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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Jeannette Claus Saves Christmas » User review

a new take on the holiday theme

  • Nov 13, 2010
Rating:
+3
It was the night before Christmas and Santa was sick. He sneezed, he coughed, he groaned, he moaned. He sniffled and he blew.

And there was no way his daughter, Jeannette, was letting Santa out in the sleigh that night. Jumping jingle bells, if Santa could do it, so could she. Sure, the reindeer are tricky and none too fond of their work. But Jeannette was a Claus and it was Christmas. This was kind of her thing.

But when the sleigh is still more than half full of presents, the reindeer decide to jump ship and Jeannette is stranded with a big sleigh and no one to pull it. Unless a few stray cats and dogs can help Jeannette to turn a really bad Christmas Eve into a really successful one without the help of those pesky reindeer in Jeannette Claus Saves Christmas (October 2010) by Douglas Rees and Olivier Latyk.

I'm a fan, first and foremost, of traditional Christmas stories. "Twas the Night Before Christmas" is an annual favorite. As far as reimagined (or even slightly fractured) Christmas stories go, this is a fun one. Latyk's illustrations--sketched in pencil and then rendered in Photoshop--are original and provide a unique vision of iconic holiday images including the jolly man himself and, of course, the reindeer.

Rees' story is also a new take on the holiday theme. Jeannette is a winner and the text lends itself to reading aloud with natural pauses and good pacing. The premise isn't my favorite--misanthropic reindeer feel . . . odd (and they're really mean!)--but it is a fun twist for anyone looking to go beyond the familiar songs and stories with their holiday reading. Of course, more astute readers will be left to ask, where's Rudolph when you really need him?

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Ranked #204
Reader, writer, blogger.      I have a master's in library science and information systems and am currently searching for a librarian position.      You can … more
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Wiki

PreS-Gr 2–Poor Santa has a terrible cold, and his daughter, a self-possessed young lady in a red polka-dot skirt, green tights, and black boots, decides that she will take over. Santa tells her the secret to getting the reindeer to fly but warns her to keep their harness tight, because they hate hauling the sleigh and will escape if they can. At first everything goes well, but sure enough, the harness loosens, and the reindeer fly off, stranding Jeannette on a roof. Not to worry. A chance encounter with a few homeless dogs and cats sparks her imagination, and before you can say “suffering snowballs,” she's got them harnessed to the sleigh, and her delivery schedule back on track. Latyk's digitally rendered illustrations have a slightly retro feel, reminiscent of the work of J. Otto Siebold. A fun holiday read-aloud with a resourceful young heroine.Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Details

ISBN-10: 1416926860
ISBN-13: 978-1416926863
Author: Douglas Rees
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry

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