The Thirteen Days of Christmas by Jenny Overton & Shirley Hughes

The Thirteen Days of Christmas

Written by Jenny Overton & Shirley Hughes

9+ readers   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

A charming and deliciously witty story about an unusual Christmas present and the part it plays in bringing a young couple together. Three children long for their older sister to marry her sweetheart but they know that he’ll only woo her if he brings her a very unusual present. What will he choose? The vividly drawn historical background to this story gives a lovely feel for Christmas’s past.

A piece of passion from the editor who bought the book:

The Thirteen Days of Christmas is a book that for me is as much a part of Christmas as plum pudding or Christmas carols. I read it for the first time when I was about nine years old, and I have read it at least once a year ever since. The sheer charm of the idea of telling the story behind the song The Twelve Days of Christmas makes you smile before you’ve even started reading – and then the gorgeous characterization, playful storytelling, and exquisite pictures ensure that you fall in love with the book hook, line, and sinker. To me, this is a book that everyone should read – and in fact it makes me feel a bit sad to think that some people don’t know it. Read it now and make it part of your Christmas too!


The Thirteen Days of Christmas by Jenny Overton & Shirley Hughes

Prudence, James, and Christopher Kitson would love to see their sister, Annaple, marry her sweetheart, Francis Vere. To help things along, they tell Francis to be as romantic as he can when choosing a Christmas present for Annaple. When he arrives on Christmas Day with a partridge in a pear tree, Annaple is delighted! But that is only the first day of Christmas and the presents don't stop there. Soon the house fills up with a seemingly endless stream of turtle doves, French hens, swans, dairymaids, and more. As the townspeople gather outside to watch the daily delivery of gifts, will Annaple be charmed or alarmed by the chaos of it all? And will the thirteenth day of Christmas bring the wedding that everyone is hoping for? The Thirteen Days of Christmas was first published in 1972 and this illustrated edition sees a return to its original presentation, making this a wonderful book to give and share at Christmas time.


...a book stuffed full of lavish spectacle, described with a wonderfully visual sense of festival The Tablet

About the Author

Jenny Overton grew up in a Surrey village that is still her home today. After taking a degree in English she spent most of her working life as an editor and wrote several books for children. She wrote The Thirteen Days of Christmas as a story
for her younger sister.

Shirley Hughes has created some of the most enduring characters in children’s literature and for this she was honoured with an O.B.E. in 1999. She has been the recipient of many prestigious awards, including twice winning the Kate Greenaway Medal.

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Book Info


160 pages


Jenny Overton & Shirley Hughes
More books by Jenny Overton & Shirley Hughes


Oxford University Press

Publication date

1st October 2009




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