Home Alone Harry
Jerry Rhodes, Rachael Messiter
Today I am joining the blog tour for Home Alone Harry by Jerry Rhodes and Rachael Messiter.
Thank you to Rachel Random’s Resources and the publisher for a copy of the book and tour invite.
Home Alone Harry
Harry is a mischievous young dog, adored by his family, Dad and Mum, Maisie (8) and Max (5). When the family leave him on his own he creates chaos. Dad demands, “That bad dog must go!” Alone and sad in bed that evening, Max asks, “Can anyone help?” How will the Thunkies respond to his call?
This is a bright and colourful picture book which aims to teach children (and adults) all about dog behaviour.
Harry the dog hates to be left alone and leaves a trail of destruction when his family are out of the house. The family love Harry but can’t understand why he is behaving this way.
That is until the Thunkies arrive to explain why Harry acts the way he does, and how to help him relax when they are not home.
The little Thunkie creatures help the family understand that Harry is suffering from separation anxiety. They explain that Harry is not being naughty but is distressed when his family leave him. Harry thinks he is responsible for the family and worries when they are not there. They devise a game for Mum, Dad, Maisie and Max to play to make Harry understand that it is normal for his family to leave him sometimes, but that they always come back, so he can relax and not get upset.
I liked the concept of the book. Understanding dog behaviour is really important and the technique used to help separation anxiety is a tried and tested one. However, I was quite disturbed by the parent’s initial reaction to Harry’s anxious behaviour. The book did explain well that repetition and consistency are key to dog training and it was nice to see that the whole family was included in this.
The book is easy to understand with cute illustrations and Harry himself is adorable.
Author and Illustrator Bios
Jerry Rhodes AUTHOR bio
Jerry Rhodes’ life-long research and teaching is the inspiration behind ‘Home Alone Harry’, this first book in a series for children featuring the cartoon characters, Thunkies®. After completing his degree and teacher training at Oxford University, Jerry’s career as a school-master was cut short by polio. He changed course to a management career in industry, discovered his talents for creativity, and formed his world-wide consultancy to collaborate with international organisations. A special project with Philips led to the discovery of ‘Thinking-Intentions’, to which he has now given the playful name, Thunkies®. Jerry writes his books from his weather-beaten old farmhouse in the Gloucestershire Cotswolds.
Rachael Messiter AUTHOR bio
Rachael Messiter, a Dog Listener, uses the approach known as Amichien® Bonding pioneered by Jan Fennell. Rachael has her own practice, Talking Paws, based in Staffordshire. Previously she lived with wolves for close on two years in Colorado, USA, to learn how packs work. She has identified a group of issues that dog owners experience that are due to the well-meaning but flawed behaviours of owners, rather than ‘nuisance’ dogs. How to properly avoid and resolve such troublesome issues will be the theme of each book in the series Thunkies® love Dogs.
Nicky Hill ILLUSTRATOR bio
Nicky Hill is an illustrator and storyteller from Winterbourne near Bristol. Her artwork is featured throughout the Thunkies® Love Dogs books, bringing a bright, vibrant style that captures the imagination. A great lover of animals both wild and domestic, Nicky also illustrates and writes her own series of books about ‘The Wotton Pack’; a group of inquisitive pooches who spend their days and nights having many adventures. She currently lives with her own pack of three dogs in Wotton-under-Edge, a small town in Gloucestershire, where she also co-runs the shop called ‘The Collective’.
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