Monday, December 1, 2008

Jack Kent's Twelve Days of Christmas

Jack Kent's Twelve Days of Christmas
Jack Kent ~ Parent's Magazine Press, 1973

Another reminder that the entire backlist of Parent's Magazine Press should be reissued post haste, this 12 days is similar in vein to Hillary Knight's 1980 version in that they both collect all the gifts from each verse... meaning by the end you are looking at 12 pear trees, 22 turtle doves and so on. What really brings this book to life is that although the only words are the traditional lyrics, the Mr. Kent lends a tremendous amount of personality to the characters through their actions and facial expressions, so much so that it takes the story in a whole new direction. By the last page when "my true love" has driven the girl of his dreams away will his overabundance of booty, the fear in the sweet girl's eyes says everything about the (sometimes) hilarity of unrequited love.

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me twelve ladies dancing, eleven lords a-leaping, ten drummers drumming, nine pipers piping, eight maids a-milking, even swans a-swimming, six geese a-laying, five golden rings, four collie birds, three French hens, two turtledoves and a partridge in a pear tree.

Just in case you are wondering, I Googled and apparently "collie" is the British and correct way to say the bastardized "calling." Who knew?

Mr. Kent's illustrations are so full of spark and humor, it is easy to understand why his first book Just Only John is highly collectible. And the only reason you've never seen it reviewed here is that I sadly and personally do not own it, but as expected, I am off in search of it now. To the library and beyond!!!!!

Also by:
I Was Walking Down the Road
The Grown-Up Day
The Fox and the Crow
The Biggest Shadow in the Zoo
The Animobile Book
Jack Kent's Book of Nursery Tales
Dooly and the Snortsnoot
Mr. Meebles
Cindy Lou and the Witch's Dog
Clotilda
The Blah
Jack Kent's Valentine Sticker Book
The Bremen-town Musicians
Round Robin
Just Only John
Fly Away Home
Fat Cat
Piggy Bank Gonzales
Socks for Supper

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6 comments:

Rachel said...

Looks like a great book. We have Jack Kent's "There's No Such Thing as a Dragon" which is a real favourite.

Heather said...

Oh he's wonderful! "Dooly and the Snortsnoot" is a favorite in our house.

Ellysa said...

The Caterpillar and the Polliwog by Kent is also amazing--and was made into a terrific Weston Woods video!

I couldn't agree more with you about reprinting the Parents Mag Press books.

scribbler said...

I just picked up There's No Such Thing as a Dragon... awesome. the boy made me ead it to him five times!

Candice said...

I couldn't quite place where I'd seen little faces like the ones on the cover of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" until I read another reader's comment about "Dooly and the Snortsnoot", what a flashback! I'm on the hunt for that book now!

Anonymous said...

My brother received the "Just Only John" book by subscription. I loved the book. I was about 15 years old at the time. When I had children, I resqued the book from my parent's house. It is a great read. I would love to tell Mr. Kent how much my family enjoyed his books. If you can find a copy BUY it.

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