★★★★☆ Book Review: Daniel Boey’s Furry Tales by Leia
Your actual kids and furkids will love listening to these furry tales by local canine celebrity Leia.
‘Godfather of Singapore Fashion’ and rescue dog advocate Daniel Boey is already the author of multiple books, with titles ranging from fashion tomes to personal memoirs, to an anthology of stories about rescue dogs. Now, he’s ready to take the world of children’s books by storm, as he lends a helping hand to his beloved Leia, and release not one, not two, but four brand new stories about adoption and proper pet care.
In Furry Tales by Leia, get ready to gather the kids and have them listen to some animal stories before bedtime. Told from Daniel’s furkid Leia’s point of view, each of these four stories are beautifully illustrated by local artists Eugenia Cheok, Hao Soh, and Santhi and Sari Tunas (of design label Binary Style, and our personal favourite), chronicling the lives of the pets around her. Because of their gorgeous designs and pictures, the books already make for great gifts for anyone, and ideally should be purchased in a set (some of the characters even make guest appearances in other books).
If we’re talking narrative, what makes Furry Tales by Leia compelling is its bold decision to tackle some difficult topics in pet care, especially for young, first-time pet owners. From the redemptive power of adoption (The Princess and the Pawper) to the bonds formed with a pet (There Was An Old Lady Who Lived With Her Cats), the trauma an abused animal carries around (The Princess and the Pee) or even coping with death (Somewhere Over The Rainbow Bridge), these issues are made accessible through easy-to-understand narratives and a colourful cast of characters. Inspired by real life people and pets, look out for a pink-haired teen who bonds with a cat, an ex-breeding dog who has no concept of home, a Dalmatian who Daniel Boey helped nurse back to health and more.
On occasion, young readers might even pick up some new vocabulary along the way as well, with words such as ‘sophisticated’ or ‘aloof’ being used, while there’s even a few tongue-in-cheek references for adults, such as a direct reference to characters from TV’s The Golden Girls. All four books also have the same number of pages and are the same size, along with a quote from Leia in every book. This familiarity to the format makes sure that these are books younger readers can comfortably ease in to when learning to read on their own, should they choose to.
Ultimately, Furry Tales by Leia makes for a series of enchanting accounts that’s great for reading during story time, and can be useful tools for educating younger pet owners on the challenges they may face, with a very direct life lesson included at the end of every book. Best of all? Leia makes for a pretty likeable narrator, and she’s certainly more than happy to leave you with a few tips on how to be a better parent to your furkids. Get these tales to start, and look out for another 5 coming out next year to add to your collection.
Recommended for: Parents who’d like to educate their kids on some of the most pertinent concerns with pet care, as told from the first-person perspective of a dog.
The Princess and the Pawper, The Princess and the Pee,There Was An Old Lady Who Lived With Her Cats and Somewhere Over The Rainbow Bridge are published by Marshall Cavendish and available at all major bookstores and online.
Join Daniel Boey for the Singapore Writers Festival on 7th November at the Arts House Living Room for a free workshop, or online on 8th November for a panel about dogs via SISTIC Live