Dasher and The Sleigh-Train
It’s nearly Christmas, and Santa fears there won’t be enough room in the sleigh for all the children’s toys. The requests he’s received have been countless this year. While he’s sharing his concerns with Mrs. Claus, Dasher approaches, sneezing and announcing that he’s not feeling well. Though Santa desperately needs his help on the busiest night of the year, he sends him off to the infirmary to see the nurse. Santa calls a meeting with the elves to troubleshoot the situation. Though they aren’t in favor of it, he decides to use a toy train to pull the sleigh in Dasher’s absence. He sprinkles the presents with his special dust, and they magically rearrange themselves in the sleigh, fitting perfectly, despite his previous worries. He and his lively green helpers take the locomotive on a trial run and determine it to be fit for the job. Upon their return, the reindeer plead to be a part of the journey. So, Santa agrees they may join the rest of the crew. They set out on their expedition toward the towns and cities. Santa and his crew catch a glimpse of the nighttime sky filled with beautiful stars and the brilliance and flashing of the Northern Lights. Once the gifts are delivered, they return to their homestead. They check on their dear friend Dasher and sing him their favorite holiday song, brightening his spirits just in time for Christmas.
Dasher and the Sleigh-Train is an original festive treat. Unlike many others, it’s not a rendition of an already-told tale with a few new twists and turns added; its storyline is unique. The prominent illustrations sweeping across its pages are equally distinctive. They’re filled with brightly colored hues and have a soft, textured appearance, almost like that of velvet. They resemble pictures created from a rich array of markers, blended with a touch of pastel-colored chalk. Young children will likely find them unusual and intriguing. They’re apt to be a topic of discussion.
A sense of thoughtfulness and compassion are woven into the contents of this picture book. Parents and teachers may be especially fond of this aspect of it as they are so often trying to instill these qualities into their children and students. The way Santa, his elves, and the other reindeer respond to Dasher being ill and having to stay behind is touching. The story is written at a second- to third-grade reading level. It’s most suitable for youth ages 5-9, though some even younger, namely preschoolers, might delight in it, too. It’s relatively short, only 30 pages from front to back, making it a quick read. The font is smaller and less kid-friendly than it ideally would be, but this factor alone isn’t likely to detract many readers. The overall quality of the text is good, and the price is extremely reasonable. It will make a great stocking stuffer or pre-holiday surprise.
|Author||E. Dorinda Shelley|
|Page Count||30 pages|
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