Tag Archives: fiction

Home For Christmas: Stories for Young and Old

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Christmas is a time for tradition.  Time-honored traditions have a way of unifying our experience of the holiday in ways that few other things can. I started a few traditions when my children were young and we still find them comforting today. Still, I wish I had started more traditions…and reading from a book of Christmas stories daily as the days count down is a great way to get into the holiday spirit.

Home for Christmas is a delightful anthology of short stories with Christmas themes. The authors are familiar (Pearl Buck, Henry van Dyke) and less-familiar, but all are enjoyable and pleasant. Most are secular stories that capture the “spirit of Christmas” in subtle ways. The 20 stories are all great for reading aloud to children or adults and most are about 10 minutes of reading or less. I didn’t get the book until right before Christmas so I didn’t get to read it much in my run-up to the holiday, but I will next year.

I received a complementary copy of this book in exchange for my review. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.

 

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Big Dog and His Family

A dog is rescued by a farm girl whose family then moves to the city.  The dog runs away and returns to the farm to live with the family who lives there now.  We meet the family, hear about the farm’s other dog.  There’s a skunk, coyotes and a rattlesnake.  Then the grandson comes to the farm.  Then the story stops.

Big Dog, published by Dorrance Publishing, is written with nice details and good first person (dog) perspective.  What it lacks is a plot. Young readers easily will be drawn in to the story of Big Dog.  What they’ll find, however, is the set up for a story but no real narrative.  It’s a shame that Helen Maldonado didn’t take time to develop some adventures for her lead character.

A good illustrator (vs. the black and white photographs presumably taken by the author of her dog) and a plot would make Big Dog a great read for elementary school readers.  Lacking those, it just seems like a story someone forgot to finish.

***Dorrance Publishing provided me with a complementary copy of this book in exchange for my review***

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