A Christmas Adventure in Little Italy

By Written by JAMES DOTI
10 Digit ISBN: 1-935204-08-4
13 Digit ISBN: 978-1-935204-08-4
Price: $14.95
Format (pb/hc): Paperback
Pages: 36
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The day before Christmas, Jimmy and his best friend—his dog, Blackie—are visiting Nonna, Jimmy’s grandma, in Little Italy. Jimmy loves to visit with Nonna, especially when he can help her make biscotti. After they finish baking, Jimmy, Nonna, and Blackie set to take the freshly baked biscotti to St. Michael the Archangel Church, where they will be given to poor families on Christmas Eve.

As they leave the church, a bus startles Blackie, who runs off. All too soon, Jimmy realizes that Blackie is lost. Even though Jimmy and Nonna search everywhere, the quickly falling snow covers up Blackie’s paw prints, making it impossible to follow him. Will Jimmy’s Christmas be a sad one without his best friend?

James Doti’s A Christmas Adventure in Little Italy is a heartwarming tale of a boy and his dog, set against the backdrop of a 1950s-era Italian neighborhood. The evocative images and child-friendly narrator’s voice will enchant young readers (and listeners), transporting them to a time gone by.


James Doti earned a Ph.D. in economics at the University of Chicago.  He has served since 1991 as president of Chapman University, where he also holds the Donald Bren Distinguished Chair of Business and Economics.

He is the co-author of two econometrics texts and co-editor of a collection of readings in free enterprise—The Market Economy—that received the Templeton Honor Award for Scholarly Excellence. 

Jimmy Finds His Voice is his second collaboration with illustrator Lisa Mertins.  Their first book,  A Christmas Adventure in Little Italy (2010), appeared on’s list of “Best Children’s Holiday Books” and was a Sons of Italy Book Club selection.  

Lisa Mertins is a career illustrator, having worked on newspaper staffs and as a freelance artist for over 25 years. She has worked on six children's books and has written one herself.

She is currently diversified over many art disciplines from printmaking and ceramics to traditional and computer generated illustration.

Lisa lives with her family and her animals, including chickens, horses dogs and cats, in Southern California.

You can see her work at