You don’t have to be a dog lover to appreciate Janet Hill’s charming first picture book, Miss Moon: Wise Words from a Dog Governess, but the sweet sentiments and darling illustrations in its pages might sway you in that direction. A brief introduction tells us Miss Moon cared for 67 dogs at her first placement on a small island off the coast of France, and here she is sharing her “twenty most important lessons for raising happy, healthy, well-manned pooches — and people.” And the pages that follow are no less than enchanting.
Each two-page spread begins with a simple piece of advice on one side, and facing that, a detailed oil painting to illustrate.
My kids shared the book with friends and they were hooting with laughter and delight pointing out the charming details — dogs in bicycle helmets and party hats, doing a back float in flippers, and on one page, ready to swing at a piñata shaped like a cat. Miss Moon’s monkey (Mitford) and French bulldog (Petunia) appear throughout and are fun to spot, especially when Petunia’s wearing a red party dress or a French beret.
Izzie and Caleb loved the class photo at the end of the book and counted the dogs to make sure all 67 were there. (They were.)
Despite her prim and proper appearance, Miss Moon is anything but stodgy. We see her playing archery, tobogganing, baking heart-shaped dog treats and riding a hot air balloon. She is a competent and well-rounded caregiver with a sense of humour and imagination (as one would have to be to care for 67 dogs!) and a fine role model for young readers.
The book is recommended for children 4 to 8, but many adults would enjoy it as well. It’s a lovely addition to our library, and one we’re happy to share with friends.
To enter to win a copy of Miss Moon: Wise Words from a Dog Governess by Janet Hill, tell me one of your own life lessons in the comments below.
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#Win Miss Moon: Wise Words from a Dog Governess from @trysmallthings! http://wp.me/p4xBed-2wA CAN/US 8/12 #MissMoon
The giveaway is open to Canadian (excluding Quebec) and US residents 18+ and ends at 11:59 pm EST on August 12, 2016.
Update August 13, 2016: Congratulations Susan P!
Images 2 and 3 by Janet Hill and shared with permission from the publisher. Penguin Random House Canada sent me a copy of Miss Moon: Wise Words from a Dog Governess in exchange for an honest review.