A wart snake in a fig tree!

Tired of “Partridge in a Pear Tree” already?  George Mendoza and Etiene Delessert have an alternative – A “Wart Snake in a Fig Tree”.

This little book takes the words of that dreary Christmas song and makes you want to sing it all over again.  Its illustrated by Etiene Delessert.  I first got to know Delessert’s illustrations when I was a child reading Ionesko’s  remarkable “Story Number One” – sadly that book is lost.  Or maybe one of my siblings has it?

Here is the fist one –  “On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…A Wart Snake in a Fig Tree!”:

The text is illustrated too.  Now  I’m giving it all away by showing you the final page so you can see the whole crazy poem:

Here is a closeup:

I chose some of my favorite gifts.  “Six Shadows Lurking”:

And “Eight Snow Wolves Wailing”.  Check out Santa and his wolves in the background:

Its all so outrageous.  “Eleven Lizards Boiling, Ten Devils Grinning” 😀  The print quality of my copy is not great, otherwise I’d post them all.

I must add, I’ve been writing this post while listening to Matisyahu,a  Hasidic Jewish Reggae Rapper, just to complete the strange mix.  Works, somehow.

9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. mare
    Dec 18, 2009 @ 22:36:28

    i used to have this book when i was a kid!!! i loved it!!! now thats the version i’ve taught my own kids! we always sing it together around christmas time. love it love it!!

  2. mashadutoit
    Dec 19, 2009 @ 06:25:17

    Oh that’s wonderful. I much prefer this version 🙂

  3. x
    Dec 19, 2009 @ 15:11:20

    2 dogs a whining

  4. Victoria
    Dec 20, 2009 @ 18:19:26

    I purchased this book a few months ago on Abe. My two favorites are “seven ghouls acaroling” and “twelve days of raining”. I actually prefer old kids books because most were printed on non-glossy paper and I find it gives such a different texture to the illustrations.

  5. mashadutoit
    Dec 21, 2009 @ 07:15:54

    I think my favourite illustration is of “five useless things” 🙂 I think the “useless things” are books? The copy I have was not printed that well so its difficult to make out some of the details.

  6. Victoria
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 02:33:21

    The door frame is made up of five books. It leads to a countryside where there’s a castle,a rocket, a walking tv, a man-bird smoking a pipe, a tree filled with colorful birds, flowers and a miniature Santa with wings.

  7. mashadutoit
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 07:01:30

    Good! So I was interpreting it correctly. In my copy, its not entirely clear if the shapes framing that scene are books as the print is a little blurry. Love the image though.

  8. pavinee
    Dec 25, 2009 @ 10:43:58

    This is very lovely. Love the inline illustrations. 🙂

    I guess you are celebrating your Christmas right now.

    Merry Christmas and I wish you a very very happy new year!

    See you next year! 😀

  9. Noel Grainger
    Jan 21, 2010 @ 21:45:30

    Can you tell us what is the best way to attract all these visitors to our site? We started a new site about a month ago and are lacking visitors. We have subscribed to your feed because we plan on becoming daily readers of your site.

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