Thursday, December 20, 2007

Olive, the other Reindeer

Olive, the other Reindeer by Vivian Walsh and J.otto Seibold, Deluxe Edition, Chronicle Books, 2007

Subbing at a local elementary yesterday, I noted the DVD of Olive, the other Reindeer was in heavy rotation on the video tower sign-up list. The singing and dancing characters visible on the monitor from my desk were not endearing the story to me. I made myself avert my eyes because I have a deep affection for this book as it is a year round favorite with kids.

No other Christmas carol has such a hold on children's imaginations as "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer." (*see note) Even the youngest child understands the joke of this book's title.

When a little dog named Olive hears the lyrics "All of the other reindeer..." she thinks the line is, "Olive, the other reindeer" and concludes that she is in fact, a reindeer, not a dog. Hi-jinks ensue.

This tenth anniversary edition has scratch and sniff gumdrops, flaps to open, levers to pull and a pop-up scene at the end. Reading the "otto-biography" of Seibold on the Chronicle Books site, I learned that the names of his children (and their images) are tucked into the illustrations, shades of Marc Brown and his Arthur books.

Skip the video and enjoy this book. It is a charmer.


When I got the call to sub, the librarian asked me what I wanted to do with the kids. I asked her to let me read. Dragon and I haven't read to a group of kids in a while and if we go too long, we get down-right twitchy.

Also Dragon needed to get out and about. He did a recent star turn in the high school choir madrigal dinner and the acclaim and greetings from former students in the high school corridors along with the positive reviews of his performance have inflated his already preposterous ego and made him unbearable here at home. His demands for celebrity treatment, including a star on the door to his bedroom, have just been too much.

This fun story was on the lesson plan for kindergarten.

A Creature was Stirring by Clement Clarke Moore with additional story and illustrations by Carter Goodrich, Simon & Schuster, 2006

A small boy knows he is supposed to be asleep on Christmas eve but he risks the "naughty" list in order to get a peek out the window when Santa's sleigh arrives.

Moore's well known poem chronicles Santa's visit on the left page while the boy's adventure with Santa's precariously parked sleigh develops on the opposing page.

One alert kindergarten lad pointed out that the boy's words were printed in white while Moore's poem is printed in gold. I was so pleased he had noticed and it makes the last page of the story even more fun.

Lovely golden end papers open the book. I'm an end papers kind of girl. A set of lovely end papers will make me much more likely to appreciate the story between them.
Goodrich's illustrations are humorous and the kids followed the story easily. It was a fun read.

*Note: As usual when Santa calls the names of his reindeer, "Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!...etc." the kids ALWAYS ask, "Where's Rudolph?" This year I had a good answer pop into my head, "He hasn't been born yet."


Ladytink_534 said...

I didn't read too many Christmasy stories this year but I'm hoping to read more this year.

Mary Lee said...

Love the explanation about the missing Rudolph! BRILLIANT!

Anonymous said...

Yeah I agree I liked the answer about the missing Rudolp


Vivian Mahoney said...

I so agree with you about the Olive video. I gave our video away. The book is sweet.

Happy New Year's!

Anonymous said...

I love Olive the Other Reindeer... It's one of my favorite Christmas books.

Brian Mandabach said...

We'll have to get both of these for next year! Thanks.