"Teeka was excited. And a little afraid. This year Santa had asked her to get the reindeer ready to fly on Christmas Eve." Teeka, an Arctic girl who lives "in the shadow of Santa's Winterfarm," knows it will be a struggle to round up the reindeer who'd roamed wild on the tundra since last Christmas. Reindeer training is not easy for the hard-working young girl: "Teeka looked at the tangled reindeer, once so bold and free, and began to cry. 'It's my fault,' she said. 'I've spent all my time yelling at you, instead of helping. I'm sorry.' And one by one she gave each reindeer a hug." On December 24, Teeka--who's finally learned how to be a gentle, effective trainer--brings her antlered team to meet Santa and all the elves who have loaded the sleigh. Teeka is asleep on the last page of the book, as Santa and his well-trained reindeer--Bramble, Heather, Windswept, Lichen, Snowball, Crag, Twilight, and Tundra--fly past her window for a night of magical surprises. (Ages 3 to 8)
From Publishers Weekly
Little Teeka's attempts to train Santa's reindeer for their Christmas ride meet with disaster until she realizes that she needs to work with the animals in a new way. "Tomorrow," she says, "no yelling, no screaming, and no bossing, I promise," and with her patient teaching, on Christmas Eve the "wild reindeer rise up together and carry the sleigh off into the night." Brett's characteristic, richly detailed borders depict the activity at Santa's workshop as each day brings Teeka closer to Christmas. As with The Mitten , Brett makes use of Ukranian motifs--colorful embroidered costumes, festive garlands, carvings and cunning toys decorate every page. The reindeer themselves--sporting names like Lichen, Tundra and Bramble--provide most of the comic action in this sweet Christmas fantasy that shows Brett at her best. Ages 4-8.
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