Schmuck the Buck: A Funny Christmas Book

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Looking for a funny Christmas book for inclusive and woke adults? Reindeer who drink beer? Elves that do yoga wheels? Check out Schmuck The Buck: Santa’s Jewish Reindeer by EXO books.

Funny Christmas Book Schmuck The BuckPin

This post originally published in 2018 and has been updated for 2019.

Sigh. I always knew that this would happen to me. I positioned myself and my brand to be a little satirical, slightly offensive, brutally honest, outright ridiculous, and expectations including nothing remotely ordinary.

I dreamed of The Uncorked Librarian being a little-mean-girl-New-England-sassy meets southern-hospitality-with-some-whiskey-and-unpredictable-hurricane-attitude.

No one has tested my wine-filled waters like the daring EXO books with their funny Christmas book, Schmuck The Buck. And yes, P.S. My keyword is ‘funny Christmas book;’ please cut me a break. You try making ‘Jewish reindeer’ or ‘Schmuck The Buck’ searchable.

Maybe this tale will do just that.

Schmuck The Buck by EXO booksPin

Author: EXO Books
Illustrator: Karina Shor
Publisher: EXO Books
Publication Date: September 1, 2018
Genre: Holiday Fiction | Graphic Novel | Satire | Multicultural Adult Holiday Fiction

I would like to thank EXO Books for sending me a free copy of Schmuck The Buck in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Find your copy of Schmuck The Buck here:   Amazon Book Depository

You can read more about the mysterious publisher and pen named author here.  For more on illustrator Karina Shor, click here.

What Is Schmuck The Buck About?

Initial Concerns Over A Jewish Reindeer

When asked to review what I thought would be a children’s picture book about a Jewish reindeer—an adaptation of Rudolph—I honestly thought: Schmuck the Buck, OH FUCK.

There is a lot that can go wrong with a rhyming picture book taking a shot at inclusiveness. Not to mention racially illustrated characters.

I tried to do my research before accepting my book reviewing fate.

Was the author Jewish? What authority did they have? Why are they so secretive??!?!

Even upon receiving the book, I questioned if the illustrations were multiculturally appropriate and correct. One Goodreads reviewer called the sketches ‘bawdy.’ Bawdy, baby, I can do.

God, I hope my MLIS classes don’t fail me with this one.  Please don’t come for me, readers.  P.S. I did enjoy the book.

Even More About The Schmuck The Buck Author

But I guess all of this debate is the point with our funny Christmas book and woke character, Schmuck the Buck. EXO Books placed a business card inside the book with a quote from Buckminster (touché) Fuller,

“We are powerfully imprisoned in these Dark Ages simply by the terms in which we have been conditioned to think.”

Yea, I had to look up Fuller too. Non-self proclaimed American Architect. Do more with less. Be an original thinker.  Sounds cool, and guess what:  That about sums up the book.  Thank you for your time.

Just kidding. Note, I also debated writing this entire review as a rhyme, but sadly, I am just not that talented.  I know.  I am disappointed in myself.  Do I have your attention with this one? Are you ready?  No seriously, ARE YOU READY?

Looking For More Seasonal Content On TUL?

Although The Uncorked Librarian focuses on books set in destinations, we also love showcasing diversity in literature. Check out these seasonal book lists, book reviews, and gift guides to get you in the holiday spirit.

Funny Christmas Book Review of Schmuck The Buck: Santa’s Jewish Reindeer

A Satirical Rudolph Adaptation 

Enter Schmuck, our little hero buck.

NOPE, I won’t do it.

Schmuck grew up like any normal geeky teenager. Shy and non-athletic tweens don’t fare well in the locker room. The jocks are douche bags with mean nicknames that stick to you like the 3D puzzle piece you tried to superglue onto the world globe. Or was that just me?

Not to mention that you have to start preparing for the future in a world with limited positions. Hunger Games-style, the odds aren’t ever really in your favor being Jewish at the North Pole.

Instead of beating down other teenagers, though, your managerial job will take care of that for you.

Working in Santa’s toy factory, couSWEATSHOPgh, is as busy as it sounds. With long hours and crappy pay, Schmuck has little time for anything else.

Surprisingly Schmuck is able to take time off for his Jewish holidays—unpaid—and the other caribou are a little peeved at the loss of a worker.  Our little protagonist can never win; even grandma is up his ass about not having a girlfriend.

All goes to complete hell in a handbasket when Santa’s toys are delivered without batteries. Oh, modern world dilemmas.

Since Santa is recovering from a celebratory night of hitting the eggnog a tad hard, Schmuck risks everything to save Christmas.

I won’t spoil the solution, but Schmuck is rewarded just like our pal, Rudolph.

Looking For More Books That Make You Think?

Schmuck The Buck is sure to make you think differently about the world. Looking for even more powerful and diverse reads? Check out this ‘books that make you think’ book list, a favorite on TUL.

Is Schmuck The Buck A Picture Book?  Should Your Kids Read It?

I would not necessarily say that Schmuck the Buck is appropriate for school-aged children. Schmuck is a funny Christmas and holiday book for adults.

Opening the book, the reindeer are smoking and drinking beers. Just warning ya here in case you decide to troll me later. Don’t get me wrong: I am totally cool with bawdy ass reindeer, but I’d aim for YA and older here.

Did I Enjoy This Funny Christmas Book Or Did I Find It Offensive?

You have to pick up Schmuck with a sense of humor. Kick back some CBD oil. Have a shot of spiced eggnog.

Although the illustrations don’t fall under my yuppie love for water-colored pastels, they perfectly match the tone and point of the story.

The thug jocks quite frankly freak the f’ out of me like the flying monkeys in The Wizard of Oz, but again, they enhance the satirical undertones of the story. Can we talk about the “N.I.C.E.” bears guarding Santa’s house with semi’s?

Plus, we have inclusiveness. Black Santa, Jewish reindeer, kids and adults of all cultures and races.  Multiple religions and holidays come together. 

Add in a take on modern culture, work-life balance, and socioeconomics. Is Schmuck a little overtly stereotypical Jewish? Maybe? But it’s more in a laugh with and understanding kind of way.

My Verdict On Schmuck The Buck

There is an elf doing a yoga wheel at the end of the book. Seriously.

For shits and giggles, I’d say add this one to your festive holiday sweater party. Load up, read aloud, and make it a part of your adult holiday traditions.  I had a good laugh.  I get it.  The world needs more out of the box kind of stories for everyone.  With Trump in office, pictures help.

Plus the moral speaks to our current miserable politic climate:

“We have our differences, that’s for sure, But we’re all the same at the core. Christmas isn’t just about gifts, but the love underneath, So it really doesn’t matter your religious belief.”

Add Schmuck The Buck To Your TBR Pile:

Schmuck The Buck PinPin
Christine Owner The Uncorked Librarian LLC with white brunette female in pink dress sitting in chair with glass of white wine and open bookPin
Christine Frascarelli

Christine (she/her) is the owner, lead editor, and tipsy book sommelier of The Uncorked Librarian LLC, an online literary publication showcasing books and movies to inspire travel and home to the famed Uncorked Reading Challenge.

With a BA in English & History from Smith College, an MLIS from USF-Tampa, and a U.S. Fulbright Fellowship in Christine's back pocket, there isn't a bookstore, library, or winery that can hide from her. Christine loves brewery yoga, adopting all of the kitties, and a glass of oaked Chardonnay. Charcuterie is her favorite food group.


  1. I wonder where you’d catalogue this on! It reminds me of Go the Fuck to Sleep or this one time I had to catalogue a book titled How Mamas Love Their Babies – I thought it was about animals and baby animals – Noor, it was about how hooker mom’s love their kids too and work hard for their money. But it was written for kids. LOL I guess my point is your MLIS served you just fine here!

    I wonder how Jewish readers would view it, but I think this sounds hilarious! Does it really matter if the while point is inclusiveness?!

    1. At our library, we had an adult graphic novel section. Although the didn’t order anything indie (boooooo), it would definitely go there (and probably get stolen within a week). Lol!

      When asked to review this one last year, I had a few concerns. I feel like these books can always be taken the wrong way and put everyone under fire. But, they are needed too. I read Schmuck the Buck aloud to Tom before bed. We are doing a giveaway for the book tomorrow. ; )

      1. i LOLed literally at reading it to Tom before bed! We used to do librarian story times in the back offices of these obscure and slightly inappropriate books.

        I think people misunderstand the actual point of satire. They’re incredibly useful…especially in this umm, current state of affairs.

        And jeeze, reading back my first comment, I’m done leaving comments from my phone! The typos!!!

  2. I feel like the challenge is to make Jewish Reindeer a ranking search term. Surely, if anyone could do it, it would be you. Also, dammit Grandma, leave poor Schmuck alone! He doesn’t even have time for days off, how do you expect him to have a girlfriend already!?

  3. I don’t know why I’m picturing the movie Animal House in illustration with reindeers and elves running around. Ha. This sounds like something I’d pick up just because I think the world takes itself too seriously. Sounds like a hoot. I’ll have to look for it at the bookstore next time. =D

    1. That is the BEST description!! Maybe you should book blog ??? It is pretty hilarious—I hope EXO Books asks me to review in the future. I had fun with this one. I definitely read the book out loud to the hubs in a hotel room for a weekend getaway. A shot of booze, a bedtime story… ??

  4. I love the prolific use of the word SCHMUCK in this post. And, obviously, as the titular character of the book you’re discussing. Because I’m thirteen years old, apparently. You should see me when I go to Germany. The word “schmuck” means “jeweler” or “jewelry store” there, so I end up snapping photos of storefronts featuring the word like whoa. It’s glorious. And, now there’s a book I can put on my coffee table with this word?? AT CHRISTMAS?!?! Good Christian men, rejoice. 😀

    1. HAHA, 13 years old is OK with me. I think ‘schmuck’ is such an old school word–but I love it. I had no idea that it actually means something in another language. I should have looked it up. I am not going to lie: when we visit Germany this winter, I am going to crack up if I see schmuck around on signs too. You can bet that I will also be taking pictures. I’d love to learn more about how the word became such a derogatory term in English. Typically, Americans love our jewelers.

      I am so glad you can purchase this book, if nothing else than for its good humor and your favorite word. AHAHA. Best comment of the day!

  5. “Schmuck the Buck, OH FUCK.” = I literally snorted. Very loudly. I suspect you may indeed have the talent to write the whole thing in rhyme, so you must give it a go another time (see? that’s what TRUE lack of poetic talent looks like hahahaha)

    I can understand your hesitation, but I love the concept and it sounds like it worked really well in the end. 😀 yay for diverse books! And it’s a good thing I don’t have children, because I would totally have given them this and thought nothing of it; do good parents really not give their kids books because there’s beer? News to me! 😐

    1. AHAHA, something tells me that you too could write the review in rhyme with probably even more curse words than me.

      I am still waiting for someone to write a review that is contrary to what I have written. This title should get one of those Amazon gems that you are amazing at finding.

      I 200% thought this was a kids’ book and started telling everyone about it before I read it. OOPS. If I had kids, I would probably let them read it anyway….. soooo…… It’s not just the beer—there is some name calling, etc, but nothing that kids haven’t heard before. I’m not very conservative on that kinda stuff–but after years in the public library, I know MUCH better to at least give fair warning.

  6. With books like this, they often either get the humour right, or just very, very wrong. I am glad to hear that this one seems to have achieved the former!

    I am most intrigued by the N.I.C.E. bears with semis…

    PS: I laughed so hard at your comment about making ‘Jewish Reindeer’ searchable. Honestly think I’m failing the SEO Gods with our posts. There are so many times when I want to just put in a subheading titled ‘Obligatory subheading’

    1. HAHA, every time I look at the pages, I find something else that I didn’t see before…like the N.I.C.E. bears.

      I keep checking out reviews to see what other people thought. It’s one of those titles where I am not Jewish so I’d be interested to see what my Jewish friends think. Schmuck is also controversial–and I love the one review that was like: WTF?!?! HAHA. Sometimes I am the only person to love or not love a title–and I always wonder who went wrong.

      I would laugh so hard if you write a subheading like that. You just made me crack up. I despise Yoast when it’s like: your paragraph is too long or you need a subheading. NOOOOOOO!!! So I end up making random paragraphs that aren’t grammatically stable. …Or when I purposely start a sentence with the same word three times and YOAST says NO WAY. I always do this for some sort of effect or point. But then YOAST hates me. That red light really bugs me.

      1. Toast is the BANE of my existence!!i have the same problem. Sorry that I can read more than 300!words without a subheading. I assumed other people could too, but apparently not!! I do hate that it doesn’t accept photos as breaking up a section, only subheadings. But what’s definitely NOT fair is that subheadings and captions count towards the word count of a section. WTF?! I have the same issue with starting three sentences with the same word. Sometimes you need to for impact! But noooo, Yoast is not happy! Haha. Don’t worry, one day I’ll write an article stuffed full of silly SEO Easter eggs!

        It’s always interesting to see where people fall on controversials books. Schmuck is a do one. I’m kind of Jewish, but I don’t think I should give a real opinion because I’m pretty sure my lineage disqualifies me. I think if the author is Jewish it’s totally fine! (Probably don’t quote me on that…)

        And can I just say, if I wasn’t allowed to read or watch stuff based on smoking and drinking as a kid, my life would be very different! I think there’s way too much policing of what kids see nowadays!

        1. I definitely agree about too much policing. One of my library branches was fairly conservative (in Florida). Parents would pull me into the stacks to talk about my nose ring… Although FL is not the deep South, it has a strong Baptist community. Harry Potter really threw everyone for a loop. Popular fiction that everyone wanted in on. How do you deny your kids reading and something mainstream? Imagine going to Universal. So many of my kids were not allowed to read about ‘magic.’ HP was out and many other jfic titles. A parent reamed me out for a book suggestion over magical elements–I had no idea the book had this minor magical realism flair. It was debatable I understand and respect religion–although I am not religious–but fantasy books are just that: imagination. Plus, those kids are going to learn how to swear by the time they are 7 soooo….

          I wanted to ask the author of Schmuck if he was Jewish too. It shouldn’t matter, but it can. I recently read a book by a white woman who tried to address race. She and her publisher thought that she wrote the most racially acceptable and diverse book possible about a black teenager–definitely not the case. I was horrified and disgusted by the blind racism and stereotypes. Wally Lamb, though, managed to write about a different gender with She’s Come Undone so I think everything is possible with care and collaboration.

          John Green takes a lot of shit for writing about drugs, depression, and drinking. He doesn’t care, and I applaud him for that.

          1. Religion is fine, and I respect it. My problem is when people start telling people how to live their lives – pretty sure that goes against the main tenants of most religions. Anyway, yeah, the whole Harry Potter is anti-Christian craze was really weird. I don’t understand how anyone can deny their kids books!!

            Ooh, I LOVED She’s Come Undone. He also wrote about Native American rights and issues in I Know This Much Is True, which I think he did quite well. But yeah, not everyone gets it right. Often times it’s cringey, and I can understand why some people just won’t read books by people not of the background they’re writing about. It sucks, but enough people get it wrong that I get it. Plus, we should celebrate authors of different backgrounds and ethnicities more, anyway.

            John Green isn’t really my favourite, but I do respect that he just does what he wants. And clearly his target demographic relates to him! I know when I was a moody depressed teen, I was reading some dark stuff. I probably would have appreciated a more mainstream author writing about those issues.

            1. I struggle with some of the hypocrisy of religion: people are definitely not practicing what they preach but love judging and condemning others.

              I read I Know This Much Is True long ago. I can’t remember the title at all, though. It definitely sucks when people get it wrong–I can never decide if it’s better to try than not.

              Then again, Megyn Kelly just blew my mind. Did you hear about that? How you decide to showcase a segment on Halloween costumes and cultural appropriation and say blackface is OK when done respectfully is BEYOND ME. I randomly had TV on just for her apology and COULDN’T FREAKING BELIEVE IT. I texted my mom like: girlfriend is going to get fired. She better get fired. It’s 2018 and that was hurtful, racist, and ignorant. Someone in her shoes should know better. I am almost sure she knew better. …And then she got fired. I have a feeling that her coworkers knew this was going to happen too–but everyone wanted her gone sooooo they watched the insanity break lose. 20freaking18…. I was mind blown.

  7. I’m all about a brutal sense of humour, even if it gets a little offensive at times. Sometimes that’s the BEST comedy :’) I genuinely think I’d like this book, and I’m thinking about getting my hands on it! I like your tip for settling down to read this with some spicy eggnog 😉 x

    1. HAHA, YESSSSS!! Get some spiked anything. I need to read this one to some other friends to see what they think. I celebrate Christmas, so I would also love to hear my Jewish friends’ thoughts. I am a pretty honest, direct, and very very very slightly offensive person sometimes–which is why I could SO appreciate this one. I am kinda hoping that is why they picked this boozy librarian. LOL Let me know what you think if you do grab a copy.

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