Monday, December 15, 2014

Reindeer's Christmas Surprise by Ursula Dubosarsky

Rating 3.5 out of 5 stars

This is a cute little book that is a limited edition book brought out by the shopping store David Jones for the 2014 Christmas season.

On a recent trip to Sydney we stumbled across the David Jones Christmas Window Display. It was so lovely and my kids were entranced, I dare say they would have stood there all day watching the windows. I have to admit I fell in love with the art work used in the book and knew straight away I wanted it.

For decades now the two major shopping department stores in Australia; David Jones and Myers dress up their street front window displays in a Christmas theme (not always a book). Families go to the stores and walk along the windows following the story being played out in the windows. Neither shop exists in my home town so this was not a traditions my family ever had. However as an adult  I have seen a few of the Myer Christmas windows while travelling and they are always amazing. This year I finally got to see the David Jones Christmas window.

The author like many Australian's grew up visiting the windows every year and continued the tradition with her own. So she was naturally thrilled and honoured to be asked to write this year's story.

Unfortunately I did not know at the time time it was limited edition and sold only in David Jones. So when I later jumped online to order it and get it sent home I was disappointed to find I couldn't. Thankfully family who live nearby were happy to go in and pick up a copy of the book for us and send it up.

'It’s Christmas time in Australia, and Reindeer has great fun delivering presents to his friend’s Cat, Dog and Guinea Pig. But even when it's warm and sunny outside, it's hard to be far from home and family on Christmas Eve.'

This is a simple tale about a reindeer missing his family and going around giving out presents to his friends. Only to get his own surprise at the end.

The text is simple and clear with rhyming and repetitive verse. My son certainly likes to say the verse "what's inside - what can it be? Open it and you will see!" when we get to that part of the story. On each page Reindeer gives his friend a present and the reader gets to see the joy that is brought from giving a thoughtful gift.

I do have one quibble that the reindeer does not hang around when his friends have opened their present, and not because he has more presents to deliver. He seems to have an excuse every time not to stay and play. Seems weird considering he is lonely and wants to spread Christmas spirit. Maybe I am reading to much into that. Certainly my son hasn't noticed or cared. This is a minor quibble as the story really is quite lovely otherwise.

While the story is lovely I have to say the illustrations sold this book to me. They are beautiful and suit the story perfectly. Sue deGennaro has done a fantastic job. Her art work is whimsical and simple with a good dash of colour.

You will not be disappointed to add this book to your Christmas book collection. However I am not sure if it will be available past Christmas 2014 so if you want it I recommend getting it quick.

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