Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas Titles!

Hapka, Catherine. Santa's Puppy
October 15th 2019 by HMH Books for Young Readers
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Santa's fluffy white puppy, Peppermint Bark, wants to constantly be near him, but when Christmas arrives, both Santa and the elves tell the dog to stay behind at the North Pole and keep Ms. Claus company. Undeterred, Peppermint Bark decides to stowaway in the pack of toys on the sleigh. At the first stop, he hears human children, and hops out to investigate. Santa and his sleigh leave, and the dog ends up inside the chimney! Luckily, young Chris and Holly Kerstman hear the barks, and the family helps rescue him. Chris can communicate with the dog, who lets him know they need to find a portal to get him back home. The town of Poinsettia is famous for its holiday celebrations, so there are lots of different places to check for the portals, and Peppermint Bark and the children get into all kids of trouble. Elves Happy and Juniper come to try to find the dog, and they find trouble of their own. Will Peppermint Bark be able to get back home where he belongs?
Strengths: Vaguely reminiscent of Phyllis McGinley's The Year Without a Santa Claus, this is a delightful romp that will warm the hearts of holiday and dog fans alike. Poinsettia's Christmas is the ultimate celebration, and the trouble the children get into trying to find the portal is all light hearted and amusing. Peppermint Bark, who breath smells like warm cocoa, is every child's dream dog, and the ending, with a visit to the North Pole to hang out with Santa, is delightful.
Weaknesses: I found it a little hard to believe that that the portal to the North Pole only opens once a year, but it gives an immediacy to the plot that makes it more exciting.
What I really think: As someone whose house was for years visited by wily elves named Jeek and Glendle who got into all kinds of trouble, I can appreciate a good Christmas story. My students like them as well, and dog stories are popular, so I'm definitely buying a copy of this, even though few of my 8th graders will ever touch it.

Keene, Carolyn. A Nancy Drew Christmas (Nancy Drew Diaries #18)
September 18th 2018 by Aladdin
Copy from the Ohio E Book Project

Ah, Nancy. I'm beginning to think that her father is neglectful (You have a case, so you send your child alone across the country to a ski lodge? Where she gets injured but just continues to hang around?), and I rather missed George and Bess in this one, but we do get a brief glimpse of the Hardy Boys. This had a lot of environmental topics, which I completely support, but this one felt a bit heavy handed. The mystery... they are always a bit Scooby Doo to me, but I'm old. I love this series because it's a great read for middle schoolers, and aside from book 1 and 2 these can be read in any order, but I think 18 is enough, so I think this is the last one I will purchase.

If you are an adult fan of Nancy Drew, you owe it to yourself to pick up Cain's snarky Confessions of a Teen Sleuth.

No comments:

Post a Comment