How Dog on a Log Books Came to be: A Note from the author Pamela Brookes. Every beginning phonics book that showed up in my mailbox or on our tablet did not work for her. Every single book included words like leaves, Wednesday, or even froggy. My kid couldn’t read that. She would have lost what little confidence she gained after she’d struggled to read, “it” and “fun.” I pulled my hair out the way only a homeschooling mom with no usable resources does. So much money had been wasted on books that were not what they were advertised to be. Then, after a really high grocery bill, I couldn’t bear the thought of throwing away even more money on books that would not work for my child. I wanted to cry. I was driving out of the grocery store parking lot when I was hit by the biggest moment of clarity in my life. “Wait a minute. I’m a writer. I’ll write books for her myself.”
Watching my daughter read the first pages of The Red Hen (the first DOG ON A LOG Book I actually wrote) brought so much joy to my day. I’m not sure who was more excited about it, her or me. It was an honest to goodness book with more than eight sentences. And it had a big kid plot line where stuff actually happened.
I knew there was no other book series like mine available for other kids and their families. I wanted to share what I had the good fortune to be able to create. So now I get emails and online reviews where I hear stories of children who are finally able to read a book without getting frustrated. I also get to actually see other kids in our homeschooling group beam with pride that they just read their first book and I know I helped make that possible.
Like most moms, my life is crazy. Park day, co-op board, field trips, teaching at the co-op, spending my days with strong-willed, independent kids, caring for six rescue dogs plus five barn cats, a garage cat (she’s happiest without other cats or dogs) and chickens. Plus, the aquaponics fish aquarium that grows basil and romaine. Then, when everyone goes to bed, it’s time to start writing DOG ON A LOG Books. On a good night, it’s also time for an unexpected pleasure, I get to photoshop illustrations. I can’t draw and my daughter refused to read DOG ON A LOG Books without pictures. I’ve taught myself to photoshop public domain images just as any desperate homeschooling mom would do. I am so grateful to the artists who made their images available as they add a bit of relief as my daughter works through each book.
So much of my world gets to come through in my books. The sunsets, saguaros, and chickens are all a part of my daily life. The Chicken Bus is our family’s little red wagon and Chicken Bus Hill really does exist (though it’s much more dramatic in my book.) Squishing rattlesnakes is a real risk when we ride our bikes, and we did find a musk ox in our bath tub…Okay, it wasn’t a musk ox, but I didn’t have the phonics in that book to call it Scorpion In The Tub.
If your child is a phonics reader or if they have a dyslexic learning style, I hope DOG ON A LOG Books will be with them to take them on fun adventures while teaching them reading in a systematic way.