Published by Candlewick
Summary: Long ago, before there were eight flying reindeer, Santa’s sled was pulled by a single horse named Silverbell. Meanwhile, Dasher is living a miserable existence in a traveling circus with the rest of her reindeer family. She loves the children, but hates the crowds and heat, dreaming of the snowy landscape of her mother’s stories. An open gate one night provides her a chance for escape. Guided by the North Star, she eventually meets up with Santa and the aging Silverbell, and helps him with his deliveries. (She can fly! Who knew?) They wind up at the North Pole, where Dasher makes a wish for her family to be together again. Who better to grant a wish than Santa, and before long Dasher is joined by Dancer, Prancer, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, and Vixen. And the rest is Christmas history. 40 pages; ages 4-8.
Pros: It’s not too early to start thinking about those holiday storytimes, and this will make an excellent addition to the lineup. Matt Tavares’s illustrations are magical and kids will be captivated by Dasher and the story of how the reindeer got to the North Pole. Pair this with Red and Lulu, also by Matt Tavares.
Cons: The story is a little long for the youngest listeners.