Mountain Mutts – Joy’s Tale
(review published in the Lake City Silver World, September 4, 2020)

When a new puppy named Joy joins the family she struggles to be accepted by the older dog, Spring.  Why is Spring so reluctant to acknowledge Joy? Is it the right move to bring a puppy into Spring’s world after her beloved friend dies? What adventures await these two delightful dogs?

Mountain Mutts – Joy’s Tale is a charming story of life and death, as seen through the eyes of two beautiful shelties.  This children’s book written by local resident, photographer and author Julie Stephens, is a wonderful read aloud to your children, as a family or to a class of students.  Parents and teachers alike will enjoy the life lessons woven throughout the story, including tolerance, death, sadness, joy, helping others, the excitement of learning and the always relevant qualities of kindness and diversity.

Both charming and honest, the author describes the pain of loss Spring feels when her canine companion dies and how Spring feels as a new puppy is brought into the home.  Eloquently, the author describes in both words and photography, how puppy Joy ultimately wins reluctant Spring’s friendship.

The photography in Mountain Mutts – Joy’s Tale skillfully captures the dog’s expressions.  The whimsical and colorful photos make this story set in the mountains, even more believable, as you truly see Spring’s pain and sadness; as well as Joy’s confusion and enthusiasm in making Spring her new friend.

While identified as a children’s picture book, Mountain Mutts – Joy’s Tale is so much more.  The book connects with readers of any age: as a picture book, for people welcoming a new puppy, helping to comfort someone who has had a dog die, as well as collectors of anything dog.

Stephens is an accomplished author and photographer.  She writes an award-winning column called, Life from My View, for the Lake City Silver World Newspaper.  Julie has also has an informative and inspirational blog entitled, Living in the Mountains, which can be found at https://notes.julie-stephens.com.  Check out her website at https://julie-stephens.com where Stephens other books and information can be found.

Review by Erin Cavit. 

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Mountain Mutts - Joy's Tale

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