Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie


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7 Sweet Reads for the Little’uns

My baby picture. I know. I’m ADORABLE.

Kimber: Mom! Mom! I found some puppy winners!

Mom: “Puppy winners, Kimmi? What are you barking about?”

Kimber: Insert eye roll here. Moooooom! You. Know. Books for little’uns. You know. Like not yet big dogs. P-u-p-p-i-e-s. (Duh.)

Mom: “Okay, Kim. Calm down. Stop dancing for a min. What did you find?”

Kimber: Thought you’d never ask. Here, with further tail-wagging or barking, is our list of seven soon-to-be available books for children. (You know. P-u-p-p… oh, never mind.) All include warm and rich writing. Bark-worthy illustrations. Some may even include a doggie treat or two. Can I get back to you on that?

Note: We received complimentary copies of these books from Net Galley in exchange for honest reviews. Most are 20 to 30 pages or less.

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‘Echoes in the Stars’ Shines Bright

Echoes in the Stars

By Gordon Frisbie

Published by: TFL Stories, 2022

Pages 191

Genre: Non-Fiction/Memoir/Essays

Via: Author Request

Note: We received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

We were going to reserve December for Christmas-ish books. No. Really. We were. But one of us is a big sucker for just about any “dog story” that comes down the pike. (Hi, Mom.) Then author Gordon Frisbie contacted us about reviewing a collection of stories and essays starring his amazing Australian shepherd, Boo, and his other canine companions. Well. Who can resist that?!

But Echoes in the Stars isn’t just another “dog story.” Yes, it’s a tribute to the author’s Aussie shepherd, Boo. It’s also much more. Here’s the 4-1-1:

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Sweet Children’s Story Celebrates the Season

Who let these guys on the front lawn?

Kimber: “Mom! Mom! Open the door, pronto!”

Mom: “Hey, Kimmi. What’s up?”

Kimber: “I gotta meet up for a play date with my new buddy! Hurry! Hurry!”

Mom (Mutters to self: I may regret asking this, but here goes): “What new buddy?”

Kimber: “Red Dog, of course! My new best pal from that children’s story thingy, Lily’s Egypt Adventure.”

Mom: “Um… You do know that Red Dog is a character in a book, right? That he’s not real. As in, fiction?”

Kimber: “Does that matter?”

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FRIDAY 56 & ‘One -Eyed Cat’

Hey! Hey! Whaddya say? It’s Friday! Woop! Woop! Time for another Book Beginnings and Friday 56!

This week our Book Beginning and Friday 56 are from the same book: One-Eyed Cat. By Paula Fox. Never heard of it? No worries. We gotcha covered. Even if it is about a feline. Sort of. (Nobody’s perfect.) Let’s buckle up and jump in:

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The Best Book We’ve Read All Year?

Wonder Dogs

True Stories of Extraordinary Assistance Dogs

By Maureen Maurer with Jenna Benton

Publisher: Revell, 2021

Genre: Non-Fiction, Inspirational, Dogs

Pages: 229

Via: Author Request

“Mom! Mom!” hollers I, Kimber the Magnificent. “Can I invite some friends over for a sleepover??!! They’re these Seriously PAWsome dogs from Assistance Dogs of Hawaii. They’re my new BFFs! There’s only a couple hundred or so. Can I? Can I? Huh? Huh? Um… Mom…?”

“She’s keeled over. So maybe I better tell you about how I met my new BFFs. Like when Mom and I recently read Wonder Dogs: True Stories of Extraordinary Assistance Dogs.”

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TTT: Why ‘Shadow’ is Like a Warm Breath of Spring

Shadow

By Michael Morpurgo

U.S.: Feiwel and Friends, an imprint of Macmillan

Great Britain: HarperCollins Children’s Books, 2010

Genre: Historical Fiction

Via: Library

A silver star badge. A little red train.  A cave in Afghanistan. A “sniffer dog” named Shadow. An incredible story of escape, adversity, courage, and love. The kind that never gives in and never gives up.

It’s perfect for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, which is a “Freebie.”

“We want you back.”

Kimber here, ready to introduce you to my new BFF: Shadow the springer spaniel. Aka: “Polly.” She’s a special bomb-sniffing dog. (Okay, she’s not quite as special as I am. But let’s not get picky here, okay?)

Wait. Where was I? Oh yeah. Shadow. She gets lost in Afghanistan during the war and is finally reunited with her old unit from the U.K. But not before finding her way into the heart of young Aman.

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‘DAWGS’: Inspiring True Story of Animal Sanctuary

DAWGS

A True Story of Lost Animals and The Kids Who Rescued Them

By Diane Trull With Meredith Wargo

Citadel Press/Kensington Publishing Corp., 2020

Note: We received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Non-Fiction

“There’s no way we’re going to let anything bad happen to any of the dogs we save.”

That’s an admirable objective coming from an adult. It may be even better coming from a fourth grader. And it did, as we discover in the uplifting and inspirational story of how everyone can make a difference, DAWGS: A True Story of Lost Animals and the Kids Who Rescued Them.

A cardboard box overflowing with homeless puppies is the impetus for the creation of the Dalhart Animal Wellness Group and Sanctuary in Dalhart, Texas.  When students in Diane Trull’s fourth grade class ask what’ll happen to the puppies if no one takes them, Trull faces a dilemma: Gloss things over or tell them the truth.

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TTT: Dynamic Duos

 

It’ time for another edition of Top Ten Tuesday. This week’s topic is “dynamic duos.” If you’re thinking Aragorn and Arwen, Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy, or Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark, think again.

Because this week we’re featuring one of the most Dynamic Duos we’ve ever read: Barby Keel and Bailey.

Who? You’re saying. I’d be saying that too if I hadn’t recently read Barby Keel’s Will You Love Me? The Rescue Dog That Rescued Me.

Barby is the author of the Foster Tails series. She’s also the founder and head honcho at the Barby Keel Animal Sanctuary in Sussex, U.K.

“Bailey” is a horribly abused and mistreated greyhound who’s dumped at the sanctuary’s gate on a sodden, freezing night. The poor dog is so far gone, he isn’t expected to last the night.

Against all odds, Bailey rallies.

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Incredibull Stella’s Story Warms Hearts

Incredibull Stella: How the Love of a Pit Bull Rescued a Family

By Marika Meeks

Citadel Press – Kensington Publishing, 2019

Genre: Non-Fiction

Via: Publisher Request

Note: We received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Her Grumpiness speaketh:

I had two distinct reactions to this book. It’s the true story of a pit bull puppy left to die on the side of a road in winter and the woman who adopted the dog while recovering from stage three breast cancer.

On the one hand, Incredibull Stella is an uplifting, heartwarming read about the power of love and second chances. Robust and engaging, it’s told with great honesty and empathy.

On the other, it too often reads like an overlong soap opera, careening from one cataclysmic, heart-rending event to the next with nary a dog’s whisker in between. Think Lassie meets As The World Turns.

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How a Rescue Dog Saves Her Human Told in “Gabby”

Gabby: The Little Dog That Had to Learn to Bark

By Barby Keel

Citadel Press  – Kensington Publishing Corp., 2020

Genre: Biography/Autobiography/Animals

Summary:
The true story of the unbreakable bond of love and loyalty between a woman and the little rescue dog who rescued her.

Note: We received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

“Sometimes, a human and a dog find each other and fit together like two jigsaw pieces…”

The founder and director of the Barby Keel Animal Sanctuary in Sussex, England, Barby Keel makes the observation when she finds a Yorkie terrier mix cowering on the floor of a car as Gabby’s dropped off at the sanctuary. Continue reading