From the celebrated creator of Red and Lulu comes the story of a brave little doe who meets Santa and changes Christmas forever.
Dasher is an adventurous young reindeer with a wish in her heart. She spends her days with her family under the hot sun in a traveling circus, but she longs for a different life — one where there is snow beneath her hooves and the North Star above her head. One day, when the opportunity arises, Dasher seizes her destiny and takes off in pursuit of the life she wants to live. It’s not long before she meets a nice man in a red suit with a horse-drawn sleigh — a man named Santa. And soon, with the help of a powerful Christmas wish, nothing will be the same.
About the Author
Matt Tavares is the author-illustrator of Crossing Niagara, Henry Aaron’s Dream, There Goes Ted Williams, Becoming Babe Ruth, and Growing Up Pedro, as well as Zachary’s Ball, Oliver’s Game, and Mudball. He is the illustrator of ’Twas the Night Before Christmas, Over the River and Through the Wood, Lady Liberty by Doreen Rappaport, The Gingerbread Pirates by Kristin Kladstrup, and Jubilee! by Alicia Potter. Most recently he wrote and illustrated the modern Christmas tale Red and Lulu. Matt Tavares lives in Ogunquit, Maine.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
DASHER is a beautiful and elegant Christmas story that introduces the reindeer before Rudolph. Dasher lives with her family in J.P. Finnegan's Traveling Circus and Menagerie, where they spend long days in the sun and surrounded by crowds. Dasher's mother tells her stories about a magical place where the air is crisp and cold, and the ground is blanketed by snow. This place is identified by the North Star straight overhead. Dasher dreams as she watches the North Star of this magical place. Although her family fears Mr. Finnegan's wrath should they escape, when the gate opens one night, Dasher runs, following the North Star. Even after she has run for a long time, the North Star is still not overhead. After making a wish, she finds a man (Santa) with his sleigh and a horse who is struggling to carry the load of gifts for the children. Dasher wants to help, and the rest is history- complete with her final wish of having her family join her at the end. What I loved: The illustrations here are realistic, elegant, and absolutely gorgeous, making the story come to life on each page. The text is often found in its own white box, which makes it easier to read. The story begins with a bit of sadness but is soon transformed into joy, love, and the enduring Christmas spirit. The book reminds me of stories read when I was young and adds a whole new backstory to the Christmas tale. As rated by the publisher, the book is a little wordy for the youngest readers and so is better for older preschoolers and the elementary school audience. While mentioned at the beginning about the family captivity, this can spark some discussions about the way that animals are kept/displayed and conditions of such for kids who are interested in speaking more about this. Final verdict: Highly recommend this new Christmas story for picture book readers who will adore the elegant illustrations and new story of family love and Christmas wishes that come true. Dasher is a tenacious character that will resonate with the intended audience. Gorgeous, elaborate, and full of hope, Dasher's journey shines through the pages along with a great deal of Christmas joy and spirit. Please note that I received an ARC. All opinions are my own.
Santa’s First Reindeer! How did Santa Claus come to have reindeer pulling his sleigh? He didn’t always have reindeer. In this story, we learn that originally the jolly old elf had a horse, Silverbell. Dasher and her family lived a dreary life pulling heavy loads at night, and spent their days closely penned together. But she always dreamed of being in a cold north country. This fun story gives more details about Santa’s life. Children will experience the astonishment Dasher has when she flies through the air for the first-time. Even though Dasher goes through hard times, she doesn’t give up her dreams. When she gets the opportunity for a better life, she takes it, and brings her family with her! The illustrations on all the pages of this book are beautiful, and capture the story perfectly. Over-sized and hard-backed, this picture book will appeal to little one’s imaginations. Children who like the wonder of Christmas time, and legends of Santa, will enjoy this 5-star book. Candlewick Press has provided bookreadingtic with a complimentary copy of Dasher, for the purpose of review.