Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Santa’s Reindeer

Santa’s Reindeer

Rod Green
Illustrator:  Clayton McDermott , Carol Wright , Jon Lucas 
Novelty Book
For ages 6 to 10
Simon and Schuster, 2007   ISBN: 978-1416950707

Far north in the coldest parts of the world, near the Artic Circle, you will find herds of reindeer roaming. The reindeer are wild creatures but every so often the herds get a very special visitor - Santa Claus. Santa comes to see them because he needs new reindeer to pull his sleigh for him on Christmas Eve. So he and his Sleigh Master carefully select the animals which they think are the most suitable for the job. More than anything the animals needs to "believe, with all their heart, in the magic of Christmas."

The reindeer who are chosen have to go through a rigorous training period before they will be ready to pull Santa's sleigh. They are officially given their team name: Dasher, Vixen, Prancer, Dancer, Donner, Blitzen, Comet, or Cupid. Then they are settled into their new home in the reindeer stables at the North Pole.

Training is hard work and involves learning all kinds of new skills. Among other things the reindeer have to practice trying to keep their balance on a slippery roof; they have to practice their takeoff and landings: they have to work on their pulling skills; they have to go through an obstacle course; and they are also expected to help out with daily chores. On top of this all they also have to learn how to fly. This is far from easy and of course once one is airborne one has to figure out how to land!

Just like with any human team in training, the reindeer team do take time off to have some fun. The Reindeer Team Challenge gives the reindeer the chance to have a day of fun and games. It also gives the animals the opportunity to show everyone how hard they have been working since the spring. Best of all, the day after the Challenge the reindeer team members get their North Pole Training Champion rosettes. Apprentice elves who have been working in the stables and who have passed their written tests also get their diploma at this time. The reindeer feel very proud because they know that a few of them will, not long from now, be flying through the air pulling Santa's sleigh on Christmas Eve.

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