Monday, October 3, 2016

Dreaming of Mocha - a bookwrap

I certainly can relate to the delightful little girl in today's book.  As a child I found every abandoned and lost animal in my neighourhood and brought them home to keep.  Both my parents always consented and I would lovingly take care of these unwanted strays.  I have had pets as long as I can remember so I understand the anguish Florence experienced wanting a dog all her very own....


"Dreaming of Mocha"

Authored by An Swerts and Illustrated by Eline Van Lindenhurzer

Ages 4-7

Illustrations for you to enjoy...

Editorial reviews...

"van Lindenhuizen’s charming, naïve-style illustrations add great appeal." -- Kirkus Reviews

"I adored this book. I work with ELL students that are at varying levels of spoken English proficiency and this is a great book for them to express themselves. Some students may only be able to say dog, girl, while others can share sentences about the story. I will also be able use this for higher level students to discuss what happened, how the girl felt, how they would feel etc. I can even use this for setting, characters, etc. This is a book that will make my students smile and the book itself will differentiate to the ability of the child. No matter the background or 1st language of the student, all can relate to this." -- Cori Risner, Educator, Dublin City Schools

"Young children will immediately connect with the endearing illustrations. Language is appropriate for use with younger children with a good balance between recognisable and challenging words for beginning readers. Transitions across the page were clear with even very young children able to track the progress of the story easily....a delightful story to introduce the value of pet ownership and highlight the special relationship that might exist between our children and animals." -- Tanya Grech Welden, OzBooks4Teachers

"A sweet book for little animal lovers!" -- Taryn Villarreal, The Overly Attached Reader

"Lovely book. Perfect for little dog lovers. I wish I had a Mocha." -- Heidi Vickery, City of Charles Sturt Library

About the book...

"Florence wants a dog
it doesn't matter what kind of dog
To take care of and to pet
To run with and to play with

If she gets a dog,
she will NEVER whine again and ALWAYS be good
That's what she promises Mom."

Think it will work?  Mom has apprehensions as does dad.   From their perspective dogs shed, leave dirty paw marks everywhere, and dig up gardens so my guess would be that Florence has little chance of obtaining one.  

Then  one day when she has given up all hope the unthinkable happens.  She sees a stray dog in her very own garden.  She is in love!  His name is Mocha because it says so right on his collar.  They become best of friends but Florence has to do the right thing and put up posters of the missing dog around the neighbourhood just in case Mocha does a home.  

Mocha's owner, Leon, appears at the door and Florence is taken by surprise.  Why he's not a  villain who scared Mocha away but a sweet older gentleman who strokes and smiles at his beloved, found canine. Poor Florence is torn because although she's happy Leon found his dog she is heartbroken because she loves Mocha so and wants him all to herself.  How can this dilemma be rectified?  Can it be solved so that both Leon and Florence are happy with the results? 

This heartwarming tale is all about how love conquers all.  It is a perfect story for animal lovers everywhere.  I highly recommend this book. 

About the author...

An Swerts (1973) grew up in Geel, Belgium. After studying pharmacy she taught at the college for lab assistants and dieticians. Then she could no longer deny she was drawn to journalism. In 2007 she graduated from the Advanced Academic Education of Journalism (Lessius College). Her final paper was turned into a book. An worked for Clavis Publishing for a while. Today she spends most of her time on journalism and writing. Picture books, though, are her biggest passion: 

“I don’t know where my passion for picture books came from; I’ve loved them ever since I was a little girl and that feeling stayed with me when I became an adult.

Now I am always on the lookout for those special gems – touching or funny stories with beautiful illustrations – in bookstores and libraries, wherever I am. When I find one, I walk around with a wonderful feeling of joy all day long. It’s the same feeling I get when a story of my own is ‘growing’ in my head.” She lives in Vorst-Laakdal, Belgium.

About the illustrator...

Eline van Lindenhuizen was born in Meppel (Netherlands) on June 29th in 1983 and now lives in Kampen. From 2001 until 2006 she studied illustration at the Minerva Academy in Groningen. She loves drawing, books and flea markets.
Clavis Publishing discovered her talent for drawing at Illustrator’s Day, an open house for illustrator, in Hasselt and in Amsterdam. She lives in Zwolle, Netherlands.

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