…A New Christmas Tradition for Kids | #RoamingReindeerBlogTour
If you’re familiar with Elf on the Shelf, you’ll love this new Christmas tradition that is flying off the Amazon “shelves.” The new children’s book, Roaming Reindeer by Angela Meju is much different than the Elf on the Shelf tradition in that it encourages good behavior and helps our visual learners understand cause and effect of good and bad behavior. I recently joined in on a fun blog book tour to help share Roaming Reindeer but wouldn’t have agreed to participate if I truly didn’t love this book and concept. We’ve even added Roaming Reindeer to our Holiday Gift Guide this year because we love it so much. To help you better understand the concept of Roaming Reindeer and the inspiration behind the story, read this Q & A with author Angela Meju:
1. Give us a brief summary of Roaming Reindeer.
Roaming Reindeer is a story about two of Santa’s reindeer, Gus and Sam, who see that Santa is overwhelmed with the naughty and nice lists for Christmas. They decide to help Santa by visiting girls and boys. Sam is saddened and runs away whenever he sees someone being naughty. Gus and Sam decide to work together, side by side, to visit each home. Whenever Sam runs away, he should report to Santa, while Gus sticks around to keep watch. When they run out of time to visit all of the rest of the children, the two reindeer decide to enlist their friends in pairs of two to help. They create a system for Reindeer 1 to disappear to report to Santa about behavior, while Reindeer 2 sticks around. All of the reindeer leave on Christmas Eve to help Santa deliver the gifts.
2. What was the inspiration behind the book?
My children were just starting to understand the concept of Santa Claus, and I wanted to write a Christmas book they would enjoy reading year after year.
3. How did you decide to include two plush reindeer for families to enjoy?
We’ve tried other Christmas book traditions in our home and felt that they didn’t exactly cater to our schedules, and didn’t reinforce any positive behavior for children. I know that children tend to be visual learners, so I wanted to create cute, lovable reindeer who were visually identified as being together as a pair. Children associate 1 and 2 together, so if Reindeer 1 has disappeared, it is more of a visual reminder that the two aren’t together. I think that this allows children to be consciously aware of their behavior, while also teaching them about cause and effect. For children with siblings, it is a great tool for working together.
4. How does your family use Roaming Reindeer?
Well, my children were exposed to “Gus” and “Sam” (that’s what our Reindeer 1 and 2 are named) very early on—long before Christmas. Our Reindeer 1 and 2 do a lot of travelling, so we have a lot of pictures of them in various (and sometimes random) locations. My children LOVE to play with the reindeer but we officially start our Reindeer countdown after Thanksgiving.
5. What do you hope children get out of their experience with Roaming Reindeer?
Roaming Reindeer is not a tool for punishment, it’s an activity to help promote positive behavior. My hope is that children have fun playing with the reindeer and see them as friends who want to stick together. I’ve had parents joke with me saying that they want their reindeer to stick around all year long. My hope is that children will continue with these habits of teamwork and great behavior throughout the year.
6. What kind of research did you do for the book?
A lot. The children’s book industry is so competitive. To have a book published and be taken seriously, you have to read and know your market. It’s also important to have an experienced editor and illustrations that will help to tell your story.
7. What are other holiday traditions your family has?
It is a big event in our family to take pictures with Santa. We actually give out holiday mugs to family members each year with pictures of our kids with Santa.
8. This was your first book. What was your favorite part of the writing process?
My favorite part of the writing process was getting to know the characters and their personalities as I was writing. The best feeling was seeing the illustrations and allowing the characters to come to life.
9. Are you planning on writing any other books in the future?
10. Tell us where we can find your book and more information about you.