Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Johnny Marks

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Book and CD. Ill. by Louis Shea. Performed by Penny McNamee. Scholastic, 2018. ISBN 9781742993638
(Ages: 3-7) Themes: Christmas. Louis Shea makes a lot of non-traditional colour choices for children's books, especially with his use of bright, almost fluorescent colour. His illustrations here also seem a little dark and too focused on humour rather than bringing to life the warm Christmas story of someone different becoming a real hero. The song itself is unchanged; it just has a short section added to the beginning: 'You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen. But do you recall, the most famous reindeer of all?'
Older children will appreciate the humour in the illustrations (one of the reindeer dressed up like a clown and wearing a red nose to tease Rudolph about his nose) but most of the jokes will go over the heads of a younger audience. This publication falls rather flat on both fronts: it is neither a nicely repackaged recitation or an adapted version with a unique perspective.
Nicole Nelson