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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Puppies and children often have the knack for getting themselves into mischief. Ruby is no exception. A cuddly Shiba Inu puppy, Ruby loves to chase squirrels and rabbits. So, when her best friend, Anna, takes Ruby on an overnight camping trip in the forest, Ruby is distracted by a rabbit and chases it, managing in the process to get lost. The forest animals aren’t too welcoming and they’re certainly not helpful. They all think Ruby is a fox and they try to shoo her away, but Ruby doesn’t know which way to go. Finally, a friendly owl offers to help. He recognizes Ruby as a puppy, not a fox. Why? Because, as he explains. “A fox would be happy to hunt alone in the forest. But you’re sad and lonely. It’s obvious you’re a little dog with a big heart.”
B.A. Tomka’s picture book story, Ruby’s Camping Adventure, is a simple but sweet story that will capture the hearts of both the young and the young at heart. The simple language will help young readers follow along and improve their reading skills. Natia Gogiashvili’s illustrations are spectacular: bright, bold, and colorful. The illustrations bring life to the story and help move it along. The plot is full of adventure, but it’s also full of relevant lessons about acceptance and being careful not to stereotype others. It also points out the importance of staying close to family and loved ones and not go wandering off on one’s own. And, young readers will learn about some of the different animals who live in the forest. Beautifully told and presented.