Schmuck the Buck: Santa’s Jewish Reindeer by EXO Books and Karina Shor (Illustrator)

I’ll admit that I was really nervous about this book, but I am glad that I accepted the review request because I enjoyed this more inclusive retelling of Rudolph!

About the Book

Publisher: EXO Books  |  Release Date: September 1, 2018  |  Pages: 60
Genre: Graphic Novel  |  Format: PDF  |  Source: Publisher

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.

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My Review

“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.

Schmuck the Buck Art Preview
Shared with permission from author

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 on 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, this 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.


spacer_wLet’s go on another adventure together!

18 Comments

  1. Christine

    December 16, 2018 at 10:22 AM

    I liked the representation in this title as well, and it definitely had me laughing. Great to see your thoughts too! I really thought this was going to be a children’s picture book when I got it 😂😂 It was a hilariously pleasant surprise.

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      December 17, 2018 at 12:43 PM

      I honestly had no idea what I was expecting when I accepted the ARC but I was so surprised???? I laughed so hard and the story was such a nice twist on the Rudolph tale. Glad you enjoyed it as well!

  2. Shalini

    December 16, 2018 at 10:59 AM

    I loved the book too… It was fun naughty read

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      December 17, 2018 at 12:43 PM

      It was such a unique and quick read!

  3. devouringbooks2017

    December 16, 2018 at 4:54 PM

    I got a copy of this and am going to read it a little closer to Christmas. Glad to hear you enjoyed it! When I first got offered a copy I was like.. I don’t read graphic novels much.. then I clicked on the website and saw some of the photos and knew I had to check this one out.

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      December 17, 2018 at 12:44 PM

      HAHAHA that was exactly my response when I got the email request a couple of months ago, but saw a review on Goodreads and was like “okay maybe this will be for me.” Glad I took a chance on it, and I hope you enjoy when you read it!

      1. devouringbooks2017

        December 23, 2018 at 4:46 PM

        Lol it looks so different! I was just trying to remember what book I wanted to read right around Christmas and I’m glad I saw your comment because this is the one. I really gotta update that spreadsheet better LOL

        1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

          December 25, 2018 at 10:04 AM

          Hahaha I am glad that my belated replying to comments helped jog your memory – this is a fast read, and I hope you enjoy it!

  4. codycsexton

    December 16, 2018 at 5:19 PM

    Cool, I bet my son would love this, great review, thanks!

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      December 17, 2018 at 12:44 PM

      You’re welcome, thanks for stopping by!

  5. PerfectlyTolerable

    December 17, 2018 at 3:50 PM

    Great review! This sounds like it is super cute and would be a great read for kids who have mixed religious families!

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      December 18, 2018 at 7:29 AM

      Thank you, and I definitely agree!

  6. Clo @ Book Dragons

    December 18, 2018 at 11:37 AM

    awww Schmuck <3 also those illustrations look lovely! hehe at least you ended up enjoying the ARC 😉

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      December 19, 2018 at 7:24 AM

      I know, I was so nervous about the book but it honestly was so lovely.

  7. brittanythebookguru

    December 18, 2018 at 11:38 AM

    I just realized yesterday that I had received a review request to check this book out. I looked it up on GoodReads and saw your review, which is what enticed me to accept the request! You make it sound like such a cute story. I also don’t read nearly enough illustrated books. They really add something to the experience of reading the story so I think they make it all the more enjoyable.

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      December 19, 2018 at 7:26 AM

      Oh gosh, that is so exciting and I am glad my review encouraged you to accept the review request! I also don’t read many illustrated books and I kind of want to change that. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did.

      1. brittanythebookguru

        December 19, 2018 at 10:14 AM

        Thank you! I hope so, too (:

  8. December in Review // books, video games, & a whole lot of food – Reader Voracious Blog

    January 3, 2019 at 9:15 AM

    […] * Schmuck the Buck: Santa’s Jewish Reindeer by EXO Books and Karina Shor – 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. | 📖 Read my full review […]

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