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The Twelve Days of Christmas
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The Twelve Days of Christmas

3.32  ·  Rating details ·  90 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Oh no! Emma is in trouble!

In this new version of the classic song, Santa comes to the rescue.

Susan Jeffers's artwork sparkles with the excitement of a magical journey, revels in the fun of the twelve preposterous gifts, and brings us home in time for a joyful Christmas morning.
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 24th 2013 by HarperCollins (first published September 1st 2013)
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Average rating 3.32  · 
Rating details
 ·  90 ratings  ·  23 reviews

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Nov 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Readers Looking for Engaging Christmas Fantasies for the Picture-Book Set
Using the classic Christmas carol as a jumping off point, Susan Jeffers crafts a story of a young girl who has a magical Christmas Eve experience with Santa - a dream? a real-life journey? - that involves the twelve traditional gifts from the song. After breaking a special gift she has peaked at ahead of time, and then falling asleep, the girl experiences a magical ride in Santa's sleigh, ending up at his workshop, where she presents the broken present - a snow-globe with a partridge and a pear ...more
Dec 04, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: stars-2, read-2015
It was okay. ⭐️⭐️
Sharde Liggins
The Twelve Days of Christmas by Susan Jeffers was a twist on the Christmas classic "Twelve Days of Christmas". The synopsis of the story is a young girl opens her present early which is a snow globe and it breaks. She goes to santa to fix it before the day of Christmas whilst experiencing the twelve days of Christmas. Jeffers does a unsatisfactory version of the nut cracker. The protagonist in the story, whose name wasn't revealed, begins by going to open a present and breaking it which wasn't s ...more
Meg McGregor
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Lexi and I, are currently trying to read as many versions, of The Twelve Days of Christmas, as we can find.

This is certainly one of the most beautiful and unique versions we have read so far!

"In this new version of the classic song, Santa Claus comes to the rescue!"

I have always loved Susan Jeffer's artwork, and she certainly does not disappoint, in this exquisite retelling!

Little ones will be enchanted with Santa's workshop, and by the generosity of Santa, in solving Emma's dilemma!
Oct 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A version of the song where a little girl dreams that she breaks her christmas present and Santa takes her to the North Pole to magically fix it for her.

Miss 4 and I like to explore different books and authors at the library, sometimes around particular topics or themes. We try to get different ones out every week or so; it's fun for both of us to have the variety and to look at a mix of new & favourite authors.
Jan 07, 2018 rated it liked it
The cover is gorgeous, but it's downhill from there. It was an interesting idea to add a storyline to the 12 days of Christmas, but I'm not sure it's necessary and it doesn't really work. It winds up being kind of a weird, diluted version of the Nutcracker. (Although maybe those aspects are meant to be an homage.) ...more
Dec 28, 2017 rated it liked it
The story was a nice twist but the pictures were alright. I had picked up the book for the pictures so I was disappointed.
Nov 19, 2020 rated it liked it
I wanted to love it, but it was missing the magic of the song. Making the story a bit odd.
Dec 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The illustrations are truly stunning in this book. The water-colour-and-ink creations paint holiday magic on every page. The artwork is magical, whimsical and sparkles. The original Christmas song is an accumulative one which means the verses build one on top of another. Jeffers takes this familiar carol and makes it into a story with the song tucked inside and she changes the lyrics,"My true love gave to me," to "Santa gave to me."

Emma, our narrator, is up later than she should be on Christma
☼Book her,   Danno☼
***SPOILER ... I talk about the story. For me knowing the story doesn't affect the enjoyment one bit, but everyone's different, so heads up.

Susan Jeffers TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS is an attempt to create a story around the familiar maids-a-dancing and the partridge-in-a-pear tree song/poem.

The story begins with a little girl who opens her gift early. There's an accident and the music box breaks. Curling up around the music box that features a pear tree and partridge, she goes to sleep and Santa s
Margaret Chind
I'm stuck between 4 or 5 stars. I read an advanced copy and love it. I this one and her former The Nutcracker to join our Christmas shelf! Glittery textured covers are a powerful magnet for me as well as my little girls and this book is enchanting. It takes an eager little girl a music snow globe and imagination on an enchanting ride with Santa through the lyrics of the twelve days of Christmas. This is unique to other classic juvenile picture books that have told the story of the song and I ...more
Dec 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Lovely, lovely watercolor paintings. And that little West Highland Terrier that shows up in several of the spreads? Yes, that is indeed McDuff of the Rosemary Wells series (illustrated by Susan Jeffers).
In this version, a little girl accidentally breaks her snow globe of the Partridge in a pear tree. Later, she rides in Santa's sleigh, and sees the rest of the 12 gifts of Christmas on the way to Santa's workshop.
Dec 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Beautiful illustrations but the added story is odd and not at all necessary. It's a book based on a song and that's ok it doesn't have to be turned into something more. I did appreciate that it didn't repeat the entire song over and over like some book versions do. If you are reading the book you probably know the song and can choose to either sing it to your child or not. I did and I think O enjoy me flubbing it here and there hehe. ...more
Nov 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Gorgeous illustrations highlight this story that mixes the 12 days of Christmas with the story of a little girl who sneaks downstairs on Christmas Eve. She finds (and breaks) a present left by Santa - a snow globe of a "partridge in a pear tree." She falls asleep and finds herself in Santa's sleigh, experiencing all the characters of the remaining 11 days of christmas. ...more
Dec 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Delightful new version of this traditional Christmas song, with a little back-story about a girl who accidentally ruins a special gift but is able to own up to it. Humorous as well as beautiful drawings.
Angelica Dimeo
Dec 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I read my 4 year old this book everyday when he asks.
I like reading it to him because i can teach him counting as well as reading at the same time. I also love the illustrations in this book they are beautiful.
This wasn't what I expected. I thought it would be a beautiful illustration of the classic song, but it is so much more. . ...more
Dec 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Nicely illustrated slightly altered change of the classic tale The Twelve Days of Christmas. Personally I love when the previous days gifts are repeated on each new day, but this telling does make for an easier and shorter read aloud.
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
Nov 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Beautiful illustrations.
Debby Baumgartner
Jan 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christmas, twelve, days, of, variant
Emma discovers her gift from Santa and then she breaks it.
Brindi Michele
a slightly different, and shorter, take on the classic
Dec 13, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-stars
Blah Blah Blah!! 12 Days of Christmas with a twist. She breaks her snow globe Partridge in a Pear Tree...but on Christmas morning the snow globe is fixed!!
Amanda Martinez Kirby
rated it really liked it
Nov 04, 2013
rated it it was ok
Dec 09, 2014
Cecily V
rated it it was ok
Sep 15, 2017
Ivan Calimano
Traditional song with beautiful illustrations. Really enjoyed it.
rated it really liked it
Sep 25, 2020
rated it liked it
Jan 15, 2014
rated it it was amazing
Dec 23, 2014
Sally Clark
rated it liked it
Dec 29, 2014
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There is more than one author with this name.


Graduate of Pratt Institute 1964
Worked in the publishing field for three years
Began freelance career in 1968
Published first children's book in 1970


Caldecott Honor
Golden Apple Biennial Bratislava
The ABBY American Booksellers Best Book award
Society of Illustrators Awards of Merit
Golden Kite Society of Children's Books Author Illustrators

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