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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on December 2, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book as a child back in the fifties, and was delighted to find it still available. It begins similarly to "The Night Before Christmas": "'Twas the day before Christmas, and all through the hills..." and continues in verse, telling the familiar story for the very first time, with more wit and charm than any watered-down Disney version could possible supply. I'm so glad that my small nieces will now have a chance to enjoy it. Too bad Robert L. May is not often given the credit he deserves for this Christmas treasure.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on December 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
At the writing of this review, nearly half of the customer reviews are of completely different books. In fact, all of the non-five-star reviews have nothing to do with this edition, entitled "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer", based on the original story by Robert L. May, and illustrated by David Wenzel. If it were not for this error, the book would in fact have 5 stars.

The illustrations are beautiful, and the verse I do not consider lengthy at all. Such rich vocabulary and quirky similes are often overlooked in modern children's books. My favorite line is: "And Santa was right, as he usually is. The fog was as thick as a soda's white fizz."

Money well spent.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
Note: This review is for the book with the blue cover and Rudolph in a picture frame. A red seal on the bottom right corner reads: "The Original Story of Rudolph." Apparently, the various reviews are getting dumped in one Rudolph slot.

Although the story is original with Robert L. May in 1939, the illustrations were created by David Wenzel in 2001. This combination is my favorite of all the Rudolph books.

The book is over-sized, for one. I have the paperback version, which is 9" x 11". The hardback is slightly larger. This larger size makes it easier for children in a school setting to see the illustrations.

Another reason this book is a winner is the color and quality of the illustrations. The reindeer are soft and cuddly looking (even though they call Rudolph names just for having that freaky red nose--so they think). To counteract all the brown of the reindeer, Wenzel splashes a deep, lovely blue around the scene. Even though he is made fun of, Rudolph tries to keep a good attitude. He know he's been good and leaves Santa cookies and cocoa and goes to bed.

Meanwhile Santa is back at the Pole, totally worried about the weather. The fog is so bad the deer have a hard time seeing and almost collide with a huge plane. By the time Santa gets to Rudolph's house, it is pitch dark. But in Rudolph's room, Santa can see and discovers the answer to his prayers--A reindeer with a guiding light. Rudolph is delighted to help.

Of course, at the end, the other reindeer cheer him for being such a help. They are proud to be his friends.

The moral: You CAN be different! It is OK!
Everyone has a talent. When you discover it, don't be shy about using it.

Overall, a great addition to every reading home!
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
This is such a great book. It's not the original Rudolph - if you're looking for that one, it's written by Robert May and was commissioned by Montgomery Ward in 1939. It can usually be found locally in bookstores, and when amazon has it in stock. It's a better story than this one - this one is just a little spin-off of the Rankin-Bass production we see on television, as the cover depicts. It has the Yukon Cornelius, snow monster, etc. in it. I still get goosebumps whenever I see Rudolph coming back to the Island of misfit toys to pick them up with Santa's sleigh - but that's only in the movie and not in this book. Some things you never forget as a child and have to pass down to your own.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
ASIN B000LSFQV4 - There are a multitude of versions of this story in print; this review is particular to the 1967 "Facsimile Edition" published by Applewood Books. This edition is an exact reprinting of the original 1939 book written by Robert L. May for Montgomery Ward, illustrated by Denver Gillen.

Rudolph lives in a reindeer village (not the North Pole, as you probably expect); he is made fun of by his peers because of his bright, red nose, is shy and lonesome and very, very sad. Like any good reindeer, Rudolph obeyed his parents and was hopeful that Santa would treat him the same as he treated the others. Meanwhile, Santa is facing terrible weather conditions and isn't sure he will be able to see through this Christmas Eve fog. Santa begins his journey, moving slowly and carefully, until he reaches the place where the deer live. There, he is amazed to find Rudolph's room well-lit. He is even more amazed when he finds out why it's well-lit! Santa asks Rudolph to help him through the remainder of the night, which Rudolph does. As Christmas dawn breaks, they return to Rudolph's home where he is hailed as a hero and Santa asks Rudolph to promise to serve "On future dark trips, as COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF!"

Many Rudolph fans will actually find themselves surprised that the book is a bit different than the movie and the song - did you know, for example, that the book starts, and ends, with almost the exact same words as Clement C. Moore's 'Twas the Night Before Christmas? Really, you just can't call yourself a fan without ever reading the original. The illustrations, by Denver Gillen, are the originals, as well. Even though newer depictions are great, nothing compares to these. They are simple and have few colors (red, a pale green, and brown, mostly, with shades of blue here and there), but they're absolutely perfect for the poem, not to mention the AGE of the poem. Created as a marketing tool for Montgomery Ward, May's Rudolph is two fantastic stories in one. The story of Rudolph is one but there's also the story of his creation in 1939, which is detailed in the front of the book. Let your kid watch the cartoon, let him/her think Gene Autry sang the definitive story, but don't deprive him/her of May's original tale!

- AnnaLovesBooks
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon November 1, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is the original story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, written by Robert L. May in 1939 for Montgomery Ward. Out of all the versions of it currently available in print, this is most definitely my favorite one - all thanks to Antonio Javier Caparo absolutely stunning watercolor illustrations.

Who doesn't know The Red-Nosed Rudolph? Santa Claus' brave little helper, spirited and dedicated. His story is a moving one, it pulls on your heart strings and reminds you to always believe in yourself and to never stop trying. Rudolph story is a true classic, filled with magic and Christmas spirit. It fills your heart with joy and warmth, it excites and entertains, and it teaches us that dreams really do come true!

This gorgeous 75th Anniversary Edition feels and looks like a pricey collectors item, in that it's really magnificently designed, embellished with golden accents on the cover and dust jacket, and printed on a high quality glossy paper. It's completely fantastic and it makes for a perfect Christmas gift.

Caparo's illustrations are beyond enchanting and mesmerizing. They are so rich in details, so full of life, so heartfelt and captivating, you find yourself staring at them completely awestruck and spell-bound. They are simply beautiful and I can't tell you how much I love them. Combined with May's timeless, heartwarming story, they create something truly special and worth cherishing.

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer is a story I will be reading to and with my daughter every year around Christmas time. We will make big steaming mugs of hot-chocolate, we'll grab a plate of home-baked cookies and a warm blanket, and we'll cozy up against each other and get swept away into the world of magic, Santa Claus, sparkling snow, shining stars and presents. And Rudolph will be our guide.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
This gorgeous representation of the 1939 original story, penned by the deceased Robert Lewis May, brings new illustrative life to the beloved tale of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. We've heard the story many times in various written adaptations, and on DVD, VHS, or on television, but May's original words evoke a nostalgia of Christmas past for adults and weave a magical mood around youngsters hearing it for the first time.

Antonio Caparo's illustrations are as glorious as one would expect from an important anniversary edition of this story, and he does Rudolph's 75th birthday proud. The pictures are breathtaking...one can actually see the emotion in Rudolph's eyes and his face, and the love and pride his parents hold for him is evident in Rudolph's family photo. Color, play of light as day fades into night, frost on the windows illuminating evening in Santa's workshop...these illustrations warm the heart and make readers of all ages feel the magic of this special reindeer...and the way he gently reminds us of the many gifts each person has, especially those who are different than others.

This edition makes a marvelous gift for any child, regardless of religious or holiday affinity. I plan on adding a Rudolph-themed holiday ornament or two, and gifting to a number of families with children. It is the loveliest of all Rudolph stories I have seen.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 23, 2002
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I was very impressed with this book . . . a beautiful book, wonderfully illustrated, containing the original story, which did not have the Abominable, or Herbie, or Yukon Cornelius, like the later movie. I remember as a child in 1951 listening to the original story on 78rpm records put out by RCA and have attempted for years to find the original story. Although I did notice some subtle differences in the words . . .the original referred to Rudolph's, er, "forehead" (Santa was too polite to call it a big red nose) . . most of the text stayed true to what I had memorized. Definitely a book not only for children, but for us baby boomers who remember the original. A must-have to hand on from generation to generation.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2010
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I had a Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Little Golden Book growing up in the 70's and loved it (and my other Little Golden Books). This book, however, is nothing like the quality books they once were. First, it is at best 2/3 the size of the old little golden books. The cardboard is cheap, thin, and the book is not traditionally bound (all glue, it LOOKS like something meant to be used a few times and discarded - like something you'd pick up on a street corner in Beijing). It completely lacks charm. My kids agree - they have no interest in reading this book because the cover is hard to open, the text is crammed onto the small pages, and there are so many better alternatives.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
If you're looking for the story about Hermie, the Abdominal, Yukon Corneilius and the Island of Misfit Toys, this is NOT your book! This book is the original story written in 1939. It is written in poetry form and it is beautiful. It is very well illustrated and a definite keeper. My kids loved this book even though the local heroes weren't in it. I would buy it as a keepsake if nothing else. It's well worth the money.
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