|Olive, the Other Reindeer
written & illustrated by J. Otto Seibold and Vivian Walsh
Already on its way to becoming a Christmas classic on par with Rudolph, Vivian Walsh
and J. Otto Seibold's Olive, the Other Reindeer tells a sweet tale about another nose that saves Santa's bacon on Christmas Eve and Day.
This nose belongs to a little dog (let's say a Jack Russell Terrier, funked out in Seibold's busy, what-can-your-little-eye-spy computer-rendered illustrations)
named Olive who mistakes the "All of the other reindeer" lyric in the Christmas standard she keeps hearing during the holidays
for "Olive, the other reindeer" and decides she'd better get
to the North Pole quick to help Santa as all his reindeer
Santa's more orthodox reindeer Comet ropes a length of ribbon around Olive to keep her secure to the sleigh-pulling team (dogs, as Santa very well knows, cannot fly) and they're off on the annual delivery route. When they accidentally crash into a tree, Olive chews the sticks away from the sleigh to free them. But the hole in the sleigh allows first gumdrops then flutes to fall out. Again with Olive's help, the toys and sweets are saved, and even though they are running late, Santa and his reindeer get everything delivered by Christmas morning.
An Arctic fog may keep them all from getting home to celebrate Christmas themselves,
though - and that's where Olive's powerful doggie nose saves the day.
Jaunty 2-D illustrations and a cute but not saccharine story that tips a wink and a nod to a certain red-nosed reindeer make Olive, the Other Reindeer a fun family read at holiday time. Merry Christmas, indeed.