Review by Booklist Review
PreS-K. Vibrant, handmade paper compositions illustrate this secular spin on The Twelve Days of Christmas. On the first day of winter my best friend gave to me . . . a red cap, read the words, as richly textured images show a snowman (unadorned except for a scarlet hat) in a wide, snowy field. On subsequent days, the snowman receives more presents (two bright blue mittens; three striped scarves, and so on) from his best friend, a young, toast-brown child--until he is fully outfitted with winter accessories, including the final ten salty peanuts. This is a winning choice on many levels. The beautiful illustrations, shown from unusual angles, contrast the vivid colors of cozy scarves, mittens, and curious animals (deer, squirrels) with the inviting white of the snow. The syllables of the text match easily with the tune of the familiar Christmas carol, making the book ideal for holiday lap sits. Fleming deepens the counting exercise with winter magic--the snowman who speaks, his friendship with a young child, and the simple, astonishing thrill of a snowy day. --Gillian Engberg Copyright 2005 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Youngsters can hum along to "The Twelve Days of Christmas," revamped in contemporary fashion by Denise Fleming in The First Day of Winter. "On the second day of winter my best friend gave to me 2 bright blue mittens and a red cap with a gold snap." Fleming uses her unusual technique (with colored cotton fiber) to demonstrate the many gradations of wintry whites and the contrast of that red cap-and the identity of the narrator makes for added fun and suspense. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review
PreS-K-Told in a rhythm reminiscent of "The Twelve Days of Christmas," a snowman's tale begins, "On the first day of winter my best friend gave to me-/a red cap with a gold snap." The benefactor continues to deck out the snowman with two bright blue mittens for his stick hands; five birdseed pockets; nine big black buttons for his eyes, nose, and front; and, finally, 10 salty peanuts for his wintry toes. As in the holiday song, each time a new item is introduced, the story counts back to the first gift. Fleming captures the tranquility and light of snowy days with her unique artistic style. Her paper-pulp and stencil illustrations depict a winter wonderland in which vibrant striped scarves, blue mittens, and red hats provide the color in a white, uncluttered landscape. A squirrel, a mouse, a bird, a cat, a rabbit and a deer appear on each spread and seem to gaze at readers. The perspective shifts throughout the book, so on one page children look down on the snowman, while on others they look up at him from the ground. Readers finally see the snowman's friend, a bundled-up child, on the 10th day of winter. Quietly told and thoughtfully illustrated, Fleming's work celebrates the season and all of winter's creatures.-Shawn Brommer, South Central Library System, Madison, WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review
(Preschool, Primary) ""On the second day of winter / my best friend gave to me / 2 bright blue mittens / and a red cap with a gold snap."" A snowman-in-the-making narrates this cumulative seasonal tale patterned after ""The Twelve Days of Christmas."" Over nine days, a young gift-giver (of whom readers get only a glimpse) bestows striped scarves, prickly pinecones, orange berries, black buttons, and more on the emergent snowman. Finally, ""on the tenth day of winter,"" the young friend arrives -- shown in full for the first time -- bearing the last gift: ten salty peanuts, for ten toes. Fleming's characteristic mixed-media illustrations -- including colored cotton fibers and stencils -- are filled with energy and movement as they depict a favorite winter pastime. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
Fleming creatively employs the structure of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" to create a cumulative tale about the decorations for a snowman, beginning with the addition of a "red cap with a gold snap" on the first day of winter. On each subsequent day, the African-American narrator's best friend provides something else to add to the snowman's outfit: "2 bright blue mittens, 3 striped scarves," and much more, right on down to "10 salty peanuts" for the snowman's toes. Fleming uses her signature collage technique against pale gray backgrounds dotted with white snowflakes, with different animals on each page helping to add the details to the snowman. The perspectives vary until the last, wordless spread, which shows the completed snowman in a horizontal orientation that provides a satisfying conclusion. Teachers and librarians will add this volume to story times with winter or snow themes, and the clever new words to a favorite old tune might become a new winter favorite in music classrooms. (Picture book. 4-7) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.