The Night the Reindeer Saved Christmas

The Night the Reindeer Saved Christmas

By Author / Illustrator

Raj Kaur Khaira, Kasia Nowowiejska



Age range(s)



Templar Publishing




Paperback / softback




It's almost Christmas Eve and the rockets on Mr Claus's sleigh have exploded! With just hours to go, Mr Claus sets out to find a creature that can help him deliver Christmas gifts across the world.The polar bears are strong, but they're too sleepy. The narwhals are fast, but the presents get too wet. The reindeer might just be the perfect creature to help... especially when Mr Claus discovers that the females have a secret... they can fly!Illustrated by Kasia Nowowiejska, this charming picture book was inspired by the little known fact that Santa Claus's reindeer are female, as only female reindeer keep their antlers during the winter!



This is a gorgeous Christmas picture book for younger children aged 4+ about how the reindeer came to be chosen to pull Santa Claus's sleigh. There's even a 'Britain's Got Talent'-style competition that children will be delighted to recognise - complete with judges' funny comments.

When an unhappy elf accidentally breaks Mr Claus's Christmas sleigh, the elves are devastated. Could Mrs Claus's suggestion that they ask the animals for help save the day?

A special set of auditions begins to find out which animal is best suited to help deliver children's Christmas presents. While the Bears are strong, they are too sleepy; the narwhals are fast - but presents aren't waterproof; and the arctic foxes simply disappear. Everyone is in despair - until Mr Claus spots some forest animals that could be the answer to his problems...

With colourful illustrations that are full of humour and enticing text - include a page of interesting facts about arctic animals on the final page - this picture book is a great story to share with young children; it will help engage them in stories about Christmas, and help them to learn about animals in the Arctic. Perhaps they could think of other animals that could bring their special talent to help pull Santa Claus's sleigh?

Fun, informative and a great story to share during the festive season!

Picture book / Ages 4+ / Reviewed by Elen Green

Suggested Reading Age 3+


It's almost Christmas Eve and Mr Claus is feeling pretty smug with himself. The presents are made and wrapped, the sleigh is loaded and he has even managed to break his own mince pie eating is looking pretty good right now.

However, this all changes with the arrival of a message. The rockets on the sleigh have been tinseled (a pesky elf trying to make the sleigh look Christmassy) and can't be fixed in time for the big day....or night.

Mr Claus is distraught. The elves are distraught. Mrs Claus, however, is calm and clear minded...the solution to their problem could be found in the forest around them.

With that, a search is carried out for the animals best suited to the job of helping Mr Claus pull the sleigh around the world and deliver all the presents to the boys and girls. This is done through a "Britain's Got Talent"-style audition process. Polar bears, narwhals and even Arctic foxes try their luck but none of them quite fit the bill. With hope fading, Mr Claus takes a walk to clear his head. That is when the answer he had been looking for passed in front of his eyes. Will he manage to leave the North Pole on time? Will the children of the world get their presents? Who will save Christmas?

I really enjoyed reading this Christmassy tale both to my own four year old but also to my class of Y1 children. It managed to add a new dimension to the Christmas eve stories that we are used to and even gave us a nugget of new learning. Even without the rhyming patter that you'd often associate children's picture books, this story flows nicely from page to page. The only times I feel the pace slows is when text is organised through speech bubbles. The inclusion of the talent show format gave the story a modern twist and made it feel familiar.

The illustrations by Kasia Nowowiejska are wonderfully detailed, particularly the background and scenic images. I found myself drawn in by them and searching for little additional animals and creatures.

This is a lovely Christmas tale and one I will look forward to sharing with a new group of children next year. A great addition to any Christmas library.

Picture book / Ages 3+ / Reviewed by Kyle Matravers, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 3+


I love a good Christmas picture book to share with my children, it really gets you all into the Christmas spirit and gets your children so excited. The night the reindeer saved Christmas certainly does not disappoint!

What I loved about this Christmas picture book was not only the fantastic storyline and illustrations, but the teaching element at the end. The book has a selection of facts about reindeer and other Arctic animals and teaches that the reindeer that pull Santa's sleigh, are actually girls.

This book does wonders for subverting some stereotypes that surrounds some elements of Christmas. The diversity of the characters makes this a book for everyone; how wonderful to open the book and discover that Mrs Claus is black! Mr Claus then discovers that female reindeer possess the magic of flying and save the day. There is some subtle 'girl power' elements to the story that I really enjoyed as a parent.

The night the reindeer saved Christmas tells the story of Santa preparing for Christmas, when suddenly the rockets on his sleigh become broken. Mrs Claus has a wonderful idea of setting a very 'Britain's Got Talent'-style contest, to see if any animals might be 'talented' enough to pull the sleigh. Santa becomes more and more concerned as the animals just aren't right, but with some very humorous comments from the judges. He goes for a walk and notices some reindeer, flying...

The illustrations are so gorgeous in the story. You find yourself completely absorbed in the illustrations and noticing little details every time you re-read the story. My daughter (aged 5) absolutely loved the humour representing Simon Cowell, during the animal contest. She recognised the humour as associated with the show and it really made her giggle.

There is so much to love about this picture book. My children, particularly my daughter, was thrilled to discover the fact about female reindeers and has set about correcting everybody with her new knowledge. I really feel it has empowered her as a girl to know this information.

Huge recommend from me to set the mood for Christmas for young children.

Picture book / Ages 4+ / Reviewed by Joanna Hewish, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 3+


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