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Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  1,074 ratings  ·  77 reviews
The original story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer—written in verse by his creator, Robert L. May—now with charming new illustrations!

Every year at Christmastime, everyone—young and old alike—has one catchy, joy-inspiring song stuck in their heads: “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer!” Now fans of the most famous reindeer of all-time can fall in love with the original story,
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 30th 2014 by Little Simon (first published 1939)
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4.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,074 ratings  ·  77 reviews

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David Schaafsma
Dec 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
This picture book is an oversized 75th anniversary production featuring the poem by Robert L. May that was a (largely failed) attempt to piggy-back on the (justly deserved fame) of “The Night Before Christmas” by Clement Clark Moore. It features sumptuous illustrations by Antonio Javier Caparo that take us back 75 years (in a good way!).

Did you know that Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was an invention of the Montgomery Ward department store? Ah, American capitalism and its inventions for childre
Dec 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Honestly, this was just the sweetness I needed this season. This is an authentic reproduction of the original 1939 edition, written in brilliant rhyming prose, complete with nostalgic illustrations penned in a simpler time. I grew up waiting every year for the Rankin Bass special on tv, but I had never thought to consider where or when Rudolph entered Christmas folklore. Rudolph has just always been. Mr. May unwittingly left an indelible mark on Christmas. What a gift to children everywhere. Thi ...more
This is the ORIGINAL softcover that was distributed by Montgomery Ward in 1939. I am privileged, and thrilled, to own TWO copies of it.

5 Stars = I love it for sentimental reasons.
Dec 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ho-ho-ho, kidstuff
Where most reindeers' noses are brownish and tiny,
Poor Rudolph's was red, very large, and quite shiny.

Robert L. May was working as a copywriter for Montgomery Ward & Co. when he was asked to come up with an idea for a children's book. And, in 1939, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was born. Ten years later, May's brother-in-law, turned the story into a song, and about fifteen years after that, the beloved stop-motion television special first aired. But . . . that's another story.

This one, writ
Oct 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing

This is the original story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, written by Robert L. May in 1939 for Montgomery Ward. Out of all the versions of it currently available in print, this is most definitely my favorite one - all thanks to Antonio Javier Caparo absolutely stunning watercolor illustrations.

Who doesn't know The Red-Nosed Rudolph? Santa Claus' brave little helper, spirited and dedicated. His story is a moving one, it pulls on your heart strings and reminds you to always believe in yourself
Dec 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the original story of Rudolph and my favorite of the stories, the movie does not follow this book. But this one is the classic story!
This was far better than May's sequel, IMO, and I actually quite enjoyed it and the little rhyme scheme was fun rather than annoying. It's neat to see the similarities and differences between this original telling and the subsequent song and classic stop-animation film. I was a little disappointed as I checked out the Applewood Books version (they are known for their reprints of classic books) because it did not have the original illustrations but rather ones to "enhance the enjoyment of a new g ...more
Oct 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Robert May is the original author who invented Rudolph. This is the real Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. My father grew up down the street from the Mays, and heard this story as a child, so when the book was published, it became a treasure to our family. I highly recommend getting an original edition.
Nostalgia Reader
While this story is quite different from the movie, the underlying story is still the same, and is written in lovely Suessian rhymes; it's the perfect companion to the Grinch. I'd highly recommend it, especially if you love vintage reindeer illustrations.
Nov 09, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christmas
This book is poorly designed, and completely useless to be used as a read aloud for baby time, which was my initial plan when I saw a board book form a Rudolph. Board books are meant for infants and young children, whoever designed this has never read a board book with an infant before, or possibly spent any extended time with an infant.

While board books are generally read by a parent to a child, the book is too long for an infant or small child to be will to sit through and pay attention to. Th
Nov 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had, until today, never read the original book / poem of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

It is amazing. It is one of the most beautiful pieces of ridiculous doggerel in the English language. The lengths to which the author is willing to go to ensure a rhyming couplet are inspiring.

It is an enjoyable story. That alone would make it worth reading. But it is all the more worth reading as an astounding exercise in bending the English language to one’s will. The rhymes and line breaks are an inspi
This is a reproduction of the original 1939 edition that gave birth to the Rudolph myth. Prior to reading this book, I had no idea that Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer had been imagined for the Montgomery Ward department store. I had been expecting an illustrated version of the classic Christmas song with old-fashioned drawings, so I was surprised. While the text's content is basically the same as the song, there are some differences. Personally, I prefer the song, but I really enjoyed the illust ...more
Dec 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some children’s ebooks are worth checking out from the library around Christmas. The story of Rudolph the reindeer has humble beginnings, but has gone down in history much like the song states. The original story is a bit different from the more well known tv special, but the basic premise is there. The rhymes are great and some lines stick with you (“the number one job, on the number one night”).
Shannon Dunn
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this Robert L. May classic for the very first time tonight and fell completely in love with its nostalgia and charm. Many thanks to The Vermont Country Store for the facsimile hardcover reprint of the original 1939 book. It was a recent Christmas gift for my youngest daughter who just turned five in January, and loves the holiday every bit as much as I do. <3
Dec 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children, classics
It's fun to read these Christmas classics, particularly if you just know it from the song or the tv show. Obviously there are some differences, running away with the misfit elf, encountering the snow monster and the misfit toys on the island are not in the book at all. It is nice to see the original illustrations.
Jan 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is not the edition that I just read, but I have one that is the 1939 original poem of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. It is not the song but a fairly long poem that is based on the style of the night before Christmas written by Robert May who worked for Montgomery Ward Department store in Chicago during the depression. Learn something new all the time
Dec 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this for my son's daily reading time.

This was such a cute read. It put a different spin on the story of Rudolph the reindeer. Rudolph has always been one of my favorite Christmas characters.

Nov 30, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Why does Rudolph sleep in a human bed?

Isn't it odd that Santa has never encountered inclement weather on Christmas Eve? He seems wholly unprepared. Can't the elves construct a great spotlight or something?
Jan 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christmas
Great book for kids who love Rudolph!
Yolanda Smith
This book was a delightful treat. I'd never read the original Rudolph, and my daughter loved it.
Emma McKenzie
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was good - really good. And in the story Rudolph gets laughed at and then he helps Santa with his Christmas list.
Shauna Croak-Falen
Always love a classic!
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My mother recently had her house renovated & she cleaned out a lot of stuff. She found this book that my grandma used to read to me. It was great reading it to my kids this Christmas season.
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
A fascinating slice of history, both in visual style and wording.
Dec 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Such a sweet story. A Christmas classic for sure. 🥰
Dec 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first time I've read the original, that I remember, and it's wonderful! I may need to add it to our family's collection.
Sarah Jean
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
I didn’t realize this was the original text when I was reading it to my daughter today. It didn’t flow off the tongue as easily as most of her books, but she enjoyed it.
Janet C-B
A childhood favorite. Happy the song continues as a traditional favorite.
Luisa Knight
Written in 1939, you can't get much more classic than the tale of Rudolph!

And it's the *real* tale of Rudolph. Perhaps you already knew this, but I was surprised to discover that the traditional claymation movie doesn't follow the story. I've been fed an alternate reality since my youth. Ah! *wink* So I'm glad I read this - and I know you'll enjoy it (and knowing the truth) too.

This version is the best as it's a replication of the original booklet that came out in 1939. There are pictures on eve
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Robert Lewis May was the creator of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. He wrote the book for his employer Montgomery Ward in 1939.