The front cover of Nicki’s book is quite irresistible! It has illustrations of presents, penguins, and candy canes, but best of all, it has Texture. The snow depicted here is feely and rough, and your hand comes back to it all the time; a lovely addition for young fingers.
It is the night before Christmas, and all is in readiness for Santa to leave on the sleigh. Oops, there is a problem. Rudolph, of course, is the lead reindeer, but his younger sister Ruby, feels it is her turn to be a leader. After a scuffle, Mrs Claus settles the reindeer down, and suggest they both lead. Ruby wishes to swoop and swerve, and take short cuts. Santa is quite fearful. The inevitable happens, the sleigh tips over. The other reindeer are able to rescue most of the presents, and Santa. Only Ruby, who was buried in the snow with the remaining presents, is left behind. Suddenly, she is surrounded by very cranky penguins, who want to know what she is doing, and why she has littered their home with so many presents.
We have serious issues here. Ruby is stranded with unfriendly penguins, and Santa has run out of presents, but wait! Surf patrol seals come to the rescue. All is not well though, as a hungry shark appears. The solution is quite a clever one, and Ruby gets all the missing presents back to Santa.
Nicki Greenwood has cleverly woven many informative scenarios into this story. The introduction of penguins, seals and a shark in their habitat is shown. A world map showing North and South is also used. The language includes many words which will stretch a child’s vocabulary, and the rhyming text lends itself to be read aloud.
The illustrations allude to the coldness of the setting, and the grey/blue background is livened by the red of Santa’s coat, and the white of the snow. The pages are mostly large, and there are simple illustrations with smaller blocks of text.
|Publisher||A & U Children|
|Distributor||Allen & Unwin|