Sunday, March 26, 2017

EverythingDogBlog Book Review: Finley Finds Heaven (boy, dog)

Finley Finds Heaven*, by Jackson and Janie Smith (Dementi Milestone Publishing, 36 pages, 2015, $18.99) with illustrations by Gail Butler

We never really recover from the death of a loved one. The hole in our hearts never closes: it becomes smaller but never totally goes away.

Every once in a while, we need a book to cherish, keep and learn from, especially if we have children and pets, and especially when a pet dies.

A book like Finley Finds Heaven helps the child in all of us because it really happened to a young boy. That young boy is author Jackson Smith who loved Finley, his Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, in life and after. Finley will always be part of Jackson just as your dog (or cat) will always have a place in your heart.

The Story Behind the Story

Would you believe Finley Finds Heaven is a true story?

Picture a family of three, with a dog for each. Picture a story written by one of the dogs, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Finley. (The official author, however, is Jackson Smith, aged 8, Finley’s boy on earth.)

When Finley’s young heart gives out, even the house he lived in seems to miss him. But young Jackson has a dream and then another, where he sees Finley in heaven,
healthy and having fun. Jackson can't wait to bring that hope and joy to his family so they, too, can believe. He wrote this book to bring hope and joy to you, too.

Many dog people see a special star in the sky after a beloved pet passes away: others feel a breeze at an odd time (even odder - indoors) on their face (a kiss, perhaps?).  Jackson saw his dog Finley in his dreams and once even felt Finley sitting on his lap.

Butterflies Abound

Finley’s book is not just for boys, however: the butterflies bring girls into the story, too. Cavaliers love to chase butterflies here on earth and in heaven, too.

You will be charmed by this story of Finley having a simply heavenly time and by the real-to-life illustrations of Cavaliers by Gail Butler.

Bonus after bonus after bonus after bonus: Find out what a “shath” is. Learn why Finley’s bed in heaven is a triple-decker bunkbed. Discover who the ‘three amigos’ are. Watch this adorable video of Jackson reading his Finley book to some of his canine friends. (Jackson is in his pj’s and the dogs are on their dog beds. Look closely to see how one of the dogs thanks Jackson!)
Barnes & Noble, Richmond, VA

*Available at bookstores like Barnes & Noble and Amazon, and in libraries. Check out Finley’s website, too. And Finley is even on Facebook! (One of the other books in this photo, Underwater Dogs, is reviewed here.)

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