Picture Book Snob
The importance of having a good friend to guide you
The Robin and the Reindeer by Rosa Bailey and Carmen Saldaña
It's a little reindeer's first time to see snow and it's very exciting. Distracted by watching it fall, she becomes separated from the herd. Lost and alone, she meets a robin who guides her and helps reunite the reindeer with her mother. This book is worth owning for its spectacular illustrations alone, but it’s also a lovely, eloquent story about kindness, friendship and believing in yourself.
Each page is covered in snow and there’s just the tiniest suggestion of magic. Although Christmas is never mentioned, it is implied that the reindeer might one day be on close terms with Santa. The scenes depicting the young reindeer and her mother are extremely tender, and the support and compassion shown by the brave little robin is remarkably moving.
Both the reindeer and the robin are courageous, determined and endearing characters, and the reader quickly becomes invested in them and their journey. The panic of suddenly realising you are on your own in an unfamiliar setting is powerfully evoked. This is something to which any young person (or adult) who has ever found themselves adrift in a supermarket aisle can relate! Certain parts are a little tense but the story strikes a perfect balance between conflict and comfort.
I don’t know if it is also the case in other countries, but here in Ireland, many people associate robins with loved ones who are deceased. This story will appeal to anyone who makes that connection with these animals, especially as the robin appears to have supernatural qualities. It’s quite long, so is best suited for reading aloud to those aged five and upwards, and for children under eight who can read by themselves. The Robin and the Reindeer would make a beautiful gift and one that would be cherished for many years.
About the author:
Rosa Bailey lives in London with her miniature Schnauzer. She has a passion for sewing her own clothes and a lifelong love of children’s books.
About the illustrator:
Carmen Saldaña is a former graphic designer who now illustrates children's books. She lives and works in Gijon, a rainy little city in the north of Spain.
Title: The Robin and the Reindeer
Author: Rosa Bailey
Illustrator: Carmen Saldaña
Publisher: Hachette Children's Books
Publication Date: 15th October 2020