The Twelve Days of Christmas or Grandma is Overly Generous is set in the late Edwardian period and the song is given a new and quirky twist by Alex T. Smith. Eloise Jingle receives Christmas presents from Grandma which start innocuously enough but as the days progress they become quirkier and more original until on the final day a huge box is delivered. But what could be inside?
The Story: Overly Generous Grandma sends presents for each of the twelve days of Christmas. The first six reflect the presents from the traditional song but from the seventh day the presents become more original until the final ‘fragile’ present arrives in a large, stripy box and makes Eloise laugh…
This beautiful little hardback book is a work of art and we love the Edwardian feel to the illustrations. The eye-catching double page spreads have predominantly white backgrounds and repeated readings revealed more and more details, particularly on the stamps that are stuck to each envelope. Each alternate spread shows the envelope, the postmarks and stamps give a clue to the contents of the present for that day, there are deliveries from France, the South Pole and even the Arctic Circle!
We love the twists that have been added on the first six days, the French hens carry French flags and the six geese a-laying come from Switzerland with a carriage full of eggs. As in the original song there are drummers on one day and a brass band on another but our favourite spread is from day seven…
The squirrels are snorkelling for a reason. It all became much clearer when we read the postmark!
After receiving so many parcels from Grandma, Eloise sends her own letter of thanks. When we read Grandma’s address we realised that she really is a very unusual Grandma, particularly for Edwardian times. She also has a very unusual pet!
The Twelve Days of Christmas or Grandma is Overly Generous would be a wonderful present for readers of any age, it’s a book that can be shared and enjoyed by all generations. Alex T. Smith’s distinctive illustration style and the diversity of the two characters give the song a very original twist.
Age Range: 3 +
Author / Illustrator: Alex T. Smith
Thank you to Macmillan Books for sending The Twelve Days of Christmas or Grandma is Overly Generous. We love the last present, you can never have too many… (no spoilers!)