Olive, the Other Reindeer

Book review by
Patricia Tauzer, Common Sense Media
Olive, the Other Reindeer Book Poster Image
Parents recommend
Modern holiday classic stars a spunky, imaginative dog.

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 3+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Olive is determined to help Santa and uses his many natural dog talents to do so.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents should know that kids who love wordplay will especially love this very original book, which has a pop-up version and is also now a movie.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byT J December 10, 2019
Adult Written bynduns December 15, 2010

Surprisingly fun story even if you're not a kid

Although I'm a little surprised there isn't a review for the 45-minute film adaptation. That was also a lot of fun. (And surprising that Matt Groenin... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bysofiazafra213 January 6, 2019


Its a great story to read for fun and for children! I read this with my younger brother who is four and reads it every night before we go to bed : )P
Teen, 13 years old Written bycocoa puffs December 21, 2010

e.g. Perfect for older kids, but not for tweensfavorite book

Boys love this book. It is good to see a dog think she can fly. The book is funny.

What's the story?

When Olive overhears people singing along with the Christmas song, "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer," she mishears the words. Instead of "all of the other reindeer," she hears "Olive, the other reindeer." From then on, she is convinced that the song is about her. Coupled with her own big imagination, that is enough to set off a long chain of events that include joining Santa's team, almost causing his sleigh to crash, collecting flutes in the snow, and ultimately saving Christmas and leading Santa safely back to the North Pole.

Is it any good?

From the lovable main character and her very original story to the uniquely crafted illustrations, this book is fun, fun, fun. Every kid will relate to Olive, even though she is a silly little dog. She is cute and friendly, a canine with a huge heart and an imagination to match. And, while those are the characteristics that lead her on her unlikely adventure, her other abilities, those common to dogs, are the ones that make her a hero in the end. She sniffs out the falling gumdrops and saves everyone, fetches flutes in the snow and, following the scent of baking cookies, leads the sleigh back home through the fog.

Though Olive's story is rather silly and very far-fetched, it's playfully humorous. And the illustrations, which Seibold draws on the computer, complement it perfectly. Light-hearted and expressive, his contemporary style adds color and originality to the whole Christmas scene.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Olive's confusion. Why did she suddenly think she was a reindeer? Is this anything like the original Rudolph story? How? How is it different? Families will want to sing the old favorite "Rudolph, the Red-nosed Reindeer" -- with changes of course.

Book details

Our editors recommend

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