Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Review: Dasher by Matt Tavares

When I saw today's review, I was pretty sure it'd be perfect for a Christmas read. Not only does the forest with the falling snow and Santa make the Christmas atmosphere beam right away, but the tale has a fairy tale flow, making it perfect for snuggling in the chair with a cup of hot cocoa. Or so I hoped.

Ready to see if it fits this Christmas wish?

Oh, and I'm excited to announce that this review is now being featured on Twinkl as part of their Christmas campaign!

by Matt Tavares
Candlewick Press
Picture Book / Holiday
40 pages
ages 4 to 8

From the celebrated creator of Red and Lulu comes the story of a brave little doe who meets Santa and changes Christmas forever.

Dasher is an adventurous young reindeer with a wish in her heart. She spends her days with her family under the hot sun in a traveling circus, but she longs for a different life -- one where there is snow beneath her hooves and the North Star above her head. One day, when the opportunity arises, Dasher seizes her destiny and takes off in pursuit of the life she wants to live. It's not long before she meets a nice man in a red suit with a horse-drawn sleigh -- a man named Santa. And soon, with the help of a powerful Christmas wish, nothing will be the same



This one is perfect for a Christmas read and invites to dreams with the graceful touch of a fairy tale.

Dasher and her family live at the circus, which means long hours, tight spaces, and tons of guests peering at them. Dasher doesn't mind the last of these, since she loves kids and gets tons of carrots. Her mother's stories about their homeland, a place where the North Star shines directly overhead, has Dasher wishing she could see the country herself, someday. When a nightly storm knocks the pen's door open, Dasher takes the chance and chases the star, not sure if she'll make it or where it might lead.

With every illustration, this one holds a sense of dreams, beauty, and rich atmosphere. From the circus to the forest and sky, every scene has depth and invites to be viewed again and again. It's well done and a treat from this aspect already.

The tale is written in traditional story style, creating a great read-aloud or, for those much more sure of their words, one to visit alone. The vocabulary is appropriate for the intended age group as is the tale itself. There is a sense of sadness as the reindeer huddle together at the circus or pull the carts in the evening, and it's just enough to make a reader concerned but quickly adds positive thoughts to steer clear of true worries. 

Dasher comes across as a brave and curious reindeer. Her love for her family is warming, while her determination to head out and discover more hits inspiring. It's a true Christmas story, which ends with joy and all those wondrous feelings of hope, magic and dreams, which glide with the season.

And here he is...

Matt Tavares is the author-illustrator of Crossing Niagara, Henry Aaron’s Dream, There Goes Ted Williams, Becoming Babe Ruth, and Growing Up Pedro, as well as Zachary’s Ball, Oliver’s Game, and Mudball. He is the illustrator of ’Twas the Night Before Christmas, Over the River and Through the Wood, Lady Liberty by Doreen Rappaport, The Gingerbread Pirates by Kristin Kladstrup, and Jubilee! by Alicia Potter. Most recently he wrote and illustrated the modern Christmas tale Red and Lulu. Matt Tavares lives in Ogunquit, Maine.

1 comment:

Heather N. Quinn said...

Ooo, this one sounds like the perfect Christmas read. I see a movie here. What a premise!