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Dog Lovers Book Club - February 2019

It's officially back to school or work for all of us this month and we hope you can take some time out to read a good book. According to a recent study, six minutes of sustained reading each day can reduce a person's stress level by 68 percent!

January is traditionally a quiet month for new book releases but we hope you'll enjoy this latest selection.

Children, Dogs, and the Power of Unconditional Love 
by Melissa Fay Greene 

From two-time National Book Award nominee Melissa Fay Greene comes a profound and surprising account of dogs on the front lines of rescuing both children and adults from the trenches of grief, emotional, physical, and cognitive disability, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The Underdogs tells the story of Karen Shirk, felled at age twenty-four by a neuromuscular disease and facing life as a ventilator-dependent, immobile patient, who was turned down by every service dog agency in the country because she was "too disabled." Her nurse encouraged her to tone down the suicidal thoughts, find a puppy, and raise her own service dog. Karen did this, and Ben, a German Shepherd, dragged her back into life. "How many people are stranded like I was," she wondered, "who would lead productive lives if only they had a dog?"

A thousand state-of-the-art dogs later, Karen Shirk's service dog academy, 4 Paws for Ability, is restoring broken children and their families to life. Melissa Fay Greene weaves the latest scientific discoveries about our co-evolution with dogs with Karen's story and a few exquisitely rendered stories of suffering children and their heartbroken families.

Written with characteristic insight, humanity, humour, and irrepressible joy, what could have been merely touching is a penetrating, compassionate exploration of larger questions: about our attachment to dogs, what constitutes a productive life, and what can be accomplished with unconditional love. 

Paperback, 352 pages
Publisher: ECCO PR, 15th November 2018 

RRP: $31.99 at

by Jamie Coleman

Imagine if your dog could talk to you. Better still, imagine if it could express its innermost feelings in poetic form. 

This hilarious, insightful book confirms what we've all long suspected - that inside every dog is the soul of a poet. From retrieving sticks to rivalry with cats; from cold winter walks to endlessly chasing tennis balls, no stone of a dog's life is left unturned.

With a delightful photo alongside every haiku, this is the perfect gift for any dog lover.

Hardcover, 128 pages
Publisher: Penguin Books Australia, 19th November 2018

RRP: $22.99 at

Easy tricks that will give your pet the spotlight they deserve
by Julie Tottman

Whether your dog is clever, cheeky, kooky or cuddly, Superstar Dogs reveals easy tricks to make you the envy of your friends. 

Trick-training is a simple and fun way to bond with your dog whilst keeping them stimulated and active, and there is no one better placed to show you how to do it than Julie. 

Over the last twenty years, Julie has been the animal trainer behind a whole host of major Hollywood blockbusters: from the Harry Potter franchise to Lassie, The Dark Knight, 102 Dalmatians and, most recently, Game of Thrones

By breaking each trick down into easy step-by-step instructions, Julie shows you how to teach your pet a wide range of easy and fun tricks, catering for all shapes, sizes - and attention spans!

Alongside lots of helpful tips and advice, you'll also find fun black and white illustrations and space to jot down when your pet has successfully performed each trick, meaning they'll be rivalling movie stars in no time.

Paperback, 128 pages (also available as e-Book)
Publisher: Orion Publishing Co, 15th November 2018

RRP: $19.99 at


by Bren MacDibble

From the author of the multi-award-winning and bestselling How To Bee comes an intense and thrilling new adventure.

'We're gonna starve if we stay here,' Emery said. 'If we're gonna go, best go now.' 
And he said it like going was something easy. Like all we have to do is walk away.

Ella and her brother Emery are alone in a city that's starving to death. If they are going to survive, they must get away, upcountry, to find Emery's mum. But how can two kids travel such big distances across a dry, barren, and dangerous landscape? 

Well, when you've got five big doggos and a dry-land dogsled, the answer is you go mushing. But when Emery is injured, Ella must find a way to navigate them through rough terrain, and even rougher encounters with desperate people...

Paperback, 248 pages
Publisher: Allen & Unwin, 4th February 2019
For Ages: 10+ years old 

RRP: $16.99 at

A Man, a Dog, and Their Incredible True Story of Friendship and Survival in World War II

by Robert Weintraub 

No Better Friend tells the incredible true story of Frank Williams, a radarman in Britain's Royal Air Force, and Judy, a purebred Pointer, who met as prisoners of war during World War II. Judy, who became the war's only official canine POW, was a fiercely loyal dog who sensed danger - warning her fellow prisoners of imminent attacks and protecting them from brutal beatings. 

Frank and Judy's friendship, an unbreakable bond forged in the worst circumstances, is one of the great recently unearthed stories of World War II.

As they discover Frank and Judy's story in this specially adapted text, young readers will also learn about key World War II moments through informative and engaging sidebars, maps, photographs, and a timeline.

Paperback, 304 pages
Publisher: 8th January 2019
For Ages: 10+ years old 

RRP: $12.99 at

by Dawn Macintyre

“We start early in the morning when Dougal our Cavoodle, Charli our princess Spoodle, Barnzy our regal Labradoodle and Riley our funny hyper Groodle come flying out of their bedroom, straight to the fridge for their chicken treat. It’s so funny, because we have wooden floors and in their excitement, they skid and slide all over the place.

They jump up and give us big hugs, Riley always looking for a toy to give us, Charli jumping up constantly saying ‘pick me, pick me’, Riley pushes against my legs and Dougal’s cute little body is all a wiggle as he skids to the fridge door and can’t work out what he wants first, a back scratch or his treat. They all sit politely and then gently take their chicken wing from our hands before running out into the green fields, legs again slipping and sliding as they rush into the gorgeous morning sunshine to say hello to the cows and alpacas."

​​The sale of each book supports Story Dogs, whose mission it is ‘To make reading fun for children, so they become confident lifelong readers’.

RRP: $19.95 at

by Gina Dawson, illustrated by Vivienne Da Silva

Grace wants to be able to do everything other children do and now that she has Roxie she can. If Grace needs help, Roxie knows exactly what to do.

With insightful illustrations and written in a sensitive and friendly style, Next Door's Dog Goes to School is about understanding the important role of dogs in our society and how they potentially change people's lives.

Hardcover, 32 pages
Publisher: New Holland Publishers, 3rd January 2019
For Ages: 4 - 8 years old

RRP: $16.99 at

by Laura Sieveking, illustrated by Alyssa Bermudez 

Amelia has a secret power. A power that nobody else knows about. When she is furious or frightened, she can change colour. 

Amelia's eighth birthday is just around the corner and she is SO excited. She's going to have the best party ever – even if she does have to invite her troublesome twin cousins. But then something strange and magical happens . . Now Amelia has a very big secret.

Will Amelia be able to keep her chameleon powers hidden, even when disaster strikes and the party bags go missing?

Paperback, 96 pages
Publisher: Penguin Random House Australia, 8th January 2019

RRP: $9.99 at 

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