cover image The 12 Days of Christmas

The 12 Days of Christmas

Greg Pizzoli. Disney-Hyperion, $16.99 (56p) ISBN 978-1-4847-5031-5

A classic carol gets a dose of reality as Pizzoli (Good Night Owl) pokes fun at the material excess of the holidays. The gift giving starts small as a young elephant receives a partridge in a pear tree, delivered by an elephant wearing a Santa hat (an older sibling, perhaps). The elephant is delighted, but as additional gifts arrive—hens, geese, dancing cats, leaping frogs, and more—its parent reacts to the growing household chaos with a mix of bewilderment, disapproval, and anger. “Phew!” the adult elephant sighs, clutching a bag of bulk birdseed during the (brief) reprieve of “five golden rings.” The parental elephant’s frustration crescendos and gives way to tears, but a group hug sets everything right—and a closing shot of a fireplace blanketed with stockings suggests that these “gifts” have quickly become family. An irresistible read-aloud. Ages 3–5. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Sept.)