Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Dog Days of Summer

The Dog Days of Summer will soon be upon us. Don't you just love it when you can use an old timey phrase in a blog post; I know I do (I'm smiling at this point). The Dog Days of Summer most commonly refer to the sultry summer days that take place in July and August; but since I am reviewing dog books this week, I thought it would still be an appropriate title.

So for all you dog lovers out there, and even you cat lovers like myself who think cat's rule and dogs drool, here are four great dog books to start your summer off right.

The Pocket Dogs by Margaret Wild. The pocket dogs, Biff and Buff, are small and ride in Mr. Pockets coat pockets. One day Biff falls out of a hole in Mr. Pockets Pocket and he finds out that he does not like to be a basket dog, a baby carriage dog, or a shopping cart dog. And just when things seem at there worst and Biff feels most fearful, Mr Pockets and Buff find and rescue him.

Shaggy Dog And The Terrible Itch written by David Bedford and illustrated by Gwyneth Williamson. Shaggy Dog has an itch and finds many people along his way to help him scratch his itch but it never quite goes away until he gets a shampoo and haircut. To find out what causes Shaggy Dog's itch and how he gets rid of it, you must be sure to look at all the illustrations before and after the story!

McDuff Comes Home by Rosemary Wells. McDuff chases a rabbit in the garden next door and before he knows it he is lost. A kind lady finds him and helps him find his way home where his favorite treat, vanilla rice pudding and yummy sausages, awaits.

And Last but not least, Some Dogs Do by Jez Alborough. Sid the dog sets off for school and along the way is so happy he begins to fly. None of the other dogs believe his story of flying in to school making  him very sad. But when he gets home, he finds his happiness once again when his father shares a secret with him! 

Don't forget these other great dog books as well: Harry The Dirty Dog, The Pokey Little Puppy, Hugs And Kisses, and the Biscuit Series.

Signing off for now with wishes for a bright and beautiful day!


Thursday, May 2, 2013

One Author's Journey To SOKY And Back: Part 4

One would think that my Sunday journey home after the book fest would have been an uneventful thing, but just the opposite was true. After breakfasting with Mark Wayne Adams, my favorite illustrator, and Deborah Gaynor, the creator of Readers Favorite, I quickly packed my things and headed out.

As I was driving down the interstate, I began to think about an unusual dream my friend Amanda told me about during our lunch on Friday. It was actually quite funny and as I continued to think about it, a picture book idea began to form in my mind. Amanda being from Tennessee gave me the added inspiration to make the picture book with a definite Southern flair. 

Not wanting wreck my car on a 8 lane interstate, I very carefully removed a notebook and pen from my purse and wrote my ideas down without looking at the paper. I only wrote down main points to remember later and then I put my writing implements away without mishap.

Remembering the road sign for Fern Valley Road, I payed careful attention when driving back through Louisville. When I saw the sign, I exited the interstate and managed to snag a picture of  the actual road sign. Much later in the week after I had arrived home, my friend Lisa Tortorello, a fabulous author in her own right, sent me a doctored picture of the Fern Valley Road sign on the Interstate. I'm not sure what the highway department would think, but I really loved it!

After my brief stop I got back on the interstate and drove for miles, and miles, and miles. I began to see the same beautiful scenery and blooming red bud trees that I had seen on my way down. Not having anyone else to talk to I spoke with God. "I sure wish there was somewhere I could pull off and get some great scenery pictures Lord. But I thank you for the beauty of the day none-the-less!" And, I kept driving.

Somewhere between Louisville and Cincinnati, my GPS had a glitch and told me to turn off on a nearby exit. Forgetting that it was a straight shot to Cincinnati and being used to just following my GPS instructions, I gave that little thought. I only drove about a mile down a very winding two lane country highway before I realized that my GPS had somehow malfunctioned. I figured I would just keep driving ahead until I could find a way back to the interstate. As I drove I found a few beautiful places to pull over and take some scenery pictures.

Shortly after my last picture the road took me right back to the interstate. Divine Intervention or accidental GPS Malfunction. I choose to think God heard my request and loved me enough to answer it. So, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

The rest of my trip was just a normal day's worth of gas stops, rest stops, and lots of driving to get back to my family. Al in all a trip worth remembering and one  I hope you have enjoyed taking with me.

Signing off for now with wishes for a bright and beautiful day!