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"The Wild Christmas Reindeer" Book Discussion (and Orange Ginger Cookies Recipe)

I wish to inspire readers, teachers, and book clubs to bake along with their reading and promote discussion about the books we've enjoyed.

"The Wild Christmas Reindeer" and orange ginger cookies

"The Wild Christmas Reindeer" and orange ginger cookies

The Wild Christmas Reindeer

Teeka has been asked by Santa to get the reindeer ready for Christmas Eve, but her yelling only upsets the reindeer. Teeka must learn an important lesson in order to finish in time and fix the mess she made. The Wild Christmas Reindeer is a Christmas book that teaches children about being kind and helping, not yelling, at friends.

Discussion Questions

  1. What responsibility did Santa give Teeka?
  2. Why are the reindeer afraid of Teeka?
  3. What things went wrong?
  4. How did Teeka make things worse when the reindeer's antlers were stuck?
  5. What did Teeka promise not to do anymore?
  6. What did she do instead?
  7. What is the lesson in this story?

Orange Ginger Cookies Recipe

Orange ginger cookies

Orange ginger cookies


  • 1/2 cup / 4 ounces / 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup / 115 grams granulated sugar, plus 1/4 cup separate for rolling
  • 1/2 cup / 115 grams brown sugar
  • 1 large navel orange, zested
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 3/4 cups / 400 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Baking Tip

To make molasses easier to get out of your measuring cup or spoon, drizzle a little oil into the inside of the measuring cup and roll it slowly all around the inside to coat thoroughly. Then dump out the excess and measure your molasses. It should easily slide right out of the cup into your mixing bowl.


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together butter, orange zest, and sugars on medium speed for 2 minutes. Then add the vanilla, molasses, and the egg. Drop the speed to low and add the flour, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and baking soda. Combine on medium-low until flour disappears, about 1-2 minutes. Mix just until combined.
  2. Scoop into balls using a regular-sized ice cream scoop and roll in a bowl containing the remaining 1/4 cup of granulated sugar. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Place dough balls on the parchment about an inch and a half to two inches apart and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Before baking, preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake for about 10-12 minutes. Makes 1 dozen cookies using a heaping medium-sized scoop.

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Optional Activities

  • Try brushing a doll's tangled hair slowly and gently versus hard and fast and see which is easier to do.
  • You can make your own reindeer ornaments using popsicle sticks painted or colored dark brown with a marker, then glue them into triangles with the edges overlapping, and top with eyes and a fuzzy black pom pom for a nose. Then glue a ribbon to the top.
  • Or you can make candy cane reindeer by twisting brown "antler" pipe cleaners into curls around the top hook of a candy cane and gluing on the eyes.
  • For older kids, you can paint a 2x4 brown. When it dries, paint or glue on the eyes and a cut-out felt or construction paper nose to the flat front of the board. Then glue two branches to the top for antlers. Then just under the base, glue a bunch of straw-like hair.

Other books by Jan Brett include: The Nutcracker, The Snowy Nap, Gingerbread Christmas, Gingerbread Friends, Gingerbread Baby, Christmas Trolls, The Three Snow Bears, The Twelve Days of Christmas, The Animals’ Santa, Home for Christmas, Who’s That Knocking on Christmas Eve, The Mitten, The Baker’s Dozen, Annie and the Wild Animals, Cozy, The Hat, Fritz and the Beautiful Horses, Mossy, Cinders: A Chicken Cinderella, Hedgie’s Surprise, The Turnip, On Noah’s Ark, and many more.

© 2021 Amanda Lorenzo