Set in Africa during the Christmas season, this is the story of a village preparing for a celebration – the birth of a child. The story is told in verse inspired by the traditional carol The Twelve Days of Christmas, but in this version by the author Catherine House the gifts are: 1 stork in a baobab tree, 2 thatched huts, 3 woven baskets, 4 market traders, 5 bright khangas, 6 women pounding, 7 children playing, 8 wooden carvings, 9 grazing goats, 10 drummers drumming, 11 dancers dancing and 12 storytellers. This is a Christmas steeped in the atmosphere of African village life, including descriptions of the objects and activities mentioned in the text.
A Christmas story set in a South African village, which uses the format of the “Twelve Days of Christmas” to explore village life and customs. Teachers will find this book extremely useful as well as beautifully excecuted. (Bookseller )
A lovely version of the ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ set in Africa. Polly Alakija’s rich illustrations are complemented by informative text which provides a fascinating insight into an African Christmas. (Bookseller )
Delightful illustrations give a fascinating insight of life in traditional, rural Africa at Christmas. (Carousel )
Fanastic adaptation… The illustrations are beautiful. (Juno )
Gives a charming and fresh insight into a worldwide celebration. (Times )
This is a Christmas steeped in the atmosphere of African village life. (Writing Magazine )
The striking compositions, with a strong sense of movement and warm palette of colours, combine with the words to convey a sense of tradition, joyfulness and community. (Ibby Link )
Charming and fun for children in both Keys Satges 1 and 2 to engage with and to sing together, and the publication could make a worthwhile contribution to pupils’ cultural development. (Religious Education Primary News )
‘Vibrant and full of life, this title covers a huge range of cultural details with relatively little text, perfect for sharing as a group.’ (SLA Information Book Award, judges’ comments )
About the Author
CATHERINE HOUSE is an established educational writer who specialises in writing for African and Caribbean schools, and who has worked with leading educational publishers, including Macmillan Education. She has lived and worked in Kenya, Sudan, Eritrea and Zimbabwe. She now lives in Oxford where she works part-time for a charity helping homeless people. This is her first book for Frances Lincoln.
POLLY ALAKIJA is a British artist living and working in South Africa. Before that, she lived for fifteen years in Nigeria. Her paintings have been widely exhibited in Africa and Europe, and her previous books include Catch That Goat for Barefoot Books. This is her first book for Frances Lincoln. She lives in Tewkesbury, Gloscestershire.