Daisy and the Three Shoes

 by Evelyn Rainey

Have you ever owned a dog? Or, better put, as a dog ever owned you, as in your heart, your time, your snuggles, fun, and laughter? The dedication of this whimsical tale tells me the author most definitely has had that experience:

"In memory of Daisy, my mostly yellow lab, her mostly Siamese Moonbeam and Daisy’s friend Tigger, my mother’s schnauzer.

You taught me what unconditional love truly is."

I'll begin this review with a story from my own life. My daughter has a little rescue pup, part terrier, part dachshund. When I arrive for a visit, she leaps into my arms as though I was the most perfect and wonderful creature ever created. She remains my shadow and constant companion for the duration of my visit. But somehow, without my packing a thing, or giving a hint, she knows when my time is winding down. She begins to follow my daughter, and demand her arms and snuggles. She "knows." This "knowing" is at the very heart of this terrific kids' book.

The story is simple, but that doesn't mean that it's not going to delight you, whatever your age. This book will be enjoyed if you're reading it to a five year old at bedtime, or for your six or seven year old to read alone. An older child (including you) will still find it fun, and - especially - if you have a dog in your family, it will bring a smile.

The story is told by Daisy, the dog. What's particularly fun is Rainey has captured the "voice" of a dog perfectly. The excitement, the nudging, the demanding, the joy, the smells, and the communication that a dog reads when its master does something as simple as choosing a pair of shoes. And yes, there are three kinds of shoes, each one letting the dog know how the day is going to go.

We begin, where else, when Daisy has decided it's time to wake up. "Wake up wake up wake up!" she insists. 

“Here, let me nibble your back. I’ll start at your shoulder and work my way down. Nibble, nibble, nibble."

Dog-like, Daisy reads all the signals given by her "girl," and leads her through her morning routine. The game, of course, is which pair of shoes her girl will wear, and what that will mean for Daisy and her day.

Rainey isn't just skilled at inhabiting her non-human protagonist and giving her a true-to-doggie voice. She also introduces her young reader to new words (like reiterate: "Isn’t reiterate a great word? It means ‘go over the information again.’) in perfectly pup-worthy style. 

Equally wonderful are the illustrations, which capture a colorful world from a dog's point of emphasis, and with a perfect eye for dog non-verbal communication: play pose, excitement, worry-face, and all those ways in which our dogs make absolutely positively sure we know what they want, all drawn with loving detail by Susan Krupp.

Rainey is the author of a variety of books, ranging from science fiction and fantasy, to historical fiction, new age urban fantasy, metaphysical and visionary. This book is available on Kindle and paperback from Amazon, and you can learn more at https://evelynrainey.com/


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