The Naughtiest Reindeer by Nicki Greenberg
|The Naughtiest Reindeer by Nicki Greenberg
|Category: For Sharing
|Reviewer: Sam Tyler
|Summary: When Rudolf is ill on Christmas Eve there is only one other red-nosed reindeer to turn to, his little sister Ruby. The only problem is that Ruby has the reputation as being the naughtiest reindeer there is. Join Ruby and her friends in a fun Christmas story that has a whole lot of nice to go with the naughty.
|Date: November 2014
|Publisher: Allen and Unwin Children's Books
|External links: Author's website
If you made all of Father Christmas’s reindeer line up, you would find it pretty tricky to find the naughtiest one among them as they are so well behaved. However, there is one reindeer who is so naughty that she does not get asked to pull the sleigh very often. On certain occasions needs must and when Rudolf is ill on Christmas Eve, the only help comes in the form of his little sister Ruby – dear oh deer.
Christmas books are great fun for children, but there are so many out there. They have the holiday period covered in so many different ways that it becomes difficult to produce something new. The Naughtiest Reindeer written and illustrated by Nicki Greenberg does manage to do something a little differently by sprinkling a little holiday chaos onto the situation. It is not that Ruby the reindeer means to be naughty, just that she is so enthusiastic, curious and full of energy that everything she seems to do goes a little crazy.
Ruby is a great character; children will either recognise themselves in her, or someone they know. Greenberg structures the story well and has made sure that events stay good natured. Ruby has an innocent type of naughtiness and the other reindeers are always trying to help when they can; it just so happens that not all goes to plan. The narrative is fun; Ruby gets herself and Santa into quite a lot of trouble, but it is the ending that proves the best element, wrapping up in a clever way that is both sweet and in keeping with the spirit of Christmas.
Other elements of the book are not managed quite as well. The chaotic nature of Ruby sometimes seems to spill onto the page itself. Some of the pages are packed with pictures and text, making everything seem a little muddled. The book is aimed at a younger reader, but the formatting does mean that they will have to concentrate if they are to read by themselves. Thankfully, the book rewards observation as there are a few visual gags that a tiny bit rude, but very funny.
Illustration-wise the book may also be a required taste. The reindeers themselves look great, a cross between the real thing and a wooden carving. Whilst this style looks great for the hoofed characters, the same cannot be said of the humans. Santa for one looked a little sad to me, his features a little off and not at all inviting. Seeing as this is not a book that concentrates on the men and women, it is perhaps not vital, but everyone likes their Father Christmas to be jolly.
Despite a couple of misgivings, it is the playfulness and the warmth of ‘The Naughtiest Reindeer’ that shines through the most. Greenberg has taken the essence of Christmas and found a new way of exploring it. Children will learn to be conscious of those around them and to think not only of themselves; two winter gifts that any parent would not mind from their child.
For another sweet-natured Christmas story check out One Christmas Night by Christina M Butler and Tina MacNaughton. If you are into the naughtier side then learning all about the sickly side of Santa in Big Fat Christmas Book (Horrible Histories) by Terry Deary and Martin Brown will be for you.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Naughtiest Reindeer by Nicki Greenberg at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Naughtiest Reindeer by Nicki Greenberg at Amazon.com.
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