The Twelve Days of Christmas: Grandma is Overly Generous

The Twelve Days of Christmas: Grandma is Overly Generous

By Author / Illustrator

Alex T Smith, Alex T. Smith



Age range(s)



Pan Macmillan








A gorgeously illustrated Christmas classic re-written and illustrated by Alex T. Smith, The Twelve Days of Christmas, or Grandma is Overly Generous, is the creator of the Claude series and How Winston Delivered Christmas.

On the first day of Christmas my Grandma sent to me . . .

Grandma's presents may start off sensible - a partridge is easy enough to take care of - but her generosity soon gets wildly out of hand . . .

The Twelve Days of Christmas: Or Grandma is Overly Generous is a witty new take on the festive classic The Twelve Days of Christmas, accompanied by beautiful full-colour illustrations, this is the perfect Christmas present for any child.



An alternative to the traditional song, this book is full of twists and unexpected fun! Being honest, I did not quite get the sense of festive excitement that I had hoped for when I first read this book to myself. However, when I read it to a group of children that all changed! There were predictions, excitement and lots and lots of laughter! The illustrations are humorous and tell the story alongside the rhyme.

When it comes to reading this, in my opinion, it must be noted that you don't say the words of the song so therefore this is a text that can't be read. It must be sung!

On the first day of christmas my GRANDMA gave to me...a partridge in a pear tree. One subtle change in this well-known line! This can lead into a discussion about family and who gives and receives presents, also about family traditions and other Christmas songs...

The text continues following the known order of gifts, until the sixth day. Then... on the seventh day, when the children are singing along and think they know what is about to come next... seven squirrels a-snorkelling! Eight bears a-balancing, nine drummers drumming (they are pig drummers) ten rhinos racing, eleven penguins parping and... twelve socks!

The children thoroughly enjoyed this book, as did I once I had seen it's true potential. The alternative rhyme is accompanied by the illustrative story of the little girl. The book is great for prediction, writing alternative sentences, letter writing, recall and memory games. It is also a great introduction into traditions and historical events. The illustrations are themed around the late Edwardian period and this is evident with the girl's clothing and the parcel packaging.

Overall, a lovely addition to any Christmas book collection that all children will love.

56 pages / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Maria Faithorn, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 5+


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