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by Karena Stoner ; illustrated by Anastasia Khmelevska

Pub Date: Sept. 22nd, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-954017-05-4
Publisher: Marionberry Books

A lost dog navigates Portland, Oregon, at Christmastime in this illustrated children’s book.

Brownie, a brown and white Swiss Bernese, is thrilled to visit Portland with her human family to see the holiday decorations (“PDX, as it’s known, was all dressed up in lights / Loaded with Christmas-y, tasty delights”). When the canine gets lost, she roams the city looking for her family but gets distracted by delicious smells and festive sights, including Santa’s North Pole, a kids’ “winter wonderland faire,” and “great Christmas ships” on the river. But when “the big, peckish pup” smells something yummy on one of the boats, she hops aboard and messily devours a pot of fondue, horrifying the vessel’s humans. Back on land, Brownie grows cold and scared. As she cries, she is approached by a marten with a “bright red beret” named Martin (“Trash is my game”). He gives the sad pooch shelter and sustenance. The next day, the two critters head to Pioneer Square to find Brownie’s family. Things feel hopeless until Brownie gets a familiar whiff of bacon. She follows the scent “straight to her family!”—which is happy to see her. Back home, Brownie, her family (two adults and three kids), and Martin enjoy a pleasant Christmas. Stoner provides an engaging insider look at Portland’s lively holiday happenings. Those familiar with the city will enjoy spotting recognizable locales and events, while others will appreciate Portland’s offerings through the eyes of the daring dog protagonist. Khmelevska’s energetic illustrations show joyful, bustling city scenes and the cheerful White family. They feature holiday accents such as sparkles, snow-dusted dwellings, and Christmas spectacles like a gigantic tree. Recognizable Portland locations are noted in the images, including Powell’s City of Books and the Burnside Bridge.

A charming and adorably illustrated holiday tale of canine adventure and city exploration.