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[Monday Reading] A Santa-Themed Monday Reading Par-tay

Say hello to Dasher and Santa Bruce!


It's Monday! What Are You Reading

Myra here.

It’s Monday, What are You Reading is a meme hosted by Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers (new host of Monday reading: Kathryn T at Book Date). Since two of our friends, Linda from Teacher Dance and Tara from A Teaching Life have been joining this meme for quite awhile now, we thought of joining this warm and inviting community. 

Since this is Christmas week, in behalf of the GatheringBooks team, I would like to greet you all a very Merry Santa-filled, magical Christmas.

Santa Bruce [Amazon | Book Depository]

Written and Illustrated by Ryan T. Higgins
Published by Disney-Hyperion (2018)
ISBN: 1484782909 (ISBN13: 9781484782903). Borrowed via Overdrive. Book photos taken by me.

I am quite familiar with the Bruce series, having read and enjoyed Mother Bruce and Hotel Bruce. I was excited to see that there is a Christmas edition of the curmudgeonly Bruce.

The image above made me smile, as I have a bit of Bruce in me during the holidays. While there is nothing else that Bruce wanted during the winter but to hibernate and sleep (as bears are wont to do), his family will have none of this.

As the chittering mice and geese are all agog preparing eggnog and decking the halls with holiday decorations, Bruce tried to be as inconspicuous as possible, while doing his part in carrying out some of the more useful tasks around his home such as shoveling thick snow. But as luck (or fate or misfortune, depending from whose perspective you are looking at this) would have it, he was mistaken for Santa with his thick red clothing and snug hat. Despite his numerous protestations, all the animals seem convinced that Santa came to town!

Truth be told, I ended up feeling sorry for Bruce more than halfway through. He clearly did not enjoy pretending to be someone he is not and feigning a cheer that he does not seem to feel at all, but hey the show must go on – with a perpetual scowl on Santa Bruce’s face of course. Overall, still an enjoyable read and a perfect present for the Santa Bruces / Scrooges of the family.

Dasher [Amazon | Book Depository]

Written and Illustrated by Matt Tavares
Published by Candlewick Press (2019)
ISBN: 1536201375 (ISBN13: 9781536201376) Borrowed from Overdrive. Book photos taken by me.

While most people are familiar with the famous red-nosed Rudolph, very few may be aware of the significant role that Dasher played in forming Santa’s posse of flying reindeers and how it all came about in the first place. This is the story of Dasher and his family, and how Santa came to meet them.

There is a cinematic quality to the storytelling that appealed to me, the events unfold leisurely as seen from various angles or perspectives, heightening a suspenseful atmosphere – one that is filled with quiet anticipation and excitement.

I suppose what really made the story work for me is that it seems touched with that Polar Express magic. The muted colours, the blanket of snow, the sense of awe and wonder are just so vividly captured here. It really does feel like Christmas as one reads Dasher’s story. This is a perfect Christmas read.

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

7 comments on “[Monday Reading] A Santa-Themed Monday Reading Par-tay

  1. Completely Full Bookshelf

    Wow—Dasher looks like a gorgeous book, and definitely perfect for the holidays! Santa Bruce sounds like a fun read—especially this year, I imagine people will be struggling (like Bruce) to keep up the Christmas cheer! Thanks for the wonderful post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like this Christmas theme! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Awwww, I love Bruce so much, such a sweet old curmudgeon. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I gave Dasher to my great niece last year and she loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Have a happy Christmas. Great Christmas picture book.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve wanted to read Dasher since it was released last year, but none of our libraries have it. I may just purchase a copy for our home library before next Christmas. Thanks for sharing, Myra! And my apologies for a belated comment. I’m making the #imwayr rounds to everyone’s blogs pretty late, this holiday! lol

    Liked by 1 person

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