Charlie and the Christmas Kitty

by Ree Drummond
Illustrated by Diane deGroat
HarperCollins 2012
ISBN 9780062219206
Ages 4-8

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Bank Street Best Book of the Year List 2013

In this hilarious follow-up to the New York Times bestselling picture book Charlie the Ranch Dog, Ree Drummond - the Pioneer Woman herself - delivers a story about getting into the holiday spirit and finding the good in all. Even though Charlie may not have put a kitty on his Christmas list, he learns that if you keep an open heart new friends can come in unexpected packages.


Kirkus Review Drummond, the cookbook author and blogger known as the Pioneer Woman, offers a holiday-themed sequel to her previous story about the pets on her ranch,  Charlie the Ranch Dog (2011). This time, Charlie the nap-loving basset hound is shocked when a tiny, furry creature shows up as a surprise Christmas present. At first, he thinks the new addition is a rabbit, but then the dog realizes this must be a kitten. The kitty repeatedly tries to befriend the rather staid, older dog, who finds the playful cat a nuisance. Finally, the kitten crawls on Charlie's back, giving him a "backrub" and winning the dog over as a pal. The final spread shows a basset hound puppy named Walter arriving at the ranch, setting the stage for the next installment in the series. The first-person story as narrated by Charlie captures his laid-back, laconic lifestyle, though the humor is minimal and the plot predictable. DeGroat's illustrations liven things up with a variety of perspectives and integrated display type, and the tiny chipmunk peeking out on each spread adds a clever touch. A recipe for "Charlie's Favorite Christmas Cookies" (for humans, not canines) is included. For fans of basset hounds and the Pioneer Woman. (Picture book. 3-6)

Visit Ree's blog at www.thepioneerwoman.com