Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers...the place that's been a bit preoccupied with the holidays of late, but can't stay away from the books for long. Honestly, can you?
Today, we're taking a look at a Children's Story Book featuring a furry friend and of all things...a mystery. Who'd have thought?! It's a tale good for kids of all ages (that's right, even Grandma and Grandpa) that will capture your heart. Don't believe me? Then see for yourself as we dive right into today's book of choice...
PANSY AT THE PALACE
A BEVERLY HILLS MYSTERY
This is the story of one little puppy's start in life, so sad yet so true, that turned into a possible dream come true.
Why possible? Oh for many reasons. First of all, adorable loving pups of all shapes and sizes are adopted each and every year, including a few of my own. They say there is no love like the love of a shelter dog and I think that comes from giving them a second chance of having a happy home. What a gift to bestow; what a power to hold. Avery's young heart is captured by the mass of brown curls and waggles soon to be named Pansy...and thanks to her agreeable Mom, the two shan't have to part ways for nary a moment.
The second reason for its possible happy ending is her new digs...and I don't mean holes in the yard. This mother daughter combo lives in the glorious Palace hotel with tea rooms and jewelers and breakfast by the pool, who could ask for more! How about a cast of characters that will leave you smiling? We have Mr. Bijoux, the flamboyant French gentleman that owns the jewelry boutique; Roberto, the valet and door greeter welcoming one and all with a friendly smile and a kind word; let us not forget Monsieur DuMal and his cat Desiree, a curious pair that I'd keep my eye on if I were you. They each bring something special to the story and to Pansy's new home, adding another sparkle to her shiny new life. Aww, about that shine....here comes the reason for "possible" being added to the happily ever after.
As mentioned in the title, there is a mystery afoot and if not solved, Pansy's grand new home may have to close its doors! It seems there is a thief in their midst that has sticky pa...I mean hands when it comes to bright shiny expensive objects and with no leads, the police are baffled as to how to put everyone's mind at ease. Leave it to one lucky puppy with a nose for trouble (solving it that is), good intentions, and a new owner that trusts her little fuzzy inexplicably and things are sure to set themselves right.
It's a short but sweet tale that believe it or not has its roots in both fiction AND reality! It seems there really IS a Pansy (as can be seen in the book jacket photo of her and her owner, author Cynthia Bardes) and there really was an extended stay at a Beverly Hills hotel (one of many, although this one came after an accident...no worries everyone is okay now), but the robbery was pure imagination. Guess you really never know where the next idea for a story will come from. Now being that this is a story book, I honestly can't close things out without a nod to the illustrator, Kim Weissenborn. Her work makes the story come to life and really makes Pansy's personality (as well as Desiree and the others) shine. The fun is in the details like the little crown on Pansy's head when they're at play or her name in script on her doggie bed, even the stores her and Avery pass on their daily stroll hold surprises (Bark Boutique anyone?). Each page holds the obvious story but always something more to enhance the experience; a great balance between content and visuals.
All in all, a sweet story for dog lovers of all ages that will entertain and charm you from page one. Enter the world of the privilaged but not spoiled where dreams really can come true; even when all you really desire is a place and person to call your own. This book was released just this year from Octobre Press and should be available on a bookstore shelf near you.
Review copy received courtesy of Anastasia at Andrew E. Freedman Public Relations (http://www.aefpr.com). (THANKS!) For more information on Pansy and author Cynthia Bardes, be sure to visit their official website (http://www.pansyatthepalace.com). Will there be more adventures featuring Avery and Pansy? Only time will tell but I'll definitely keep a spot open on my reading list.
Until next time...happy reading!