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Publisher's Summary

"My name is Doug Barnes, and this stuff happened on Christmas Eve in my town, which is Asquont, New York."

The year is 1960, and, as it is every year, the Christmas pageant at St. John's Episcopal Church, directed by Mrs. Elkins - who used to be in "The Theater" in New York, and who is tall and skinny, with hair the color of the orange part of a candy corn - is a very big deal. Doug is a shepherd this year, which is better than being a "Three King", because, for one thing, you get to carry a stick.

But there are problems everywhere. Doug's fellow shepherds are hacking around, which makes Mrs. Elkins yell at all of them; the girl he likes is playing Mary opposite a Joseph who is depressingly smart and athletic and cute; the family dog is doing very poorly, and they have no idea what they're going to tell Doug's little sister, Becky, who's playing one of the Host of Angels and who loves the dog more than anything; and his dad's just gotten a flat tire, which means they might not even get to the pageant at all.

But Christmas is a time of miracles. And for Doug and his family, this will be the most miraculous Christmas of all.

Dave Barry has been delighting readers for decades with his newspaper columns, nonfiction, novels for adults, and novels for children, but this book is something special: a story for all ages that will touch the heart and make you laugh out loud. And you may never look at a manger scene the same way again.

Need a laugh? Listen to more from Dave Barry.
©2006 Dave Barry (P)2006 Penguin Audio, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., and Books on Tape. All rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

"Barry is a crowd pleaser and doesn't disappoint with this tale." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    70
  • 4 Stars
    29
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    14
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    3

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    52
  • 4 Stars
    10
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    7
  • 2 Stars
    0
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    2

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    12
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Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Marie
  • Trabuco Canyon, CA, USA
  • 12-24-06

Funny But Dated

I bought this to listen to with my 5 year old daughter. I thought it was funny but she just didn't get the jokes.

Audible recommends this for children ages 7 and under but I think the humor is more appropriate for children ages 8 to 12.

This book is funny and well read, good for adults and older children.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sylvia
  • Valdosta, GA
  • 01-04-14

Funny, heart-warming story for baby-boomers!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I began listening to this story while I was swimming laps. It made me laugh out loud in the pool! Yes, this is an Audio Kids book BUT I really think anyone born in the 50s or 60s would just love it! I know that my kids (born in the 80s and 90s) would love it too! It is read by Dave Barry and sounds like a reminisce. With the sorts of incidents that happen to all kids nearing adolescence, it's genuinely funny. It is also thoroughly heart-warming and quite appropriate for the Christmas season. I might even listen to it every Christmas from now on! If you are a dog-lover or if you have ever been in a Christmas pageant, you will also enjoy this story.

Who was your favorite character and why?

My favorite character was Frank. You will have to listen to the story to discover who he is.

Which character – as performed by Dave Barry – was your favorite?

The narrator, who is the main character, was excellently performed by Dave Barry.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I laughed a lot and I nearly cried. But I MADE myself NOT cry. (This story was touching in both sad ways and happy ways.) Then, the ending was so nice that I didn't feel I had to cry anymore!

Any additional comments?

This should be listed for adults as well as kids! I am glad that I like Dave Barry and that it was Christmastime, so I took a chance on the story. Otherwise, I would have missed out on what will likely become a Christmas tradition for me in future holiday seasons!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

great lite read

Would you consider the audio edition of The Shepherd, the Angel, and Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog to be better than the print version?

Dave Barry deffinitly adds to the story, but I didn't read the book.

What did you like best about this story?

I liked that the parents didn't freak out with everything. And, that it ended on a good note. My favorite part was the boys giggling while waiting behind the stage, so typical.

What does Dave Barry bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Dave Barry infused the emotion of a boy about this boy's age.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes.

Any additional comments?

This would be a great lite read for book clubs in December, also a good one for the family to listen to on a trip.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • julie
  • Corvallis, OR, United States
  • 12-11-07

Fun Family Listen

Our family listened to this book on the way to Portland, about a 1.5 hour trip. We loved it and hit repeat. Just as warning, there is a bit about boys announcing the girls on the bra list...but our 6 year old understood the teasing "boy" nature of this.

Great characters, we all have a "Mike".

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Story!

Just a sweet heartwarming story. Could have been from when I was growing up
Good for all ages!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Guy
  • BLACK MOUNTAIN, NC, United States
  • 12-17-17

This has become a staple of our Christmas Travels

If you could sum up The Shepherd, the Angel, and Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog in three words, what would they be?

Funny, Cute, Engaging

What did you like best about this story?

The dog, the ants, the narrator

What does Dave Barry bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He tells it so well. It is his humor in his own words.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

What else could go wrong?

Any additional comments?

My kids love to listen to this book. My ten year old quotes the book. If you have a Christmas journey or drive, you should listen. You won't regret it!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The best Christmas story ever!

I know everyone has a favorite, but this is mine. It evokes 1960, and the safe childhood enjoyed by many "baby-boomers' So it's nostalgic, religious and so funny I laugh out loud and always feel good after I hear it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A most wonderful Christmas short story worth listening to many times

This is a good short story for all ages. I have listened to this book multiple times over the last couple of Christmases. It is full of nostalgia and family and love and so much humor. I recommend this to children and adults. It's nice to have when you're by yourself next to a warm fire with your cup of cocoa, or out side on a warm evening with a glass of iced tea. Or even traveling to grandmothers in the back of the station wagon with mom and dad up front. It doesn't matter what time of year it is that you listen to it, it just brings Christmas to your heart. So be prepared to be feeling warm and cozy inside

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Not at all what I expected.

Any additional comments?

All the reviews talked about how touching and funny this story was. Well I admit I didn't make it but about half way. The story was adolescent but not funny and all the touching stuff must be at the end.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Different Christmas Story - Very funny & touching

Very funny and touching story about Christmas and dogs and family
Reminds me alot of "The Christmas Story"