Best Friends Forever: A Puppy's Tale Children's Book Review & Author Interview

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Best Friends Forever: A Puppy's Tale Book Review

In Best Friends Forever: A Puppy's Tale by Portia Y. Clare a young girl named, Scoopie, gets a puppy for her birthday. She names the dachshund Sandy. They instantly become best friends but after a big move, Sandy suddenly becomes ill. 

Having two dogs of our own, this book tugged at my heartstrings. It's painful and heartbreaking to lose a pet, just like losing a family member, and I know one day it will be our turn to have to say goodbye. I think Portia Y. Clare does an excellent job presenting the tough topic of grief to children and I recommend this children's book to any family who has pets or who has recently lost a pet. It's a great way to open the discussion about the love and loss of a pet with children. 

Our five-year-old had lots of questions after reading it to her, so if your younger one is unfamiliar with death or grief, be prepared to have a conversation after reading. It's a tough topic, but we loved that the book helped us communicate with her about losing a pet.

I also loved that the book featured a family of color even though the subject was not about their race or ethnicity. It's great to see diversity in books that are not focused on looks and differences, but just normal parts of life.

Where Can I Find Best Friends Forever: A Puppy's Tale?

Best Friends Forever: A Puppy's Tale is available on Amazon.

An Interview With Author Portia Y. Clare

Q. What was the inspiration behind Best Friends Forever: A Puppy's Tale?

Best Friends Forever: A Puppy’s Tale is inspired by true-life events.  This story is a true story.  It is my story.

However, my inspiration for beginning to write children's books was My Daddy, Mr.  Randolph George Clare, Jr.  

I remember clearly the afternoon when My Daddy asked, "Scoop, how is your writing coming along?  I know that you said you want to write children's books.  Have you begun to write anything yet?"  I told him that I had several ideas and stories in my head, but that I had not put them on paper yet.  He responded by saying, "Scoop, do it NOW.  NOW is the acceptable time. TODAY is the day of salvation.  You have so much on the inside of you that will help children to grow, develop, and learn.  Begin to share that gift with them NOW."

So, with My Daddy's admonition, I began to write children's books.  My Daddy went home to be with the Lord on Sunday,  June 14, 2020, at 5:28 p.m. We miss him terribly, and my prayer is that he is proud of my beginning. My heart's desire is to continue to make My Daddy and My Mommy proud every day.

Q. What do you hope your readers take away from this book?

It is my hope that readers will embrace Best Friends Forever: A Puppy’s Tale as a resource of care that will help to guide them through the real-life experience of owning, loving, and losing a beloved family pet and finding the courage to share that love again.  I sincerely believe that this book will help people of all ages.

Q. How did you select the names of your characters?

The names of my characters are real names.  Scoopie is one of the names that My Daddy called me, and Sandy is the real name of my puppy!  Omar is also the real name of my miniature schnauzer.

Q. Did you always want to be a writer?

Yes, I have always enjoyed creative writing, and writing children’s books has been my heart’s desire since childhood.

Q. How did you know you wanted to become a writer?

I recall writing a story in second grade about my visit to the Statue of Liberty.  I thoroughly enjoyed sharing my experience of that visit while writing all the exciting details on paper.  Writing became a new way of communication for me that allowed me to share my thoughts in detail and play with words.  It truly brought me joy!

Q. What, to you, are the most important elements of good writing?

I believe that good writing helps to immerse the reader in the story.  Good writing evokes emotion and inspires action.  Voice/Word choice is important, knowing my purpose for writing, and knowing my audience are the most important elements of good writing for me.

Q. What is the most difficult part of the writing process?

I think the most difficult part of the writing process is editing.  Details are important when sharing a story, and editing helps with sharing just the right amount of details to effectively tell the story. I am learning the beauty of pairing words and illustrations to tell my story simply, clearly, and concisely.

Q. What was your favorite childhood book?

Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White was my favorite childhood book.  I also enjoyed reading Beverly Cleary books.  My favorite children’s book is The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein because it beautifully depicts that the key to loving is giving.

Q. What do you like to do when you're not writing?

When I am not writing, I enjoy spending quality time with my family, singing, and listening to documentaries.

Q. Did you have a pet growing up? Do you currently have any pets?

Yes.  Sandy, the character in Best Friends Forever: A Puppy’s Tale, was my pet growing up!  We currently have a miniature schnauzer.

Find Portia Y. Clare On Social Media