Santa Paws: The Picture Book

Overview


This story about a courageous dog, written by best-selling author Ellen Emerson White and illustrated by award-winning illustrator Robert Blake, is the perfect gift for Christmas!

It's the week before Christmas, and the families in Oceanport are gathering, buying presents, hanging garlands, and celebrating. But one inhabitant is all alone--a scruffy, brown dog with no home, no owner, and no one to watch out for him. But the dog does have a heart of gold. He comes to the rescue ...

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Overview


This story about a courageous dog, written by best-selling author Ellen Emerson White and illustrated by award-winning illustrator Robert Blake, is the perfect gift for Christmas!

It's the week before Christmas, and the families in Oceanport are gathering, buying presents, hanging garlands, and celebrating. But one inhabitant is all alone--a scruffy, brown dog with no home, no owner, and no one to watch out for him. But the dog does have a heart of gold. He comes to the rescue of an elderly woman, a drowning boy, and a family whose house is on fire, at his own peril. Then, on Christmas Eve, the dog finally stumbles, wounded and exhausted, into the arms of the boy who loves him most of all. At last Santa Paws has found a home, just in time for Christmas!

A homeless street dog struggles with cold weather at Christmas time while becoming known for his good deeds, and while searching for a permanent home.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

School Library Journal
(October 1, 2003; 0-439-32438-6)

K-Gr 3-A street dog survives on handouts and garbage, struggles to keep warm and dry, and wishes for a human friend. As Christmas approaches, his adventures increase in drama: he herds home a loose bunch of cows, scares off vandals from a Nativity scene, saves a drowning baby, and rescues a family in a burning house. Watercolor illustrations support the overlong text, emphasizing the animal's hardships and his steadfast loyalty, energy, and capacity for "doing good." Readers may weary of his ongoing struggle, the ascribing of human motivations to him, the predictable outcome, and numerous overly convenient plot coincidences long before the sentimental denouement.-S. P. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Publishers Weekly
(September 22, 2003; 0-439-32438-6)

Adapted from a chapter book series, the picture book Santa Paws by Ellen Emerson White, illus. by Robert J. Blake, relates the miraculous feats of heroism and derring-do performed by a nameless, homeless dog. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Publishers Weekly
Adapted from a chapter book series, the picture book Santa Paws by Ellen Emerson White, illus. by Robert J. Blake, relates the miraculous feats of heroism and derring-do performed by a nameless, homeless dog. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
A street bum of a dog survives the ravages of winter in a cold climate by grazing on pizza and doughnuts from a public trash receptacle. Soon enough, he comes in contact with a couple of boys, one of whom hopes to keep the dog for his own. The dog wishes that someone would take care of him, yet he will have to live through a few trying events (dog style) before he gets his wish and the story winds down toward a pat, happy ending. The watercolor illustrations are well-rendered, from the muted background scenes to the sumptuous depictions of the dog amidst piles of presents in Santa's sleigh. But the writing is elementary, with too much reliance on words such as "very," "much," "nice," and "like." There are too many exclamation points and not enough credit given to a child's imagination, which could run wild through these pages if given the opportunity. 2003, Cartwheel Books/Scholastic, Ages 4 to 8.
— Susan Schott Karr
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-A street dog survives on handouts and garbage, struggles to keep warm and dry, and wishes for a human friend. As Christmas approaches, his adventures increase in drama: he herds home a loose bunch of cows, scares off vandals from a Nativity scene, saves a drowning baby, and rescues a family in a burning house. Watercolor illustrations support the overlong text, emphasizing the animal's hardships and his steadfast loyalty, energy, and capacity for "doing good." Readers may weary of his ongoing struggle, the ascribing of human motivations to him, the predictable outcome, and numerous overly convenient plot coincidences long before the sentimental denouement.-S. P. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
White has adapted material from her series of chapter books (written under the pen name of Nicholas Edwards) about a homeless dog named Santa Paws. The dog has an uncanny ability to rescue people in need, and he finally finds a family who takes him in after he rescues another family from a Christmas Eve fire in their home. Long-winded descriptions of the dog's sad and lonely life along with his many good deeds form the plot, but the compilation of anecdotes from the series leads to a disjointed structure that doesn't hang together logically or in the layout of text with illustrations. The succession of multiple rescues all in one Christmas season borders on the ridiculous, and the strung-together plot leaves holes big enough to drive a sleigh through. Logic must be completely suspended when Santa Paws limps into church with burned paws on Christmas morning--into the Catholic church where a rabbi is conducting an ecumenical service for the whole town. Blake's excellent watercolor illustrations include an appealing cover with the dog popping out of a Christmas package, but his polished paintings can't pull off a Santa Paws-style rescue. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439324380
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/1/2003
  • Series: Santa Paws
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 1,420,703
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 440L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author


Ellen Emerson White has written several critically acclaimed novels for young adults, among them THE PRESIDENT'S DAUGHTER, and its follow-up, LONG MAY SHE REIGN, as well as LIFE WITHOUT FRIENDS and LONG LIVE THE QUEEN. Ms. White graduated from Tufts University with a BA in English. She also studied fire science and police science at John Jay College in New York City and is certified to teach high school English. Her interests include the Vietnam War, cooking, downhill skiing, the Boston Red Sox, the New England Patriots, jazz, reading, politics, and pets.
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