________________ CM . . . . Volume XXI Number 10 . . . . November 7, 2014


Dashing Through the Snow: A Canadian Jingle Bells.

Helaine Becker. Illustrated by Werner Zimmermann.
Toronto, ON: North Winds Press/Scholastic Canada, 2014.
32 pp., hardcover, $16.99.
ISBN 978-1-4431-2452-2.

Subject Headings:
Christmas-Juvenile poetry.
Canada-Juvenile poetry.

Preschool and up / Ages 3 and up.

Review by Jennifer Baetz.

**** /4


"Jingle bells, Beaver yells
“Santa’s on his way!”
Oh what fun it is to ride
The jolly True North way, eh? "



internal artHelaine Becker and Werner Zimmermann have created another Canadiana holiday hit with the sequel to A Porcupine in a Pine Tree: A Canadian 12 Days of Christmas. This story, sung to the tune of “Jingle Bells,” is riotous fun…even for those who don’t consider themselves to be singers.

     Much like the holiday season and any good celebration, the excitement and chaos build through every page turn in this picture book. Beaver and Porcupine set out on a mad Ski-Doo ride across the snow on Christmas Eve, excited about what the night promises to bring. They spot Santa with a sleigh full of gifts and are stopped in their tracks when Sasquatch reaches up and tips the presents out of the sled. Frenzied unwrapping by a menagerie of very Canadian (and recognizable) animals commences, with some switching and stealing taking place. The animals carol and play instruments until the final present is opened…something that can be shared and loved by them all.

     Becker is the multiple award-winning author of over 60 books, and her clever Canadian twist on possibly the most recognizable and popular holiday carol will be a refreshing treat for young readers and their caregivers. Expect to be singing this book over and over again throughout the holiday season as Becker's rhymes are infectious and possibly addictive. Zimmerman’s delightful and detailed watercolour illustrations complement the text perfectly with their wit and energy. There is so much to see in every illustration; don’t be surprised if you spot something new each time you read/sing through the story. Keep your eyes open for a hilarious chase between Racoon and Loon, and Caribou’s attempts to find the best way to wear his gift.

     Dashing Through the Snow is a wonderful follow-up to A Porcupine in a Pine Tree and would make a very welcome addition to any personal, school, or public library.

Highly Recommended.

Jennifer Baetz is a Fine Arts Librarian in Saskatoon, SK.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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