Saturday, December 22, 2007

Review: The Shepherd, the Angel....

The Shepherd, The Angel, and Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog by Dave Barry

This is a funny, quick Christmassy read from Dave Barry, who always makes me laugh. I'd read some of it before, in his column (who could forget the description of why it's better to be a shepherd than a Three King because you get to wait for your cue in the church belfry closet filled with bat poop?), but it's the story of Doug Barnes who, in 1960, is playing a shepherd in the Christmas pageant. His family's beloved dog Frank is about to die, his dad gets a flat tire on Christmas Eve (and their car is infested with red ants), and the shepherds keep giggling instead of solemnly walking towards Bethlehem.

It's illustrated with great 60's ads and photos and opens with one of Santa endorsing Lucky Strikes, which I thought was hilarious. I think this could be a great family read-aloud. Barry does a great job of telling it from his younger self's point of view (even though, officially, any similarity between people he knew growing up is "frankly, a bewildering coincidence"). A funny stocking stuffer!

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