As the song goes, “you know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen.” But do you recall how these reindeer came to be the ones pulling Santa’s sleigh?

That’s what author Diane Bostick details in her two stories Santa’s Choice and Reindeer Training. This two-in-one storybook unveils the origin story of everyone’s favorite team of reindeer, and how Santa made them into the elite unit that they’re known for today!

EVEN SANTA STRUGGLES SOMETIMES!

In the beginning, there were no reindeer and sleigh; it was just Santa, lugging as many presents as he could fit in his bag. But with every passing Christmas, Santa’s pile of presents got bigger — too big to carry all in one trip! If Santa wanted to make all his deliveries in one night, he needed some help. It would take a special kind of animal to pull off the mission of delivering presents on the most magical night of the year! Santa passed on the lions (too scary), the elephants (too heavy-footed) and the monkeys (too silly). Finally, he settled on the reindeer, who were swift and strong enough to pull his sleigh across the world in just one night.

It turns out, however, that training reindeer is a lot harder than it looks. Each reindeer had her own complaint about being part of the team; for example, Vixen thought pulling the sleigh was too much work and wanted to ride with Santa instead! After so many setbacks, Santa’s patience had worn thin, and he held a meeting with the team. He reminded them that they had signed up to pull his sleigh and that they should be thankful for the opportunity. Mollified, the reindeer cooperated, and together they became the hardworking team that we know today.

TEAMWORK MAKES THE CHRISTMAS DREAMWORK

In these two stories, Diane Bostick and illustrator Justin Addison capture the magic of Christmas with whimsical storytelling and charming visuals. Readers are sure to fall in love with the characters, from the hardworking Santa Claus to the team of reindeer that shine with their strong personalities and silly antics. While this story is especially timely for Christmas, the message is relevant year-round. Bostick stresses the importance of being a hard worker, keeping the promises you made to others and working together. Teamwork is an important skill to learn at any age, and by tying the lesson into the festive season, it can help encourage young children to work together in the effort to spread Christmas cheer.

Along with moral lessons, this story also includes some reading comprehension questions at the back of the book. Adults can quiz children on how much of the tale they understood, and the questions can facilitate a great follow-up discussion about the narrative and characters. Whether you’d like this book as a classroom staple or a bedtime story, Santa’s Choice and Reindeer Training are great choices for the holiday season. Grab it in time for Christmas Eve — or better yet, have Santa and his reindeer come and stash it under your tree!

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About Diane Bostick:

Diane was trained in Theatre and Directing where she earned an A.A.S. in Theater Arts in 1992, but her first passions were always writing and storytelling. In Florida she produced a poetry book; Naked Feathers, 2006 and a music CD, Carnival Rain, the same year. Her favorite jobs along the way were stints at directing, youth theatre classes and workshops both in Florida and New York. Original short plays and stories to share in her workshops set the stage for Santa’s Choice. While cleaning the family home in Dewitt, NY in 2019, she discovered a trunkful of unpublished story ideas, notes and outlines typed by her father in the 1940s. She carefully assembled and fleshed out passages and polished characters and text from a few of the notes. Santa’s Choice is the first completed original story, and others will follow.