Get into the holiday spirit with this week’s staff pick Olive, the Other Reindeer by Vivian Walsh. The hilarious, zany story of Olive the dog who, after mishearing a popular song lyric, decides to head to the North Pole and help Santa with his deliveries. A short, laugh out loud story with beautifully colored illustrations make this a great holiday read.
“You won’t understand the premise of this book if you’ve never sung “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” so let’s start there. The carol begins, “Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer / had a very shiny nose / and if you ever saw it, / You would even say it glows / All of the other reindeer / used to laugh and call him names / They never let poor Rudolph / join in any reindeer games.” If you notice that “all of the other reindeer” sounds suspiciously like “Olive, the other reindeer,” you’ve discovered the source of Olive’s adventures! Olive is a dog. But when she hears this holiday tune, a bit of an identity crisis sets in. She decides she must be a reindeer and heads to the North Pole to see if she can join Santa’s reindeer team.
Olive gets to the North Pole just in time. Comet (the biggest reindeer) uses a piece of extra ribbon to tie Olive to the reindeers’ elaborate harness system. As the sleigh rose high in the sky, “Olive was surprised it was so easy to fly.” (The sight of a dog dangling beneath Santa’s sleigh will reduce readers to charmed giggles.) Despite Olive’s lack of flying ability and the unfortunate mishap caused by the reindeers’ distraction, she, in her inherent dogginess, proves to be useful as both a flute retriever and a cookie smeller.” —Amazon