Friday, November 25, 2011

Perfect Picture Books: The Twelve Days of Christmas in Colorado

I'm joining in Susanna Leonard Hill'Perfect Picture Book series. Visit her site to see the other books recommended.

The Twelve Days of Christmas in Colorado
Written by Linda Ashman and Illustrated by Dawn Beacon, Sterling Children's Books, 2011

Suitable for: Ages 5 and up

Theme/Topics: Holiday, educational

Opening: The book begins with a letter to Sophie about her upcoming visit to Colorado from her "favorite cousin" Zach.

Brief Synopsis: From the dust jacket —
"Ready to greet you are 12 skiers swooshing, 11 horses prancing, 10 covered wagons, 9 woven baskets ... and much more from the Centennial State.
Zach is so excited about his cousin Sophie's visit to Colorado that he gives her one of these VERY unusual gifts on each of the twelve days of Christmas, and Sophie writes lively letters home to tell her mom and dad all about her trip. Lucky readers are in for a wild Christmas countdown!"

Link to resources: In addition to the information provided about Colorado through Sophie's letters to her parents, the book includes Colorado facts such as the state tree, bird and fossil as well as some famous Coloradans. Linda Ashman shares some thoughts about the book here.

This book is part of a series called Twelve Days of Christmas, State by State from Sterling Children's Books.

Why I chose this book: This is actually the second time I've chosen this book. When Julie Hedlund interviewed Linda on her blog recently, I raised my hand saying "Pick me! I want this book."

Why? I attended a picture book retreat Linda taught in July. She's great at rhyme and storytelling. Plus, I'm not a Colorado native, so I knew I would learn something. Christmas arrived early at my house when I received this book.

For now, Enzo and I are skipping the letters Sophie writes. They are packed with a lot of information and intended for an older audience. At 18 months, my son is amused by the shorter parts. He follows the gifts through the twelfth day without a problem.

This book will make a fun gift year round to other families, who are new to Colorado. You might be able to find one in the series focusing on your state.

If you get a book, please let me know if your state has a state fossil. I'm excited to know Colorado's fossil is the stegosaurus. This detail just makes me smile.


  1. You have shared some fabulous children's authors this month with PiBo! And way to pay it forward!

  2. This book looks great - I remember seeing it on Julie's blog but alas I didn't win a copy! I think it's a great idea, and I love that it's part of a series that include the other states. What a fun way to learn about the US! Thanks for sharing :)

  3. I'm glad this is a state based series - I had no idea!

    The Massachusetts state fossils are Eubrontes, Grallator and Anchisaurus dinosaur tracks found in the Connecticut River Valley mud flats. (I knew the dinosaur part but had to google to find the species names!!)

  4. I'm so glad you featured this book! I love it too, and I learned so much. Linda's books are great for anyone studying the art of rhyme (and it is both a science and an art!)

  5. @Karen - Thanks. I forgot to look and see if they had a North Dakota or New Mexico book.
    @Susanna - True it is a great way to learn. The book contains tons of information about Colorado. I'm guessing the other state books do as well. After I discovered the other states, I was thinking about getting one from my native Georgia, Hubby's native Iowa and my son's native state Texas. A reading adventure.
    @Cathy - I had no idea either. And, I'm deliked to see your fossil list. Great!
    @Julie - How could I resist featuring this book? I love Linda's words and Dawn's illustrations. The letters are wonderful and it's amazing to think of the time and skill to put this all in a picture book.

  6. Stacy, What a great Christmas book, and one that also teaches! The author has a great idea to help children learn about something special about each state. Missed it on Julie's blog, so I'm glad you featured the book! - Pat

  7. What a fun book to have as part of a history/cultural series about the US. A book is always that much more precious when you have met the author too. Love the way you have adapted it to a younger audience, Stacey!

  8. This book sounds delightful! I want to read it, and all the others in the series now. What a great concept for teaching about the states in a fun way.

    It's great that you've also shared with us how Enzo appreciates certain facets of the book, so that your readers know that it can be adjusted to suit the age of the child.

  9. Stacy - What a great Christmas book! I must pick it up for my grandson. Thanks for the recommendation.

  10. Hi Stacy,
    This looks like a great book...and reminded me of yours...get it out there...everyone will love it. :)

  11. This sounds fabulous, I'm going to look for this one straight away. Thanks Stacy!

  12. The illustration on the cover is great!

  13. This sounds like such a fun book and I love rhyming books.

  14. I just found the Texas book in this series on Amazon-will have to order it for the library. I'll let you know if it includes a fossil! Thanks for the rec!!

  15. @Patricia and @Catherine -It's really a great book and the series looks fun.
    @Joanna - true about meeting the author
    @elizabethanne -It really is a fun way to learn about the states.
    @Maeve - I'm sure he'll like it. Not sure if there is one for your state.
    @Vivian - you are too kind.
    @thiskidreviewsbooks - Yes. The illustrations are fun throughout.
    @inluvwithwords - The letters are not in rhyme. Pick any of Linda's books and you'll be delighted by the rhyme.
    @Kkorenek - I'm sure it will be a fun edition to the library. My son was born in Texas, so we'll have to add that one in our home library too.


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