It’s holiday time in Santa Vista, and Amy is especially excited for Christmas. Her dad and soon-to-be stepmom and stepsister are visiting, plus, there are some adorable guinea pigs at the Critter Club. But amidst the hustle and bustle of Christmas preparations, Amy notices that Ms. Sullivan seems a little lonely. Though Ms. Sullivan assures Amy that she will have a lovely holiday with her dog Rufus, Amy begins to wonder if there’s something she can do to cheer up Ms. Sullivan.
As Christmas Eve nears, the Critter Club girls still have not found families to adopt the guinea pigs. But then, in a Christmas miracle, each guinea pig gets a home. And come Christmas Day, Amy has devised a great plan to give Ms. Sullivan some cheer—and some company—on Christmas!
With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, The Critter Club chapter books are perfect for beginning readers!
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About the Author
Marsha Riti illustrated the picture book The Picky Little Witch by Elizabeth Brokamp and The Critter Club series by Callie Barkley. She lives in Austin, Texas, where she likes to take long walks, stopping frequently to pet neighborhood kitties.
Read an Excerpt
Amy’s Very Merry Christmas
At her mom’s vet clinic, Amy Purvis peeked into the guinea pigs’ cage. She had just hung a new toy from its top. Will they figure out how to play with it? Amy wondered.
Snowy, the white guinea pig, tried it out first. He sniffed at the jingle bell dangling at the end of a silver velvet ribbon. Jingle. The bell rang softly. Snowy darted away and hid inside a tissue box.
His brother, Alfie, came over next. He nudged the bell with his paw. Jingle-jingle!
Before long, the two guinea pigs were taking turns batting at the bell.
Amy smiled as she watched them play. “Happy holidays, guys!”
It was a week before Christmas. Snowy and Alfie had been staying at the vet clinic for a few days. Their owner had brought them in because they seemed sick. They hadn’t been eating or moving around much. But Amy’s mom, Dr. Melanie Purvis, had known exactly what to do.
“Look at them now!” Amy’s mom said, walking up behind Amy. “You see? They just weren’t getting enough vitamin C before. It’s a common problem for guinea pigs.” Dr. Purvis had fed the guinea pigs lots of oranges and kiwi fruit. “They’re just about well enough to go home.”
Amy gave a happy clap. “Yay! Home in time for the holidays!” she said.
Amy loved animals, so she also loved helping out at her mom’s clinic. It was in the building right next door to Amy’s house, where she lived with her mom. On some weekdays, after school let out, Amy brought her homework over to the clinic. She sat at the front desk, did her reading and math, then helped with chores.
Today she cleaned out cages, refilled water bowls, and took two dogs for walks. But making the toy for Snowy and Alfie had been the most fun.
“Mom,” said Amy. “I just got an idea: I’m going to make a present for each animal at the clinic.”
Dr. Purvis gave Amy a hug. “I think that’s very nice of you,” she said. “Maybe your Critter Club friends would like to help?”
“Yes!” said Amy. She and her best friends, Marion, Liz, and Ellie, ran an animal shelter called The Critter Club in their friend Ms. Sullivan’s barn. Together, the girls had helped lots of stray animals in Santa Vista find new homes.
Right now, the club didn’t have any animal guests. So it was the perfect time for the girls to find some other critters to help.
The animals at the clinic need some holiday cheer, Amy decided. This is most certainly a job for The Critter Club!