Wolf at the Door by Barbara Corcoran

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I picked this book up at our library’s used book sale, it’s a children’s/juvenile which I love to read every once in awhile!

I love books about wildlife and wolves in particular.  This story is about a young girl who has to move into a secluded house with her family when her dad gets a new job.  She’s reluctant at first, but on the way to the new house she spots a small sign that says Zoo and begs her mom to stop.  They happen upon a dilapidated house and animals that are half starved in cages, including a young wolf.   Her mother promises they will be returning in a week.

When that day came, her mother decides that they are going to take the wolf home with them to save it from it’s current demise.  They also open the cages of some rabbits to set free.  Soon the young girl gets a random phone call and in the blink of eye, she now is caring for a whole pack of wolves.  These wolves are now becoming a controversy to local farmers and others, it becomes the young girls goal to keep these wolves protected at all costs.

A great story for young readers!

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Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I had planned for the weekend to do a lot of relaxing, which includes READING!  I picked up this classic at the library, thinking it would be fun to read a book that I read when I was younger but somewhat forgot the premise of what happens in the book…I’m glad I did!

I’m a huge dog lover, so I know that when I pick up a dog related book that I’m either going to tear up because it gets sad or tear up because there’s unrelenting compassion for the animals.  This one had me at both!  Take some time this summer and pick up an old classic, they are usually quick reads, but they remind us of many memories and qualities that we had hoped for ourselves when we read these books when we were young!

Where the Red Fern Grows is a story about a boy named Billy who dreams about owning his own hound dogs.  His family doesn’t have a lot of money, so no matter how hard he tries to convince his parents to buy him the dogs, it’s just not possible.  Billy comes up with his own plan and after two whole years of working and saving his money, he finally has enough to buy his dogs he’s always wanted.  It doesn’t matter that times are tough; together they’ll roam the hills of the Ozarks.

Soon Billy and his dogs become the finest hunting team in the valley. Stories of their great achievements spread throughout the region, and the combination of the two dogs and Billy’s enthusiasm is unbeatable.  Tragedy strikes and Billy learns that you can still find hope in troubling times.  Billy’s love for his dogs is unbreakable in this story, a highly recommended read for EVERYONE!

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My two hounds and I reading “Where the Red Fern Grows”

Fur, Feather, Fin—All of Us Are Kin by Diane Lang, Stephanie Laberis (Illustrations)

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This is a GORGEOUS children’s book!  The story takes us on a journey though the animal kingdom from mammals all the way down to millipedes, teaching with beautiful illustrations about how all creatures are connected!

I loved how the story had a rhyming direction as you follow along and look at all of the creatures with fur, feathers and fins and how they are all connect in some way.  There is so much diversity in the animal kingdom and I feel this book explores and demonstrates this in a fun way with the pictures that are eye catching and colorful.  I highly recommend adding this book to your collections, no matter your age!

Find me on Instagram to see a video of the embossed cover art @asimpletasteforreading, it’s amazing!

 

Tess of the Road (Tess of the Road #1) by Rachel Hartman

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This book was written by the author of the popular story “Seraphina”, which I have not read yet but after reading this book I think I’d like to!

I might say that if I had read “Seraphina” before this, I probably would of had a better grasp behind Seraphina’s character although I really, really, really liked her step sister Tess!  This story is set in the medieval times in a Kingdom where ladies are meant to be ladies and men are the strong protectors….but when you throw dragon’s into the mix, well….they can do whatever they please.

Main character Tess is a strong willed gal who can also be a bit of a troublemaker.  Tess also has another sister, who is about to be married while her family wants to send Tess to a nunnery.  She knows that if she doesn’t leave while the tide is low, she’s never going to be truly ‘free’.  The only thing Tess can think of is to set out on her own….alone and pretending to be a boy.

Tess isn’t really sure where she plans to go, so when she runs into an old friend, luck seems to be on her side.  Her friend is a quigutl, which you will learn a little bit about – its a subspecies of dragon – who gives her protection and company while she’s on the road.  Little does her friend know, Tess is hiding a secret, one to her past that she’s tried years to forget is now threatening to expose her.

The story was a little hard to get into right at the start, but once it got rolling it was good!  I think that I would have been able to understand the terminology a little bit better if I had read the “Seraphina” books prior to this, but it’s not necessary I would say.  The cover art is amazing, story line was well written and I really enjoyed the characters. I look forward to reading more from this author, especially her popular series “Seraphina”.

Rhyme Crime by Jon Burgerman

35733528Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Rhyme Crime is a fun new children’s book that will have everyone laughing!  The key to the story is the rhyming wordplay along with the bright colored creatures who are the victims of a rhyming criminal on the loose!

The thief is stealing things and replacing them with a rhyming object such as Marlow’s happy smile is replaced with a…..crocodile!  I read this book to my story time kids at the library where I volunteer.  The kids were getting so good at guessing what the thief was going to do next!  By the end of the book they were all coming up with other words that rhymed together.

A very fun interactive book, will you be able to guess the thief’s next move?  Grab this book for a rhyming twist of laughter and silliness especially when the thief tries to steal an orange…what rhymes with orange?!

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The True Adventures of Esther the Wonder Pig by Steve Jenkins

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

About a year ago, I stumbled upon an Instagram account featuring a full grown pig that was dressed up in an outfit.  Then I discovered the story behind Esther and the fabulous life that she lives!  This is a children’s story about the TRUE adventures of Esther the Wonder Pig!

Esther’s dads Steve and Derek had adopted a mini pig, although they had no idea that she would turn out to be a full size of the sort.  Despite her size, her new family saw just how wonderful she truly was and she has changed their lives for the better.

The story tells about Esther from when she was first brought home, to her present life.  Following her though her many growing spurts with many different sizes of beds, to actually getting her own bedroom!  One day, Esther disappears…but found in a neighbors backyard eating some goodies!

Esther and her family outgrew their small apartment as she also has some dog and cat siblings.  So the whole family moves to a farm where everyone has more space to have adventures.  This farm has since become the Happily Esther After animal sanctuary, home to rescued animals of all kinds!

I read this book to my story time kids at the library where I volunteer.  They all loved the story, especially the real photos that were added at the end.  All of them kept saying….”SHE’S REAL? SHE LIVES IN A HOUSE?” it was lots of fun!

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Beautiful Joe by Marshall Saunders

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This book was my ‘Book a Blind Date’ at our local library and how excited I was to read it being an animal, especially dog, lover!  “Beautiful Joe” is a juvenile fiction story although I think that everyone, EVERYONE needs to get a copy of this and read this amazing story.

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Beautiful Joe was a real dog and this story is based on true events of his life, from being rescued from the hands of a very cruel man who actually removes his ears and tail in a fit of anger.  With all the brutality, comes a new life that Beautiful Joe only dreamed of when the Morris family comes to his aid and carefully nurses him back to health, giving him the name Beautiful Joe.

The story is told through Beautiful Joe’s eyes, who finds that he is in the company of many other animals that the Morris’s have rescued from harm.  The Morris’s believe that every creature has the right to a full and happy life.  Beautiful Joe falls in love with his entire adopted family and becomes the most loyal and trustworthy companion.

Margaret Marshall Saunders –The Storyteller and a Woman ahead of her time…

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This is Saunders most famous novel, which was originally published under a pseudonym Marshall Saunders….her real name is Margaret Marshall Saunders.  In 1892 while she was visiting her brother in Meaford, Ontario, she heard the story of a dog that was rescued by Mr. Walter Moore (the father of her sister-in-law, Louise Moore). This event inspired her to write the story of Beautiful Joe, a canine autobiography of a Meaford area dog, rescued from a brutal owner who had chopped off his ears and tail. She decided to enter the story in a literary contest sponsored by the American Humane Education Society. In her book the Moore family became the Morris Family, and she relocated the story to a small town in Maine, USA as per the contest rules. Also, because female authors were not popular at the time, she disguised her sex by not using her first name Margaret, instead using her middle name Marshall. Beautiful Joe written by Marshall Saunders was finally submitted… and won!

The book was first published in 1893 and quickly became the first Canadian book to sell more than a million copies. By 1900, over 800,000 copies had sold in the U.S., 40,000 in Canada and 100,000 in the United Kingdom. And by the 1930’s worldwide sales were over 7 million copies.

Beautiful Joe was chosen as one of the 10 best children’s books in Canada, and for more than a century Margaret Marshall has been one of Canada’s best known writers of children’s stories. In fact, the book has been distributed to children in many cities throughout North America with the hope that children will show the same compassion towards one another as they would towards animals. The book was also the first Canadian novel to be published in the universal language of Esperanto and later translated into 14 languages which include: French, English, Spanish, Dutch, Japanese and Chinese. Beautiful Joe’s story has been part of the curriculum at notable Canadian universities such as Toronto, Guelph and Simon Fraser University.

Margaret was indeed a trailblazer who championed the rights of women and animals. She helped co-found the Maritime Branch of the Canadian Women’s Press Club with Lucy Maude Montgomery, and continued to speak out on many other social problems as well. As a result in 1911, she received an Honorary M.A. from Arcadia University. All the while preaching kindness to animals, and working tirelessly with the many humane societies she belonged to.

Keeping Beautiful Joe’s Memory Alive…

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In the hometown of Beautiful Joe, there has been formed the Beautiful Joe Heritage Society.  This society preserves and promotes the historical legacies of both ‘Beautiful Joe’ and Margaret Marshall Saunders and celebrates the natural bond between animals and humans.  The society created a park in memory of him as well, which is where Beautiful Joe is laid to rest.

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“Beautiful Joe Park is a peaceful and serene 8.5 acre parcel of Parkland on the banks of the picturesque Big Head River in Meaford, Ontario. The Park is named after me “Beautiful Joe”. I’m the hero in Margaret Marshall Saunders bestselling novel of the same name. I am laid to rest in the Park grounds and you can see my monument.

At the entrance to my Park, you will find a bronze  sculpture of me, Beautiful Joe that was created by local Meaford resident, Gunter Neumann. My Park is also home to a 9/11 Monument honouring a brave dog named Sirius, who was K-9 partner to Officer David Lim. There is a K-9 Monument as well as a Service Dogs Monument. The Park is also home to Paradise Islands, a place where people can have a plaque respectfully placed honoring their beloved companions. We like it when you remember us like that! By retelling my story, my friends at the Society are able to keep my hopeful and rehabilitative message alive.” – Beautiful Joe

To find out more about the Beautiful Joe Heritage Society, click on their logo below:

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