Reading/Interest Level: Preschool, Primary
Author: Susan Jeffers
Illustrator: Susan Jeffers
A familiar Christmas carol gets new life in Susan Jeffers’s Jingle Bells. The book showcases the wintry travels of a young boy and girl and their dog as they journey through the deep snow in a sleigh. They are joined at various points by a variety of snow animals but finally arrive safely to their destination, where they observe the festivities and warmth of Christmas with none other than Santa Claus himself. The story takes place over the backdrop of the familiar words of “Jingle Bells.”
Though not original as far as the text is concerned, the book is original in terms of telling a different story, one without words—of adventure culminating in the joy of the season as fun ensues and traditions are observed. The amusing illustrations depicting the side adventures of the dog and the animals it encounters on the journey add warmth and a spark of vivacity to an otherwise fairly placid and cozy story. The color palate is limited as the general peace and serenity of a white winter world are captured in the setting. This book would be most appropriate for preschool or young primary readers who have the attention span to carefully study the illustrations where the bulk of the story resides.