'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 3 March 2010

Review: Sabu & Me

Very few six-year-olds are fortunate enough to enter the world of published authorship by the first grade, but little Maura Lane Markowitz didn’t let that stop her from creating a lovely storybook centered in the adoration of her pet puppy – Sabu.
Written in a simplistic voice that only young children do so well, Maura’s book opens when she arrived from hospital as a baby… and Sabu sniffed her. As dogs most certainly do.

Reading this made me smile and the ensuing text was similarly enjoyable – especially the time when Maura began to talk and Sabu… looked at her. Love it.

Maura takes us through the first six years of her life with Sabu in a series of simple sentences, perfect for very young readers. Charming illustrations by Hazel Edwards round out an uncomplicated storyline that pet-loving children will enjoy.

The central pivot of this book, however, is not in its storyline but in its intention. Young Maura has written this book purely out of desire to raise funds for PAWS Chicago, the city's largest No Kill humane organisation, focused on implementing solutions to end the killing of homeless pets. As Sabu was a rescued dog, Maura felt impassioned about supporting PAWS, and all profits from online sales of her book go to the organisation. What a remarkable little girl.

Surprisingly, information on the admirable purpose behind Sabu & Me is missing in the book. There is no sign of this vital link anywhere, and instead a page is dedicated to the creators of the book, and while interesting, this seems a tad superfluous, contextually. It would have been nice to read information about the connection, however, more can be found on the website – sabuandme.com.

I hope Maura’s admirable fundraising efforts continue to help abandoned and unwanted pets, and that children can take example from the efforts of this remarkable little girl. I also hope to see another book from Maura some time soon. It would be fascinating to see the evolution of a writer’s life borne so young.

Go, Maura!

Author website
Illustrator website

Title: Sabu and Me
Author: Maura Lane
Illustrator: Hazel Mitchell
Publisher: Alton Road Publishing
Format: Hardcover with dustjacket
ISBN: 9780615288086
Type: Picture Book
For ages: 2-5

This book is available online from amazon.com as well as barnesandnoble.com, and on the Sabu & Me website. Buy directly from the site and all proceeds will go to PAWS Chicago.
Stay tuned for an exclusive interview with Maura, right here on KBR.