Monday, December 04, 2017

Gettin' There Any Old Way! The Twelve Sleighs of Christmas by Sherri Duskey Rinker

Two weeks before Christmas, and every elf,
Is building, rushing, racing, busy--
Every elf in a tizzy!

It's a full-court press on the production line at Santa's Workshop. It's not a good time for a sleigh malfunction!

The sleigh is totaled, smashed, and battered!
The elves are rocked! They're shocked! It's shattering!

Santa's old sleigh does have a lot of miles on it, and the elves suddenly conceive the idea of total redesign. It's their one chance to pimp Santa's ride! Who knew Santa's elves were such a bunch of gearheads?

They form twelve teams, each working on their concept of a hi-tech twenty-first century Santa sleigh, and they work furiously, all through the long dark days of the polar pre-Christmas week. It's the Great Sleigh Build Off. And then--it's SHOW TIME!

Build Team One unveils a hyper-powered dragster which gets off the mark in a nano-second. But then one elf asks if the kids of the world could possibly sleep through the roar of this mighty machine!

Build Team Two rolls out their big-rig, a semi that even boasts a sleeper cab in case Santa needs a nap. But another elf wonders out loud if there's a roof anywhere in the world than can support that 18-wheeler. Build Team Three has the answer, a multi-sail rebuild of a airborne pirate ship which hovers over children's houses and jettisons their gifts overboard. The other elves roll their eyes. Seriously? What about breakage?

The concept models get more and more overbuilt, and the elves sheepishly realize that they've let their fantasy rides get way over the top. And Santa's big trip is almost at hand!

But one young elf has secretly been working on Plan B all along, in Sherri Duskey Rinker's new hit, The 12 Sleighs of Christmas (Chronicle Books, 2017). Staying with the transportation theme that she rolled out her first best-seller, Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site, Rinker's latest is set for take off as the hit of the season. With jolly rhymes, roaring motors, and clever cartooning by artist Jake Parker, this is a funny and festive story of how, once more, St. Nick keeps his promise to come on Christmas Eve. Says School Library Journal, "The colorful illustrations, created in brush pen and rendered digitally, are a perfect fit for sleigh creations reminiscent of Dr. Seuss' imaginative vehicles. A splendid choice for any holiday read-aloud collection wishing to incorporate STEM concepts." Santa and STEM? What more could we want in a comic Christmas eve bedtime story?

Sherri Duskey Rinker is, of course, the high-powered author of those other motorhead-motivated best sellers, Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site, Mighty, Mighty Construction Site, Steam Train, Dream Train and her recent Big Machines: The Story of Virginia Lee Burton.

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