By: David Davis
Illustrated by: Candace Camling
Publisher: Pelican Publishing
Publication Date: September 2011
Reviewed by: Holly Connors
Review Date: October 2011
On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, a partridge in a …. Oh, wait, that’s the other version. In this retelling of the famous Christmas song, there are no partridges, no lords a leaping, no turtle doves a cooing (or whatever turtle doves do). In the Texas version of the song, everything is done the Texas way, big and full of western themes.
While the Mrs. is outside hanging Christmas lights from the roof, the man of the house comes roaring up in his bright red truck, a smile on his face and something big wrapped in a red bow, in the truck-bed. Could it be? Yes, darlin’ it’s a mockingbird in a gum tree.
Each day there’s a surprise for the lady of the house, something fun, wacky, helpful or just plain silly:
On the fourth day of Christmas
my darlin’ gave to me
three oil wells, two silver spurs,
and a mockingbird in a gum tree.
Ever see four javelinas, with jingle bells around their bellies, tethered to holiday ribbon? You will in this book, as well as see just how much fun they can be as they romp through a pasture.
As the days of Christmas progress, things get larger and a tad ruckus as only a Texas Christmas can. Armadillos, jackrabbits and bucking broncos? The poor Mrs. looks a bit overwhelmed with all the commotion in and around her house although I suspect youngsters reading the book will find all the upheaval quite funny.
While there are a multitude of Twelve Days of Christmas retellings on the market, what sets this book apart is the setting of Texas. If you hail from the Lone Star State, or are working on a homeschooling project dealing with Texas, you will find this book an excellent way to introduce your young readers to the things that make Texas unique.
Quill says: A fun, and educational, book to introduce children to the state of Texas.