A new book from Jane Elson is always an absolute treat, her writing is so beautiful and thoughtful that I know I’m bound to love it and, ‘Moon Dog,’ is no exception. Marcus and Delilah are so different they couldn’t possibly he have anything in common apart from being outsiders. He towers over his classmates and is locked in a battle with his emotions trying to deal with his mum leaving him and his dad’s ongoing depression. While Delilah stands out for being tiny, the object of her classmates’ jokes but she refuses to let them bow her down and is fierce and brave. They form an unlikely friendship over their shared love of dogs and their desperate need to have one of their own. When Marcus finds a dog next door who has appeared from nowhere it seems like a dream come true but they soon find themselves caught up in a dangerous world that will test their friendship to the limits.
Once again Jane has created a truly extraordinary book, she isn’t afraid to tackle the most difficult and sensitive topics but she does so with a deft touch ensuring an empathetic and honest read. Throughout the story she explores the wealth of emotions Marcus and Delilah are feeling as they both come to terms with the losses in their lives in a compassionate and considered way. She has a talent for creating characters who you can’t help but get caught up in their lives and you really care about. Although this story has moments of real sadness that some may find difficult, there is plenty of things to make you smile. I loved the bond between Marcus and Delilah, they each bring something to their friendship and allow each other the chance to explore their dreams and reflect on their experiences. Heart-breaking and heartfelt this is a really special book which I absolutely loved.
To celebrate the release of, ‘Moon Dog,’ I have a special guest post from Jane…
Animals in my books – Jane Elson
I knew that Moon Dog was a Newfoundland but I know that I have never seen one in the urban streets of Kentish Town where I live. This was a problem as I love to meet the animals in person for my research to observe how that particular animal moves, how they react with people, especially children.
I saw that there was a Discover Dogs exhibition at the Excel Centre in London, so I set myself a mission to meet a Newfoundland. I struck lucky and met Bob. I fell in love. What a magnificent dog and so friendly! I was honoured to be snuggled and dribbled on and be photographed with this magnificent beast. Dawn Richardson, Bob’s owner, was so amazingly helpful and continues to be so. I was half-way through the writing process and she was there on hand to help me and my editor with our endless questions on Newfoundlands and provided the cover designer with lovely photographs of Bob to inspire the illustrator, Izzy Burton, to draw Moon Dog for the cover. I struck lucky that day, and the whole of Team Moon Dog are in love with Bob.
I have befriended many other animals on my journey as a children’s book author. Another gentle giant is Winston the horse who is the inspiration for the horse on the cover of Swimming to the Moon. I adore Winston, he is such a character. Alia, Winston’s owner, lets me go and see him when I can. I’m always sure to bring Winston a big bag of apples! She always kindly leaves me alone with him so that I can groom him while she rides her other horses. I love being an author but it can be stressful meeting deadlines. Being with Winston is so calming and he loves being brushed so it acts as a good bonding session.
I am a friend of the charity All Dogs Matter. One day I was looking at their website and I saw a Staffie called Buster who was the spitting image of Buster the Staffie in How to Fly with Broken Wings and Will You Catch Me? Buster is being fostered by one of All Dogs Matter’s wonderful fosterers Sangeeta and I messaged her to tell her of this coincidence and as a result we met for brunch.
So as well as these wonderful animals who have touched my heart I have also met three wonderful people: Dawn, Alia and Sangeeta. It’s one of the things I love most about writing as you never know quite where your stories will lead you. If you would like to read more about the animals in my books visit the Moon Dog Room on my website aroomfullofwoords.com
Why not join in with the rest of the blog tour for more guest posts and reviews.
Thanks to Becci and Hachette for inviting me to join in with the blog tour and for sending me a gifted copy of this wonderful book. ‘Moondog,’ is available to buy now online or from any good bookshop. If you can please support your local independent bookshop.