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by Tessa Dahl & illustrated by Korky Paul

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-670-83170-6
Publisher: Viking

 A sprightly fantasy about a British schoolboy and his parents on what turns into a global rescue mission, beginning when they happen on reindeer Blitzen, who got left behind during Father Christmas's annual round. Jack's normally dull parents rally round, and the three of them fly Blitzen home; at the North Pole, Mother Christmas asks them to take a lost skunk back to the Smokies, and so on--stops include the White House, where the black President calls his white wife Cupcake; Brazil, India, and Kenya, where an English robin hitches a ride home in Mum's handbag. The story is slight, though there is an animal-rights subtext; it's also mildly clever and easily read. The intact British terms are mostly self-explanatory; the British tendency to be less inhibited in the humorous use of stereotypes than is acceptable here is evident but not too outrageous--Mum is the worst, but she does get to rise above her role as boring housewife. Frequent cartoon-style illustrations enliven the format. Entertaining, accessible fare. (Fiction. 7-10)