Rudolph shines again by Robert L. May
Ill. by Antonio Javier Caparo. Little Simon, 2015. ISBN
It's a dark and snowy Christmas Eve so once again Santa wants Rudolph to lead the way for the sleigh as his nose shines bold and bright. But the other reindeer are jealous and not content with just laughing at Rudolph and calling him names, they are really mean and make him carry the heaviest loads, even using him as the ball when they played football!
Rudolph is so sad and whinges and whines so much that the light on his nose goes out! With no reason to stay to help and full of self-pity, he leaves the comparative safety of the North Pole for somewhere where he is unknown and unrecognised. And there he meets some rabbits whose babies are lost in the forest and at the mercy of foxes and wolves. Completely forgetting his own troubles, Rudolph promises to find them - but can he do it without his shiny nose to light the way? Of course he does and with the rescue comes a realisation that is brighter than any nose could be!
Written in 1954, this is the sequel to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer but unlike the original which May wrote to entertain children as part of a department store promotion, this one has a stronger message about there always being someone worse off than you, perhaps inspired by his family circumstances as his wife died from cancer as he worked on the original. While not necessarily the time for an in-depth discussion, nevertheless young children will feel Rudolph's pain at being bullied and might think about the feelings of others that they tease. They will also draw encouragement from Rudolph being able to get things in perspective and go back to face his tormentors knowing that he is strong and has a lot to offer.
This new release is stunning with its beautiful artwork bringing another dimension to the story, also told in rhyme, and making a special duo of books for the Christmas Countdown.