Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Author's Precious Dog Becomes Winged Wonder in Doggie Delicious!

Mary Jo Wisneski Johnston is a retired reading specialist who has taught at levels ranging from kindergarten through graduate school during her 44-year teaching career in several states as well as in Germany. She enjoys living on a hobby ranch with her husband and approximately twenty animals ranging in size from horse to goldfish.

All went on  normally
for the first three years.
She eventually grew to
weigh over ninety pounds.
At one point, I noticed
two bumps forming in
the area of her shoulder
blades. What could this
anomaly be?...
Little did I know the
strength of her
singular power of
intention. Little could
I appreciate her goal,
which was soon to
grace our lives...

Have your children enjoyed meeting animals through picture books, but are now reading on their own and looking for more challenging stories. Still, picture books are so much fun, especially when they are full-color painted pages! Johnston, a reading specialist, has provided just the book for your tweens--children now yet into their older teens, but still enjoying the imaginative tales that gets them totally involved! Like a flying dog! OK, we know dogs can't fly, but... One of my favorite figurines given to me by a then young nephew, Brandon, is a flying cat! He proudly sits on my stove watching over me and all my live cats!

Well, that's exactly what Bibi desired, and then intended to do! Bibi was always wanting to help Mom at their ranch, but sometimes the critters would get away from her, climbing trees, or soaring into the skies!

She wanted so much to rid the farm of those who would destroy his beautiful home...  And then one day--

She soon got used to her new appendages. The first time she streaked after a squirrel and lifted two feet off the ground, she seemed surprised, then ecstatic! There was no stopping her now...

Doggie Delicious:
A Chapter Book for Some Tasty Reading

By Mary Jo Wisnesky Johnston
Illustrated by Malinda Raines

I have more than twenty animals on my ranch. When we lose
one, I don't intend to find a replacement. Yes, it is a lot of work
taking good care of the variety of animals who live with us at
the ranch. Integrating a new member to the animal crew takes
time and patience. But...
I was standing in front of the bookstore waiting for my husband,
when suddenly an odd-looking man with a lunging gait stopped
abruptly in front of me. He raised his arm high in the air
and with finger pointing to the southwest exclaimed, "They've
got the white dog for you over there!" Fluffing his ponytail, he
readjusted his backpack and lurched on without even a glance
my way.
I was nonplussed. I though, What's with that guy?" I looked
around to see who he was talking to. There was no one else
around me, so I accepted the fact that he was conveying this
information for my edification...
The author and her husband live on a hobby ranch--a Log Cabin just like me and my critters! In fact, as she, acting as the narrator, shares her story, it sounds much like what she would share as her routine life...as if talking to her neighbors, children or grandchildren...  Had you ever heard of a hobby ranch? Perhaps after you learn about this one, you'll want to visit one! I sure would! Because you're going to read about some very exotic animals!

Now, depending upon the age of the child when you share the story, he or she may come up with words they don't know... By now, however, you should have either a printed dictionary or online access so they will have the opportunity to discover new words from this reading specialist, and help them improve their vocabulary! Cool, right?! And one other issue for younger children...the reality of dogs and their prey... Please be aware that part of the help Bibi gives on the farm may be more graphic than you can share for younger children, at least without parental involvement... and especially if they have not previously been exposed to the animal environment... On the other hand, it is a good way to explain to older children how to understand how some animals are really pests that must be eliminated...

The awesome thing about this is how Bibi actually came to live at the ranch! One day a stranger announced that a dog was born and that it was over there!
I didn't immediately pick up on this part until reading further that a loved one had been lost due to age. She was a white-faced husky/ malamute mix, named Zephyrushka and they still had Koko, the nickname for Kochaniu (Polish for "sweetheart").

Well, if a stranger came up and told you that a white dog was waiting for you over there, and even if you have many other animals already, you are now curious enough to go look! Right?!

She went home, looked at the newspaper, saw the location was where the strange had pointed to as over there. She was, by now, curious and, as me, wondering about this coincident (you know, the ones I call God incidents)...

So she and her husband made an appointment to go...over there...LOL!

Now readers are going to hear a lot more in the 35 full 8x10 pages that includes fantastic paintings illustrated by Malinda Raines... The book includes nine chapters, many of them identifying some of the exotic animals spotlighted in the book, besides Bibi!
She successfully captured pesky
gophers and moles who constantly
uprooted garden plants...
There was many a time I saw her
eating a tasty fresh rodent meat meal.
She had a high degree of success in
her endeavors. At least she had some
reward for her underground
activities and provided a fine service
for the ranch.
In addition, her process for wood rat
catches also was proven. She ate all
these...starting with the head first.

There's a lot going on at the Ranch, especially on scheduled Play Days! That's when, for instance, Bibi puts on a flying show for the neighbors and many of the other animals have special jobs or activities as well...

For now, I thought I'd introduce you to a number of them:
These vultures many times just sit on a fence, or in a tree, and critique Bibi's flight lessons and practice for the show!

Meet Amigo, the elegant white-wooled alpaca... Amigo
was responsible for handing out three wishes!

My favorite was Gremlin...he runs the kissing booth! 
Gremlin positioned himself in the corner of the pen for a kissing booth. This sign said, "Best juicy Kisser in the Llama University." He stood with his head facing between the slats of the pipe corral fencing, lips curling, nose sniffing ready for delivery. Recipients were told to blow in his nose to initiate the kiss process. He had a lot of comers...

And then there are Pampa and Daisy, Ms. Peanut, Lizzy Bet and Savannah Lexy, and so many more, including Koko who we met before. He has a photo booth and the lucky visitors get to choose a character's hat and pose with Koko for a picture to take home with them! I loved that idea and Koko really loves the camera... And, by the way, don't the animals at the ranch get really great names?! Can you guess what animal they would be based upon their name? No, well you'll see great pictures in the Fiction Book that is full of "imagination and play!"

And you can guess, also, that kids of all ages, or at least up to 99, are going to love the book too.

Highly recommended within the age accommodations mentioned... Children's book and videos are so important... Do ensure your children have sufficient time to devote to reading by starting their own library. This one certainly belongs there! Enjoy!


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