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Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite
Charlie and the Catmas Tree, written by Cindy Lazann Shirley and Emerson Cochran, is a children's book that places a reader in the home of Emmy Taylor in the heart of the Christmas season. The book begins with Emmy hanging the family stockings above the fireplace, one for each of her parents, her baby sister Savannah, and a final stocking big enough to hold what Emmy hopes to receive this year: a very distinctive black kitty with white paws and a mustache marking, and orange eyes. The Taylors then go about the usual holiday festivities, such as stringing lights on their absolutely massive home and finding the perfect tree. While they are out shopping, a costumed Santa is spotted with a box of free kittens and only one cat left. Lo and behold, Emmy's kitty as she described it is ready to go to his forever home—but forever is a long time with a cat like Charlie, and the family will have to try to get through Christmas first.
Charlie and the Catmas Tree is a fun read with a focus on rescue pets, a touch that authors Cindy Lazann Shirley and Emerson Cochran credit to a rescue cat that Shirley had herself. We are a cat-loving household so this book was a very easy sell to our youngest daughter, who didn't care one bit that it was February. The narrative is quite a bit more densely written than a standard children's read so I took the lead as she followed along. The illustrations by Maverick Book Services really bring the story to life, wonderfully done with a blend of digital art that looks very much like it could be hand-drawn. We both giggled once Charlie was home and adjusting to his new digs in the most hilarious ways, particularly one that culminates with some interesting tree decorations. My daughter also pointed out that, like in the book where Emmy and her father were reading a story together, we were enjoying the same bedtime ritual. This is a fun book that both parents and kids will find pleasure in.