Sashi, the formerly shy sheltie, returns to welcome a new misbehaving brother into her family in Greiner’s (Sashi, The Scared Little Sheltie, 2015) second picture book.
Sashi knows what it’s like to be unwanted. She was a rescue dog when Anna and her mother adopted her. After a few years, Sashi’s humans decide to foster rescue dogs until they find permanent homes. Well-trained and confident in her place among her humans, Sashi makes sure the foster dogs know that she’s the princess of the house. Some of the foster dogs teach her fun tricks, like climbing snowdrifts. Others—like the one who chases a “laser light toy”—just seem strange. But none challenges her ability to rule her home as much as Buddy. An oversized and rambunctious sheltie, Buddy had to leave his original home due to his bad behavior. At first, he annoys Sashi with his antics, and she chases him in punishment. Soon she realizes that the chasing is just part of the game, and she forgets about being a princess—she just has fun. When Buddy misbehaves when meeting with prospective adopters, Anna and her mom realize that Buddy just doesn’t want to leave Sashi. Spicer’s brightly colored illustrations give each sheltie a unique personality, and the pages where Buddy is winning over Sashi show Sashi’s development from reluctance to play with this new dog to joy at finding a playmate. Each page is dense with text, making the book better for independent grade school readers or very patient lap readers. The vocabulary may include words and phrases unfamiliar to young readers (“adoption,” “rowdy,” “behaviors,” “in spite of herself”), but the meanings are clear in context. Greiner’s passion for shelties and rescue dogs comes through clearly in the story, and she shows the types of roles that rescue shelties can take on after adoption, whether as therapy dogs, helpers in a store, or simply loving pets. An endnote describes the breed, and the author’s bio promises that proceeds from the book’s sale will go toward Sheltie Rescue.
A charming tale of friendship between dogs and the love of owners who understand their pets.