Anna Wright has rapidly developed a following across the UK for her print, collage work and paintings, following in the footsteps of Emma Bridgewater, Tricia Guild and Liberty as she takes her designs across stationery and homeware. She is now embarking on her third picture book for children. Anna brings humour, beauty and sophistication to this perennially popular Christmas hymn, with her signature style. Exquisitely rendered in pen, ink, watercolour and collage, The twelve days of Christmas are beautifully and playfully reimagined for today's readership - and have never looked so sumptuous.
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Number of pages: 32
Weight: 230 g
Dimensions: 210 x 205 x 10 mm
"Eye-catching illustrations and some unusual interpretations distinguish this picture-book version of the traditional carol. The first several days of Christmas unfold pleasingly if unsurprisingly, Wright's fluid, friendly lines describing one partridge, two turtledoves, and so forth. Sparing use of gold paint that harmonizes with greens, blacks, and burgundies helps make pears, feathers, and stars pop. The artist photo-collages in swatches of fabric and marbled paper, which complements the liquid watercolors and gives the pages an extra-sumptuous look. The five acrobatic frogs performing with five gold rings give readers a sense that what's to come may not be everything they're expecting. "On the eighth day of Christmas," a handsome sow suckles seven pink piggies while an eighth looks fetchingly out at readers. The 'nine ladies dancing' are butterflies, and the 'ten lords-a leaping' are top-hatted grasshoppers. Eleven hares with enormous ears blow bugles (which are not pipes, but only a curmudgeon would turn that distinction into a quibble), and 12 green-and-purple woodpeckers cling to tree trunks, ready to drum. The square, slightly smaller-than-usual trim gives the whole thing a cozy feel but still does not crowd the final stanza when all 12 gifts stretch out in one breathless column. Perhaps not a child's first version of the familiar carol, but a whimsical, delightful take when more literal ones have been read and put aside, as well as a handsome gift book for adults."--Kirkus
Glints of gold foil on the cover image--a partridge in a pear tree--hint at the elegant mixed-media treats inside this reimagining of the eponymous Christmas carol. Wright (Magnificent Creatures) demonstrates a fondness for nature in her depictions, which feature animals in colorful, patterned, gold-accented swatches of collage. For all its sophisticated elements, the artwork captures a playful tone as well: five frogs twirl gold rings in fancy hula hoop style, 10 grasshoppers stand in for the leaping lords, and 12 woodpeckers represent drummers drumming. In another lighthearted interpretation, the eight maids a-milking verse is accompanied by an image of a pink sow nursing seven suckling piglets, as an eighth regards the reader from the page. Fans of the beloved carol, and readers just learning to count, will have something to celebrate here. Ages up to 5.