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The Twelve Days of Summer

by Jan Andrews
illustrated by Susan R. Jolliffe

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list price: $19.95
also available: Paperback eBook
published: 2005
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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
6 to 8
p to 3
Reading age:
4 to 8
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Community Reviews and Comments
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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

The Twelve Days of Summer

On my first day of summer, the sunshine brought to me… And so the delight begins. Page by page, creatures gather in a beautiful garden, celebrating summer and the life cycle.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Canadian Children’s Book News. 2006.

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  • Commended, CCBC Our Choice
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Patterned on the popular carol, The Twelve Days of Summer takes readers on a joyous journey into summer, from the first discovery of three eggs in a sparrowís nest to the day when those eggs hatch. Readers will pore over the pictures, searching for that fifth bumblebee, that tenth crow, and for the thoughtfully chosen toy that turns up on each page: a parachute with the goatsbeard seeds, a fan with the ruffed grouseÖ This is a story to delight and engage children and adults alike.

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On my third day of summer, the sunshine brought to me…

Three ruffed grouse

Two goatsbeard seeds

And a song sparrow nest for three.

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Editorial Reviews

"The busy, hypervigilent compositions are both entertaining and eye-filling."

— CD Syndicated

"The illustrations are superb...lushly beautiful and humorous at the same time."

— Resource Links

"The illustrations are really wonderful, full of detail."

"Students will like looking at it."


"Young listeners will enjoy poring over the illustrations...and seeing if they can spot a man-made item that this clever illustrator has tucked into each picture."

— CM Magazine

"The text has a lovely lilt to it, and Susan Jolliffe's illustrations offer plenty for the senses as well as the counting part of the brain."

"Each page offers up a surprise."

— The Globe and Mail

"This will be a popular read-aloud addition in your collection."

"A very enjoyable book."

— Puget Sound Council for Reviewing Children's Media

"Richly illustrated...A classic picture book in that its pictures can absolutely absorb a child while an adult reads aloud. It's a great way to count your way through summer."

— Times-Colonist

"A definite purchase for every library."

"Colorful illustrations accompany the singable...text."

— NMRLS Youth Services

"The pages seem to shift and shimmer with the swoops of birds and the twirling of flowers."

— Times Colonist

"This is one of those books that could be useful in so many ways, that it's a must-have!"

— Canadian Teacher Magazine
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Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.

About the Authors

Jan Andrews

The author of numerous books, including The Auction, The Very Last First Time, and When Apples Grew Noses and White Horses Flew, which won the Silver Birch Express Award, Jan Andrews received the Order of Canada for her contributions to Canadian culture as a children's writer and pioneer of Canada's storytelling movement. She died in 2017.
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Susan R. Jolliffe

"Susan Rennick Jolliffe of Ottawa, Ontario alighted into the world of children's books after many years as a visual artist. She is known for her humorous and beautiful transformations of what most people consider junk."
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