cover image The Worst Twelve Days of Christmas

The Worst Twelve Days of Christmas

Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen, illus. by Ryan Wood. Abrams, $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4197-0033-0

Bardhan-Quallen has hold of a good concept: reworking the “Twelve Days of Christmas” carol to demonstrate an older sibling’s frustration with her baby brother, who is wrecking her holiday preparations; her countdown includes “6 shredded cards, 5 shattered ornaments, 4 sticky stockings,” and more. But lumbering couplets wedged between the accumulative verse drag down the story (“At night, Joy tried to leave out a plate for Santa Claus./ But all the cookies landed in Sam’s jaws”). First-time illustrator Wood shows promise, making the most of Sam’s mischief, portraying a gleeful toddler, a frustrated Joy, and a house in disarray. Ages 4–8. (Nov.)