Beagles and Books is so honored to be part of the Operation Rescue Dog blog tour! I had the immense pleasure of reading an advance copy of this heartwarming picture book with my #bookexcursion group and have been eagerly awaiting its official release. Now only 6 days until my finished copy arrives on September 18, 2018.
This sweet story about a girl named Alma and a stray dog named Lulu shows how a girl and a dog can rescue each other. Lulu sleeps under the moon, drinking from mud puddles and is covered in ticks until she is rescued. She waits for the Operation Rescue Dog truck, scared and uncertain. Alma misses her Mami, who is far away in Iraq. Alma wears Mami’s scarf around her like a hug. She wonders: Can a dog feel like a hug? In this heartwarming and moving picture book, a lonely child and a lonely dog come together and find warmth, companionship, and love in each other.
Review and Thoughts:
Maria Gianferrari’s words are sheer poetry when she conveys Alma’s longing for her mom saying “Alma wears Mami’s scarf like a hug.” But a few pages later states “Can a dog feel like a hug?” while Alma rubs Mami’s scarf on her cheek. Luisa Uribe’s illustrations are warm and evoke a sense of calm even in the midst of uncertainty.
I love all of Maria’s books but I can’t deny that Operation Rescue Dog is my favorite. Being a dog mom of two rescue beagles, this book has my whole heart. Even more so because my husband and I met Etta (Her shelter name was actually Lauren.) on our very first volunteer rescue transport in June 2010. Like Lulu, Etta was transported from the south to the north although she was rescued due to a hoarding situation. We met Etta in Baltimore, which was one of her many stops on her journey from North Carolina to New Jersey.
Etta was underweight, which tugged at our hearts. We know how much beagles love food! While we didn’t transport Etta to the next stop, we couldn’t stop thinking about her. My husband and I were ready to welcome a dog into our lives because that past February, we had to say goodbye to our 17 year old beagle We had already applied to adopt through a local beagle rescue and were due to have a home visit that week. I quickly researched to find out Etta’s final destination, which was Penny Angels Beagle Rescue in New Jersey. After sending an email, completing the application, and getting approved, we drove up to New Jersey to adopt Etta that following Saturday, 6 days after meeting her.
7 years later, Penny Angels Beagle Rescue shared a photo of Bella on their Facebook group, and soon our family grew by four more paws in October 2017. We can’t thank Joan and Ken Kerr, the founders of Penny Angels enough for making our family complete and for the amazing work they do!
I love that Maria dedicated the book to her rescue dog, Becca and tells Becca’s story in the author’s note.
Maria also shares how readers can support pet rescue and how a portion of the book’s proceeds will benefit Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah. Operation Rescue Dog is a beautiful story that will continue to give back by raising awareness to animals in need. Thank you Maria for advocating for animals!
I feel blessed to have Etta and Bella in my life and love sharing my blog with them (even though Bella is now a bit skittish when posing with books.) Luckily, Etta is always willing to pose for treats!
One lucky winner will receive a copy of Operation Rescue Dog (U.S. addresses only). A winner will be chosen on September 18, 2018. Please click on the link below to enter.
Maria Gianferrari loves dogs, especially her rescue dog, Becca. She loves them so much that all of her fiction picture books published thus far contain a dog main character! As an animal lover, Maria has been rescuing creatures unofficially all her life. Her most recent rescue was a five-lined skink stranded in her cellar. She lives in Leesburg, Virginia with Becca, her scientist husband and artist daughter.