I'm really pleased to report that 'Rags' was selected as an honor book for the eleventh annual Comstock Read Aloud Book Award.
It was one of three honor books chosen for the 9-12 yr-old category. The award is given to the best picture books to read aloud to children from age nine to twelve. The winner of this category was 'What to do When You're Sent to Your Room' by Ann Stott illustrated by Stephen Gilpin. 629 picture books published in 2014 were submitted by publishers for the award. These books were read aloud to 21,990 children.
The following is an excerpt from the official site-
Rags: Hero Dog of WWI: A True Story written by Margot Theis Raven and illustrated by Petra Brown and published by Sleeping Bear Press, 2014.
Rags, a stray dog, is rescued in Paris during WWI by Army Private James Donovan. When Donovan is sent to the battlefield, Rags goes along and helps the soldiers by chasing mice and rats out of the trenches, warning of incoming shells, delivering messages, and boosting the soldiers' morale. During a battle, Private Donovan and Rags are both wounded. Severely injured, Donovan is sent back to the United States and Rags refuses to leave his side and so returns to the U.S. with him.
Both students and teachers felt that this was a heartwarming story. Several comments were made about the story being sad, but one student replied it was a “good kind of sad.” Students liked that it was a true story which described a unique part of history during WWI. One group summed it up by stating, “We want to meet Rags.”
Background information on War Dogs of WWI and an epilogue that describes how Rags spent his final years are included.
Margot Theis Raven was born in Indianapolis, IN on August 30, 1950 and died in Mt. Pleasant, SC on August 16, 2014. Raven was an accomplished fine art painter and a national award winning author. Rags: Hero Dog of WWI was her last book and was released just weeks before her death.
Petra Brown, the illustrator, lives in North Wales, UK and has been a children’s book illustrator since 2006.