Susan became so inspired by a dog's joyful loving spirit, the magical qualities of the Sausalito houseboat docks and its beautiful setting that she completed her first children's picture book and series. A Big Day for a Little Dog received the 2019 Beverly Hills Book Finalist Award in both picture book and animals/pets categories. The second book of this series is scheduled to be available the fall of 2020 with the character's continuing adventures in this unique and colorful community.
Post by KristyKhem » 28 May 2019, 11:33
[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "A Big Day for a Little Dog" by Susan York.]
4 out of 4 stars
Open the cover of A Big Day for a Little Dog and you will find a delightful story about a joyful puppy named Meggie. It was written by Susan York and illustrated by Valery Larson. Meggie loved frolicking in the yard with her siblings, but she wished she could fly through the air like the butterflies and see the world. A friendly woman named Jan adopted Meggie and took her on a long drive to the marina where she lived in a houseboat community. Meggie’s journey to Jan’s home allowed her to see the world and meet new characters along the bay. This is one of the most enjoyable children’s storybooks I have read in along while. The story was captivating because Meggie was written with likable traits. Firstly, she was born without a tail which made her receive
special attention from her Mama. This trait made her rather cute because instead of wagging a tail, she wiggled her bum. Secondly, she was portrayed as a curious character who liked interacting with other critters like squirrels, bees, and butterflies. However, what I liked the most was the setting. I have never heard about people living on houseboats so this book educated me on this exclusive seaside community. In the story, people’s houseboats had really fun
names like ‘Mermaid House’, and ‘Dragon House’. The residents grew fruits and flowers in pots along the dock. I also noticed there were animal figurines made of stone in nearly all of the drawings which portrayed the houseboats. These small details made the community feel distinctively unique. The author also included a poem at the end of the story about life on a houseboat. I really appreciated this. Valery Larson’s illustrations perfectly captured the story. I loved the detailed touches she included in the pictures. For example, I spotted signs on some of the houseboats such as ‘Eye on the Sky’ and ‘Alien Life Form Research’. The oceanic theme was also apparent. I noticed a drawing of a seagull nesting on the roof of a houseboat. Pelicans and shells were featured, as well as small mermaid designs. I enjoyed looking at the artwork in this story. I think that every page will spark a conversation among young readers. There was nothing I disliked about the book. I’m rating A Big Day for a Little Dog 4 out of 4 stars for its likable main character, its captivating storyline, its unique setting, and its fascinating illustrations. The book was professionally edited as I didn’t spot a single error. Youngsters aged 3-7 will love this story. Apart from entertaining them, it will teach them about caring for pet dogs and introduce them to life on a houseboat. Parents and older folks will probably enjoy this book too!
“A charming tale with some silly surprises.”
– Kirkus Reviews
A playful puppy explores a seaside town in this first picture book in a series.
Meggie is a newborn canine who longs to see the world beyond the farm where she plays. One day, she meets a visiting girl named Jan, and they immediately bond. Jan takes Meggie home with her, past the farmland, through the city, and down to “a little harbor town.” Jan lives on a houseboat decorated with sea horse sculptures, and she gives Meggie a rubber duck to play with. Excited, Meggie sniffs at decorative figurines and watches real ducks enjoy the water. She also meets a neighbor girl named Daisy, who shows her around and introduces her to other neighbors. By the end of Meggie’s first day on the houseboat, she’s acclimated to her new life, even sharing kibble with a sea gull. York’s prose has a subtly cheerful tone. Larson’s (A Purrfect Home for Kittens, 2019) color illustrations depict Meggie adorably and often fill in detail about the dog’s surroundings. Text and images work in tandem to create moments of levity; for example, when Meggie arrives, she “tickled a turtle at the Dragon House,” but the illustration shows her playing with a ceramic turtle. Such details will please close readers and visual learners. A final, short poem will help readers understand a houseboat’s intricacies.
A charming tale with some silly surprises.
Pub Date: April 21, 2018
Page count: 42pp
Publisher: Time Tunnel Media
Review Posted Online: Aug. 1, 2019
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019
A BIG DAY FOR A LITTLE DOG: MEGGIE, THE HOUSEBOAT DOG: Beverly Hills Annual Book Awards, 2019
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