Sunday, December 10, 2017

Once Upon A Christmas Eve.... The Little Reindeer by Nicola Killen

It was Christmas Eve and Ollie had just gone to sleep when


She awoke with a start.

Like all startled sleepers on Christmas Eve, Ollie runs to her window to see the source of that sound, but all she sees is a blanket of white covering everything. She runs outside, still in her reindeer pajamas and knitted hat with horns, to catch a fluttering flake, when she hears that magical tinkle again. She follows the notes into the wood, where she spots something red.

Hanging from a branch was a collar with silver bells!

Who could it belong to?

Of course, the collar belongs to a reindeer, who kneels obediently before little Ollie and lets her fasten the collar. And then, Ollie climbs on her back for a magical midnight ride through gold and silver stars, the snow-covered landscape flowing beneath her. At last, her new friend deposits her back home, where yawning, she sleepily makes her way up to her bed to continue dreaming of her fantastical jingling journey until morning comes. But her Christmas adventure remains the best present.

"See you next year," she whispers.

It's indeed a magical mystery tour, in Nicola Killen's The Little Reindeer (Simon and Schuster, 2017). In a softly-told Christmas Eve story, author Killen foreshadows the reindeer ride in Ollie's little onesie pajamas and her bedtime toy reindeer, echoed in artist Killen's lovely muted grayscale illustrations, accented only with touches of red--in Ollie's cheeks, in the windows of the sleeping houses, and in the reindeer collar, and in the silver and gold of sleighbells repeated in the starry night sky. This is a gentle Christmas bedtime story with promises of sweet dreams for a long winter's nap. "Die cuts, foil accents, and bits of red detailing bring flair to Killen’s hushed black-and-white snowscapes," says Publisher's Weekly.

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