-tale landscapes - she brings the classic song to life, creating a reading experience like no other. This book left me gasping. Literally. I became so engrossed in the artwork this afternoon - poring over all the beautiful little details, and searching for all the hidden images - that I forgot to breathe!

The paintings here reward the reader for looking, and looking again. Beautifully composed, they can be appreciated from afar, in their two-page totality, but they also invite the reader to come closer, to examine the many lovely details and little mysteries that are hidden in plain sight. For this edition of The Twelve Days of Christmas is more than just a beautiful picture-book presentation of a beloved carol - it is also a visual puzzle. Each painting depicts the gift being offered in its corresponding verse - which, in an example of excellent design, is inset in the page, in a slightly "whited out" box (artwork still visible underneath) that allows the text to be easily read - but also contains all the previous gifts, cleverly hidden in the details of the artwork, which the reader must hunt down. Some of them are quite difficult to find: after an hour of poring, and consulting the key (which can be found on the reverse side of the dust-jacket), I still couldn't see the partridge in the painting for verse eight. It's simply impossible to convey the richness and beauty of this book - it has to be seen to be believed!
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