Good Night, Reindeer

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
Good Night, Reindeer Book Poster Image
Rudolph can't turn off his light in cute bedtime tale.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Fun details to spot in the art: Santa's sleigh chained up to the North Pole. Cupid's drum kit, amps, and electric guitars, maps and a telescope in Donner's room, tools in the elves' workshop. 

Positive Messages

Implied message that it's important to get a good night's sleep before a big day. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Santa is nice and jolly and makes sure his crew gets a good night's sleep so they'll be in shape to help get the gifts to the kids on Christmas. The reindeer and elves follow Santa's rules. 

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that

Denise Brennan-Nelson's Good Night, Reindeer is a cute rhyming picture book that shows Santa saying goodnight to each of his reindeer one by one, then to his elves in their bunk bends, dolls near the Christmas tree, and bell ornaments on the tree. The light joke at the end is that when he says light's out to Rudolph, the reindeer's nose stays lit. The simple rhymes and soothing rhythm make it a fun holiday bedtime choice.

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What's the story?

In GOOD NIGHT, REINDEER, it's Christmas Eve, and Santa wants everybody at the North Pole to get a good night's sleep. One by one, he says goodnight to each reindeer, the elves, even the dolls near the Christmas tree and the bells on it. But after he says goodnight to Rudolph, there's still a glow under Rudolph's covers. 

Is it any good?

This cute holiday tale mixes humor with the kind of soothing repetition found in other bedtime books. The rhythm in parts of Good Night, Reindeer is reminiscent of that in Goodnight Moon. "Goodnight, Comet. Good night, stars. Good night, planets. Good night, cars." 

The fun is in seeing the personalities and activities of the individual reindeer in their rooms: Blitzen glued to his computer tablet, Prancer dancing in her ballet shoes, Cupid playing on his drum kit. A fine choice for kids who find it hard to settle down and wait for Christmas.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why it's hard for Rudolph to get to sleep in Good Night, Reindeer. Is it extra hard when you know you'll be doing something fun the next day? 

  • Do you sometimes have a hard time relaxing at bedtime? What do you do to calm yourself down?

  • The artist for this book has imagined each reindeer having his or her own bedroom, with a bed, books, toys, even musical instruments. Try drawing a picture of the room where you sleep, and draw anything you'd like to have in that room. 

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For kids who love holidays

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