December 1….. ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ by Jane Ray

The Twelve Days of Christmas‘ by Jane Ray (published by Orchard Books)


So, here’s the first of our Advent posts.  Actually, there are so many brilliant Christmassy books to share that we might have to do more than 24 posts, but we’ll aim for the Advent countdown for now…..

This is also the start of a challenge for me as I try and prove to M (and myself) that I am capable of being concise occasionally.  I don’t think I’ll ever break away from writing big long posts about the books I love and the things that are important to me, but if I’m going to post every day for nearly a month I can’t write 1,500 words each time!  Thus, here goes with my foray into brevity.

We’re huge Jane Ray fans here (C adores ‘The Doll’s House Fairy’) and this book is a jewel in her crown.  The sparkly front cover is a perfect way of introducing a book (using the text of the traditional song in the title) that shines with festive flair.

In the first spread we meet a diverse cast of characters living in a row of townhouses in a city that looks as though it could be Amsterdam – I do LOVE a row of houses to explore!  Subsequent spreads show specific scenes with the characters that match the appropriate verse of the song and there is a suitably lovely ending.

There is so much detail on each page and so much life and movement in every aspect of every illustration.  Check out the ‘nine ladies dancing’ (they could be on Strictly with that Charleston!) and the bunting overhead – gorgeous.

IMG_7748This is a beautiful picture book version of a classic Christmas song and it really does sing with joy 🙂


P.S.  Nailed it under 300 words – YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS!



  1. Loll… Great timing! I ordered this book yesterday! How strange! I wanted to get Molls some books to go along with the Pienkowski book you suggested – ones that tell traditional Christmas tales and songs. We’ve just read Jane Ray’s Can You Catch a Mermaid and loved it so much that this one was top of my list. And… somehow the Dolls’ House Fairy fell into my basket at the same time. And also The Emperor’s Nightingale! Oops!
    So glad to see I chose a cracker. Looking forward to seeing what else you’ve got hidden under your Storyseekers hat this advent!
    Good luck with the word count!!! I feel your pain!!

  2. This is great. I wish I was a millionaire so I could buy all these lovely books you recommend! AND I am very impressed by the snow falling in the background! This blog will make me feel very Christmassy, I’m sure!

  3. […] Vulliamy has a special one for Dixie O’Day, one of her characters. Story Seekers are highlighting some festive books. Read It, Daddy! has a Booky Advent Calendar. Sisters Guild have been linking to fun printables. […]

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