Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Innkeeper's Dog

There are several Christmas stories told from an animal’s perspective. The Innkeeper’s Dog, written by Deborah Bence Boerema, is a little different; it tells about a dog’s viewpoint Christ’s birth a year later.

The star of the book is a pup named Thaniel the Spaniel. He lives in a stable but feels downhearted as the other animals constantly recall the events of that fateful night Jesus was born. Since Thaniel didn’t see the baby, he doesn’t feel special. Sure, he carries food for the family, helps guard the sheep, and protects the family, but to Thaniel, that doesn’t seem extraordinary.

One day, the innkeeper’s son decides to throw a celebration in honor of what happened. Only then does Thaniel learn the truth: that he was born on the same night as the Christ child and was given as a gift to Jesus. However, Mary leaves Thaniel behind, asking the innkeeper’s son to care for the pup and telling him, “Each time the pup does something for you, it will be as if he is doing it for my son. Remember that God wants all creatures to use our talents and skills to serve him. And one way we can serve God is by serving others.”

Upon hearing this, Thaniel realizes that he is special after all!

The layout of the book is a series of two-page spreads with an illustration on one side and a full page of text on the other. The pictures are best described as simple line drawings that are reminiscent of a coloring-book style.

What I Like: The message is a good one. We can’t all be superstars; we don’t always possess obvious talents. But if we can use the skills we have with a humble attitude, we can still serve God. The book also offers a free audio book download. That’s always a plus in my world! Children who like dogs will likely enjoy this book.

What I Dislike: There is a lot of text for the target audience, and not a lot of action in the story. In addition, it is a little pricey for a small paperback.

Overall Rating: Good.

Age Appeal: None is given, but it would work for the grades K-2 crowd.

Publisher Info: Tate Publishing, 2013; ISBN: 978-1625103239; Paperback or Kindle, 24 pgs., $8.99
This book is NOT available at
Buy it at for $8.99 OR Buy the Kindle version for $7.99.

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