This is such a fun song and story. It has immense appeal for 6-12 year olds who love the naughtiness of bodily functions. The text, by Dunedin-born, now Manchester-based Dean O’Brien, follows the traditional tale but the nose is not the focus of Rudolph’s problems. Poor Rudolph has digestion issues and proves very unpopular with his trump. Yes, this is a polite phrase for a fart, but once you realise what it is the smelly story develops. While Rudolph is unpopular because of his flatulence, a problem arises which only he can solve.
This twist in the story provides a satisfying take on the importance of individual differences. It is shown in a light-hearted way but the message is clear. The illustrations give each of the reindeer their own character. Readers will enjoy spotting the details in each page even to the ends? Yes, a line up of reindeer bottoms adds a clever ENDS to the book.
The bonus is a CD. Dean O’Brien is known for his children’s songs and has performed on numerous occasions in the Kidz Field at the Glastonbury Music Festival. The musical version of the story will appeal to all ages and would make a great item at the end of year school concert. This book will prove a regular Christmas favourite in many a bookshelf.
Reviewed by Kathy Watson
Jingle Bells, Rudolph Smells
by Deano Yipadee, illustrated by Paul Beavis
Published by Scholastic NZ