Cover Image: Santa's Puppy

Santa's Puppy

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Member Reviews

This book was received as an ARC from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group - HMH Books for Young Readers in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

This book was adorable to the Max. It reminded me a lot of a Hallmark Christmas Movie and of course my favorite part was the adorable dog and all of his traits including his Peppermint Bark name, minty breath and of course his ability to talk so the children Chris, Holly, and Ivy can get him back home in time through the portal for the North Pole before the clock strikes midnight. A wonderful story that is sure to put a smile on a child's face. This book is also perfect for those who want the inner child in them to come forth just for a short time and enjoy very soon all the holiday gifts and festivities.  I know the young readers will absolutely adore this book.

We will consider adding this title to our JHoliday collection at the library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.
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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.
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Homeward Bound meets Elf in this heartwarming tale for the whole family. Can Chris, Holly, and Ivy help Santa's dog Peppermint Bark jingle all the way home to the North Pole before Christmas Day ends?

For 364 days of the year, Santa and his best friend, Peppermint Bark, are inseparable. Santa's fluffy white dog helps herd the reindeer, keep tabs on the elves, and check the list—twice. But though Peppermint Bark asks every Christmas, he never gets to join Santa on his sleigh ride around the world. Until the dog decides to stow away . . .

When eight- and eleven-year-old Chris and Holly Kerstman discover a small white dog wedged in their chimney on Christmas morning, they can't imagine where he came from, until he tells them. Peppermint Bark is unlike any dog they and Holly's best friend, Ivy, have ever met: His breath smells of mint, faint jingle bells can be heard when he wags his tail, and he can talk! He tells the kids all about his secret sleigh ride and how he got accidentally left behind on their rooftop, but when it comes to answering the question of how he'll get home to the North Pole, Peppermint Bark is stumped. It's up to the kids to work together to get Peppermint Bark home before the last magical portal to the North Pole closes at midnight on Christmas Day. A Christmas tale with enough heartwarming moments and heart-pounding action to entertain the entire family this holiday!

This book was absolutely adorable! I was hooked from the moment I started reading and it was a real Christmas adventure all the way through. Children are going to love this tale of a Christmas puppy and the race against time to get him back to his home at the North Pole. 

Beautifully written, some excellent language for talking points in the classroom, lots of lovely Christmas imagery and likeable characters, Santa's Puppy would be a welcome addition to any child's Christmas bookshelves.
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