Abby Sunshine

Duck Toller

2-9-11 Book Recommendation

Hachiko Waits

by Leslea Newman

Illustrations by Machiyo Kodaira

After reading about a loyal dog in Brazil (post from January 17), I came across this story about another faithful canine. Based on a true story from the 1920s in Japan, Hachiko, the dog and main character, epitomizes a “good dog.”

Hachiko Waits


“What a good dog you are. What a fine dog you are. Hachi, you are the best dog in all of Japan.” Professor Ueno speaks these words to his faithful dog before boarding the train to work every morning. And every afternoon, just before three o’clock, Hachi is at the train station to greet his beloved master. One day, the train arrives at the station without the professor. Hachi waits.For ten years, Hachi waits for his master to return. Not even Yasuo, the young boy who takes care of Hachi, can persuade him to leave his post.Hachiko Waits, a novel inspired by a true story, brings to life the legendary Akita who became a national symbol for loyalty and devotion. This is a must-read for dog lovers of all ages.

Hachiko Statue

There is a a statue honoring Hachiko in Shibuya (a part of Tokyo), Japan.

As with any good story, books are written and movies are made. Here is a video clip from a 1987 Japanese film Hachikō Monogatari.

Another movie, Hachi: A Dog’s Tale, was made in 2009.

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1-3-10 Lassie – Story Recommendation

Usually we do book recommendations, but today we had to recommend Lassie, the movie we just watched last night. The character of Lassie has been around for quite awhile, there have been many books written about her, as well as TV shows and movies. Who could be a more popular good dog than Lassie, a really smart Collie?

We think they did a nice job putting together this 2005 version of a timeless story. It is a great flick! We recommend it to anyone that appreciates a smart dog , adventure and good-hearted owners. We also enjoyed the setting- beautiful scenery. Of course, there is no mistaking a little boy who loves Lassie,- the acting worked.



Poverty stricken, the Carraclough family is forced to sell their precious pup to a wealthy duke (Peter O’Toole) who lives more than 500 miles away — until the loyal Lassie escapes and braves an incredible journey home. Set against the colorful backdrop of World War II Britain, director Charles Sturridge’s heartwarming film version of the world’s most famous collie weaves a compelling tale of survival, adventure and love.

Check it out!

Next, read books about Lassie. She has some excellent adventures.

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Special Holiday Book Offer!

Order now! Click on the cover and you will go to the order page.


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7-13-10 Book Recommendation

Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie

by Peter and Connie Roop

pictures by Peter E. Hanson

I couldn’t help but recommend this story after having recently visited a lighthouse with my own Abby. Though their names aren’t spelled the same, there are things these two “Abbys” have in common. They are brave and they are smart! Take a journey back in time to the days of the lighthouses and feel the importance these great monuments once played in early America.

Keep the lights burning Abbie


Based on a true story of an 1856 storm off the coast of Maine, Abbie’s tale is one of endurance and bravery. When her father, the lighthouse keeper, sails off for supplies, he leaves Abbie in charge of lighting the oil lamps in the twin towers of their lighthouse and making sure that they don’t go out. When a huge storm hits, preventing her father from returning for four weeks, Abbie keeps those lamps burning, getting up several times each night to climb the towers to check them, scraping ice from the windows so the lights can be seen at sea. In the course of the storm, she also rescues her chickens from a huge wave, thus saving the family’s only source of food. The Roops allow the natural drama of Abbie’s story to emerge in simple sentences that are sometimes cut up awkwardly, but for the most part they are clear and compelling. An author’s note gives the interesting historical basis of the story, but the tale stands alone as an exciting account of a young girl’s courage. The vivid watercolor paintings are highly effective in detailing Abbie’s job as well as creating atmosphere.

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5-1-10 Nice Reply from Nubs Author

I received a nice response from Mary Nethery, one of the authors of Nubs (you can see it in the comments from yesterday). Check out their website!


Mary has also written other books, highlighted on her own website. Check this one out, too!

Mary Nethery

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4-30-10 Book Recommendation

Nubs The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle

by Major Brian Dennis, Kirby Larson and Mary Nethery

This book got my attention right away. When I saw it, and got the gist of the story, I remembered that I had heard about Nubs on the news. How many books would be about a dog without ears, finding a friend in the military? I knew right away it was the same heart-warming story. I didn’t realize they were making a book about it, but what a good idea! In this case, I glanced at the pictures and knew the story would be great- especially when it is true. What a dog- what a friendship.



Nubs, an Iraqi dog of war, never had a home or a person of his own. He was the leader of a pack of wild dogs living off the land and barely surviving. But Nubs’ life changed when he met Marine Major Brian Dennis. The two formed a fast friendship, made stronger by Dennis’ willingness to share his meals, offer a warm place to sleep, and give Nubs the kind of care and attention he had never received before. Nubs became part of Dennis’ human “pack” until duty required the Marines to relocate a full 70 miles away–without him. Nubs had no way of knowing that Marines were not allowed to have pets.

So began an incredible journey that would take Nubs through a freezing desert, filled with danger to find his friend and would lead Dennis on a mission that would touch the hearts of people all over the world.

Nubs and Dennis will remind readers that friendship has the power to cross deserts, continents, and even species.


4-19-10 Book Recommendation

Once I Ate a Pie

by Patricia MacLachlan and Emily MacLachlan Charest

illustrated by Katy Schneider

Just yesterday I came across this book. When I first saw the cover, I immediately fell in love with the beautiful illustration! That little pug is adorable and the style of painting is warm and attractive. Next I did a quick flip through the pages and before reading anything, I knew I wanted it- simply for the pictures! Of course, my next objective was to actually read it and I really enjoyed the poems. The book captures small moments in the life of a variety of dogs. They are entertaining and tug at the heartstrings.

Once I Ate a Pie


Every dog has a tail to wag. . .and a tale to tell. The authors asked a collection of canines to speak up — and so they do, in words, barks, and yips. Captured here are accounts of happy days filled with squeaky toys, good smells, plenty of naps and the very important jobs they do for the people they love to love.

The following is a page spread from the book:

Page from Once I Ate a Pie

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11-17-09 Audio Book

Hey, have you checked out the audio/video version of Abby’s book, A Day with Abby Sunshine? Well, do it now! Go to the right sidebar. The first new item you will see is the large paw print. Click on it! You will see the whole story, page by page, and if you want to print it, go for it! Be sure to adjust your printer to “landscape.” To return to, just choose the paw print that says “home.”

Next, on the website, you will also see a YouTube video where it says “Listen to the story!” Click on the arrow and you can hear it. If you’d like the images to be larger, there is a place on the lower right part of the video that will make it bigger. Also, it begins with an intro without imagery. . . it’s OK! The illustrations will soon appear!

We hope you enjoy it!

I wonder if this guy is listening to A Day with Abby Sunshine!! Maybe????

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Meet the Author!

Red Balloon Bookstore

Title: Meet the Author!
Location: The Red Balloon Bookshop
Link out: Click here
Description: Abby Sunshine and Lisa will meet and greet customers on the front veranda at the bookstore!
Start Time: 10:15
Date: 2009-10-03
End Time: 11:30

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5-26-09 Where’s the Book?

We eagerly awaited receiving the books on this day. . .did they come? No! Here is how we felt, based on p. 23 of A Day with Abby Sunshine.

“It’s almost time for [the books] to get home. Mom [Dad, Renae] and I walk to the [driveway]. Where’s the book? Where’s the book? Where’s the book? [We] are tired of waiting already.

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