Book Jacket

 

rank 698
word count 15600
date submitted 15.12.2011
date updated 18.08.2012
genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Children's
classification: universal
complete

Blitzen Goes Bananas

Mike Thomas

Santa has gone high tech, Blitzen has gone strange, the other reindeer have left and things have gone wrong in a great new Christmas story.

 

It’s all change at Santa’s workshop in the North Pole.
All the reindeer have left to do their own thing around the world. Only Blitzen remains to steer Santa’s new high tech sleigh – that’s when he’s not bungee jumping or doing any of the other extreme sports he now loves.
Santa has been forced to upgrade his sleigh to keep up with all the extra Christmas presents he needs to deliver. It now has so many new gadgets he needs even more help from his clever elf friends.
However, one year Blitzen returns from his holiday like a different reindeer. He now loves bananas and spends all his time eating them and acting strangely. This makes poor Mrs Claus very worried about Santa and the sleigh.
Things quickly start to go wrong on Christmas Eve after the new sleigh takes-off, making all the elves at the North Pole even busier than usual. Little do they know this disaster was no accident, and everyone must help to save Christmas.


This has been renamed and updated (from Rudolf)

 
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tags

adventure, children, christmas, father christmas, reindeer, rudolf, rudolph, santa

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93 comments

 

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TDonna wrote 627 days ago

Mike, if anyone would have told me that you wrote a Santa Claus story with a sleigh built to H&S Regs, a reindeer in the Caribbean, another one in France, and another in London, NASA, a Ferrari, pouting elves, microchipped presents, sunglasses wearing reindeer, and satellite signals, I would have shaken my head in disbelief. I read the entire book tonight, mesmerized by your imagination, captured in the storyline, smiling at great moments of humor, i.e., "Was Santa's bottom getting too toasty?" and the tidbits you sprinkle throughout the book. This is totally delightful. It is impeccable. The writing is superb, easy to read, great flow, perfect. I thought it was great. What a pleasant surprise. I'm really glad I read this. High stars from me.
Donna
No Kiss Good-bye

Debbie R wrote 693 days ago

CHIRG review

A refreshingly modern Christmas story. Totally balmy but funny - am sure children will like it (and adults too).
Like the up-to-date sleight with airbags, anti lock brakes and wing mirrors.

Like your explanation of that age old question as to how does Santa get all the toys in his sack - he doesn't!

Flows well and easy to read. Perhaps it will become a festive favourite,

Debbie
Speedy McCready

Robert Slimm wrote 834 days ago

Geddy
Rudolf Goes Bananas is a great story!
You were right it is for all ages. And very funny!
I really hope this gets published by next chrismas, so I can read it to the kids.
Enjoyed it.
Well done.
Rob Slimm
Slickswitch

open mind wrote 833 days ago

I haven't read any Santa story before. Thank you for entertaining me with such an exciting story. Easy language, smooth moving, suspense, live characters- great! Children must love it.

AuroraNemesis wrote 833 days ago

An intriguing start to the story, which is definitely different from most Xmas stories.
I especially love the title, which will hook children in from the start.
Your writing flows with ease and you are the consummate storyteller.
Strong and captivating characters.
I like the idea of Santa being a little eccentric; it gives you the chance to amuse the reader.
Illustrations would only add to this story and bring the children deeper in to plot.
The POV is good and you writing are staccato and fluid.
Would fit into schools and on a Childs bookshelf.
I like a lot, will recommend.
XX well done.

Alice Barron wrote 458 days ago

I have just read chapter one to get a feel for the book. I enjoyed a lovely pacy, fun read. A modern story about Santa and his gang. Nice idea to retire the reindeer. Good touch with the health and safety issues. I understand Santas point of view. Health and safety is of course very important but sometimes it can be overused with having to have a certificate for this that and the other. Santa must at times feel like he needs a certificate to breath.

Lovely chapter. Great detail. Highly starred.
Alice.

tarasimone wrote 559 days ago

A wonderful children's Christmas story. It took me a while to get into 'I'm reading a children's book' mode, but once I arrived all was well. Some very ingenious ideas indeed. Well deserving of a high rating.

Ch2
Re: lots of electrical goods as gifts... This doesn't happen in our house, perhaps a wider range of gifts?

These were so that he could see behind him in case he got in the way of other aircraft.
These were to see behind him and if he was in the way of any other aircraft.

Sanchez Lovers wrote 565 days ago

Dear Mike,
This is one amazing, modern Christmas story!
I imagined now the time around Cristmas, white snow falling, flaming fire in fireplace and kids around my rocking chair, begging me to read the funny part again and loud laugher.
I like the cover very much!
Thank you for sharing this wondeful story and wish you the best luck with it.
6 stars!

bejewelled wrote 589 days ago

What i love.. (and i know im a little biased) its like with some pixar wrtiting....it appeals to adults aswell. xxxx well done my friend. xxx(god the covers fantastic too !! hee hee x)

Lenny Banks wrote 592 days ago

Hi mike, I read chapter 4. This is an interesting idea I haven't seen done before and I think it could work. I love that Mrs Claus and the Elves are using modern technology like mobile phones that kids will know about, to contact the raindeer etc. We are already familiar with a lot of the characters and the story works quite well. I found it easy to read and easy to follow. I think you are on to a winner.

Kindest Regards and Best Wishes,
Lenny Banks - Tide and Time: At The Rock

Abbiealso wrote 599 days ago

Love the new take on a world wide know story. Fun for the whole family. Highly starred

Diane60 wrote 600 days ago

CHRG
Mike,
great story read the whole thing. original funny and whacky just what is needed in this genre!
:)
diane

Casimir Greenfield wrote 603 days ago

Great little story. I'm sure you've tried it out on some unsuspecting little ones already. I'll be saving this one for my grand-kids a bit nearer the time.

It does read well out loud and that is the great test of any writing. You've written this in a very adult style and that is one of the strengths. It does not talk down. I love the off-hand humour and the sly adult references here and there (or is that just me...)

Lovely!

Julie_Undead wrote 606 days ago

Mike,
There is no one on Earth who loves Christmas like I do, and you have made me look forward to it again in the middle of the scorching summer.
What kid of this age isn't going to love reindeer that aren't afraid to take their own path and move to France if need be? The thought of such an updated story made me cringe a bit, I confess, but I reminded myself that children don't always want traditional and stuffy. The idea of technology finding its way to Santa's village is perfect for every middle grade kid who wants a fresh, funny holiday story to get them in the mood for their favorite holiday.
Congratulations on a wonderful and refreshing Christmas story that I can't wait to read to my boys.
--Julie

faith rose wrote 607 days ago

Love the new title, Mike! :)

~Faith

David Price wrote 614 days ago

Mike, this is a delightful surprize. What a clever idea to update the Santa story and bring him into the present day, all technical gadgets and wizardry. And I love the ageing reindeers, now mostly all too old for the job! Except of course for Rudolf, who has embraced a naughty new lifestyle. Hilarious! Your story is written beautifully and I look forward to reading more when time permits. For now, very high stars.
David
MASTER ACT: a memoir

TDonna wrote 627 days ago

Mike, if anyone would have told me that you wrote a Santa Claus story with a sleigh built to H&S Regs, a reindeer in the Caribbean, another one in France, and another in London, NASA, a Ferrari, pouting elves, microchipped presents, sunglasses wearing reindeer, and satellite signals, I would have shaken my head in disbelief. I read the entire book tonight, mesmerized by your imagination, captured in the storyline, smiling at great moments of humor, i.e., "Was Santa's bottom getting too toasty?" and the tidbits you sprinkle throughout the book. This is totally delightful. It is impeccable. The writing is superb, easy to read, great flow, perfect. I thought it was great. What a pleasant surprise. I'm really glad I read this. High stars from me.
Donna
No Kiss Good-bye

TheFourHorsemenSeries wrote 633 days ago

This was a refreshing and well-written story. It was very enjoyable and humorous. It is definitely not a Christmas story that you would expect but it is something new that I think people will enjoy reading year after year. It would make a cute animated feature. I hope that it does very well for you.

Cara Gold wrote 634 days ago

{Rudolf Goes Bananas} – Mike Thomas
CHIRG
(and return read!)

Wow, this is so very enjoyable.

Inventive and imaginative, I like your spin of the traditional Santa Christmas story. I can definitely see children loving it – but also older readers too. Funny and well written, the voice is engaging and you have a terrific cast of characters to accompany a clever story. I particularly like the little details you bring in here and there about what the different reindeer are doing – like Donner out in the Caribbean, and Blitzen skiing in the Swiss Alps.

In chapter three, there was a good introduction to all the ‘teams’, and it was fun to read about the roles everyone played! I think it also conveys some good messages about teamwork to young readers, whether or not intentional?

Another thing I like is the idea of the ‘technical’ failure with the sleigh; this modern flair you bring to your work makes it excellent for today’s setting.

High stars from me, congratulations on a great read and thank you so much for sharing! I look forward to reading the rest!
Also thank you so much for your lovely comment on ‘Dawn of Destruction’ and your support :)
Sincerely,
Cara

p.s. I made a few more detailed notes. Overall this is very polished though, and these nits are more stylistic than anything!

- Chapter 1
‘The only reindeer left to guide the sleigh..’ this sentence read a little wordy to me, perhaps ‘Only Rudolf had remained to guide the sleigh, and he was quite a pin up star for many young does. At one point somebody had even wrote a song about him.’ (thought you can remove the word ‘reindeer’ too, as it’s implicit and everyone knows Rudolf?)

- Chapter 2
‘still acting very strangely’ and ‘still ate nothing but …’ repetition of the word ‘still’ in next sentence, perhaps reword to avoid? Perhaps just ‘He ate nothing but bananas, still wore the banana earing…’ that way there is one less ‘still’

perhaps ‘Mrs Clause now felt much better’ to remove passive ‘was’ here?

- Chapter 3

‘Christmas Eve arrived…’ and ‘Rudolf had arrived’ → repetition of the verb if you wanted to vary vocab?

- Chapter 4

‘All the green lights were on…’ → perhaps simpler phrasing of sentence might be ‘Green lights shone to confirm everything was working as it should, and …’

Perhaps make this active voice; ‘Sirens wailed and red lights flashed back in ground control’ as it’s a really tense moment?

I think ‘Santa’s breathing and heart rate are back to normal now.’ → not sure about ‘heart rates’, because it’s singular right?

I think a comma as follows; ‘There was no answer at Comet’s house in London, so she tried his country cottage.’

Chris Whitson wrote 635 days ago

CHIRG

Mike, Wow! What a unique, imaginative, and fresh twist on all the things I thought I knew about Christmas. Excellent hook by imagining an angry and spunky Mrs.Claus. Great visual of that. You are off and flying from there. I always wondered what reindeer did in there spare time, and you had me cracking up with your creative explanation. All of your characters and scenery are accompanied by vivid humorous descriptions and work smoothly into the plot.
Small thing to check: The implication that Rudolf drank rum, may be too 'naughty' and ruffle some feathers. And would a reindeer have children? Didn't bother me one bit, but you may wish to take a look.
Your storytelling is superb and the story is fast paced. Even with so much fun stuff happening, it is very easy to follow. Kids and parents will flip over this. What a cool marketable Christmas gift or tv special!
Oops, almost forgot; Loved Santa's COOL WHIP!

Many laughs and max stars! Tell Rudolf to ease up on the bananas. Mike, you 'sleigh' me!
Best Wishes,
Chris whitson/ A SPICY HURRICANE

JeffBilman wrote 637 days ago

CHIRG Review

Hi Mike,
This is a nice story (though I probably should be reading it in a few months time). I've read the first 3 chapters and skimmed the next 3 or so. The sentence length, words, etc all seem appropriate for the age - it's easy for a writer to forget that they're writing for a younger audience with a lesser vocabulary. So I think subject and writing is pitched well.

I felt, given the premise, I could have enjoyed it more. I tried to figure it out - maybe too much description and not enough dialogue for my liking?? I don't know. I find dialogue quickens the pacing and there's also more white space which makes it easier to read. Whilst I only skimmed the next three, I did feel my interest in the story heightened.

Anyway, I noticed in your bio (great photo btw) you mentioned issues with the title. Any advances on that? Also, have you done any revisions on the story? It brings about a point a friend of mine raised, today in fact, regarding his own book. If you publish an ebook and then later revise, what then? Is it just a 2nd edition?

I'm sure to come back to your book. I'll start reading it to my kids - that's the true gauge!

Jeff

maretha wrote 656 days ago

CHIRG review
Mike Thomas - Rudolph goes Bananas
I'm up to chapter 7 and yes Rudolph certainly has gone bananas. Of course modern children are so much into technology that they will completely identify with him and perhaps not think he has gone bananas...
Comet is a lovely character and his idea of putting microchips for the gift tags is priceless - "little beauties" which would solve many problems of the past - no more gifts getting lost once they were programmed and tied to more presents. You mentioned that you might have to change Rudolph's name. It'd be a pity to so really, because we as children's authors tend to fall in love with the characters we create or write about. I suppose calling him something like Trudolf is still close enough, but might not cause copyright problems! :-))
All the best in the days ahead on authonomy, but very HIGH stars for originality and making me laugh.
Maretha/African Adventures of Flame, Family, Furry and Feathered Friends

Lucy Middlemass wrote 656 days ago

Rudolph Goes Bananas

I like the way this starts - you tell it in such a friendly voice which works well to let the reader in. There’s no doubt right from the beginning that we’re in for a humorous and creative Christmassy treat.

The gradually aging reindeers and Santa’s wife in the kitchen are the sorts of details that bring a story like this to life. The joke about Comet made me smile too.

By the end of Ch 1, you’ve set up the premise for the story perfectly. Rudolph has gone bananas! I wasn’t expecting it to happen so quickly but I think for the age group it works nicely.

I’ve read the second chapter too, and the only thing I wondered about is whether you could describe the reindeers a bit more. It’s hard to imagine quite how a Rudolph would look now, or whether they pick things up with their front hooves. How does the tattoo look on Rudolph’s fur?

I couldn’t find anything grammar-wise, which makes for a smooth and enjoyable read. Well done - highly starred!

Lucy

Adam Thurstman wrote 662 days ago

Hi Mike

Love the moral, parental sensibility 'oozing' through your story. I found it was sweetly written with a modern and funny slant. Definitely a marketable area you've written for, so well planned you. I did find chapter 1 a bit long, consider cutting in half, the others seemed about the right size.

Paragraph 5: Add something like, 'As Mrs Claus was just taking the deicious smelling cakes out of the very hot oven, when there was all of a sudden a knock at.......

I've noticed a couple of other places where there's a break in the flow, e.g. End of paragraph 16: or'if' they were getting. (Reading out loud helps me).

I have loads of those types of issues. If you see any do let me know.

Over all I really liked it.

Adam De-Thurstman
IS ISRAEL REAL?

Nanty wrote 662 days ago

Rudolf Goes Bananas.

CHIRG Review:

Chapter 1 - Not sure if scolding children via Mrs. Claus for not believing in Santa is a good idea. Not really sure which age group your book is targeted at, but many younger children still believe in him.
Like the idea of the reindeer feeling their age.
If Prancer is a reindeer I'm wondering how could he be good with his hands? Unless he takes on some other form when he's not pulling the sleigh.
A good laugh - Comet owns a huge chain of electrical shops.
You have used sleigh a lot, which I found rather jarring. Might be an idea to count have many times 'sleigh' is used and perhaps cut to a more digestable number.
NASA - another good chuckle.
Like the heated seat idea and the big dig at health and safety.
Further on I noted Rudolf has hooves (not sure if reindeer have them) their feet are splayed so they can walk on snow and ice - might be an idea to check this out and rectify if needed.

Chapter 2 - Loved the idea of the seat being too hot Santa had to sit on an ice pack. Maybe he could have a thermostatic dial and be able to turn the heat up or down, otherwise what's he going to do when he's visiting warm countries!
I think some of the explanations are a little too long, bearing in mind this is for younger children, but great to know how Santa's sack works.

Overall: The book has a friendly voice and tone, no nit-picks with grammar or punctuation. Lots of humour adults reading to children will appreciate, but some of it will fly straight over childrens heads, though having said that there is a great deal to keep them amused. For some reason I have an image in my head of Rudolf with dread-locks for antlers, must be all those bananas. You've created Santa's world and managed to make it easy to visualise, lots of personality coming through with each character and the reindeers off doing their own thing was a hoot.
Stars.

Nanty - Chrys!

Cas Meadowfield wrote 665 days ago

Rudolf goes bananas

CHIRG
Lovely story but it took till ch4 to get going...
Liked the heated seats
And the computerized sack.
Why can't girls have cars? Dolls are ok but radio controlled cars are great! My daughter loved hers.
Ch 4 is very exciting with lots going on.
Ch 5 presents going missing no!
Tick is a very bad elf.
Good ending
High stars
Cas

Kate LaRue wrote 670 days ago

Mike,
Here for our read swap. This is a creative look into the lives of Santa and his reindeer. Who would have guessed that Rudolph was into extreme sports?

I have read through chapter four and have a few thoughts. I am not exactly sure of the age range this is aimed at, as I'm not familiar with the typical divisions for children's books, so bear that in mind. For me, the story dragged a little at the beginning, up until the action starts in chapter three with the ground control elves calling back and forth preparing for take off. The first two chapters, and even into the beginning of chapter three, are a lot of telling rather than showing. There is not much dialogue here, and the POV is omniscient and very removed from any one character. Not sure if this is common for your intended age group, so this is just an observation.

By chapter four the excitement is building, with Santa falling from the sleigh and the other reindeer being called in to help. This will be an interesting rescue, I'm sure.

I will try to get back to this to see where it goes.
Kate

Jessicaw wrote 670 days ago

CHIRG review
Hello,
I've just read the first 3 chapters of your book. I think it's a great story, original and very funny. I'm sure kids will love this, and adults will love reading it too. I especially liked Comet's chain of electrical stores, and the 'elf and safety concerns in the lab. :)
Just a couple of suggestions:
Ch 1, paragraph starting 'Loopy stood with his hands...' 'What had happened to casue the crash' felt a bit clunky to me - perhaps 'what had caused the crash' would be better? (or maybe not - feel free to ignore me, of course!)

Ch 2: 'That is something else new that Santa has to do' Again, I thought this sentence could be improved, perhaps 'That is another new thing that Santa has to do.

I'm hoping I'll have time to read more of your book, since I found it very entertaining, and I really want to know what's the matter with Rudolf! Highly starred.

Jessica

ELAdams wrote 677 days ago

CHIRG review:

I really like this: a great story for children with a seasonal theme. Humorous and fun, the plot is interesting and children will love the modern updates of things like Santa's sleigh (reminds me in a way of the film Arthur Christmas, which I loved!). The language is appropriate and the style is well-suited to the audience, and I couldn't find any stylistic errors. This is very entertaining and I can see it doing well- great work!

Emma

JMF wrote 677 days ago

CHIRG and reading swap.
I enjoyed this story immensely. I love the inventiveness of it and the way you go into detail describing all the modifications to Santa's sleigh. You have lots of lovely little touches which bring Santa's world and the story to life. Only one comment, I'm not sure the reference to Rudolf taking a fancy to the pretty elf nurses would go down too well with publishers nowadays. Whose to say the elf nurses aren't male?
Apart from that, a thoroughly enjoyable read, well-edited and polished. Get it ready for this Christmas!
Highly starred.
Best of luck
Julia
Shadow Jumper

rikasworld wrote 677 days ago

CHIRG Review
This is fun. You've got some very original ideas, retired reindeer taking holidays in the Caribbean is a definitely a new one! I particularly like Rudolf with his baseball cap on backwards. I had to read on, to see what was going on with his strange behaviour and sudden head pains. Not banana addiction then!
Wasn't quite sure who you are talking about in ch.1 when you say he's good with his hands? If he's a reindeer wouldn't he be good with his hooves? Might be funny.
Thanks for an enjoyable read. Perhaps it will be picked up as a Christmas special.

kokako wrote 678 days ago

CHIRG

Hi Mike,

Poor Santa, having to keep up with technology! I know how he feels.

I really enjoy the way you’ve given each of the reindeer a personality, skill and life after sleigh-pulling. That’s very clever – and beautifully entertaining. As is the new, improved sleigh. I hope that seat-warmer is able to be switched off, though, or Santa’s going to be feeling pretty uncomfortable in countries like NZ and Australia. Christmas is in summertime in the southern hemisphere.

I started making chapter notes, but got too caught up in the story after a while. So here's the little that I noted.

Ch 1

1) ‘He had always been good with his hands’ This struck me as odd, as it’s talking about the reindeer, Prancer, and created an instant vision of a reindeer with human hands. Reindeer have cloven hooves, so perhaps it would be better to say, ‘He had always been good with his hooves’

2) ‘Oh dear, murmured Albert.’
There’s a quotation mark missing here.

3) ‘in a white science coats’
‘a’ needs to be removed

Ch 2

1) ‘are all sent to him’
This is repeated again in the next sentence. Maybe in the second sentence you could say something like, ‘deliver the presents that came through’



You’ve done a fantastic job of creating a world at the North Pole. It’s very easy to visualise, and the sort of place that would really appeal to kids’ imaginations. And I love the story you’ve built up around this. It has a great sense of mystery, a good dash of tension for kids and the essential Christmas spirit, with all the elves and reindeer and Clauses pulling together to solve the mystery and ensure that all the presents are delivered in time. This is a delightful, fun story.

Well done.

Sue

fatema wrote 688 days ago

Well, very we,,. Santa has updated with modern days, tech. Wow, You have included all upto date features and including sapce station.
Oh those earings too. Great book for key stage two level readers.
Will do well once publuished. You know your readers.
I have to read the rest another day.

Debbie R wrote 693 days ago

CHIRG review

A refreshingly modern Christmas story. Totally balmy but funny - am sure children will like it (and adults too).
Like the up-to-date sleight with airbags, anti lock brakes and wing mirrors.

Like your explanation of that age old question as to how does Santa get all the toys in his sack - he doesn't!

Flows well and easy to read. Perhaps it will become a festive favourite,

Debbie
Speedy McCready

writerchick11 wrote 718 days ago

i think i've commented on this before. Have I?

Anyway, have rated this with a flourish of stars.

KC

Brittany Engstrand wrote 727 days ago

Not much my type of read, but would be fun for kids. I think your spin on the names was done purposely- right? (no copyright infringment and such?) If not, it's a good excuse hahaha. The only thing that concerns me is that kids will look at this and not want to read unless they are rather young (possibly too young for chapter books), mainly because (at least when I was a kid this was my thought) the things the reindeer do are relatively close to humans and kids know that's not possible. I know your intention was for imagination and humor (believe me, I'm big on imagination), but that's the only thing that would concern me. All merely opinion, of course!

Honestly though, your writing style is great for kids. It's easy to follow along and funny at times.

Highly starred!

Brittany E.
Melaney and the Mirror

JennyWren wrote 730 days ago

A funny new take on an old Christmas story for children and also adults who like to let their imaginations run a little.
This book definitely should be up there on everyone's watch list. It can be read year round to keep everyone in the Christmas mood and get a laugh in here or there.
Add this tale to Frosty, and the other classics and you will be chuckling through the New Year!!
Well done!
jenny

Numbers wrote 758 days ago

Hi Mike,

What a great story so far. It has made me smile and laugh. I love the fact that the reindeers have retired and live in various places around the globe.
I didn't notice any mistakes, but I was too engrossed in the story to look for any.
I think people of all ages will really enjoy this, well done!

Highly starred, I hope it gets the recognition it deserves!

Cheers,
Adam

Dean Lombardo wrote 764 days ago


Hi Geddy/Mike,
I read the first two chapters. It's an entertaining story that warmed my heart and made me smile. Heavily starred.
But did you intend to spell "Rudolf" with the "f'?
I'll send you two more comments via email. Great job, and with a few touches here and there I believe you can find a publisher because this kind of story is beloved by many, including my wife, who adores Christmas stories, especially those with animals in them.

Dean Lombardo

JanAbel wrote 764 days ago

Finished it with zeal. Great little story for the whole family to celebrate the holiday and the idea of gift giving. Adventure mixed in this should be a good read for many. Janice

DMHeadley wrote 767 days ago

Eye catching cover page. I love Christmas and I really enjoyed this wonderful story.
Good luck.
Dawn
Sammy and the Wise Willow

JanAbel wrote 768 days ago

A good beginning, a different twist on santa and all his deers. You are giving each one a persoanlity of its own. I will continue to read and put it on my shelf. Jan Abel

earthlover wrote 776 days ago

Read a little of this. Good spoof on the Rudolph story. All I can say is I want to be friends with Donner, hang out on an island in the Caribbean and drink fruity cocktails all day while a grill sizzles my dinner. LOL!
Georgia
The Woman From E.A.R.L.

wordworker wrote 777 days ago

Second para ch. 3 "...Santa insisted he took off ..." the common phrase (at least here in Yankee land)is "insisted he take off ..."
Para starting, "There were four teams ..." you've split a phrase into two pieces by putting "through the night" right in the middle of it. Try putting "through the night" at the very beginning of the sentence or the very end (frankly, I vote for the beginning of the sentence.)
para starting: "The sack team kept monitoring..." in this day and age, it's possible that your comments about girls getting soldiers and boys getting dolls could be construed as sexist. (Major eyeroll, here but it's the truth.)
Joyce

wordworker wrote 777 days ago

Ch. 2 first para: "...He asked how his flight had been but all he got back..." That first HE should name who is speaking (Santa). Since you just recently referred to Rudolf by name, it implies that the following "he" should refer to Rudolf.
First reference to a "satnav" should be spelled out (satellite navigation system)
"Brittish-isms" to watch out for if you're looking for an international audience: "lorries" (semi's in Yank-talk); "football pitch" (rugby -or "football" field in Yank-talk)

wordworker wrote 777 days ago

Ch. 1 para starting, "It wasn't Rudolf out there ..." you mention "Donner", but I think, if you check Clement Moore's book, "A Visit from St. Nicholas" where the reindeer are named for the first time, the name is "DonDer".
You also refer repeatedly to "hands" but I think it would be better to give the reindeer back their hoofs!
para starting "Santa thanked his old friend ..." "electrical" or "electronic" shops? Might be funny if you used a takeoff on the name of a real chain (like Radio Shack -- Computer Hutch)

Zerin Mewa wrote 778 days ago

Love. Love. Love! So nicely written and easy to follow, so Chrismas'sy (is that a word?) Would defiatly read this to my little one! On my watchlist and highly rated! Well done! :-)

ChristineRees wrote 778 days ago

Hey Mike,

First, Rudolf Goes Bananas is a very cute title, and has a funny/corky opening. It really captured my attention, and made me chuckle. I like the idea of a fun holiday book and you certainly offer very entertaining visuals with the dialogue. Your book is different and I think it has great potential to do well. I am giving you full stars because you put a big smile on my face.

Best of luck with this! I know you’ll do great!

Christine Rees
Spark

Greenleaf wrote 783 days ago

Very cute and entertaining story. I read the first three chapters and love your writing style. Perfect for all ages. Good job.

Susan/Greenleaf (Chameleon)

Mark Kirkbride wrote 786 days ago

This has exactly the right mixture of the familiar and the unexpected - hi-tech sleighs, banana-loving/dangerous-sports-club reindeers and NASA co-operation - to keep children (um, and adults) entertained to the highest degree... at any time of year. I read chapter 1 tonight and look forward to reading more.

Mark, The Devil's Fan Club

CarolinaAl wrote 786 days ago

I read your first two chapters.

General comments: A clever, comedic twist on the familar. Delightful characters. Strong imagery. Vivid sense of place. Not a lot of tension. Smooth pacing.

Specific comments on the first chapter:
1) Hyphenate 'high heels.'
2) 'She never tired of the lovely smell wafting through the air and ... ' When you mention 'smell,' try to characterize it. Was the dominate smell vanilla? Cinnamon? Brandy? When you characterize smell, you'll pull the reader deeper into your story.
3) "Hello Albert, what can I do for you?" Comma after 'hello.' When you address someone in dialogue, offset their name or title with commas. There are many more case in the two chapters I read where you address someone in dialogue, but didn't offset their name or title with commas.

Specific comments on the second chapter:
1) "That would be really helpful," nodded Santa. You can't 'nod' dialogue, so put a period after 'helpful' and change 'nodded Santa' to 'Santa nodded.' There are more cases of this type of problem.
2) " ... to the sack from the store rooms at the north pole." Capitalize 'north pole.'
3) Hyphenate 'non stop.'

I hope these comments help you further polish your all important opening chapters. These are just my opinions. Use what works for you and discard the rest.

Thank you for your kind comments on "Savannah Oak."

Bless you.

Al

JKass wrote 787 days ago

A wonderfully done kids book. I could see them loving this. Hell, I'm 23 and i liked it! Its like a re imagining of a classic. highly starred.

sensual elle wrote 787 days ago

Father Christmas has gone hi-tech! With his new electro-magneto-moto drive, he needs only 1 reindeer, not 8 or 9. Except hi-tech isn't Santa's forte. The new sleigh also features heated seats and floorboards, a horn, and a sunroof– or in this case a rainroof.

See Prancer and Vixen got married, moved to Norway, and had 14 children. Cupid ran a modeling agency. And Rudolf– he's into extreme sports.

Things started going haywire when Rudolf visited Donner at his Caribbean beach house. Rudolf went, well, bananas. And that's what the story's about.

Read, enjoy, back. I did!

Michelle Williamson wrote 787 days ago

Hey great story and yes it is about the same age range as mine. Nice pace and funny. I like how the reindeers are around the world - Caribbean - great choice. I'm not sure about your opening question because it can be a bit touchy for some children and parents.
It's on the shelf.

faith rose wrote 788 days ago

Dear Mike,

What a fun story! I can see children and parents greatly enjoying this book together. You have taken a well-known tale and created a new, unique treasure. Kids will love experiencing all their North Pole favorites in a new light. Your language is the perfect mix of understandable yet challenging. Also, the witty humor and energy are sure to entertain. Love it. Starring this highly.

Faith Rose
Now To Him

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