Produced to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1964 made-for-TV film, this keepsake pairs a summarized plot to pop-up tableaux fashioned from select stills.
Beginning with the “reindeer games” in which Rudolph—or, more specifically, his cherrylike schnozz—is unmasked, the six spreads layer cut-out figures of the characters in wintry scenes linked by prosaic but easily digestible narrative overviews: “The friends landed on the Island of Misfit Toys. It was filled with toys that no one wanted because they were different, too.” Opening each spread causes the Abominable Snow Monster or some other figure to rear up past the cover edges. That effect is seen at its grandest in the climactic final scene, in which, following Santa’s “Rudolph with your nose so bright, won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?” (“It will be an honor, sir”), sleigh and reindeer arc overhead while elves and Mrs. Santa applaud below. For a more developed and physically durable version of the film’s plotline, a picture-book edition written by Thea Feldman with similar-looking art by Erwin Madrid is available (2014) as is a new reissue of the original story by Robert L. May with more accomplished illustrations by Antonio Javier Caparo (2014).
A quick recap for younger fans of the perennial stop-motion holiday classic. (Pop-up picture book. 3-5)