VegNews Magazine, December 2016 "The Holiday Issue"
Vegan Health and Fitness, Volume 4, Issue 6
This year, experience the holidays with a story of love, peace, and compassion! Meet Dana, a forthright and fun-loving reindeer who lives in the Arctic. On Christmas Eve, she meets Santa Claus, who has come looking for reindeer to pull his sleigh. Dana gently opens Santa's eyes to how we can be more kind to animals. Together they take off on a journey around the world, spreading far more than holiday cheer and giving far more than presents. By the time the sun rises on Christmas Day, things will never be the same!
“In Santa’s First Vegan Christmas, the story’s heroine, Dana the Reindeer, speaks an important truth: “We can all be more kind.” Even Santa Claus, an emblem of kindness and generosity, can do better. In this skillful revision of the traditional Christmas story, reindeers are not background characters whose purpose is to pull Santa’s sleigh. Instead, author Robin Raven brings animals to the forefront as sentient individuals with their own interests and needs. This whimsical and beautifully illustrated book will plant seeds of compassion in children, as it demonstrates the importance of standing up for what is right and extending kindness to all. Raven’s story exemplifies a shift in consciousness, a transformation in the way we regard other animals. By teaching us to question, rather than merely accept cultural norms, this timely tale sets the stage for a revision of all traditions in which animals are abused, and encourages us to live more compassionately.” --Gene Baur, President of Farm Sanctuary
“This little nugget of goodness is sure to enlighten the spirits of little readers everywhere; it's a wonderful read, and it seeds a lovelier world to come!”
-- Kathy Freston, New York Times bestselling author of Veganist
“Santa's First Vegan Christmas is a sweet vision of what the world could be with loving kindness and a little help from vegans, animal rescuers, and of course, Santa! May all beings everywhere be peaceful, happy, and free.”
-- Lorri Houston, Co-founder, Farm Sanctuary
"Santa's First Vegan Christmas is a delightfully illustrated book that will encourage children to think about all animals at Christmas time.”
-- Peter Singer, Philosopher and author of Animal Liberation and The Life You Can Save
"Santa's First Vegan Christmas is a holiday jewel that is sure to inspire and help guide children of all ages to greater compassion and understanding. Beautiful full-color illustrations delight the eyes while poetic lines unfold a new version of Clement Moore's Christmas classic."
--Dr. Will Tuttle, author of The World Peace Diet
"Santa's First Vegan Christmas is sweet, especially good if you're trying to get your little one to be more healthy."
-- Alicia Silverstone, actress and author
"Quick-witted, radically kind, delightfully illustrated, this gem by author Robin Raven and artist Kara Maria Schunk reveals other animals' own destinies by way of a holiday classic, unharnessed. As reindeer were the first animals to be domesticated, Santa's First Vegan Christmas is a redemption some sixteen thousand years in coming. A splendid gift with a transcendent message for a young reader."
--Lee Hall, author of On Their Own Terms: Animal Liberation for the 21st Century
"Santa's First Vegan Christmas is a first! Beautifully written and stunningly illustrated, this wonderful book shows clearly how all of Earth's residents, nonhuman and human alike, benefit when kindness, compassion, peace, and love are abundantly extended to all beings. It's a win-win for everyone. I hope this lovely and most important book will find its way into all schools, libraries, homes, and hearts. Congratulations to Robin Raven and Kara Maria Schunk for taking the time to produce this landmark book. It really is that good."
--Marc Bekoff, author of Rewilding Our Hearts: Building Pathways of Compassion and Coexistence
"This disarming, beautiful book reads like a collaboration between Dr Seuss and Grandma Moses. And how refreshing to encounter the classic Santa Claus story rendered into an uplifting tale of love and respect for all who may enjoy life."
--Jonathan Balcombe, author of What a Fish Knows
"Robin Raven has created a tale filled with the true meaning of Christmas: peace, joy, and compassion toward all."
--Mark Hawthorne, author of A Vegan Ethic
"This beautiful, charmingly illustrated book delivers an important lesson for young and old on the true spirit of the season. It is always better to give than receive, to think of how to help others, to practice kindness and selfless compassion, and to ask oneself, 'How can I do better?' We felt sorry for poor bullied Rudolph, but Dana the Reindeer encourages us to take our compassion much further."
--Leinana Two Moons, author of Baconish
"Santa's First Vegan Christmas is really cute and a great angle on the Santa and reindeer story. I really love the ending!"
--Kip Anderson, co-director of Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret
"I just read Santa's First Vegan Christmas. All I can say is... it's delightful, whimsical and enchanting. How refreshing to experience a new take on this age old tradition. It's a lovely story for kids and a thought provoking one for everybody. Last year I read Robin Raven's first novel, Next Stop: Nina which was an intimate and revealing story about the title character. This wonderful new Christmas tale shows Ms Raven's amazing range as an author. Also, the artwork in the book is just wonderful and so captures the feeling of the story. Merry Christmas to all!"
--Jerry Houser, critically acclaimed actor of such films as Summer of '42
"Santa's eyes are opened to a kinder way of living in this non-traditional twist of a holiday favorite. With stunning illustrations, Santa's First Vegan Christmas sweetly reminds adults and children of the true meaning of the season we celebrate, making it a perfect holiday read!"
--Stephanie Dreyer, author of Not a Nugget and founder of Veegmama
"Perception is everything--and Robin Raven and Kara Maria Schunk take readers on a joyful Christmas adventure with the goal of shaking up a few holiday perceptions. With gorgeous illustrations (Schunk), Raven creates a Christmas where sentient beings are honored and respected. As all creatures should be. A must read for children and adults alike."
--Carolyn Haines, USA Today bestselling author of the Sarah Booth Delaney mystery series
"A magical holiday tale with a beautiful and important message of kindness and compassion for all living creatures. It encourages each of us - young and 'older' to be more mindful and respectful of our fellow beings…and inspires us to open our hearts and embrace a more peaceful and loving world. The delightful illustrations made me smile and added to the joy of this heartwarming book that celebrates 'less taking and more giving.' Bravo and thank you to Robin Raven and Kara Maria Schunk for the gift of this game changing holiday classic. I love it!"
-- Caryn Richman, Actress
"This is a beautifully crafted children's book that teaches children (and grownups) about honoring and respecting animals in all facets of our lives. The book is written for all ages, and is perfect for cozy bedtime reading. The illustrations are magnificent. I am giving this book as Christmas gifts this year. Robin Raven is a writer that understands where we need to go in our relationship to animals, and her own brilliance is her ability to make it seem inevitable and timely that we look at how we can make it happen. Bravo!"
--Corey Parker, critically acclaimed actor and member of The Actors Studio
"Colorful dynamic illustrations accompany a simple story that takes off with the familiar 'Twas the night before Christmas...' and ends in utopia. Not so simple--through reindeer protagonist Dana, the author issues a firm challenge to anyone stuck in a senseless tradition: 'I know you meant no harm. You're just going along with the cultural norm'. Original and timely, this book contributes to the expansion of our collective consciousness and nourishes our undervalued empathy."
--Ana M. Negrón, MD author of Nourishing The Body and Recovering Health
"Santa's First Vegan Christmas is a heartwarming story that embraces the true spirit of the holiday season: peace, love and compassion for all! It's filled with sweet sentiments and gorgeous illustrations; a delightful children's book for the holidays!"
--Jackie Day, author of The Vegan Way: 21 Days to a Happier, Healthier, Plant-Based Lifestyle That Will Transform Your Home, Your Diet, And You.
"This gorgeous children's book is a MUST-HAVE for vegans of all ages! Reading the story of Santa having compassion for animals is heartwarming and adorable. The illustrations are colorful works of art and the story is one to share with the whole family!"
--Vegan Health & Fitness Magazine