Reindeer aren’t supposed to be crushed into pens and displayed for travelling circus crowds. Yet Mama warns Dasher that attempting to break free from J.P. Finnegan’s Travelling Circus and Menagerie is fruitless and will only lead to reprisal. Therefore, Dasher consoles himself in the cool of the night with Mama’s stories of times past when she and Papa were young reindeer wandering free beneath the North Star.

Thereafter, Dasher wishes upon the star, lying awake and dreaming of cool snow and Northern areas.

So what might happen if strong winds break the gate free and Dasher is given a chance to escape? Could it be that in the woods he might chance upon a white bearded gentleman with a very heavy sleigh and a weary horse? Might Dasher offer to help Father Christmas pull the sleigh? Might this be the start of something truly magical?

Dasher is a beautiful picture book to be shared and loved across Christmas generations. Bookwagon is proud to share this glorious story.

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Matt Tavares

(Walker Books)

Dasher is one of J.P. Finnegan’s Travelling Circus and Menagerie. This unit of reindeer is crammed together ‘under the hot sun’. Yet at night, there is rest, and the chance to enjoy Mama’s stories. Dasher listens and dreams of the North Star, where she tells the little reindeer, Papa and she were ‘free to roam under [its] glow.
Although the little reindeer loves meeting the children who visit the travelling circus, he is unhappy. Thereafter each night he lies ‘awake, gazing at the right star on the horizon, wishing for crisp, cold air and cool blankets of white snow’.  What if the little reindeer’s wishes might come true when a high wind pushes the pen gate open? Could it be the chance about which he’s dreamed to escape?
Then again, what if the little reindeer hances upon a white bearded gentlemen with a heavy sleigh led by a weary horse? Might he offer to help? Where will our story lead thereafter?
Rather like Harvey Slumfenburger’s Christmas, Matt Tavares’ tale is a classic, heart-warming picture book that stirs something magical. It means that we are completely captivated from the first moment of Mama’s tale. Thereafter, when he helps Father Christmas, we know it’s the start of something truly special. Bookwagon is entranced by Dasher, from its storytelling, to its rich, lyrical, P J Lynch style pictures.


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