Review: Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck

The older I get, the more disinterested I become in classics, despite having grown up with them. They feel too long-winded, old-fashioned, and dull. Or as if they were childhood things which I’d been forced to enjoy. Nothing could be farther from my experience but, nowadays, it still takes the right book to remind me of how pleasurable and rich the experience of reading a classic can be. When my husband recently pointed out that Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck features a poodle, I pushed past my prejudice and fell in love with a good book. When Steinbeck was … Continue reading Review: Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck

Review: The Book of Joe by Vincent Price

For dog lovers, The Book of Joe is quirky little book with lots of personality. It’s written by Vincent Price of Hollywood fame who starred as a villain in dozens of macabre horror films. Far from being scary, however, The Book of Joe is a light-hearted and humorous account of Price’s life with pets. An orange-brown-black haired mutt who came into an empty moment in Price’s life is the star of this memoir. Price referred to him as “all dog”. At one moment, Joe could dutifully put up with hauling and yanking of a five-year-old boy (Price’s son), and in another moment … Continue reading Review: The Book of Joe by Vincent Price

Review: Wild Things by Clay Carmichael

Can one live alone? Can wild things be tamed? If one always has an exit through which one can escape, is that trust? These are the ideas explored by Clay Carmichael in first young adult novel aptly named Wild Things. According to Carmichael, “this story first strayed into my life on four white pink-padded paws.” Before you start thinking that the book is about cats, it only partially is. It’s also about eleven-year-old Zoe who trusts no one, her reclusive Uncle Henry who takes Zoe in when her mother dies, and a wild boy whose identity remains unknown for most … Continue reading Review: Wild Things by Clay Carmichael

Review: Rotten Ralph by Jack Gantos

How could I have taken so long to discover Rotten Ralph by Jack Gantos? In 2006, Rotten Ralph celebrated its thirtieth anniversary. To date, there are at least nineteen books about Rotten Ralph. Moreover, Rotten Ralph had at one time been so popular, a thirty-minute television show based on the characters aired for one year. Yet this October is the first time I read this humorous tale. The story line of Rotten Ralph, the book for which Jack Gantos gained his fame, is an interesting one. Gantos starts out by providing various examples of how Ralph is a rotten cat, with … Continue reading Review: Rotten Ralph by Jack Gantos

Review: The Pye Books by Eleonor Estes

Eleanor Estes is well-recognized for writing memorable family stories, among them the Pye stories. With Ginger Pye and Pinky Pye, Estes adds pets and mysteries to the mix. Although her unhurried style may not appeal to all, I’ve come to treasure these innocent stories of a close-knit family in a small town. THE ANIMALS The Pye books appealed to me most of all the books by Estes due to their being about animals. In Ginger Pye, the family already has a pet cat. Gracie however belongs more to the mom than the children. For that reason, the idea of a … Continue reading Review: The Pye Books by Eleonor Estes

Review: The Literary Cat by Walter Chandoha

When browsing books at a fund-raiser by a local cat rescue, it seems fitting that I would pick up books about cats. My latest is an older book of about 200 pages that is filled with stories, essays, poems, and excerpts all related to the feline. Besides the topic, what attracted me to The Literary Cat is that many of the entries are by well-known classic authors. As an added bonus, at least every second page contains an illustrative photograph. Growing up, most of my animal books fell into these categories: dogs, horses, wild. Very few cat books graced my … Continue reading Review: The Literary Cat by Walter Chandoha

Review: It’s Like This, Cat by Emily Neville

Many years I used to own It’s Like This, Cat by Emily Neville. Then I gave my copy to my younger brother. Yet I have never forgotten it. When I recently saw it at a library book sale, I immediately grabbed a copy. Upon rereading it, I was surprised at how undramatic the story and how average the main character is compared to many of today’s books. Yet I still love the book. The main character is fourteen-year-old Dave. His life is peopled with his parents, an eccentric cat lady neighbor named Kate, a couple friends, and eventually a girlfriend. … Continue reading Review: It’s Like This, Cat by Emily Neville

Review: Gaby, Lost and Found by Angela Cervantes

Cute! Fun! Sweet! Inspiring! All these adjectives describe Gaby, Lost and Found, by Angela Cervantes, about a girl who wants to rescue animals but soon finds herself in need of a permanent home. Gaby, her friends, and even the adult guardians in her life make for a realistic and endearing cast. Through the suspenseful plot, readers will learn about shelters and immigration, besides being entertained. What struck me foremost is how true-to-life but also sympathetic the characters are. Gaby loves animals. She’ll do anything to rescue them. But she still feels a little upset when a cat in a tree … Continue reading Review: Gaby, Lost and Found by Angela Cervantes

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

How a Children’s Book Inspired The Sadie Dog Fund

My advice to aspiring entrepreneurs who are introverts is to let their passion guide them.  My passion for wanting to help save dogs’ lives and keep them at home is what drives me to continue with Sadie Dog Fund.  I am not paid to do this.  My reward is knowing that I have helped dogs. Shy. Quiet. Introverted. These probably aren’t the adjectives that you’d associate with the founder of a non-profit. Nor are these the descriptors you’d probably expect of an animal activist. And so it are these surprising traits that sparked my interest in interviewing Pam Hoffman. I … Continue reading How a Children’s Book Inspired The Sadie Dog Fund

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: 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