CHRISTMAS GIFT IDEA
Christmas with Patchy and Calico
by Greta Burroughs
Christmas with Patchy and Calico by Greta Burroughs is a great gift idea for the kids. You can even enter the Books Direct Christmas Giveaway for your chance to win a copy!
Also available: Patchwork Dog and Calico Cat, and Patchy and Calico’s Summer Vacation (you can also read my earlier blog post), and Patchy and Calico Collection.
Christmas is a special time for kids of all ages and in Christmas with Patchy and Calico, the lovable dog and cat discover the true spirit of the holiday season. Through their many adventures, the two friends learn that giving and sharing are just as much fun as receiving presents.
In one story, making a snowman should be a fairly simple job, but not for these two. Patchy decides to show off and accidentally becomes the world’s first walking snowdog.
Then when all the Christmas presents mysteriously disappear, Patchy and Calico become detectives. They track down the gift snatcher and come face to face with the bully who stole all the gifts from underneath their Christmas tree.
In other adventures, the two friends find a wealth of chestnuts and are given lots of treats. What Patchy and Calico do with all the chestnuts and treats will teach children how simple gifts can make both the giver and receiver very happy.
Preschoolers up to elementary-aged children (and adults too) love the adventures and misadventures of the two title characters. The humorous stories, illustrations, and simple questions at the end of each story will entertain kids while teaching them valuable lessons on sharing, caring and giving while spreading Christmas cheer.
The next day, the two friends went for their usual walk, but this time the dog carried a bag with him.
“What are you going to do with the bag, Patchy?” asked Calico.
“I’m going to do some Christmas shopping. Daddy likes chestnuts, right?”
“Oh yes, he really likes chestnuts,” answered the cat. “Daddy likes to roast them in the fireplace.”
“I know where there’s a chestnut tree and I’m going to get some nuts for his Christmas present.”
“That’s a very smart idea, Patchy,” said the smiling cat.
When they got to the tree, the dog found a lot of chestnuts and filled his bag, full up to the top.
On their way back home, Calico heard a strange noise coming from high up in a tree. She stopped and listened.
“Patchy, it sounds like someone is crying. Can you hear it?”
“Yeah, I wonder what’s wrong.” The dog looked up and saw a squirrel, a very sad squirrel. “Why are you crying?” he asked her.
The squirrel looked down at the two friends and said between sobs, “All of the nuts I stored in this tree have disappeared. Somebody took them. Now I don’t have anything to feed my family this winter.”
Patchy looked at his bag and then looked at the sad squirrel. “I’ll share some of my chestnuts with you. I don’t want your family to go hungry this winter.”
“Oh, thank you!” squealed the squirrel, running down the trunk of the tree. She gathered a bunch of nuts out of Patchy’s bag and took them back up to her hiding place.
She poked her head out of the hole and said, “My name is Sandy and I have a big family. May I have a few more chestnuts?”
“Of course, Sandy,” Patchy replied.
The hungry squirrel gathered up what she thought would be enough to last the rest of the winter. It did not leave many nuts in the dog’s bag.
“Thank you for sharing with me,” said the squirrel who was now very happy.
“Merry Christmas,” Patchy said as he waved goodbye to Sandy.
The cat had been quietly watching her friend. “Patchy, I’m very proud of you for sharing your chestnuts.”
“Calico, you were right when you said that giving presents is as much fun as receiving them. That’s what Christmas is all about: sharing, giving and helping others,” replied Patchy. “I’m going to go back and pick up some more chestnuts. There are still a lot of them on the ground. Maybe we can find some other animals to share them with.”
So that is what Patchy and Calico did for the rest of the day. They gave Christmas presents to all of the squirrels, raccoons, possums and deer they could find.
It took a lot of trips back to the chestnut tree to refill Patchy’s bag, but the two friends did not mind. They were pleased. Sharing and giving made them happy.
This is the third Patchy and Calico book I’ve had the pleasure to read to my son. It’s a perfect Christmas book for kids and adults. There’s a lesson in every story about the true meaning of the season. Patchy learns the meaning of giving … even when you’re a dog and have no money. All it takes sometimes is a small gesture, something from the heart. Follow Patchy and Calico’s adventures as they explore the winter wonderland outside their window and, yes, get into all sorts of trouble. They even teach a bully that anyone can be a friend, if they only try.
Personally, I like this series because not only do they have questions at the end of each chapter but there are plenty of opportunities within the chapter to have discussions with your child. If you haven’t read their other adventures, I recommend reading them with your little ones.
About the Author
Greta Burroughs loves to read. No matter where she is, there is always a book close at hand. Her love of reading began at an early age and blossomed over time to include many different genres, her favorite now being fantasy.
As a preschool and elementary school teacher, Greta tried to instill the joy of reading in the children she worked with. Books were an important part of her classroom and story time was the highlight of the day.
It has been a while since Greta was in a classroom but she had lots of experience in reading to children of various ages and remembers what they enjoyed listening to. She tries to incorporate that knowledge into her work as an author and believes it makes her a better writer of children’s and young adult books.
She now resides in South Carolina with her husband, Robert and two dogs. Greta has six books published at the present time; three children’s books in the Patchwork Dog and Calico Cat series, two MG/YA fantasies entitled Gerald and the Wee People and House on Bo-Kay Lane, and a nonfiction account of her experiences with an autoimmune blood disorder called ITP – Heartaches and Miracles.