Review Blog

Oct 25 2015

Reindeer's Christmas surprise by Ursula Dubosarsky

cover image

Ill. by Sue deGennaro. Allen & Unwin, 2015. ISBN 9781760113025
(Age: 5+) Recommended. Christmas, Reindeer, Presents, Customs. On Christmas Eve, Reindeer is lonely: his family lives a long long way away in the north where it is cold and snowy. His Christmas is quite different as it is warm and sunny and his friend Dog is at the beach. Reindeer's Christmas Tree is up, there are yummy things on the table, but he is sad. He decides that he will visit his friends and take them their presents. He visits Cat in her tree giving her a Yo Yo, he visits Dog at the beach, giving him his blow up octopus, and then visits Guinea Pig, giving her some roller skates. Each time when asked to stay and play with their new toy, Reindeer declines, going back home.
The lovely illustrations highlight the colours of Christmas, the greens of the tree and reds of many of the presents and decorations, and children will thrill to see the presents under the tree. Many Christmas customs are presented for children to discuss and admire, while the cute reindeer does many things which will endear him to the reader.
Dubosarsky's words invite the reader to turn the page to see how Reindeer's problem is resolved, while the repetition in the text encourages children to predict the next lines, and read the text along with the person reading. The rhyming couplet at the end of each four pages will excite children wondering what present will be opened, and the question on the last page ensures much discussion about their own presents to come.
Fran Knight

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