Interview with Pam Hoffman

The past two days I have been posting about the Sadie Dog Fund. In 2007, Pam Hoffman wrote a book about her special needs cocker spaniel. With the proceeds from her Sadie Dog picture book, Hoffman created The Sadie Dog Fund, a non-profit organization that helps to save the lives of dogs by offering financial assistance for mobility solutions, therapies, or surgeries that are too costly for pet parents. Today it’s my pleasure to present an interview with her, in which she shares a little more about her personal life as well as talks about animal welfare. PERSONAL BACKGROUND ALLISON: … Continue reading Interview with Pam Hoffman

Review: Sadie Dog by Pam Hoffman

“Give them love. Keep them safe” is how Pam Hoffman signs every copy of Sadie Dog, a glossy picture book she wrote about her special needs dog. This heartwarming biography, with lavish illustrations, was written in honor of Hoffman’s loving cocker spaniel. “Once there was a cute little cocker spaniel named Sadie who was born on April Fools’ Day….” So begins the story of a lady and her beloved dog. As a teacher of writing clubs, I can tell you that describing one’s pet and more especially special moments with them can be a tough task. Hoffman perfectly helps readers … Continue reading Review: Sadie Dog by Pam Hoffman

Review: The Man Who Talks To Dogs by Melinda Roth

The Man Who Talks to Dogs by Melinda Roth will make you mad—in a good way. It’ll stir you to compassion and hopefully action, as you read the story of Randy Grim and his fight to save America’s abandoned dogs. Roth’s book also shows fine journalism. It is well-researched, well-written, and contains a lot of information not just about Grim but about a national problem. I wasn’t sure initially that I could review this book. All I wanted to do is rage. Many of us are all too familiar with the fact that up to ten million pets are euthanized … Continue reading Review: The Man Who Talks To Dogs by Melinda Roth

Review: The World of Farley Mowat

Published in 1980, there are nine sections to The World of Farley Mowat, each of which contains excerpts from one of more of Mowat’s published writings. Selections are grouped in chronological order. As such, given how much of Mowat’s writings were based on his own life, The World of Farley Mowat not only provides readers exposure to a variety of his writings but also a glimpse into his personal life. Indeed, the autobiographical sections are my favorite. These include Saskatchewan, Tide of War, parts of Northern Territories, Siberia, and parts of The Rock and The Deeps. Although his childhood life … Continue reading Review: The World of Farley Mowat

Review: All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriott

James Herriot is a master storyteller. Today I’m reviewing the 20th anniversary edition of his book All Creatures Great and Small, which is subtitled “the warm and joyful memoirs of an animal doctor”. In this first memoir of several, Herriot shares how he became a veterinarian assistant and all the adventures this occupation entails. His stories are funny, gritty, riveting, eye-opening, and a host of other positive adjectives. I’ve enjoyed reading Herriot’s memoir this week, as much I did when I first discovered it as a young person. When I initially read All Creatures Great and Small, the animal stories … Continue reading Review: All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriott

Review: Newfoundland Pony Tales By Marian Brake

The idea for Newfoundland Pony Tales came to author Marion Brake when she visited the Newfoundland Pony Refuge in Change Islands and could not find a children’s book about the pony in the town’s visitor’s center. To meet that need, Brake decided to write her own. The result was a collection of stories about the ponies, with an introduction about the sanctuary. The illustrations by professional artist Cassandra Gallant are gorgeous, while the semi-interconnected tales are cute and left me wanting more. Newfoundland Pony Tales starts out by introducing Tia, the oldest Newfoundland Pony on Change Island. Her owners could no … Continue reading Review: Newfoundland Pony Tales By Marian Brake

A Horse Named Lady & Lady’s Big Surprise by Marion Brake

Purchasing a horse had been a life-long dream for Newfoundland author Marion Brake. Lady, purchased in the late 1990’s, became the inspiration for her first two books: A Horse Named Lady and Lady’s Big Surprise. Both picture books are somewhat unconventional, yet delightful. A Horse Named Lady is about a young boy named Simon who wants a horse. His grouchy neighbor owns a horse that he overworks. One day after a visit, Simon senses that Lady is sad and asks his parents about buying her. How she ends up with him forms the rest of the tale.  Lady’s Big Surprise was written based on … Continue reading A Horse Named Lady & Lady’s Big Surprise by Marion Brake

Review: A Horse for All Seasons, Stories Collected by Sheila Kelly Welch

A Horse for All Seasons is a collection of stories for horse lovers, compiled by Sheila Kelly Welch. Her short story contribution to it is The Strays. In that story, Brent is a teenager living in foster care with the McCormicks. His birth mom has just signed all the necessary plans for the adoption agency to make an adoption plan. If Brent decides not to let the McCormicks adopt him, he’ll need to move into another foster home. Ember is a horse that had been stabled with Sky, who recently slipped on a patch of ice in the pasture. Brent … Continue reading Review: A Horse for All Seasons, Stories Collected by Sheila Kelly Welch

Review: Misty of Chincoteague

Imagine growing up on an island where wild ponies roam. For Paul and Maureen Beebe, characters in Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry, it leaves them with an insatiable desire to have one for themselves. They even have a particular pony in mind: the Phantom. Some said she was dark like the pine trees; others said she was the color of copper with splashes of silver. When Paul catches a glimpse of her, however, the feature which most stands out is a strange white marking that begins at her withers and spreads out like the United States of America. Now … Continue reading Review: Misty of Chincoteague

Review: Simpson’s Sheep Won’t Go To Sleep by Bruce Arant

Simpson’s Sheep Won’t Go to Sleep by Bruce Arant is a fun and colorful picture book. Drawing on his personal experience as a parent and a sense of humor, Arant has created an imaginative fun twist on a familiar bedtime struggle of putting young ones to sleep. His pastel illustrations also help bring Simpson’s farm to life. “I need a drink.” “I want a snack.” “I have to go!” Every last one of these laments are excuses we’ve all heard one time or another. They’re also all complaints that Farmer Simpson is plagued with on a nightly basis. The difference … Continue reading Review: Simpson’s Sheep Won’t Go To Sleep by Bruce Arant

Review: Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson

“This here hill is full of animals,” says Tim to Louie, two of the human characters in Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson. This statement is true of the hill, which boasts rabbits, squirrels, mice, woodchucks, skunks, moles, and deer. The statement is also true of the book, which is about a rabbit family and their critter friends. If you like animals, especially those found in the country, you will treasure this tale. The book begins, as all good stories should, with the excitement of change: “On every side there arose a continual chattering and squeaking, whispering and whistling, as the … Continue reading Review: Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson