On the first day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me...
a meat pie from the local dairy.
Sing along with iconic entertainer, Pio Terei, counting the twelve days of Kiwi Christmas! Illustrations by Myles Lawford. Maori lyrics by Kotuku and Te Okahurangi Tibble
Having experienced Christmas in New Zealand as a child, then in Europe for many years as an adult before returning home again, I often found I was out of sync with the seasons. For Northerners, the Christmas season means snow and hot roast food whereas in New Zealand, when Christmas can often be very hot and sunny, hot roasts do not have quite the same appeal. As for partridges in pear trees and lords a-leaping, these ideas do not really make sense in a New Zealand context. So I was delighted to find that this version of the Twelve Days of Christmas features authentic people, animals, and food items that every New Zealander can relate to - right down to the guest appearance by the inhabitants of Hobbiton! The graphics are bright and cheerful but there is no snow in evidence apart from a dusting on top of what appears to be Aoraki. In fact, apart from the familiar words and tune, the book is a celebration of a New Zealand summer holiday which just happens to take place at Christmas time.
There are three other items which make the book special. First, it is bilingual so that the song is presented first in English and then in Maori. This adds to its value as a specifically New Zealand resource. Second, the graphics in the English language section are all designed with a background reminiscent of different areas of the country - the beach, the football stadium, the mountains, the town, and the country. And best of all, it comes with a CD recording of the song so that children can look at the pictures and sing along with Pio Terei, the presenter.
I would recommend this book for all young New Zealanders, whether they were born here or whether they have arrived recently as new immigrants. It is a delightful interpretation of our special way of life and our place in the world. It is intended for younger children but, as is the case with all well written and presented books, its appeal would be to a far wider age range. Adults too would enjoy recapturing a little of their childhood!
The twelve days of Christmas is an iconic song and with a kiwi twist on it - I just had to give it a read, even though we're only half way through the year yet.
I really like anything that has a kiwi twist put into it, and done well, and this book is certainly done well. Right off the bat the cover picture is so iconic, a day at the beach. The book also comes with a CD which is perfect for when you're tired and don't feel like reading / singing the book again but your kids keep trying to hit your repeat button, and having it in both English and Maori is great and my six year old was trying to copy both versions.
My favourite page was the seven hobbit extras, and then the nine jars of Marmite was the next favourite (the shelf reminding me of Marmagedon. ) and very much the favourite spread in this house. The only thing that I thought could have been better was the twelve lollies rolling, I think twelve jaffas rolling would have linked to New Zealand better, considering the yearly Jaffas down the hillside and that it is a well known New Zealand lolly. Other than that this is a fab book that is sure to be getting read every Christmas.
I was lucky enough to pick up a copy of this book recently from KIWIreviews. It was one that I had been looking at for a while in bookshops. We have the Kiwi Night Before Christmas and it's so popular that I figured adding another Kiwi Christmas book to our rotation would go down a treat. Now usually I would start these books in November and go through to Boxing day, but as it was for review we started it last week.
On first reading this book, I dd find a couple of the verses difficult to get my tongue around. The Meat Pie from the Local Dairy didn't quite fit how I wanted to sing it. However, on the second go I go it all in and it sounded fine. I put that down to unfamiliarity with the book, since every other time went fine.
I had my in-laws visiting this weekend and my mother-in-law picked it up to read to our youngest one. She found the book very easy to sing-along. And she got a kick out of each new page, laughing and pointing out the pictures to her husband. The illustrations are great, really bold and brightly coloured. Each new Kiwi item is well presented with a sense of humour. I loved the Hobbit extras and of course the chocolate fish.
This also comes with a CD and all the words in Maori as well. This is so important for our kids, to hear the language as part of their every day. I'm no good at pronunciation, so I really appreciate an extra tool like this to help us get it right. Not to mention the song in English too, to help people like me who struggle to sing fast enough.
Overall, I was pretty pleased with this set. $21 is excellent value for a book and CD set. Most picture books range from $16 - 20 anyway, so to have a CD in there as well, is great. Thank you so much for allowing us to review it.
I was bought up on the kiwi version of theTwelve Days of Christmas and now in my forties I am just as familiar with that as the original British one. When I saw the book come up for review I leapt at the chance to review it even if it was over six months until Christmas. I was somewhat disappointed to find it wasn't the kiwi adaptation I knew with a pukeko in a ponga tree but a completely new version. The only thing that hadn't changed was the tune. I feel old just saying it but the old one was lovely. Why change it?
Now that I have got my gripe out of the way I can say that Miss 5.5 and Miss 4 loved it. They didn't know any other version so to them it was a new song. I tried my hardest to read it the first time but the tune was stuck in my head so I very quickly burst into song. The girls thought this was hilarious especially the five chocolate fish which I over exaggerated to the point they tried to silence me.
The CD which came this the book was much tamer than my singing and I would like to think my girls were disappointed by the lack of drama in the recording compared to my rendition but they didn't say anything. The CD is very simple guitar and clear lyrics. This was very important with the Maori version which I found myself singing along to (with the help of the book in front of me) which I would have no show of reading in a way that would have been flowing or in anyway enjoyable for the listeners without the accompaniment.
The illustrations are very cute and the kids loved seeing what the dog was up to on each page. It was almost like the illustrator had his own story line with the dog as he isn't mentioned anywhere in the book. Miss 4 sat down with the book after I had read it one day and told the story of the dog which was quite cute to listen to.
I am still undecided whether I will put this book away with our other Christmas books to read during December or keep it on the bookshelf. The only reason is I don't want to be nagged about Christmas constantly when it is so far off.
I love how traditional Christmas tunes have been turned into kiwi songs to be enjoyed by kiwi kids. The twelve days of kiwi Christmas is yet another one of these.
Each page or verse of the song takes on something special about us kiwi's. From a meat pie, to marmite, jandals and the many other kiwi favourites. Being a book for kids I think it is great that we can make these things special for them also. Although my 3 year old enjoyed this book / song I do feel that choosing 'hobbit extras' as a verse is not appropriate for the younger generation. My reason for this is even though it is part of New Zealand 'The Hobbit' movie and book is aimed at teenagers and adults not the same age group as to what this book would be targeted at.
The illustrations by Myles Lawford are fun and exciting and portray the New Zealand life in a lively and colourful way.
This book is accompanied by a CD so that it can be sung along with by any age group. The tune is very catchy. I love that in the back of the book are the Maori words for the song and these are also sung on the CD. Although my son cannot read let alone read Maori he is able to listen to it in Maori and so his ears can become accustomed to another language.
From the moment I opened the package, my daughter (nearly 2), was hooked!! The bright, colourful pages illustrating some great Kiwi traditions not only appealed to her, but also to me. The original 12 days of Christmas is great, but very old-fashioned for New Zealand. So to bring in what is typical in New Zealand, and for a toddler, makes reading much more enjoyable and fun. The illustrations are amazing, so much detail has gone into them yet they have left the pages still simple enough to attract people of different ages. It was fun to play a 'find the...' game on every page (such as a bike, a bird, a ball or a boat).
Everything in the book is what we experience at summertime, from the playing in the water at the beach, to the iconic Marmite, to the chocolate fish! Being sung by Pio is also awesome, and got me singing along to him while reading the book.
I love how there is also a Maori version. We don't speak Te Reo in our house, but do say some words to our daughter. So having the CD play the full version in Maori was great with pronouncing the words correctly. Having all (but the one) also said in Maori was excellent as those are words that will be taught later in life at school.
I have recommended this book to so many people, many of them who are ex-Kiwis and live overseas now, many of them who get a white Christmas and say that it just isn't Christmas without a traditional Kiwi BBQ!
I can't wait to read this again on Christmas morning while playing the CD for the whole family. I would love more books written and illustrated like this, for the typical Kiwi family.
This is brilliant for Kiwi kids for Christmas. I love singing the traditional twelve days of Christmas song but it really is a bit removed from todays world so this song is something kiwi kids can definitely relate to. The illustration's in this book are colourful and typical kiwi iconic scenes. Right from the beginning with "my true love gave to me a meat pie from the local dairy" to five chocolate fish and nine jars of marmite! Very well thought out and the illustration's, as well as the words, are perfect. The only thing I would have liked is each page just has the item that is being given that day not pictures of the others but maybe it would have been too difficult to fit them all in on each page.
This book comes with a CD of the song in both English and in Maori (The words are in Maori at the back of the book also). We have played our CD so many times! Little Miss Two keeps pointing to the cd player asking for the Christmas song. Miss Five and Miss Seven like it also so the book has been really well read. I like that I can put the Cd on and give Miss Two the book and she will look at the pages herself whilst I cook dinner or prepare lunch etc. This book is definitely a favourite and I imagine the song will be one that will become quite iconic (in our house at least) for a Kiwi Summer Christmas. A brilliant buy for Christmas for kids here but also family overseas young and old alike.
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