Review Blog

Oct 14 2015

The naughtiest reindeer at the zoo by Nicki Greenberg

cover image

Allen & Unwin, 2015. ISBN 9781760112141
(Age: 5+) Recommended, Christmas, Reindeers, Pets, Zoos, Families. In rhyming stanzas Nicki Greenberg tells the tale of Ruby the pet reindeer. Last Christmas she caused mayhem at Grandma's for Christmas, so when the family heads off again this year, they leave Ruby at the zoo. But here she causes even more mayhem and needs to call in for extra help. Ruby is very lonely at the zoo, the other animals are grim and will not speak to her, and she misses the companionship of the other reindeers in Santa's sleigh. The animals point out to her that she has nothing to be sad about. After all they never get a visit from Santa. All the children are at their homes, the keepers stay away and no one visits them, let alone bring a present. Silly Ruby decides to give them all a present and finding the keeper's key, lets the animals out.
Now she does need Santa to call by and help her put them all back in their cages. A clever idea does just that and has all the animals rand the children visit each other on Christmas Day. A cute story, underlining the role of Christmas in children's lives and the fact that zoos are closed only one day of the year. Families are portrayed as doing things together at Christmas and the customs that underpin Christmas are shown. A brightly illustrated story that will give children a treat.
Fran Knight

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