Sunday, December 8, 2019

Review - Dasher

by Matt Tavares
Date: 2019
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: library

From the celebrated creator of Red and Lulu comes the story of a brave little doe who meets Santa and changes Christmas forever.

Dasher is an adventurous young reindeer with a wish in her heart. She spends her days with her family under the hot sun in a traveling circus, but she longs for a different life — one where there is snow beneath her hooves and the North Star above her head. One day, when the opportunity arises, Dasher seizes her destiny and takes off in pursuit of the life she wants to live. It’s not long before she meets a nice man in a red suit with a horse-drawn sleigh — a man named Santa. And soon, with the help of a powerful Christmas wish, nothing will be the same.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

Dasher tells the story of how Santa got his reindeer.

That's pretty much it, really. Animal welfare is hinted at, but the main thrust of the story is the building of the legend. Dasher and her family start out in a circus. Mama tells them stories about their true home, a place where the North Star is always overhead. One night, Dasher has the opportunity to escape, and takes it. After getting lost, she runs across Santa and his horse, Silverbell, who is having a hard time pulling the sleigh. So Dasher offers to help... and the legend is born.

The writing is really strong and the illustrations have a relaxed, dreamy quality to them. I can see this as the sort of book where everyone sits down with a cup of hot chocolate and listens to the tale.

Overall, this is a lovely Christmas offering. I'd recommend it to those who enjoy books like The Polar Express.

Quotable moment:

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 4 out of 5

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