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10.13.2018

Santa's Dog ~ Blog Hop

Welcome to the Santa's Dog Blog Hop
In this rhyming picture book for dog lovers of all ages, readers follow the adventures of Santa’s best dog, Lance, when he falls out of the sleigh one Christmas Eve. He’s taken in by the animal shelter and then brought home by a military family who needs some help as Dad is called to serve his country. When Christmas Eve comes ‘round the next year, Lance must decide whether to return to the North Pole with his friend Santa or stay with his new family. Kirkus Reviews describes SANTA’S DOGS as “a sweet, powerful Christmas story.”
SANTA’S DOG would be a great addition to any library or classroom reading program! To accompany this book, we have developed full teacher resources, including a Teacher Lesson Plans packet as well as an Activity Packet, both of which are available for FREE download from the Dogs and Books website. JoAnn also offers FREE virtual author visits to schools. Additional information about all of these resources can be found here.

About the Author

JoAnn Sky has written for years as part of her job (business and marketing plans and the like). One day she tried her hand at writing for fun—and liked it. Now she authors adult contemporary romance and young adult romance with a magical twist as well as children’s books. She is a two-time Golden Heart® finalist and a member of Romance Writers of America. Originally from the Midwest, JoAnn currently lives in northern Nevada with her husband a.k.a. love of her life, three teenage children, and three crazy rescue dogs.

Behind the Scenes Facts About the Book

1. Lance in the story is a combination of two rescues we’ve been lucky to have as part of our family over the years: Sampson and Lance. Sampson was our first rescue, and I adopted him from a kill-shelter while my husband was deployed to Iraq about 15 years ago. Lance was a wonderful older dog who spent about five years with us. Lance crossed the Rainbow Bridge earlier this year.
2. This story didn’t start out intending to be a children’s book. I began writing this as a short story that I thought I’d give to readers to encourage them to sign up for my author newsletter. As I wrote it out, it would only come out in rhyme—it just didn’t seem to work any other way. Then once I was done, I had a huge desire to add illustrations. The whole thing just snowballed after that!
3. The illustration of Santa going to pick up Lance and finding the shelter closed initially didn’t have the cardinal or the cat. I thought it needed “a little something,” so Ed Koehler (the most awesome illustrator in the world) added the cardinal. But it still seemed to need something! I asked Ed if he would add an animal peeking through the window. He wasn’t convinced it was necessary but added a cat. We both loved it, so that cat got to stay!
4. For the illustration of when Lance packs his things and waits for Santa, I had this vision with his dish on his head. I’m pretty sure Ed thought I was nuts when I first described it. But then he added the photo of the kids, and it was absolutely perfect!
5. SANTA’S DOG would not exist in its final form as a beautiful hardcover with dust jacket if I had not purchased Bobbie Hinman’s book, “How to Create a Successful Children’s Picture Book.” Bobbie is a successful author and editor. Her book is the bible for writing and publishing a children’s book. Seriously.

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