Guest Author - Siobhain M Cullen
Christmas stories for children include many old favorites such as A Christmas Carol and The Little Match Girl, but sometimes it's fun to ring the changes with a more contemporary example such as the utterly irresistible 'A Dog Named Christmas!'
The poignant and emotive tale of a gorgeous goofy black labrador that nobody wants at Christmas,and his relationship with a boy with special needs at Christmas, has received rave revieews from children,teachers, homeschoolers, grandparents, parents - and dog lovers alike!
The winter-themed story book also has the added bonus of making kids want to rush off to write equally ecstatic endings for freezing, lonesome little mutts of their own imaginations!
Alternatively, the kids can just express their thoughts, feelings and creativity verbally rather than through the challenging activity of writing - through discussion or art. Many children have extra learning challenges but this should not be allowed to bar them from storytelling in other ways. Books about dogs and other animals can have a special place in these children's hearts.
Appropriately (in such a situation) 'A Dog Named Christmas' spins a spell-binding and gripping tale of just such a young person, Todd. The learning-challenged young man hears of an 'adopt a dog for Christmas' plan at a dog rescue home in the neighbourhood of his family ranch - and (you've guessed it) sets his heart on the scheme! His dad has 'Issues' with the request, for reasons of his own.....
The icy blue star-twinkled night sky theme of the book cover draws the reader in. In the background is a cheery log cabin style house with bright fire-lit windows and we imagine Christmas decorations and the scent of roast dinner cooking.
But, still outside, gazing mournfully at us from the bottom of the book cover, a soft, black, labrador-type dog sits in the snow. His shoulders are hunched disconsolately against the freezing blasts and his large soulful eyes plead piteously to us - a winter story image to touch any heart.
The combination of a frost-starred sky blue cover and the dark vulnerable eyes of a silky-coated dog that needs love will have most kids,and adults, ripping the dog story open to read how Todd does not let his learning challenges stop him from hatching a very special plan. It is a plan which will help not just one dog, but many dogs - and change and inspire the whole community.
Nowadays, parents, homeschoolers, teachers and dog-lovers do not even have to wait for the mailman to arrive before they can find out what happens in their chosen winter dog story. They can start reading the book in minutes - it is also available on Kindle (below) for those who haven't managed to find just the right Christmas stories for kids in the nick of time for Christmas Day.