Samantha Shannon is a best-selling author and licensed educational counselor who uses her background in education, love for nature and animals, and experience aiding in the emotional social development of children to create fun and impactful books. Samantha has also published multiple books under her pen name, Parker Sinclair, in the fantasy and YA genres. Visit: parkersinclair.net & jakethegrowlingdog.com for more information or find all books on Amazon and IngramSpark. Samantha's love for creatures great and small has led her to incorporate animals in all of the books, from eagles to cheetahs! Throughout her life, Samantha's family has always included a dog, and they've always been more than pets. They were fur-brothers, sisters, and babies. When Samantha had her first child in 2009, she wanted to write a picture book based on her sister's dog, Jake. While visiting her sister in the Pacific Northwest, Samantha realized that Jake growled all the time. He growled while playing frisbee, getting an ear rub, running, and even when he was sleeping! Despite his unusual choice of noisemaking, Jake is a sweet dog, which makes him the perfect character for a children's picture book. With Samantha's background in educational counseling, Jake's first story includes a character education & loving-kindness activity for families, schools, & counselors. Jake's story speaks to all of us about accepting, and appreciating, the differences in others--both caring attitudes we need in our diverse and beautiful world.
Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers'
FavoriteWe're all different. We have different
ways to laugh, to smile, to cry, to speak, but that's part of what
makes us all so uniquely special. Jake is a fun-loving dog,
caramel-colored with "a chocolate stripe down his face" (I love
that description). He loves to run and play and do all the things
an active young dog loves to do. The only thing is that Jake
growls. It doesn't mean he's an angry, mean dog. He growls because
he's happy and excited. He didn't realize that his growling scared
everyone away. When he realized the problem, all he wanted to do
was to fix it: "Why doesn't anyone understand me?/ Why can't they
see I'm not actually mean?" It would appear that everyone was
jumping to the conclusion that when a dog growled he was being mean
and scary, when in fact Jake was full of love and kindness and
Samantha Shannon's picture book story, Jake the Growling Dog: A Children's Book about the Power of Kindness, Celebrating Diversity and Friendship, is a fun book to read and it's full of suggestions to help young readers think about how they judge others. Written in rhyming verse and accompanied by exciting and colorful illustrations, the plot develops as Jake introduces himself and how much fun he's having until it's pointed out that his growling is scaring everyone away. Jake then has to analyze the situation and find a way to make others accept him as he is, just like he accepts everyone else in spite of their differences. At the end of the book is an interactive section that outlines how young people can be loving and kind, just like Jake. There's even an exercise called, Jake's Loving-Kindness Activity. A fun read for the whole family and a great way to look at the world and others with loving-kindness - every day.