Santa's Reindeer Games
Illustrated by John Manders
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
(August 13, 2013)
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On Dasher! On Dancer! On Melvin and Laverne? Who will be the lucky reindeer chosen to fly Santa's sleigh? There's only one way to find out....
Let's get ready to..... reindeeeeeeeeer!
Reviewed by Chrystal Shook, Kindergarten Teacher, Ohio
In this clever ESPN sporting spoof, Santa is host to the Reindeer Games on NPSN. Winners of competitive events, such as the ornament spoon race, pin the tail on the polar bear, candy cane bobbing, and Santa Says, are accorded the North Pole’s highest reindeer honor—that of pulling Santa’s sled on Christmas Eve. All of the big names are there—Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, and all the rest of the high-profile reindeer. So are a few lesser-known reindeer—Skidders, Dunder, Fifi, and the very competitive Laverne. Will any of them be able to win and claim a spot on the most prestigious of reindeer teams? As the reindeer cheerleaders clop their hooves and as “the crowd goes wild” at the end of each event, the old favorites seem ready to make a clean sweep of the events until Laverne squeaks out a tie and earns herself a spot. Is she excited about joining Santa on his Christmas Eve journey? You may be surprised to hear her reaction!
Young sports lovers will enjoy the parody and Santa’s play-by-play commentary. His use of phrases from well-known Christmas carols could add a fun twist to your read-aloud experience if you’re game enough to sing your way through bits of the story. Though the youngest of children may not be familiar with the “rumble” reference as the call “Let’s get ready to REINDEEEEEEER” rings out, they will no doubt love to join in on the chant as it appears throughout the book. They will also be delighted with the familiarity of the events—most of which they have probably seen or participated in at holiday parties themselves. The slapstick humor captured so well in the cartoon illustrations will entertain all kids as they watch reindeer tumble and crash their way across the pages. And who will be the final crowd to go wild in this story? All the kids to whom the winning team has delivered presents and all the kids laughing out loud by the end of this book!