The Twelve Days of Christmas

The Twelve Days of Christmas
Alex T. Smith
Macmillan Children’s Books

Creator of the wonderful Claude books, Alex T. Smith presents a comical sparkling new take on the seasonal classic song. Herein the narrator is a stylish young miss and ‘my true love’ has been replaced by a generous grandma. To call her merely generous might be somewhat inaccurate for despite starting off relatively sensibly – the partridge in a pear tree on day one, the two turtle doves along with the partridge in its tree on day two but by day five things have begun to get a tad out of hand,

and thereafter, particularly from day seven things are completely crazy …

And as for that final twelfth day gift, I’ll leave you that to discover what it is and how it’s received … I’m pretty sure it’ll make you splutter; I certainly did!

There’s some delicious alliteration, and

an abundance of visual hilarity – heaven help the post-person who has to deliver all that lot. Alternatively titled ‘Grandma is Overly Generous’ is most definitely no exaggeration (unless the grandma in question happens to be giving a copy of this book; in that case, she’s perfectly generous.)

Thank You, Mr Panda

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Thank You, Mr Panda
Steve Antony
Hodder Children’s Books
Mr Panda’s back in story number three – hurray! This might just be my favourite to date; the final spread certainly had me laughing out loud in delight; and I absolutely love the return of those doughnuts.
Mr P. has five beautifully wrapped parcels and as he sets out to deliver them, lemur is eager to know who the recipients will be. ’My friends’ comes the response.
Mouse’s hole is the first stop:

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a beautiful sweater is duly unwrapped – it’s somewhat on the generous size though. ‘It’s the thought that counts’ lemur tells him. Next comes Octopus; he seems pleased but there is a slight snag …

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Elephant seems altogether disinterested in his gift – little does he know what he’s missing. The next venue requires a balloon ride for it’s Mountain Goat. The sight of him teetering atop his mountain weighed down by his gift is wonderful and of course, lemur chips in with “it’s the thought …’ once more.
That leaves just one present; who will be its lucky recipient? Lemur is thrilled to find it’s him and he’s effusive in his thanks. That’s before he’s opened it though; and now it’s Mr Panda’s turn to toss in the ‘…it’s the thought that counts’ reminder.
Delicious endpapers show, at the front – the five parcels ready and waiting for delivery; and at the back,

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Mr Panda’s five friends sporting (or clutching – almost – in the case of Elephant) their gifts.

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