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Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 10/01/2011 K-Gr 5—Every Christmas new versions of this song are published, and this is a rare one that truly stands out. As readers move through the various gifts, they are given the opportunity to search for the previous gifts concealed in the art. For example, on the third day of Christmas, readers see three handsome French hens nesting near a Christmas tree amid mistletoe, pinecones, and roses, and also on the spread are tiny images of two turtle doves and a partridge. The inside of the book jacket contains the key to the hidden images. The musical score and an artist's note about the history of the song are included. Long's lyrical and lush oil paintings, reminiscent of Russian icon art, combined with a tricky interactive element, make this version of the traditional carol special.—Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library - Copyright 2011 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 10/15/2011 Long illustrates this familiar carol with a series of beautifully composed, richly colored oil paintings. The double-page pictures celebrate the natural world through abundant plant and animal forms. Beginning with the eighth day, elaborately costumed people and angels appear as well. Each turn of the page reveals a new scene illustrating a verse of the song. Along with the gifts mentioned in that verse, the increasingly elaborate paintings hold surprises: pictures of objects mentioned in previous verses are hidden here and there for children to find. Musical notes and lyrics are appended, along with an artist’s note. A helpful visual key to the hidden gifts is provided, but since it’s printed on the inside of the jacket, libraries will be challenged to come up with ways to make it accessible. Puzzle-minded children will definitely want to check the key, as without it, they may miss some of the subtler hidden forms. An accomplished visual interpretation with a playful element for children to enjoy. - Copyright 2011 Booklist.