Title: The “Tail” of a Boy Named Harvey | Author: Gregory Bray | Illustrator: Holly Bray-Cook | Publication Date: July 10, 2013 | Publisher: Independent | Pages: 32 | Recommended Ages: 2 to 6 | Reviewed by: Renee and Dominic (Mother and Son)
Summary: Harvey is always playing with his pets, but his pets don’t like the way he plays with them. When the tables have turned, will he enjoy the way he’s played with? Find out in The “Tail” of a Boy Named Harvey by Gregory E Bray.
1. What is the book about? This book is about a boy who likes playing sports and playing with his pets, but he doesn’t play with them very nicely. For example, he puts his cat in a basketball net. He goes to sleep and has a dream about waking up and he was really small. He was a pet human and the pets were in charge. He eats breakfast and he goes to play outside. When he tries to have a nap, the pets play with him like he is a toy – throwing him up into the air. He wakes up and realizes it was all a dream, but he learns that he should treat animals better.
2. What do you think of the book cover and the images inside the book? I like the pictures. They are funny. I like the one where Harvey is being thrown into the air because it’s funny.
3. What is your favorite part of the book? My favorite part of the book is when Harvey starts treating his pets better. I felt really sad for the pets when Harvey was being mean to them.
4. What are some of the things you learned from the book? When you are treating your pets badly, sometimes you don’t realize how it feels for them and you only care about yourself and what’s fun for you.
5. How do you treat your cats, Flame and Midnight? I treat them nicely like throwing them toys so they can chase them. I also snuggle with them and pet them. They like being scratched under their chin. I’m always nice to them.
6. Overall, what did you think about the book? I really liked it except for the part where I felt bad for the cat and dog, but it was a good story. It was funny.
7. Who do you think would like this book? I think younger kids would like this book, especially kids with pets.
[xrr rating=5/5 label=”Son Rating:”]
My Thoughts: Harvey is a little boy who loves to play doing all kinds of fun things, but his pets don’t care much for the way he plays with them especially when he tosses them into the air. When Harvey wakes up one morning to discover that the roles are now reversed and he is the family pet, he learns an important lesson about how to treat his pets with kindness and tenderness.
Any grown-ups who have both young children and pets in the house know that it is not necessarily intuitive for children to treat their pets differently than they would treat their toys. I have a vivid memory of my brothers throwing my cat back and forth between them across a large window in our living room so that all you could see was a flying cat. Grrr…. Often times, children don’t appreciate that animals experience discomfort, pain, and especially fear. I strongly believe that animals should not be treated in such a way as to cause them any discomfort, but importantly when animals are afraid, they often strike back so children who mistreat animals often get bitten or scratched for example. So, it is doubly important to teach children to interact with animals in a way that is respectful and loving.
The Tail of a Boy Named Harvey takes a humorous approach to tackling the issue of pet abuse, by exploring how Harvey, a boy who plays too roughly with his pets, would feel to have the tables turned and be treated in the same way he treats his cat and dog. And Harvey is literally treated the same way (e.g., thrown into the air) by his animal caretakers. I think this fun story really drives home the point nicely. The only issue I would like to raise is that I would have liked to have seen more than a couple ways a pet can be mistreated to give children an idea of the different things they should not do.
The simple illustrations are effective in telling the story. The pictures depicting Harvey as the family pet are quite amusing, especially the ones showing the miniature Harvey with the big cat paws. While the topic of pet abuse is certainly a serious one, I think the right tact for a picture book dealing with this issue is to do it with some humor and I think the text and illustrations are completely appropriate for delivering the main message of the story. Well done!
My Bottom Line: The Tail of a Boy Named Harvey is an amusing look at the serious topic of pet abuse. The story centers around a young boy, Harvey, who has the tables turned on him when he becomes the family pet and gets thrown about like a plaything. This great little picture book is effective in using simple text and simple illustrations to deliver an important message about treating pets with respect and kindness. I recommend this book to families who have young children and pets in their home as well as school classrooms to generate a discussion on the treatment of all animals. Ages 2 to 6.
* This book was provided to us by the author free-of-charge in exchange for our honest review. All opinions expressed are our own. The author is participating in our Book Promotion services. *
More Buzz About the Book
“This very sweet book is a great teaching tool for kids who may need a visual reinforcement of the lesson. Even if you don’t have the particular issue with animal husbandry that I see with families and pets, this is a darling book full of imagination and whimsical drawings. ” ~ 5 Star Review, Lori the Reader Mom, Amazon
“This is such a great book. Beautifully illustrated. A great message for kids. Highly recommended for kids young and old – especially those with pets. 🙂 ” ~ 5 Star Review, Mark R., Amazon
“I picked up this book to give to my children’s school library. After reading it myself, I had my kids read it as well since it definitely applied to them. It’s a good lesson for young kids who don’t realize that their pet is not a toy, but a living, feeling being. Definitely a great book and I can’t wait to see what other ones the author comes up with in the future!” ~ 5 Star Review, DJ Larkin, Amazon
About the Author
Gregory E Bray was born and raised in Sacramento, CA where he still resides He was a film major in college who now works in the IT industry. He has written scripts for corporate videos and shorts and uses humor in everything he writes. He uses his humor in this, his first children’s book, to help get the book’s message out to children. His inspiration for writing this children’s book comes from his wife Lita, their son Liam and their cat Harvey.
* Giveaway *
Prize: There will be one winner who will receive a print copy of The “Tail” of a Boy Named Harvey+ a $10 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash.
Contest runs: May 6 to 20, 11:59 pm, 2014
Open: United States and Canada
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. The winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If a winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Gregory Bray and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.