The Twelve Days of Christmas (Magnificent Creatures) by Anna Wright

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The Twelve Days of Christmas (Magnificent Creatures) by Anna Wright

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Buy The Twelve Days of Christmas (Magnificent Creatures) by Anna Wright at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Emerging Readers
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: John Lloyd
Reviewed by John Lloyd
Summary: Not just a seasonal gift book due to its practical aspect, this book is wonderfully crafted to surprise and please.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: October 2017
Publisher: Faber and Faber
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9780571338931

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One of the problems a Christmas-themed book has is in making itself relevant at other times of the year. This charming little encapsulation of the well-known yuletide poem (known in English in 1780, but older than that, trivia fans) gets round that by (a) being a counting book for the very young that they could gain from on any date they chose, and (b) just being really pleasing to look at.

The reason it's easy on the eye must surely have a lot to do with the illustrator's past fancy for fabrics and costume. A lot of the spreads here have a collage effect, with either fabric and/or wallpaper patterns being seen in the bodies of the gifts. There's a golden sheen to bits here and there that makes the whole effect akin in no small way to Klimt artwork.

The delight for me, however, was the inventiveness with the presents. The first four were standard – the birds all pretty much being what I had expected. But when the five gold rings became hoops that frogs were playing gymnastics and hula-hooping with, I was sold – and the cleverness no way stops there. So much so I daren't say any more for spoiling the pleasure.

This is slight, it is an easy read and you know the ending, but it's still worthwhile. The text is a fine size, and a larger font each time highlights the new present mentioned. Some artists would have included every gift every time it is name-checked, so all 78 were on the final spread, but not here – the creator hasn't needed to use that gimmick. There is no gimmick here, just wonderful and vivid artwork. I'll relish a chance to see what our artist does next.

I must thank the publishers for my review copy.

The Twelve Days of Christmas by Britta Teckentrup is a very different way of presenting the same piece.

Buy The Twelve Days of Christmas (Magnificent Creatures) by Anna Wright at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Twelve Days of Christmas (Magnificent Creatures) by Anna Wright at Amazon.co.uk


Buy The Twelve Days of Christmas (Magnificent Creatures) by Anna Wright at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Twelve Days of Christmas (Magnificent Creatures) by Anna Wright at Amazon.com.

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