The’s great excitement at Fantasy Farm. Mum, who writes about our lives here, and all my animal friends, have just been notified that Toby’s Tails, which is the first book in the series is a Golden Box Books Publishing, Judges’ Choice, Semi-Finalist, in the children’s book section. It tells the story of my adoption by mum and dad and my very first year from puppy to young dog.
About Toby’s Tails
Set in the French countryside, Toby’s Tails relates the first year in the life of Toby the Border Collie, starting with his earliest recollections on the farm where he was born. His life changes when the author adopts him and he bonds with his new human family, their goat, Molly, and Lucky, the old Golden Retriever who becomes Toby’s mentor. Toby’s lessons about the world around him include the changing of the seasons, his interaction with other animals, and what he learns from them about birth, death and other inevitable life events. “Based on her experiences as an animal lover and smallholder, and featuring her own animals, the author has created in ‘Toby’s Tails’ an enchanting book to educate children about the needs of animals and the importance of kindness to all living creatures. In this delightful story, Toby the lovable Border Collie relates in a lighthearted manner the adventures of his animal companions, both domestic and wild, and touches sensitively and gently on the occasional inevitable small tragedies that are a part of their life cycle. I believe this is a perfect book to inform and entertain younger readers about the wonders of the animal kingdom.” Susie Kelly, Author.
What reviewers are saying about Toby’s Tails:
J E Needham says:
Never mind that this is intended for children (and if my grandchildren were still small I’d certainly read it to them); I really enjoyed this delightful first book in Susan Keefe’s Fantasy Farm Tales series. Told from the point of view of Toby, Susan’s handsome border collie, this is a charming tale, both entertaining and educational. Contrary to what another reviewer has said, I think it’s totally permissible for animals to speak articulately in human language (after all, how else can you tell a dog’s story writing in first person?).
Importantly too, this is a life lesson for children and sure to inculcate a love of dogs (you feel Susan’s love for them shining through the narrative) – and indeed all animals – in the citizens of the future. After all, if we’re taught to be kind to animals, chances are, hopefully, we’ll be nice to other humans too. Susan gets the intellectual tone of the book just right: not too small-childish and not too adult; well within the reading capabilities of an 8 years-plus child, (particularly a girl, probably) I would have thought.
This new edition now contains full colour pictures of Toby and his animal friends. Be warned though: the picture of six week-old Toby is EXTREMELY cute! I warmly recommend this enchanting, lovingly written book.
Richard A Okun say:
I love this book.
I too am an animal lover and found the author’s treatment and telling of this tale both sensitive and enchanting. Susan gives voice to to those beings that share our lives and exposes their mysterious, inquisitive and wonderful ways, showing us a better way to be in the world.
This is a story of love. It is set in France on a farm and revolves around Toby, a border collie puppy that comes to live there with a family that loves him dearly. He is immediately shown the ropes by Lucky an older Golden Retriever that had lost his companion. Through Toby’s curiosity and adventures of discovery we get to meet everyone in their world in their own voice.; the goats, cats, foxes, hedgehog, dormouse, and so much more.
Toby’s Tales journals his first year of life and makes me want to hear more of his evolving story. The book is filled with real-life information and exudes the personalities of each animal, the countryside and many other things that I had no idea about.
The love in this book is palpable and the kindness of the author comes through. I also found a quiet spiritual influence throughout the book which deepened the flavor and meaning of the stories.
Come and join Toby in an alluring story of his early life with is beloved family while learning about wildlife and domestic animals through the eyes and thoughts of a puppy. Highly recommended.
I loved the way you were seeing the world through the eyes of a puppy. It was a nice learning experience about the natural world and life on a farm but done in a way that did not seem forced and was genuinely fun and interesting.
You get to experience his excitement at seeing snow for the first time, chasing cats and generally experiencing life! He doesn’t always have an easy journey but he is guided through his friend and mentor Lucky.
The photos add a nice extra dimension to the story as you realise he is a real dog! It makes me want to have a dog again and I can highly recommend this book!
Marilyn Z Tomlins says:
Right in the beginning of ‘Toby’s Tails’ there is a photograph of Toby as a puppy. One falls in love with this cute little ball of black and white fur before one has even read one word of Susan Keefe’s book. Then, reading the book, Toby does not fail to strengthen his hold on one’s heart.
Susan has written the book in Toby’s voice, alternating briefly at times by having some of his other animal companions taking over the narrative. This is so skilfully done that at the end of the book one feels that one has indeed been communicating with our friends from the animal world.
I therefore say that this is a book not only for children, but indeed also for adults. Do buy it!
I just hope that Susan Keefe will continue to allow Toby and his animal companions to speak to us.
Click on either of the links below to see more reviews or buy the book.
Toby’s Tails is available in Paperback
This, and all the Toby’s Tails series of children’s books are available from all Amazon sites worldwide.
Bye for now