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The Twelve Days of Christmas: A Piata for the Pion Tree

Philemon Sturges, Author, Ashley Wolff, Illustrator
Philemon Sturges, Author, Ashley Wolff, Illustrator , illus. by Ashley Wolff. Little, Brown $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-316-82323-4
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The traditional carol receives a dash of New Mexican spice as Sturges (Bridges Are to Cross ) moves the backdrop to the American Southwest. Chipper animal amigos in the village square offer a gift of a piñata for the piñon tree on the first day of Christmas, while in a parallel visual storyline, a motherly-looking badger begins whipping up some bizcochitos (holiday cookies). Ignoring the 12-day sequence of the text, Wolff (the Miss Bindergarten books) shows the action as continuous: soon a kaleidoscope of local color and sound transforms the square, and the furry baker produces a tray of festive treats. One quibble: young readers may have trouble distinguishing all the unfamiliar creatures (11 mariachi, 10 kachina leapin') that keep being piled on to the full-to-bursting village scenes. Ages 3-6. (Oct.)

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