Wednesday 14 December 2016


Book review: The Twelve Days of Christmas by the V&A

Sometimes a book comes along that is so stunning in design that the only logical response is to stroke the cover upon first laying eyes upon it. The Twelve Days of Christmas, using intricate patterns from the Victoria and Albert Museum's William Morris collection with new illustrations by Liz Catchpole, is one such a treasure. This is not a book that evokes emotion through carefully crafted words, instead it does just that with its beautifully designed pages.

The Twelve Days of Christmas does what it says on the tin; each page depicting a different line from the traditional Christmas song in a stunning and eye-catching way. The V&A patterns from William Morris' work so carefully selected for the beautiful hardback are perfect for the festive season as they evoke a feeling of luxury and cosines through the use of nature inspired prints and rich shades of blue, green, red and gold. With a high-quality gilded fabric cover and lush end papers that will make any book lover very, very happy, this is a fantastic gift this time of year – for a loved one, or yourself. There might not be many words within the pages of this book, but you will still find yourself returning to it time and time again to ooh and aah over this creation by William Morris and Liz Catchpole.

I own a lot of books, but unless one is signed by the author I don't tend to feel particularly fond of one copy over another. Most of them are mass-produced paperbacks and while cover designs have become more interesting and innovative in recent years, the majority I still stack on my shelves with only the spines facing out. However, The Twelve Days of Christmas is far too pretty to be hidden like that, and will receive a front-facing place of pride on my shelves. I mean, how can you not want to see this beautiful cover every time you walk into a room?

The Twelve Days of Christmas is published by Picture Puffin (a Penguin Books imprint) and you can get your copy from Foyles or your own preferred retailer.

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