“Jingle bells, Jingle bells, Jingle…” is the name of a husky pup?
Wait a second…
Have you met the husky pup named Jingle? No? Allow me to introduce you! Jingle is the star of a delightfully sweet book series by Tom Shay-Zapien. Unlike a lot of stories about dogs, Jingle doesn’t actually speak – well, not in human language anyway!
My family was first introduced to Jingle and his friends by my grandmother. You see, we are a dog-loving family. And we’re rather obsessed with books. And we do love Christmas. So, when you put these three elements together in one neat package and add a stuffed husky puppy that sings and responds to voice commands as you read the book, well, we were all over that!
This sweet, snow-frolicking pup loves to sing and play with his friends. Jingle is a good pup that doesn’t get into trouble like some mischievous Christmas pups do, but there is one great sadness in Jingle’s life – he doesn’t have a home to call his own.
We first meet Jingle in the book, ‘Jingle All the Way,’ walking along with Jingle on his journey to meet new friends and find a forever home. This simple, delightful story brings out the fact that even pups need a good home and they want a home not only to be loved but to have someone that they can love.
What makes it even more exciting is that Jingle is not the only husky pup to join us! Jingle’s friend, Bell, comes along for the ride with the book, ‘Bell’s Big Move.’
Now, before you think that these books are only filled with a cute story that talks about husky pups and just makes them look adorable (which it does) or that it’s a silly story with no depth, let me tell you some of the big reasons that I truly enjoy these books alongside my kids.
Compassion and caring for other are themes that are central to Jingle’s and Bell’s stories. They and their owners are not only concerned for themselves, but they make a point to look around them and see who needs encouragement, to look for small things they can do to help others and be a friend.
One of the things that really strikes me about these books is brought out very clearly in ‘Bell’s Big Move.’ As the title of the book implies, the book is all about Bell the husky pup moving with her family to a new place. Instead of glossing over things and making it all seem simply amazing, the author really tackles some issues head-on – issues of not always fitting it right away, issues of finding new friends, issues of feeling lonely and wishing for places you left behind.
Yet, even as Bell and her owner, Sofia, work through these emotions of disappointment and struggling to fit in, other positive elements are brought to light. Jingle and his owner, Andrew, are examples of how including others and simple acts of kindness can mean so much to another person. Both the pups and their owners learn the value of reaching out and the joy and fun that can be found in making new friends, while at the same time not forgetting about other friends and still holding them dear.
A spirit of generosity and sharing is highlighted in ‘Jingle and Bell’s Christmas Star’ as a sought-after honor is not just kept and enjoyed by one person. It shows the kindness and friendship of all those in the town as the children work together to make sure that the special honor is awarded to the right person. Then, an even bigger act of kindness and generosity is showcased as the honor is not kept all to one person, but that one person willingly shares his great honor with another.
The story and the plot seem so simple at first glance, yet in these delightful books, there are deeply woven solid values of kindness, generosity, reaching out to make new friends, compassion, sharing, and learning how to include others.
Oh, to be sure, there are some things that the main human characters need to work through: things like letting go of selfishness and wanting to have things their own way, things like accepting and embracing things that are out of their control (such as a big move). Yet this is part of the beauty of these stories. Yes, there are some struggles to work through. Yes, there are some challenges to overcome. But, it is only in working through these challenges that the lessons of kindness, sharing, generosity, and how to be a true friend are found.
Jingle and Bell have become a wonderful, lovable part of our Christmas traditions. They always make us smile with their silly puppy antics, but they always remind us that Christmas isn’t just about giving presents and getting presents. Christmas is about family, friendships, kindness, generosity, and celebrating the real reason for the season.
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Elizabeth Tatham, founder of Inspiration in the Everyday, is a homeschooling momma of 5 who loves helping other homeschooling mommas create a unique homeschooling adventure your kids will love…without the overwhelm! Join in on the journey with 7 simple steps to make your homeschooling day go faster, easier, and with less tears here.