The Christmas Puppy
Roberta Grobel Intrater
Illustrations by Bruce McNally
Cartwheel Books, Scholastic, 1999
This is a nice story about learning to give up what you love for the good of someone else. A young boy, his mom and grandmother go to a shelter to pick out a puppy. Mom wants one that doesn’t shed, but her son has another idea. When they bring their puppy home they must learn to live with all the excitement a young dog brings with it. But one cold night the puppy runs away and the family has to adjust to life without their precious pup. Close to Christmas they finally find their dog and the boy has to make a really big decision.
*Tina, a shelter puppy with “short tan and white hair. Her face was white, with tan patches around her soft brown eyes.” She is full of love and mischief and chooses which human to take her home. But with Tina being a former stray, she loves to roam and as a result, causes her family a lot of heartache.
*Zach, the young boy that Tina chose, loves her as much as she loves him. At Christmas he learns to let go of what he loves so much to make someone else happy.
*Mom & Dad, Zach’s parents; despite their misgivings about Tina and frustration at all the trouble she gets into, they learn to love her very much.
*The Old Man; when Tina disappeared one night, the old man rescued her from the cold, took her in and named her The Princess. He loved her very much as well.
The book is a quick read for older children; a good beginner chapter book for younger kids. It is really misnamed because only about 2/5 of the story takes place around Christmas and so in my book doesn’t really qualify as a “Christmas story.” Nonetheless it does remind dog people that you really need to keep that back gate locked and have a really tall fence if you want to keep your wandering pooch at home.
Rating 3 out of 3 paws
The author’s other books:
Thinking of my sister, LadyBird