Counting the Days: The Twelve Days of Christmas by Dan Andreasen
ON THE TWELFTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS
MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME
TWELVE DRUMMERS DRUMMING....
How does the partridge in the pear tree feel about being one-upped? The cute little partridge tot in Dan Andreasen’s timely The Twelve Days of Christmas (Sleeping Bear Press, 2012), is a bit overwhelmed by the holiday bru-ha-ha. And when you think about it, who wouldn’t be?
Eschewing the rococo Renaissance setting that many notable illustrators have brought to this classic Yuletide carol, Dan Andreasen’s new version features a controlled palette in slightly subdued pastel tints. His plump little partridge reacts to the growing crowd around him with a hint of hesitation, even though Andreasen’s multiplying characters are mostly a benevolent bunch, four French hens wearing (what else?) blue berets, seven milkmaid kitties in kirtles and caps, and nine waltzing lady bunnies. But as the crowd increases, even these characters can be intimidating, and as twelve drumming turtles tap-a-tap-tap their snares and all the other celebrants circle ‘round the center of attention, our little partridge huddles, wings over ears.
It’s all in good fun as the classic Christmas song brings the count back down to the reluctant little star, our little golden partridge. There are plenty of fabulously fancy editions of this carol–-Jan Brett’s sumptuous outing in her signature style, The Twelve Days of Christmas, and Laurel Long’s splendidly lavish, traditionally embellished The Twelve Days of Christmas. But for tots just coming to the song, Andreasen’s brand-new version hits just the right note.