Yet another parody of “The Night Before Christmas,” this time with a sled-dog theme and an Alaskan setting.
The text uses the rhythm and rhyme scheme of the classic poem, and the plot revolves around Santa making his worldwide deliveries with his team of eight reindeer plus Rudy with his red-light nose. A solitary sled-dog owner named Tom and his team of dogs are introduced in their remote Alaskan setting, and when Rudy’s light grows dim, Santa stops at Tom’s cabin’s to ask for his help. The city of Nome, Alaska, is socked in with whiteout conditions, so Tom and the team travel by sled with added lights so Santa and the reindeer can see to reach their final stop. As Santa’s parting gift, he leaves Tom a new van to transport the sled dogs and a new sled shaped like Santa’s sleigh. The text is long and not particularly funny, and some verses are tongue-twisters, but the plot holds together and conveys some basics about sled-dog travel. The cartoon-style illustrations are humorous but crude, and the elves are downright scary caricatures.
This will be of interest to Alaskan residents and those fond of sled dogs, but most youngsters will prefer a more traditional or more amusing interpretation. (author’s note, glossary) (Picture book. 5-8)