cover image The Thirteen Days of Christmas

The Thirteen Days of Christmas

Jenny Overton. Greenwillow Books, $12.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-688-07321-3

Annaple's father and siblings love her dearly, but ever since Mama died they have been subjected to her horrendous cooking. Wealthy Francis would gladly marry her, but he's too conventional and unimaginative a suitor for Annaple. So the sister and brothers give Francis a few suggestions for gifts to kindle Annaple's romantic bent, hoping to marry her off. Inspired by the idea, Francis literally bombards his true love with gifts, beginning with a partridge in a pear tree. This charming and light-hearted fictional account of the well-known song is replete with medieval English Christmas customs and lore. Because readers know in advance what each day's gifts will be, the fun derives from Annaple's and the townsfolk's reactions to the barrage of accumulated swans, hens, rings, and so on. A delightful romantic read-aloud for the holiday season. Ages 9-11. (August)