LOS ANGELES – 12-11-2018 (PRDistribution.com) — Alex the Reindeer Story from Liechtenstein Celebrates Christmas with Diversity
Children’s Book Explores Important Issues of Race and Nationality
Alex Saves Christmas, the first Christmas story featuring a biracial lead character, debuted as the number one Amazon best seller within children’s eBooks on Amazon.
Author Al Walser released the rhyming children’s picture book shortly before The Huffington Post pointed out what it called “very disturbing details” in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Reactions to the Huffington Post article lit Twitter up like Clark Griswold’s house. The topic struck a chord with Walser who had recently completed his own story about a reindeer hero. “I’m biracial and know what it’s like to be marginalized for something I had no control over. I wanted to publish something to help children work through those feelings,” he said.
Walser was the first biracial citizen in Liechtenstein, one of the smallest countries in the world, double-landlocked and sandwiched between Switzerland and Austria. Liechtenstein also serves as the setting for this “fish out of water” Christmas story where Santa Claus nearly misses the country and eventually meets Alex the Reindeer. It’s an unlikely fateful rendezvous that would make Liechtenstein a new Christmas powerhouse.
When Walser traveled to America to pursue his career in Los Angeles, he met former president Barack Obama. The two share the experience of what it is like to have biracial parents and be raised in a predominantly white environment where they often were the only non-white children in the room. These are challenges that biracial children continue to face.
Alex Saves Christmas addresses those challenges with personable illustrations of a two-toned (half black and half white) reindeer who finds his inner strength in a storm. This story conveys Alex’s challenges without the outright bullying, shaming, or abusive behavior that some say they see in the 1964 Rudolph film. This story takes a gentle approach. “It teaches children to never give up and that the very thing that you get bullied about may just be the thing that eventually will give you wings,” said Walser.
Biracial children rarely see themselves featured in popular Christmas stories or media in general. “This book is such a great way to help kids who might feel unrepresented,” noted Walser. Amazon reviewers echo the sentiment. One wrote, “The book really touched my heart.” Another said, “It is a story that needs to be read by children and adults.” A third reviewer expressed the timely significance of this story saying, “With its lovely illustrations, Alex Saves Christmas makes new the age old tale for modern times.”
Grammy-Nominated Artist Publishes Song to Complement Story
Walser composed a song to go with the book. Alex the Reindeer is one of three Christmas songs he released this season. He will release a full Christmas album “Christmas Time in Liechtenstein” next year.
About Al Walser
Al Walser was the first biracial citizen in Liechtenstein, one of the world’s smallest countries. He was also the first completely independent artist to earn a Grammy nomination in a major label-driven category. He produces and hosts the weekly US Top 20 Countdown Show which is syndicated on hundreds of radio stations worldwide. Walser produces high-end red-carpet events including THE SOIRÉE every Grammy Weekend and an annual red carpet gala at the Atlantis Hotel in Zürich, Switzerland.Alex the Reindeer is somewhat of a love letter to Walser’s home country. The tiny nation has a population of fewer than 40,000 yet if you ask Siri, she’ll tell you it Is the richest country in the world. The principality is celebrating its 300th birthday in 2019.
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