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by Steve Smallman, illustrated by Alison Edgson

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-56148-767-7
Publisher: Good Books

This British import features a bouncy, innocent puppy who tries to figure out the meaning of all the unusual Christmas activities going on in his home.

In rhyming text, the puppy wonders about the tree in the house, the stockings mysteriously nailed up on the mantel and the unusually good behavior of the two children in the family. The other pet in the household, a kindly, older cat, explains the Christmas circumstances to the puppy and tells him about Santa Claus. The pair try to stay awake on Christmas Eve as they wait for Santa’s arrival, but they are asleep together under the tree when Santa makes his delivery. Sweetly traditional illustrations use lots of glowing light to create a warm mood, and the little puppy is undeniably cute, especially when wearing an oversized Santa hat, which has added texture, thanks to a raised, velvety surface. Several Santa hats and Santa’s entire suit have this extra touch, including the one sported by the smiling puppy on the cover illustration. An extra-large trim size and lots of double-page illustrations make this a good choice for reading to a group. There are surprisingly few recent Christmas books about puppies or dogs, so this little puppy might be a welcome visitor in homes with dogs.

Not particularly innovative, but earnest and sweet, like a puppy trying to behave. (Picture book. 3-6)