After being accidentally left behind in Poinsettia, Santa’s puppy may be able to help the Kerstmans with their holiday spirit while he’s there.
Peppermint Bark stowed away on Santa’s sleigh. At the first stop, alerted by the sound of children arguing, the curious pup disembarked. Now, if he wants to get back to the North Pole, Peppermint Bark needs to find and go through one of the portals that Santa uses to manage all his deliveries before Christmas ends. Luckily, young Chris Kerstman can understand exactly what Peppermint Bark is saying and vows to help him. Older sister Holly is not susceptible to the magic…yet. She might not assist with the search except for the fact that her friend Ivy, who is visiting over the holiday, can hear the pup, too. While the premise is a stretch, the quest brings about plenty of cheerful chaos and leads to the expected warm observations about family and friends. The Kerstmans are white, Ivy is Japanese American, and the cast of townsfolk superficially represent other cultural backgrounds. Plus elves and reindeer. As her family does not celebrate the holiday, Ivy is with the Kerstmans in order to learn about its traditions. There are passing references to Nativity scenes, but the focus is on the secular.
Predictable, merry mayhem for children who love Christmas sweets. (Fiction. 7-10)