On Reindeer Watch
by Nikki Mask

"We hope you join us on this timeless mission and start this Reindeer Watch family tradition."

Two siblings prepare for the arrival of Santa’s reindeer in this children’s Christmas book. A young girl narrates the story, describing her family’s holiday preparations: making cookies, decorating their tree, going out to see light displays, and of course, “being on Reindeer Watch.” The children have a special recipe for reindeer feed, which they sprinkle around their yard. They also strategically place carrots and berries where hungry reindeer might find them. They try to stay up late on Christmas Eve but fall asleep too soon to catch Santa and his reindeer in action. When they wake up on Christmas morning, they find evidence that the reindeer enjoyed all their preparations, and readers get to see the reindeer sleeping off their long night and big snack.

The story has many features that should appeal to children of all ages. The book’s narration features a sing-songy text that mostly rhymes, but early readers may trip over some of the longer sentences if they expect everything to fit a tight rhyme scheme. The bright, cheerful illustrations clearly depict the action and feature additional festive details, like the little girl’s Christmas-themed bed sheets. The children’s two dogs appear on most pages, helping with Christmas preparations and snuggling up by the fire. The characters themselves are always smiling and working together, infusing each scene with fun and warmth. The children in the tale invite readers to share in their Reindeer Watch mission and even lay out how to do it. For example, the children describe their reindeer feed ingredients. Parents might note that the reindeer footprints in the house on Christmas morning seem to be made from flour. This book will likely inspire young readers and their families to start a reindeer-feeding tradition of their own.

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