Long after the gifts are opened, the wrapping paper discarded, the toys forgotten, it is our memories of Christmas that remain.
The 12 Joys of Christmas reads like an updated Twelve Days of Christmas, bringing the magic of Christmas further into the modern day with a new list of things that are enjoyed during the Christmas season, all the while keeping a sense of vintage loveliness. The writing follows the well-known format of the Twelve Days of Christmas, slowly building up from one freshly cut tree to twelve Christmas cookies. It’s a simple and lovely little story, which I imagine would be a lot of fun for younger children around Christmas as it brings together a lot of fun festive things, such as making paper snowflakes and drinking hot chocolate.
The illustrations were easily my favourite part of this story. It’s a picture book so there’s obviously a focus on the visual but they had a real feel of vintage Christmas cards and posters that you often see. I can’t use words to give them justice; you have to see the illustrations to really appreciate them and the soft festive colours that are used. They instantly transported me to the festive season and left me feeling warm and nostalgic; I could spend hours looking at the pictures and would happily buy a book filled with Sheri McCulley Seibold’s illustrations.
My only issue with this book is it’s simply not long enough – I feel like so much more could have been done with it to build on the twelve joys that are listed, maybe an activity section that suggests ways you can enjoy the festive season and bring the spirit of Christmas into the household. Many people will take inspiration from it regardless, but it would have been nice if there was a step-by-step guide for paper snowflakes and cookies, or a few Christmas carols at the end that children could learn. Overall, though, this is a sweet and enjoyable picture book that captures the spirit of Christmas and is truly a feast for the eyes.
Read: November 7th 2016