The Return of Santa Paws

By: Nicholas Edwards

Series: Santa Paws

Book Number: 2

Star Rating:



Spoiler Disclaimer


Santa Paws found the perfect family in the Callahans and he loves being their dog. Christmas has come around again, and young Gregory Callahan is flying to his grandparents' cabin in New Hampshire with his sister, Patricia, and his Uncle Steve who is a pilot. However, on the way there, a mechanical failure causes the plane to crash in the snowy wilderness. Thanks to the kids' quick thinking and Santa Paws' help, everyone survives, but Uncle Steve and Patricia are injured. With a blizzard rolling in that night, they know that search and rescue won't be coming for them. When their food runs low and they're having difficulty staying warm, Uncle Steve reluctantly sends the kids and Santa Paws in search of help. Santa Paws bravely assists the kids by forging a path through the deep snow, while keeping his nose in the air on the hunt for cars. Along the way they'll face many dangers and obstacles, while hoping for a Christmas miracle.


The Return of Santa Paws is the second book in Nicholas Edwards's Santa Paws series. In this one, Santa Paws (aka Nick) has settled in with the Callahan family and loves being their dog. He's particularly attached to the children, Gregory, and his older sister, Patricia. It's Christmastime once again, and the family is planning to spend the holiday at their grandparents' cabin in Vermont. Their parents are driving, but their Uncle Steve, who is a pilot, is flying so that he can come back quickly in a couple of days for work. Gregory and Patricia have flown with Steve several times before and love it, so they decide to take Santa Paws and go with him. However, before they reach their destination, a mechanical failure causes the plane's engine to stall and Steve must crash-land it in the middle of a snowy forest. It comes to rest against a tree at the edge of a ravine, and Steve is knocked unconscious. Thanks to the kids' quick thinking and Santa Paws' help, they barely get everyone out in time before the plane plunges off a cliff. With Steve and Patricia injured, Gregory must build a shelter and find wood to start a fire. But when a snowstorm blows in and Steve realizes that planes won't be able to fly in the bad weather to search for them, he reluctantly sends the kids in search of help. With the heroic Santa Paws forging a path through the deep snow and his trusty nose on the hunt for cars, they all brave the wintry condition and many obstacles, hoping for a Christmas miracle.

I read Santa Paws, the first book, years ago with my kids when they were young, but we never got around to continuing the series. Last year, I decided to reread it and then keep the series on my reading list each year at Christmastime until I finish it. I'm so glad I did, because The Return of Santa Paws was equally as good as the first one. It's told in third-person POV alternating between Gregory, Patricia, and Santa Paws. As with the first book, I was impressed with the author's ability to get inside the dog's mind and figure out what he might be thinking. Of course, he humorously doesn't understand exactly what's going on, but he's always eager to make his humans happy and help and protect them in any way he can. The story is full of action and adventure as Santa Paws, along with Gregory and Patricia, brave the ravages of winter in search of help after the small plane they were traveling on crashes in the wilderness. It's part survival story, part heartwarming, holiday, family drama, and not to worry, there is a happy ending to the suspenseful narrative that kept me on the edge of my seat. I can't imagine that this book wouldn't entertain kids, especially those who enjoy animal stories or suspenseful, survival stories. Highly recommended for middle grade readers or the young at heart who would like this type of book.


Nicholas Edwards aka Ellen Emerson White