Charlie and the Christmas Kitty, by Ree Drummond with illustrations by Diane deGroat (Harper, 2012, $17.99, 40 pages, ages 4-8)
Drummond Does it Again
With another lively, lovely book about Charlie the ranch dog, the multi-talented Ann Marie (“Ree”) Drummond delivers a delightful Christmas story. (Suzie, the young pup, helps everyone decorate, while Charlie “supervises.”)
Drummond is the daughter of a doctor and a college sorority girl who married an Oklahoma rancher, homeschools her brood of four, and writes about dogs (very well) and cooking, on the side. Whew!
Charlie Does it Again
Charlie opens each book with a welcome introduction to set the stage.
And then - wait a minute! Is it a rabbit under the Christmas tree? No, it’s a kitty! But Charlie wasn’t expecting a kitty on HIS ranch!
Maybe if he ignores it, it will go away. Maybe if he eats his lunch and minds his own business, it will go away. Maybe if he takes a nap, the kitty will go away. But than again, maybe not.
And then, another surprise! A surprise surprise that I will keep under wraps! How will it all end? Better read the next book in the series and hope to find out. . . .
deGroat Does it Again
Cowboy boots on the cover again and can you find the spurs and the tiny horse ornament? The Christmas tree even has a snowman but Charlie lives on a working ranch in Oklahoma, a state we don’t ordinarily connect with snow.
Flannel shirts and cowboy hats on, inside the house. Ask your little one to find the four Western-themed ornaments (dog, horse, steer, horse shoe) on an inside page.
The ever expressive Cover Charlie looks a tad bit surprised as the Christmas kitty snuggles up to him.
deGroat includes more of the Drummond family with each title in the series - here, depicted from their backs, but children can easily find the mom (Drummond) and dad (“Marlboro Man”) and, with a bit of research, perhaps even the four Drummond progeny. And ask your kids to describe hanging the stockings over the fireplace and see if they find the pictorial fun.
DogEvals highly recommends Charlie and his tales.
Next: Charlie Goes to School
Previous: Charlie the Ranch Dog
Caveat: Hopefully, your local public library, like ours, has the entire Charlie series to whet your appetite but I bet you will end up buying them anyway!