A jolly, brightly illustrated version of the beloved holiday song has a musical chip built into the cover that plays the tune of “Jingle Bells.”
Cheery illustrations in oil and watercolor show a family of three smiling bears riding in a red “one-horse open sleigh,” as defined in the song. As they dash through the snow, the bears are joined by a squirrel, rabbits, and badger, and on the final spread the animals all gather together to sing around a decorated Christmas tree. Above them, Santa flies across the night sky in a red sleigh of his own, pulled by just six tiny reindeer. The sturdy pages are made of heavy, coated paper with die-cut holes that fit over the battery-operated button that initiates the song when pressed. The song has the typical tinny quality of this sort of feature, sounding like a xylophone or toy piano.
Though the added musical feature is a bit of a gimmick, the beaming bears in their sleigh carry the day. (Picture book. 1-4)