During the holiday season, a homeless puppy wakes up one morning to find the rest of his canine family missing. He searches everywhere for them to no avail, but as he traverses the city on his quest, he meets many humans in need of help, saving and comfort. "Santa Paws" may be teaching an entire town the true meaning of Christmas, but all the lonely little puppy wants is a home to call his own. He may have found that in Gregory Callahan, a boy he met on the school playground, but when the puppy gets into trouble and is the one in need of help, will Gregory be able to find him before it's too late?
In Santa Paws, Nicholas Edwards (which is actually a pseudonym for Ellen Emerson White) has created an absolutely charming tale of a small homeless puppy who goes around town, saving lives, helping people in need, and spreading Christmas cheer during the holiday season. I loved how the puppy is still able to give love and help the townspeople to feel better, even though he is so very lonely himself after getting lost from his canine family. I found this to be a great object lesson for humans in that if we can rise above our own hurts and find the love in our hearts to help others, it might just make us feel better too, not to mention it was a great example of the real meaning of Christmas.
I would say that at least half of the book is written from the dog's point of view, which I thought was very unique and clever. In my opinion, Ms. White did an excellent job of describing how a dog might think and feel. Rather than simply anthropomorphizing the dog as many author would, she managed to created some realistic actions and thought processes, with him relying on instincts a lot. Sometimes he would have a one track mind about something and others he would entirely forget what his original objective was when something fun and distracting came along. Overall, I was just really impressed with how the author managed to get into the mind of a dog, and make me, on some level, feel what a dog might feel. As I read Santa Paws, I was reminded a great deal of the old Lassie movies and TV shows of which I was a huge fan when I was a kid. Of course, in my experience, dogs who are that smart are few and far between, but they do certainly exist.
Santa Paws was just a very sweet and enjoyable tale that is sure to warm the heart during the holiday season or any time of the year. I highly recommend it for all animal lovers, and for family reading time. Even though the book is geared towards kids, my adult mind was engaged as well. It is the first book in the Santa Paws series. Nicholas Edwards created the series and authored the first six books, but there are others that were written later by Kris Edwards, who is no relation. I'm not sure of the entire story behind the change in authors, but it is my understanding that Ellen Emerson White did not approve of or officially sanction these later Santa Paws books. In any case, I loved this one so much, I am greatly looking forward to reading the other books in the series, at least those authored by Ms. White as Nicholas Edwards.
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