25 Days – Book 14: The Reindeer Wish

Day 14 and I bring to you a brand new book from the creators of a couple of bestsellers. I honestly haven’t looked through the earlier books in this pseudo-series, but I grabbed this one after hearing about it and I have to say, we are captivated by it. It is the story of a young girl living in the far, far north who discovers an abandoned reindeer, cares for it, loves it, and then must do everything she can to grant its biggest wish. This is The Reindeer Wish by Lori Evert, photographs by Per Breiehagen, 2015.

If memory serves me correctly, this is the very first picture book I have posted that is created completely in photographs. I’m not sure how much digital manipulation has been used, but they are completely magical and quite a stunning element to the storyline.

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So, as I said in my recap, this story is about a little girl named Anja who finds a small reindeer whom she names Odin. She adopts the reindeer and cares for him as he grows. They become close friends, doing all Anja’s daily adventures together. They love to fish, play hide and seek, race, play music, and more.

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One day they happen upon a huge reindeer herd and Anja realizes that Odin probably feels a little torn about being with her and homesick for a herd of his own. She would hate to lose him, but she loves him too much to break his heart. So calls for Santa, using a bell which I’m assuming is from an earlier book, and asks Santa for help.

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Santa has a wonderful solution, sure to make both of them quite happy, though it means a separation for most of the year. But he has a special gift for Anja as well and she awakens to think it could all have perhaps been just a dream.

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The photographs for this book do indeed make it feel very dreamlike, or even more like a fairy tale, except everything is somehow very real! I honestly wasn’t sure if I would care for this book, but I am so captivated by the images. The writing is a little forced and unattached in a way, but it still works and is a tender story with a heavy narration. I really love the imaginative images and especially the color palette. This is a beautiful book to peruse for the season and a thoughtful message of doing what’s best for those you care about.

Come back tomorrow as we continue my 25 Days of Christmas Children’s Books countdown!

2 thoughts on “25 Days – Book 14: The Reindeer Wish

  1. I became aware of “The Reindeer Wish” and “The Christmas Wish” by reading an article about the books and the author and the photographer in a Norwegian newspaper.

    Per, the photographer, is a Norwegian living in the US with his American wife. He brings his family to his homeplace, an inland valley in Norway with beautiful landscape and “proper winters”, several times each year. When they were there on winter holiday they decided to take some pictures of Anja to be used for Christmas cards. The pictures were so beautiful, and Anja was so happy to pose and so easy to work with, that they decided to do make a story line and pictures for a book. The result was “The Christmas Wish”. It became a huge success, and they made 2 more books…

    There is a lot of photo manipulation in the books. For example you don’t ride a reindeer like you ride a horse… In the first book Anja rides a polar bear, that’s a terribly dangerous animal that would have regarded a child as an easy meal… So much of the animals “roles” in the books are results of manipulations. That doesn’t bother me, after all they are a fairy tales, animals talk, Santa Claus has a part…

    A little “fun fact” from the article I read: The school house in “The Reindeer Wish” was the school that Per’s grandmother went to, and now a school museum. The teacher is Anja’s uncle. The children are cousins of Anja and children of Per’s friends.


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