Quiet dignity is vastly underrated, but it’s a quality shared by those who are truly fortunate to have learned one of the best kept secrets of self-esteem -- that true success isn’t bragging about what you do, but being content to be proud of what you do well. Bob, the uniquely talented four-legged protagonist of Richard Torrey’s new book, My Dog, Bob, doesn’t show off – even though he does know how to cook a gourmet meal and drive a car – he just happily goes along enjoying himself and giving pleasure to those around him.
When confronted by a neighbor intent on showing off the skills learned by her classically trained poodle, Truffles, Bob quietly watches Truffles catch, sit, fetch and speak on command, and then quietly apologizes to his owner, Jeff; then they return home together so Bob can cook Jeff’s favorite food for dinner.
Inspired by a real dog, Bob, who Richard Torrey’s father-in-law, Jack had owned, this picture book is a tribute by Torrey to them both. “My father-in-law, Jack, is a remarkable man, but also very humble,” explains Torrey. He’s extremely talented both in his work as an estimator for a large construction company, and in his hobbies ranging from building furniture, canoes, and a cannon; to designing stained-glass windows. He’s also had a heart attack, cancer and a nearly fatal 20 foot fall onto a steel barge, but I’ve never heard him complain.”
My Dog, Bob draws on themes covered in many of Torrey’s books, including in his recently published picture book, Ally-Saurus & the first day of school, which has received starred reviews from Kirkusand Publishers Weekly. The beliefs he shares are, “Don’t try to be someone you are not. Be yourself, and be proud of it. Understand that not everyone is going to like you. That’s okay. Don’t take it as a sign you need to change or act differently. Just try to be the best you can be.”
Good lessons to share with the kids we love – and to remember to tell ourselves!
Richard Torrey, is the author/illustrator of fifteen books and illustrator of dozens more. He first made a name for himself as a cartoonist for King Features and Creators Syndicate with comic strips Hartland and PETE AND CLETE published internationally. Inspired to pursue illustration after meeting Peanuts creator Charles Schultz at a pro-hockey game when Torrey was in elementary school, Torrey went on to have his own top-selling line of greeting cards at Recycled Paper Greetings and illustrating for syndicates and a broad range of magazines including The National, Inside Sports, Kids City, and Highlights. The son of Hockey Hall-of-Famer Bill Torrey, Richard has also published kids’ sports books, and he teaches cartooning and manga art at The Art League of Long Island.
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MY DOG, BOB| Written & Illustrated by Richard Torrey| Published by Holiday House| Pub. Date: September 2015| Price: $16.95| Ages: 4-8| Hardcover/ISBN: 978-0-8234-3386-5