Ten of Santa's reindeer were going for a skate, but when one of those reindeer flew out of the gate, there were only nine of Santa's reindeer left going for a skate.
"Santa's Busy Reindeer" is another Christmas story retold - this time the author has taken the counting song "Ten Green Bottles" and changed the bottles to reindeer. Instead of breaking as the bottles do, the reindeer get themselves into all sorts of difficulties!
The illustrations in this book are quite unique; the reindeer look like no other reindeer I have ever seen, but five-year-old assured me that they are special flying reindeer so of course they have to look different. He was quite certain that they were the real thing!
The song is fun to sing along with because most of the words are predictable; there is lots of repetition and young children pick up the lines quite quickly. It is also a good exercise on learning to count - and they can always check by counting the reindeer on each page. Five-year-old had no problems counting backwards, but three-year-old got a bit mixed up at times!
I liked the way the sky is portrayed. The artist has used shades of blue and grey so that the overall impression is one of a sparkling winter sky filled with large snowflakes. The brown and cream reindeer shades make a nice contrast, and they stand out well against the snowy background.
I would not have purchased this book on first glance as I would have considered the muted colour scheme of the pictures would not appeal to young children. I was glad to be proved wrong; both children responded well to the illustrations and happily sang along with me. Clearly there is a certain appeal when a story can be sung rather than just read!
As soon as I started to read this book, I started to sing. It was natural and I just had to do it! Then I realised that I was singing the book to the tune of 'Ten Green Bottles'. Something felt a little odd about the way I sang each verse. It was only when my husband pointed out to me that it seemed to be missing a line, I worked out that there would normally be a repeat of the first line. I think it would have flowed a lot easier if that repeat had been added into the text of the book.
My Mum read the book to my children as well. It was fun to sit back and listen to someone else present the same book to the children. They discussed each reindeer and started to work out who in the family was most like each of the reindeer. My two children had differing opinions about who was who and it created quite a bit of discussion! Mr Four didn't like being the one with the bad mood but was happy to be the one opening the presents when he wasn't supposed to be.
It was lovely to have the familiar tune to sing to and it made the book fun and interesting. It also made it easy to read (or sing). While the book was being read to the children, they were very focused and involved with the book. The children thought it was funny that even the reindeer can be naughty sometimes. Books that involve counting are always a hit for children. The repetitive nature of each verse allows children to start to start to join in and also to pre-empt the words based on previous knowledge of books.
The book is presented with a lovely hard cover. The colours are soft and earthy. I think that the illustrations of the reindeer are rather cute and a bit different to the standard image of reindeer. I think that the price of $19 is pretty good for a hard cover book.
Random listing from 'Books'...
Carlos found the harmonica in the attic. His mother had told him stories of Uncle Jacks music. Softly, secretly, Carlos played Uncle Jack's harmonica. He played it to the whirling wind and to the silver moon. And somehow it seemed as if Uncle Jack was there with him.
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