"Happy Tails" invites young readers inside an adventurous tale about an ambitious dappled, longhaired dachshund puppy named Jitterbug, the runt of the litter with a determined spirit.
Hopelessly at odds with the quiet life she lives in the Ozarks of Arkansas, she dreams of making a name for herself in the big city with the bright lights, and unlimited horizons. When opportunity knocks, she escapes her pet carrier and lands herself in show business.
This impromptu adventure takes her across the country, acting on stage, on TV, and in commercials.
But how fabulous is a life of work, work, work? And how long before she starts to miss home, and realize that leaving home has its sacrifices?
Through an engaging and visual narrative, author Joy Metzer, describes Jitterbug's grand adventures to young readers while also providing an adult perspective on the story as well.
Happy Tails is really an allegory that incorporates a "lessons to be learned" angle in a parable of a puppy's tale. For the younger audience, it is an entertaining story about a "puppy who goes to Hollywood" kind of story, one about daring to dream big and then going for those dreams no matter the cost. However, with an underlying warning about the lure of "shiny objects." For the older reader, it is much more about the bigger picture, when we understand that our choices have consequences. In conclusion, readers of all ages will discover that the collective experiences we encounter throughout our lifetime, ultimately shapes who we become as people.
Key takeaway messages and talking points:
• The grass is not always greener; the need to establish personal identity
• Appearances are deceiving; why one should never judge a book by its cover
• Dealing with feelings of loneliness and separation
• How one's words and actions can impact others
• How hard work can help people overcome life's setbacks
• Facing adversity
• Keeping hope alive
• Always be kind, even to those who have wronged you in the past
• Fame and celebrity are not all they're cracked up to be
About the Author
Joy Metzer worked as a professional interior designer for more than twenty-five years, spearheading projects both nationally and abroad, while cultivating an audience for her writing through several book publications and a successful online blog under her former name, Joyce M. Stacks. Though no stranger to real life portrayals intended to enrich the lives of her readers, this is her first effort at writing a children's chapter book loosely based upon the private life she shares with her husband. She attended both the University of Utah and Texas Christian University. She lives with her husband Bill in both Hot Springs and Lead Hill, Arkansas, to be near her family.