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  • The 12 Sleighs of Christmas by Sherri Duskey Rinker
  • Elizabeth Bush
Rinker, Sherri Duskey The 12 Sleighs of Christmas; illus. by Jake Parker. Chronicle, 2017 [34p]
ISBN 978-1-4521-4514-3 $16.99
Reviewed from galleys R 5-8 yrs

It’s that season again—time to get Santa’s sleigh spiffed up for its annual run. This year it’s in extraordinarily bad shape, and the elves suspect Santa had a mishap he didn’t ’fess up to. Since they have to do extensive refurbishing anyway, why not have themselves a design and build-off contest, and let Santa pick the winner as his new ride? Team One produces a dragster: “How’s this for high-speed Christmas cheer?!/That reindeer thing is so last year./Just pop this baby into gear!” Team Two goes with a “BIG RIG: MOUNTAIN SIZED!/A tricked-out semitruck that flies, ” but wonders whether the rooftops will hold it. When all twelve entries—terrestrial, aeronautic, and aquatic—are assembled, Santa is appreciative of the effort but selects the tiniest elf’s entry: Santa’s trusty original, lovingly restored. It’s a predictable outcome, but Christmas picture books aren’t required to be groundbreaking, and the catchy rhymes and engrossing details of the flying wonders will command multiple readings. The elves are a diverse bunch in skin tone, age, and temperament, but some viewers will certainly note that women elves have not yet broken through the ice ceiling. It’s a jolly time nonetheless and an easy recommendation for buffing up the holiday collection. [End Page 130]



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