When I read the jacket blurb about the author of The Little Reindeer living in England I was so excited that this might be a city book set in an English city! Sadly, no. The book is set in New York City. Not that NYC isn't terrific. It is, but there is such an abundance of city-themed books set in NYC and such a dearth of picture books set in English cities (at least that I can find) that I could not help but be disappointed.
However, once I started to read the book I got over my disappointment quite quickly. So don't let the choice of settings deter you from picking up this book to read over the holiday season, for the illustrations are spectacular and the story lovely.
When a curious little reindeer investigates the bustling activity in the toy workshop, he finds himself accidentally wrapped up as a gift and delivered to a snowy city rooftop. A young boy finds and cares for the little reindeer. Together they eat peanut butter sandwiches and watch the city activity from the rooftops with the pigeons. When the little reindeer discovers he can fly, he and the boy begin to venture farther and farther from home, discovering the joys of soaring above the city at night. However, both the boy and the little reindeer realize that the fate of a flying reindeer is bigger than just one metropolis and one special morning, the boy wakes to sleigh tracks, jingle bells on pigeons and a note from an important man.
Foreman's watercolors are spectacular and gorgeous. As we spend the action of the book above the city over the course of a year, the mood of the book is serene. There are some intriguing surprises, however. Billboards play an unusual role and one cannot help but notice the abundance of water towers. Pigeons are delightful instead of a nuisance. It all makes one want to climb to the nearest rooftop and wait for one's own reindeer to arrive.
The Little Reindeer is a lovely story of friendship and devotion to share this holiday season (or anytime, really). Read it.
Learn about the author.
Read an interview at Paper Tigers.
Apparently there was an animated short based on the book.
Big Kid says: I love that book.
Little Kid says: Mommy, look! Taxis!