Adventures of Princess, Buddy, and Zoie
by Kathleen Showalter
Illustrations by Shannen Paradero
Trafford Publishing

"Let's get Princess a friend to play with, another puppy to keep her company and to play with."

Adventures of Princess, Buddy, and Zoie is a collection of four stories that features the silly antics of two Cocker Spaniels named Princess and Buddy and their interactions with a little girl named Zoie. Showalter features the curious world of dogs and the genuine connection between a little girl and her best furry friend.

Based on the adventures of her pets and granddaughter, Kathleen Showalter's debut children's book is a sweet combination of old-fashion grandparent-to-grandchild storytelling and colorful child-like illustrations. Showalter zeroes in on two concepts that most appeal to children: animals and kids their age. Her tales are often funny (such as when the dogs catch bees) and at other times tender (such as the obvious love that Zoie and Buddy have for one another).

While each third person narrative is designed to stand alone, they also build on each other. Showalter's first story opens with Princess, an older dog that is lonely until her owners bring home a playful pup they name Buddy. While much of the story is focused on how the two dogs slowly become friends, Buddy is not only much bigger in the subsequent story, but also the two Spaniels are nothing less than buddies. The third story focuses on Zoie and her relationship with Buddy. The last tale that includes a slightly older Zoie is quite a stand-alone. Although it appears to be out of place thematically since it has nothing to do with the dogs, nor Zoie's interactions with the cute canines, children will certainly appreciate Zoie's desire and ingenuity to be involved in a special garden project with her grandfather. Regardless, Showalter consistently demonstrates potential in her ability to capture children's attention through storytelling from beginning to end.

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