The Twelve Days of Christmas by Jane Ray

Last year Jane Ray gave us the gift of The Dollhouse Fairy and this year another treat! Her sumptuously illustrated, wonderfully imagined version of The Twelve Days of Christmas. Everyone knows most of the song, but there are very few, nicely illustrated editions of this book on the shelves which makes Ray's version stand out even more.
 The setting for this traditional carol seems to be the 1920s, as we see women in cloche hats, fur trimmed coats and pointy-toed mary-janes. We watch as the young woman living at Number 4 graciously receives gifts each day and does her best to fit them into her home.
This is probably my favorite picture in the book! The birds, the water and the lovely countenance of the woman remind me of the many fairy tales that Ray has gorgeously illustrated and give a magical feel to the whole book. Over all, Ray does a magnificent job of finding new ways to represent the familiar, avian heavy gifts in the song while fitting the whole scenario into her riverfront world. And, as always, Jane Ray is all inclusive in her artwork, representing people of all colors and countries, which I very much appreciate. This is a beautiful book that would make the perfect gift, especially for young children who find this particular carol especially intriguing.

THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS. Copyright © 2011 by Jane Ray. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, SomervilleMA.

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