An Ordinary Reindeer

In this straightforward but uplifting rhyming picture book, Santa asks an “ordinary” reindeer to help with Christmas deliveries after his more famous team gets sick.

The story offers a relatable character and a satisfying plot, with appealing, expressive illustrations. An Ordinary Reindeer has charm and a positive moral that will appeal to young readers.

An Ordinary Reindeer and the Challenge

This book is a sequel to Rathmann’s An Ordinary Reindeer, which recounts the story of the main character’s hard work, which earns him the lead reindeer position on Santa’s sleigh.  Here, the “ordinary reindeer” (who goes nameless throughout) is challenged by Harold, a “big mean reindeer” who wants to take over as leader.  The ordinary reindeer challenges him to a race to determine who should lead, and despite Harold’s unfair tactics, the ordinary reindeer wins.

The color illustrations are handsome.

The Ordinary Reindeer and the Challenge is a pleasant story and children will likely enjoy this tale about generosity and hard work triumphing over selfishness.

The Ordinary Reindeer and Santa’s Gift

A reindeer receives the priceless gift of belonging in the third installment of Fran Rathmann’s Christmas-themed series.

The book’s strengths lie in its positive message of community, friendship and individual responsibility.  The illustrations are strong, simple yet striking, making it easy for readers to infer human-like qualities in the different reindeer.

This well-meaning story has a solid message at its core—even an ordinary reindeer can do extraordinary things.

The Bored Lamb and the Brightest Star

In The Bored Lamb and the Brightest Star, a restless lamb named Curly inadvertently becomes part of the Nativity scene when his curiosity gets the better of him.

Curly is an extremely relatable character. Parents will recognize Curly as having the same qualities as a bored kid, and astute kids might see themselves in Curly. But Curly’s decision to follow his gut and go beyond the commonplace changes his life forever.

The Bored Lamb and the Brightest Star gives readers an interesting glimpse into the life of a biblical bit player, demonstrating that while it’s important to be grateful for life’s little things, it’s also important to follow your heart and see where it leads.

The Dog House

Four kitties and a host of other animals find refuge during a winter storm in Fran Rathmann’s picture book The Dog House.

Thunder, Maine Coon Cat, Patches and Baby are skating when a snowstorm appears headed their way. The only nearby shelter is a doghouse on the other side of the mountain. After a hard journey they reach the huge doghouse which they presume must have an equally large occupant.

Luckily, there’s no sign of the dog whose name, “Bernard” is written above the door. Suspense builds when Bernard appears and the animals prepare for the worst.

This is a sweet conceit. The color illustrations are fun, particularly those from the cats’ point of view inside the doghouse looking out. The narrative boasts a strong sense of adventure and excitement, and the contrast between fear and happy resolution is delightful.

The Missing Parts Factory

A rabbit with a missing tail finds the answer to his problem in The Missing Parts Factory, a children’s picture book by Fran Rathmann.

Born without a tail rabbit Candy is regularly teased about it. When he sets out in search of a solution, he finds a building called “The Missing Parts Factory.”

The book’s art is attractive, with the rabbit’s fur looking plush and textured. The book aims to be inspirational and will prove enjoyable.

Groovin’ Moms says:
This is a heartwarming story about how one ordinary reindeer becomes extraordinary.