My husband's boss hosts a holiday party each year for his employees. Guests attending must each bring a white elephant gift to exchange. This year we arrived at the party without high expectations for the gifts. After all, the purpose of the exchange is more for entertainment purposes than gain. Last year we took home a signed and framed photo of one of the attendees posed in a karate position and a container of homemade meat rub. Funny gifts, but not exactly something to keep or treasure.
Surprisingly this year I wasn't disappointed at all in the gift exchange. I found a gift to fight over and steal! Someone brought a children's picture book to give away titled The Twelve Days of Christmas in Wisconsin. OK, maybe I didn't have to fight too hard considering I was probably the only one there with a huge passion for children's books, but I did make a point to steal it! And, I won't be regifting it next year.
Since today, January 5th, is technically the last of of the Twelve Days of Christmas, it's also the perfect time for a little mini review of my white elephant find. Sterling Children's Books has published a whole series of "Twelve Days of Christmas" books specific to several states, Wisconsin included. Each of the books in the series are written or illustrated by different individuals.
Erin Eitter Kono authored and illustrated The Twelve Days of Christmas in Wisconsin. Born in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, she knows all about the Badger State and mentions several facts and area destinations in her book. The story is told through written letters. Jake excitedly awaits a winter visit from his cousin Emma and sends her letters each of the twelve days before she arrives. He also sends twelve unusual gifts to familiarize her with Wisconsin. For instance, on the first day he sends a robin (Wisconsin's state bird) in a sugar maple (Wisconsin's state tree). Some other fun pieces of Wisconsin mentioned include the Ducks (amphibious vehicles) tours in Wisconsin Dells, Circus World Museum, the EAA, Whooping Cranes and, of course, cheese, badgers and snow. And, even though I'm a lifelong resident and thought I knew everything about Wisconsin, I learned something new - apparently the American Water Spaniel is native to Wisconsin and is our official state dog! A fun book with cute illustrations by Kono, both kids and adults will enjoy pursuing through the pages and spotting all things Wisconsin. Yakahawe! (That means "so long for now" in the Oneida language. In case you are curious, the gift on day twelve is a set of 12 Native American birch bark baskets.)
The Twelve Days of Christmas, State By State books are currently available for the following locations: Minnesota, California, Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York City, North Carolina, Texas and Virginia.
The Twelve Days of Christmas in Wisconsin by Erin Eitter Kono. Sterling (October 2007); ISBN 9781402738159; 32 pages
Wondering what my husband brought home from the party? A true white elephant gift. We are guessing it is a cross between E.T. and and dinosaur. Any help in identifying it would be appreciated.
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