Ten on the Sled by Kim Norman
Illustrated by Liza Woodruff
Sterling Kids - for children of many ages
On a sunlit night,
'neath a snowy moon,
there was ONE on the sled,
then TWO but soon . . .
There were TEN on the sled
and the caribou said,
"Slip over! Slide over!"
So they all slid over,
and seal spilled out.
So begins the lovely little rhyming tale Ten on the Sled. Much like the rhyme in which monkeys bounce on a bed and fall off in backward-counting rhythm, Ten on the Sled continues with the animals falling off, one by one -- whirling, slipping, bailing, squeezing out -- until the caribou is the only animal remaining.
There was ONE on the sled
and the caribou said,
"I'm only, I'm lonely,
I'm chilled to the bone.
A reindeer likes flying,
but never alone!"
With that, the animal crew climbs back onto the sled and away go the ten animals:
. . . ONE through TEN,
all leaped on again,
for one more run
and a little more fun
in the moonlit land
of the midnight sun.
Ten on the Sled isn't technically a Christmas book, but it has a nice seasonal flavor (animals dressed in winter clothing, snow, pine trees) that makes it perfect for the Christmas season.
The illustrations in Ten on the Sled are absolutely beautiful, with smile-inducing, watercolor spreads that practically explode with color and action. I could just stare at those gorgeous illustrations all day. The animals are incredibly expressive and the illustrator is skilled at portraying movement.
The only thing that threw me about Ten on the Sled was the awkwardness of the rhyme when the caribou is alone and cold. For reading aloud, that particular bit requires a tiny bit of practice. I love it that the caribou asks everyone to jump back on and off the animals go, again. It wouldn't surprise me one bit if young children end up begging, "Read it again! Read it again!"
The bottom line:
A fun backward-counting rhyme with delightful illustrations and a wintery setting make Ten on the Sled a winner for Christmas gift-giving or year-round fun. Highly recommended.
Just walked in:
Wake by Lisa McMann (purchased at Borders and read immediately)
The Shifter by Janice Hardy (via Paperback Swap)
Merry Sparkling Christmas by Spurr & Madden (from Sterling Kids)
The Twelve Days of Christmas in Washington D. C. by Ransome and Hollander (from Sterling Kids)
Richard Scarry's Best Christmas Ever (from Sterling Kids) and
What Harry Saw by Thomas Moran (via Paperback Swap)
Truth or Consequences:
Truth, today. Consequences, tomorrow. Books need happy homes, so this has been one of those weeks that I fill donation bags, but I kinda begged for those Sterling Christmas books. I've been in a Christmas mood since mid-October. Husband has already shared his plans to pass the Sterling books on, after I review. I guess he's feeling the Christmas spirit, too.
Fiona will make her weekly appearance, later today. At the moment, she's playing chase.
Many thanks to Sterling Kids for the review copy of Ten on the Sled!
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