Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Book Review: More Tales of Seamus the Sheltie

It is most certainly the dog days of summer right now. We've got a forest fire a few miles east of us to prove it (now about 5,000 acres, 30% contained, road still closed and lots of helicopters and firefighting transport buzzing around...).

So we've got ANOTHER dog book for review...

Even if you don't like dogs, little Seamus will grow on you very quickly, guaranteed. Especially when there's no doggy breath to contend with.

Seamus is an intelligent and fiercely loyal Sheltie with incredible story-telling abilities and a great set of values. Each chapter of his book is a stand-alone adventure story with an important moral or basic value built into it. And there is a discussion guide for each chapter at the end of the book to encourage meaningful conversation and reinforce the value.

Seamus actually has two books already: The Adventures of Seamus the Sheltie, and the one I've reviewing, More Tales of Seamus the Sheltie. And he's got his own website, too:

The Author
James Beverly has worked in the field of mental health as a therapist and administrator for many years. He's worked with a wide variety of distressed children and their families, and has realized that many of the parents wanted to instill meaningful values into their children, but didn't know how or didn't have the resources.

From experience with his own daughter, James knew that telling stories from her dog's viewpoint could lead to serious discussions and life lessons in an nonthreatening way. And so this series was born to assist parents to pass on meaningful values to their children.

Our Review
Two-year-old Esmé is a little young for this book (it is recommended for 6 and older), but she did check out some of the black and white sketches throughout.

I love the doggie dialect the author uses - it makes for perfect read-aloud stories! It is actually very well-thought out and consistently used - based on a Sheltie's physical structure and mental limitations.

I also appreciate how the chapters can be used alone as aids in specific situations. There are chapters dealing with adoption, sickness, poverty, and stealing, among others. The discussion guides look great, too.

My favorite chapter, "Seamus and the Perfect Day," demonstrates how you can have a great time just being with your family; you don't need fancy toys or fancy destinations to enjoy yourself.

Admittedly, parents' values may differ. There were two chapters I thought might prove controversial with some parents: one on death, and one on ghosts. The author diplomatically dealt with these topics, but should you feel they conflicted with your own belief system, you can easily skip past them and utilize the other chapters.

Overall, a definite keeper in Esmé's library that is slated for future bedtime reading.


Review copy of this book provided through Review the Book.

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