How the Reindeer Got Their Antlers

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Editorial Reviews

Marigny Dupuy
Reindeer are as familiar in Christmas iconography as angels, stars and Santa, but most people know little about how this came to be. A master storyteller, Geraldine McCaughrean, best known for artful retellings of myths and folk tales, suggests an explanation in this charming Christmas story...With a nod to Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories, a dash of creation myth and bits of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, McCaughrean, a Carnegie Medal winner, has created an original, satisfying tale that should become part of the holiday lexicon. Heather Holland's vibrant, folk-art- style watercolors -- from large winter landscapes to small windows of visual story -- are delightful.
New York Times Book Review
Kirkus Reviews
A misleading title is the only stumble in this orotund, beguilingly illustrated original tale, a children'sbook debut for Holland. In a vain effort to stop the newly created animals from quarrelling, an angel gives them all different sorts of crowns. Horrified by her knobby new headgear, proud Reindeer flees to the barren North to hide. A thousand generations later, only the reindeer are willing to help Santa haul his toyladen sleigh—though in saving it from falling through a patch of thin ice, they shatter antlers, leaving only broken stubs. Santa offers them golden crowns, but in the end he bestows an even more glorious gift: one night each year they fly, and so "draw the Christmas sleigh not over snowdrifts and frozen lakes, but out across the night sky among the tinsel stars." Santa, the reindeer, the other animals, even the trees and rocks have a velvety look in Holland's framed, barrelshaped paintings; the reindeer in particular, with their sheeplike faces and velvety racks, look almost huggable. A splendid holiday tale, at once grand and appealing—but not so much about how the reindeer were given their antlers, as how they came to be so proud of them. (Picture book. 79)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823415625
  • Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/2000
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.81 (w) x 12.33 (h) x 0.53 (d)

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