How do you write a Christmas story for children that isn’t really a Christmas story? Write about reindeer, a little girl, and a country that we often think of as being in a perpetual Christmas look – Norway.
Lotta is a little girl who is traveling to Norway to spend time with her grandparents and her great-grandmother. Lotta makes a special connection with her great-grandmother (her Oldemor) and loves to hear the stories of Oldemor when she was younger and a reindeer herder.
Through dreams and desire, Lotta finds herself in one of Oldemor’s stories when Lotta and a cousin are responsible for a mother reindeer (Flower) and her calf (Karl). When the reindeer get separated from the herd, Lotta must find them, protect them from all sorts of danger, including wolves, and get them safely back to the herd.
This is a sweet story and it has just the right amount of excitement and danger to be exciting to a young reader/listener.
Author Holly Webb brings in some magic by weaving in some idyllic history of a simpler life. But we come to realize that simpler isn’t without different kinds of dangers.
It’s the Christmas season and we get all the wintry good feels of Christmas, and of course there are reindeer, but we don’t actually celebrate either a religious or a secular Christmas. It’s the perfect book to get young readers in the Christmas mood, and youngsters who love animals will be especially drawn to this story.
I enjoyed the glossary – I learned a few things about the Nordic and Sami cultures from the glossary.
The book is lightly illustrated with wonderful drawings by Simon Mendez.
Looking for a good book? The Reindeer Girl by Holly Webb is a sweet story that is sure to become a favorite holiday book for some young readers.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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The Reindeer Girl
author: Holly Webb
artist: Simon Mendez
publisher: Tiger Tales
paperback, 192 pages