This picture book follows a dog in his search for a new home. The story opens with him outside an old country store. "I'm lost!" He runs into a bigger, not-so-friendly dog, then follows his nose to a cookout where he meets a young girl. The dog's journey continues to school, then a homeless shelter and finally a nice man's home. At each stop, the dog hears a little bit about Jesus. It seems he and Jesus have much in common -- they both slept on hay in a barn when no one would give them a place to stay. Finally, when the dog is welcomed into a home, he witnesses Christmas morning. His new family reads from the Bible and opens presents. It is then that Kat (as the dog has been named) figures out what Christmas really is. "It is about God loving people so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to be the Savior of the whole world."
A major feature of this book is its bilingual nature. Each page offers the story in English (at the top of the page) and in Spanish (at the bottom of the page). The back of the book gives the plan of salvation with Scriptural supports.
What I Like:I like that the story is told from the dog's perspective. The author does a good job speculating what an animal would feel during this journey. The author's love of his dog is obvious! This book clearly states what Christmas really is -- more specifically than many children's books. I like the "ABC's of Salvation" offered at the back.
What I Dislike: The dog never looks for his first family. We see them drive off in their car, but nothing is ever mentioned about them. That bothers me. The bilingual feature is unique, but I think it would be more effective if presented differently -- maybe have an upside-down/turn-around format with one language starting from the back cover. The biggest problem, though, is this book tries to cover too much. I had to read it twice before catching the point. It's a long book (64 pages) filled with distracting details. A nice story, but the writing doesn't do it justice. With some good editing, this could be much better; perhaps a series of smaller, more focused books rather than one big one. Also, the illustrations are not very inviting. They have a lot of color, but are not in a kid-friendly style.
Overall Rating: Poor
Age Appeal: 9-12