Drummond, the cookbook author and blogger known as the Pioneer Woman, offers a holiday-themed sequel to her previous story about the pets on her ranch, Charlie the Ranch Dog (2011).
This time, Charlie the nap-loving basset hound is shocked when a tiny, furry creature shows up as a surprise Christmas present. At first, he thinks the new addition is a rabbit, but then the dog realizes this must be a kitten. The kitty repeatedly tries to befriend the rather staid, older dog, who finds the playful cat a nuisance. Finally, the kitten crawls on Charlie’s back, giving him a “backrub” and winning the dog over as a pal. The final spread shows a basset hound puppy named Walter arriving at the ranch, setting the stage for the next installment in the series. The first-person story as narrated by Charlie captures his laid-back, laconic lifestyle, though the humor is minimal and the plot predictable. DeGroat’s illustrations liven things up with a variety of perspectives and integrated display type, and the tiny chipmunk peeking out on each spread adds a clever touch. A recipe for “Charlie’s Favorite Christmas Cookies” (for humans, not canines) is included.
For fans of basset hounds and the Pioneer Woman. (Picture book. 3-6)