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“Christmas isn’t just about gifts, but the love underneath,
So it really doesn’t matter your religious belief.
We give because we care, we love, and we want to please,
So there’s room for every one of us under our Christmas trees.”
Schmuck the Buck: Santa’s Jewish Reindeer is a beautifully illustrated book and a more inclusive take at the traditional story of Rudolph. I don’t read many illustrated books these days which honestly is a shame! I was instantly blown away by the artwork and really enjoyed this quick read.
Larry is a nerdy caribou that was teased and bullied in school, given the nickname Schmuck which unfortunately stuck. Despite never really fitting in, he worked hard and earned a degree in accounting with an emphasis in Yule. He gets a job in Santa’s (sweat)shop but like in the traditional Rudolph tale, Schmuck is continually excluded. But after he thinks quick on his hooves he saves Christmas, earning praise from Santa and the acceptance of his peers.
This was a heartwarming holiday read that can be enjoyed by everyone. At its core it is a story about acceptance and inclusion, with diversity in race, species, and religion all represented effortless in this illustrated tale. The story is written in rhyme and the poetry flows really well; this is a tale to be read aloud.
REPRESENTATION: the world is effortlessly racially diverse
CONTENT/TRIGGER WARNINGS: bullying
Many thanks to the publisher for sending me an eARC for review. Quotations are taken from an uncorrected proof and may change upon publication.
You can find information about my rating criteria here.
Larry was just your regular caribou, who was cruelly excluded from his crew. He and his kin happened to be the sole Jewish reindeer in the North Pole. Larry was bullied and treated the worst way, until his plan saved one Christmas Day.
A contemporary satirical take on Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Schmuck the Buck introduces Larry, a young Jewish reindeer. He overcomes his awkward and sometimes painful youth to save Christmas. His tale of acceptance and inclusion is sure to warm the hearts of anyone who loves Christmas, Hanukkah, or both. Sixty pages of vibrant illustrations bring his story to life. A unique modern addition to any holiday library.