Day 15 brings us a brand new book from a favorite picture book creator. You can never have too many counting books and at Christmas, a counting book is most likely in the form of this carol. This carol can be annoying. Really annoying when it gets stuck in your head. And if you really think about what the carol is talking about, what’s happening can actually be perceived as annoying too. Enter Greg Pizzoli and his hilarious animals with their simple exaggerated expressions. This book arrived just in time for the 2017 Christmas season and is here for your enjoyment today. Check out (and then go buy) The 12 Days of Christmas by Greg Pizzoli, 2017.

Pizzoli is quite the creator. Every one of his books has more than meets the eye. From the paper choice, to the color palette, to the Easter eggs from previous books. But I’m always eager to spy beneath the dust jacket. His books never disappoint and it becomes difficult to decide whether I like the jacket or the hardcover better. Case in point:

And let’s not forget the endpapers, which Pizzoli never leaves alone. These endpapers boast a fantastic mid-century vibe. I’d like some wrapping paper in this pattern please (hint hint Greg).

One of my favorite things about Pizzoli’s work is the color palette. Pizzoli works in silkscreen and digital collage, which kind of boggles my mind. But silkscreen requires limited color. Pizzoli uses it masterfully with tints of each color that allow for more depth on the page. One of the coolest ways to see his color use is to see how his other books look on the back jacket flap as they have to be printed in whatever colors the current book is using. Small detail, but something worth nerding out over.

“On the FIRST day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me…”

In Pizzoli’s version, a young elephant receives a gift from a true love. (This gives me pause as a parent, but that’s neither here nor there.) The first gift is a partridge in a pear tree. The young elephant is thrilled! The adult elephant… not so much. And the displeasure gets worse with each gift.

We love watching the face of the adult elephant. While I’m laughing at the comedy of it, my three year old empathized with every page turn and the poor big elephant’s dismay.

And ironically, I realized with Pizzoli’s version that I had never really noticed that a good portion of the gifts are birds! I chuckled hard when on one page the adult elephant is holding a bag of “bulk birdseed.”

As the carol continues, and the gift-giving, the two young elephants are exuberant (as are the gifts themselves). On the final day, the gifts are presented in amazing, full-poster like pages. These warrant a big announcer voice when I read. The raucous joyfulness continues, until they all finally notice the big elephant’s feelings. The ending… well, you’re just going to have to go find this book to view the resolution. And you won’t be sorry, you never can be with a Pizzoli book.

Ten more days to go!