Monday, June 30, 2014

Book Review: The Poodle Tales

Author Toni Tuso Faber & her three stunning Standard Poodles,
London, Deja vu, and Dante

Former Miss. California, Toni Tuso Faber, has enjoyed an interesting and varied career since winning her title in the Miss. World Contest. After college, using money she'd earned in pageants and modeling she purchased a struggling magazine and turned it into the successful Orange Coast Magazine, the largest magazine in California's Orange County. An inveterate Poodle lover, with  Standards, the largest of the three Poodle varieties, being her dog of choice, she turned her writing skills and her love of this incredibly intelligent breed into a wonderful series of books aimed at children ages four to nine. The truth is, this series easily appeals to children from four to ninety-four.

"I have had Standard Poodles in my life since birth," says Faber.  "They are smart beyond compare...and have great temperaments. I decided they would be great Therapy Dogs, so we now have therapy dogs who thrill the lives of patients weekly! It's a blessing to me, the patients, and the Poodle who is in attendance."

I received a copy of Book Twelve, The Poodle Contract, to review. Written in charming rhyme, the book carries a responsible owner message and the best place to start that is with children. It will also allow the children to educate their parents as the parent reads aloud or the child relates the tale.  Responsible dog breeders sell their puppies with an extensive contract and will not sell to anyone they deem unacceptable to own one of their puppies. This message is brought home with such charm and warmth that it's hard to think of a better way to do it.

Faber is a talented author.  Children's books are notoriously difficult to write and yet she pulls it off with warmth and caring.

Wonderfully illustrated by Benton Rudd who captures the insouciance of Poodles with seeming ease, each of the twelve puppies in the litter has an obviously different personality.  They come alive on the pages. Rudd illustrates Faber's rhymes to perfection.

As if the twelve books weren't enough of an undertaking, Toni Tuso Faber has created a website to enhance the experience: is chock full of fun animations and interaction. A child can receive a message on his or her birthday from one of the adopted Poodles in The Poodle Tales "Poodle Club." The Club also features two online or printable activity books, audio eBooks, the official Club ringtone, and a new game, "Catch A Poodle," available in HD online or as an IOS or Android App. Faber has apparently left no stone unturned. There is also a video, Introducing The Poodle Tales on YouTube which has over 331,000 views and is featured on the website. A thirteen minute cartoon based on the first two books in the series is in production and should be online any minute now.

A portion of the sales of all the books will be donated to charity.

"We do not show the Poodles," Faber relates.  "Two are, in fact, rescues.  Poodles are my passion.  A series of books about them and their capabilities....just perfect!"

Each book would make a wonderful gift for a child or for an adult who collects children's books, creating a very special library that will be enjoyed for years to come.

Published by Windstar Media, each book is priced at $16.99.

NOTE:  I received no compensation for this review, just one copy of one of the books in the series.  The review is my own.


rescuegal said...

This review of the book "The Poodle Tales", by Darlene Arden, is spot on. I have read this book and it is by far one of the most enchanting and well written children's books I have read. I am a retired teacher, so I have read a few children's books. It is a clever way to get valuable information about dogs and dog ownership across to children of all ages. The illustrations are wonderful and do catch the essence of poodle personalities. These are not books to give to children to tear up, they are treasures and should be treated as such. Thank you, Darlene Arden for sharing these special special books with your readers.

Darlene said...

Thank you, rescuegal. I'm so glad you enjoyed one of the books in the series. You're so right, books like this series are treasures and shouldn't be given to children to tear up. I was taught respect for books at a very early age and would not dream of reading a book without a bookmark. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Gordon Brice said...

As always, I very much enjoyed this article by Darlene Arden and, the comment by rescuegal was very helpful also. I don't know a great deal about poodles, but have always especially admired Standards. The books look very impressive and the illustrations, beautiful. As Darlene mentioned, these books would make much appreciated reading material for children and adults. Thank you for a very interesting review.

James Stagg said...

Wonderful! Thank you, Darlene. I will obtain copies for my great-grandson's upcoming Third Grade class to pass around.

Darlene said...

Thank you, Gordon, for your comments.

Darlene said...

Thank you, James, for your comment. I'm sure the class would enjoy the books!

Images of Butterflies said...

I love her story. It just shows how passion still wins in the end. If you pursue it, you'll be succeed regardless of the circumstances.

Darlene said...

That's so true. Even though the books are written for children I really think that everyone can enjoy them.