By Lynn Plourde

Islandport Press, 2014

32 pages, $17.95

ISBN 978-1-939017-38-3

It’s Christmas Eve and Rudolph wants a vacation! Who will guide Santa’s sleigh if Rudolph is laying on a beach somewhere warm?


Once again Winthrop author Lynn Plourde’s whimsical imagination has come up with an original and funny children’s story — just in time for Christmas. Plourde is an award-winning author of 25 children’s books.

Written for ages 4-8, this hilarious and happy story finds Rudolph faced with a dilemma. Santa will let him go on vacation Christmas Eve, but only if they can find a suitable replacement. They search everywhere but decide an elephant, a turkey or a bull just won’t do — too big, too feathery or too ornery. Then they discover a cute moose (who looks like Bullwinkle only smarter).

The moose will be perfect, but now they must equip and train the moose to guide the sleigh. With a rocket pack, a headlamp, a GPS unit and some skis (from L.L. Bean maybe?) the moose is ready, but his first rooftop landing is a wacky mishap. However, Santa and Rudolph figure out how to correct that and Christmas is saved.


By Barbara T. Winslow

North Country Press, 2014


32 pages, $18.95

ISBN 978-0-945980-80-3

This smart and tender children’s story, for ages 3-7, is based on an actual event in Norridgewock and along the Kennebec River in the 1800s, when the river flooded after heavy rain.

“The Kennebec is Rising” uses rhyming verse to tell how the flooded river carried thousands of ripe October pumpkins downriver toward the sea, with a cute little kitten riding a floating pumpkin all the way. Author Barbara Winslow lives in Norridgewock, and this is her third children’s book.

The rhyming verse is perfect for reading aloud to younger children. The story and illustrations are vivid and exciting without being too scary.

Winslow describes the rising water as it flood farms along the river from Norridgewock to Popham Beach, carrying whole fields of orange pumpkins along in the water. The kitten is trapped on a floating pumpkin, clinging with its little claws on a watery, wild ride.


Children and adults try to salvage the floating pumpkin harvest, and men make a futile effort to rescue the kitten. When the kitten on its pumpkin raft reaches the ocean at Popham, a sea captain plucks the kitten from the water, making it his new furry friend.


By Susan Hand Shetterly

Tilbury House Publishers, 2014

32 pages, $16.95

ISBN 978-0-88448-354-0


Tilbury House has always enjoyed a well-deserved reputation for its educational children’s books, and “Swimming Home” is just the latest in its splendid nature book series.

Wildlife author Susan Shetterly lives in Surry, and offers a fascinating nature story about alewives (river herring) and how they swim hundreds of miles from the ocean up rivers to spawn in the lakes where they were born.

Pesca leads her school of alewives on their long journey from the sea to their birthplace in Lily Lake. They travel great distances, evading hungry predators like porpoises, seals, eagles and herons, moving upstream from the salty sea water to the inland fresh waters of rivers and lakes.

However, as the school of alewives nears Lily Lake they are stopped by a new road culvert, preventing the fish from continuing their journey. Fortunately, a little boy and his father see the alewives’ predicament and they come up with a simple, effective solution to help the fish get to the lake.

The text and scientific information make this best for advanced readers, perhaps ages 7-10, supplemented with more detailed information in the author’s notes.

Bill Bushnell lives and writes in Harpswell.


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