Schmuck the Buck: Santa’s Jewish Reindeer by Exo Books #BookReview

Meet Schmuck the Buck, just a regular caribou.
He liked to eat grass and then chew and chew and chew.
Yet he and his kin happened to be the sole
Jewish reindeer living in the North Pole.
Schmuck was bullied and treated the worst way,
Until his brilliant plan saved one Christmas day. 

Schmuck the Buck introduces Larry, a young Jewish reindeer. He overcomes his awkward and sometimes painful youth to save Christmas. His tale of acceptance and inclusion is sure to warm the hearts of anyone who loves Christmas, Hanukkah, or both. A unique modern addition to any holiday library.

I first shared my review of Schmuck the Buck: Santa's Jewish reindeer last December but as Christmas and Hanukkah  are upon us once again, I'm delighted to welcome Schmuck back to Hair Past A Freckle - particularly because it turns out that I actually made a prediction last year. Here's my review again...

I don't usually read illustrated books but how could I resist a seasonal story about a Jewish reindeer who works for Santa at the North Pole?! Like Rudolph before him, young Larry is bullied by his reindeer peers who nickname him Schmuck but he isn't in possession of a glowing red nose to help guide Santa's sleigh so will he be able to save Christmas?
The suggestion that Santa's workshop is more like a sweatshop than the jolly, magical place we think we know should indicate that although this is a rhyming picture book, the satirical humour means it's written for adults rather than children. The irreverently witty illustrations by Karina Shor complement the words superbly and are worth spending a few minutes over to spot all the extra little visual jokes that might be missed at first glance. I loved the yearbook pictures which include a reindeer wearing a rather familiar looking red cap which bears the legend, 'Make Santa Great Again' which I thought was a great little touch in a story that wholeheartedly celebrates diversity.
There are a few rhymes which don't quite flow but nothing that spoiled my enjoyment of this quirkily charming little book. Anybody who includes the lines 'He pranced his way through the piney flora, Racing home just in time to light the Menora' definitely deserves a thumbs-up - and I laughed out loud at Schmuck's Bubby Rose referring to Santa as a 'chubby gentile'!
Schmuck the Buck may not have a song written about him (yet) but he deserves his moment of triumph in this enjoyable tale. A warm-hearted and fun read for Christmas or Hanukkah with a lovely message about love and acceptance which fits in well with the sentiments of the season.

I'm thrilled to say that Schmuck HAS now had a song written about him! And here it is...

Isn't that amazing?!

Hanukkah Sameach and Merry Christmas to you all! 

Schmuck the Buck is published by EXO Books and is available to purchase on Amazon US or Amazon UK

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About the Author
EXO Books is the pen name and publishing company of a writer from NYC, USA, Earth. This is his second book. Find out more at

About the Illustrator
Karina Shor is the alter ego of an artist and illustrator from Israel currently living in Brooklyn. Her savvy cheekiness is embodied in many works.
See more at