Nate the Great and the Crunchy Christmas

Way back when, when we were debating baby names, we settled pretty quickly on Jacob and Nathaniel.  Though James did make a run at “Sergio.”  We’d go get coffee and he’d give the cashier his proposed baby name and then I’d here “Double latte for Sergio?”  And he’d look at me expectantly, “Surge?  It’s cool right?”  Mmm hmm.  Then we spent the rest of our days coming up with ridiculous name combinations that made us laugh hysterically.  It’s so fun thinking about horrible names, especially for other people’s last names.  I really should have written those down…

In any case, Jacob had two major things going against it: A) Every other kid in America was being named Jacob and B) Some kids end up as Jake the Snake.  As someone with a “uniquely” spelled first name and countless incidents of being called Hi-may, the whole idea of having a recognizable name didn’t bother me that much.  Although I do wonder if when a baby name hits “X million,” the Disney cartoon marketing department is immediately required to name the lead character of their latest animated series that name… thus millions of children fall in love with their Neverland Pirate or Princess “The First” namesakes.  And regarding B) I am not a fan of guys that are snakes and so let’s not start throwing that around the sports field.

Now with Nate, the clear trouble is that all Nate’s are called Nate Dawg.  I am not kidding you, when Jacob was born James turned to me and said, “So is it Jake or Nate Dawg?”  At least I think he said that, it’s all kind of a blur.  In any case, I can live with Nate Dawg.  Surprisingly, I didn’t really think of Nate the Great.  But that’s what they call him at school.

And that brings me to the latest in our Christmas Countdown: Nate the Great and the Crunchy Christmas by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat and Craig Sharmat, illustrations by Marc Simont.

This book seems to have turned-up at school and was then gifted to us by our favorite teacher.  That’s where the interesting part of this story ends.  Warning: This may be the most boring book we’ve read this year… and why St. Lizzie’s won’t miss it.

In a nutshell: Nate the Great is a kid detective with a dog named Sludge.  He spends forty-one pages solving some sort of lost doggie Christmas card caper… I’m not sure, I tuned-out part way through.  So did both Jake and Nate.  Looks like it’s one in a series of at least seventeen.  Appears this one may have been written after the series jumped the shark.

Families can talk about: Should we stop reading this book and pick something else?


 Nate the Great and the Crunchy Christmas illustrated by Marc Simont.  At least he’s cute?


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