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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Kurt, Gert, Jazmine, and Bagel are happy dogs. They’re very excited about Christmas and Santa’s upcoming visit. They know what it means: presents and lots of them. But, like children, the dogs are impatient. Jazmine knows how to track Santa. While the others help bake and decorate, she searches for Santa and, of course, her presents. It’s an exciting time of the year.
Irene Dolnick’s picture book story, Kurt, Gert, Jazmine, and Bagel In Santa Chases Hot Dogs, is a fun learn-to-read book with plenty of coloring and other activities to entertain youngsters while they wait for Santa to come. The story is written in simple language so a young reader can learn some new words and follow along, perhaps even reading some of the story themselves. There are interesting expressions in the dialogue and the author takes care to provide meanings for these expressions. For example, “sneak peek = to see without anyone seeing” and “piece of cake = task done easily.” The book also includes a dictionary and lots of rhyming words.
The characters are endearing and sweet, sometimes funny, too. Although some of the dog characters in real life might not be able to do the things they do in the story, like talk on the phone, this only adds more character and fun to the overall plot development. I love the games, word searches, puzzles, and pages to color at the end of the book. This will certainly provide hours of entertainment for excited children during the festive season. There is a lot to learn in this book, as well as a lot of fun to share.