And so begins the Twelve Days of Christmas. And for our last book, I bring a little bit of silliness. I know the true spirit of Christmas is reflective and joyous; all wrapped up in a tiny baby. But there is always room for cleverness and laughter! So for our last book, we have a fantastic creation from the ever amazing Jack Kent. Published in 1973, this book brought a new perspective and appreciation for a traditional song that I have always loathed. This is Jack Kent’s Twelve Days of Christmas.
I’m sure everyone is familiar with that incredibly repetitive song starting with a partridge in a pear tree; and here Jack Kent takes a literal interpretation with a young lad giving his true love larger and larger gifts each day of the Christmas season.
In an incredibly comical turn of events, the young lady is thrilled to be receiving gifts from her young man; until he continues to bring them each day and adds to them too. Chaos ensues. How many partridges and pear trees can a girl really use? Not to mention the veritable flock of assorted fowl she accumulates. The rings are a nice touch, but then it just gets ridiculous.
By day eleven, the parade of milking maids, drummers, pipers, and leaping lords is enough to send the poor girl running. Her well-meaning lover is distraught but determined and continues to shower her with gifts.
Oh! The first time I saw this book, I laughed so hard and long. I’ve never been a fan of that old English (or arguably French) carol and I always thought I just didn’t understand it. But, it seems that no one does as it doesn’t have meaning that anyone knows. So, leave it to Jack Kent to take the song for what it is really worth and make a gorgeous work to behold.
The text is only the lyrics, which can be discouraging to read through at first glance; but once you realize what is occurring, oh is it ever fun! I’m a passionate fan of Jack Kent’s work, and he will have a post (or many!) dedicated to him in the near future; so for today we’ll just love on this particular book. His characters have the most marvelous expressions. As a famed comic artist, he knows how to pack a punch in just the eyeballs! The cartoonish characters, muted-yet-sharp color palette, and the immense sense of humor all combine to create this hoot of a tale beginning and ending with that infamous partridge in a pear tree.
With this, we end our book adventure of 25 days.. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I loved selecting them. I’ll be taking a short break, but then have a whole bunch of “new” books to share in the New Year. Have yourself a merry little Christmas. Hopefully no one receives an actual partridge in a pear tree, unless you were really wanting one, that is.