Willow The Highly Sensitive Pup

Author: Mandy Mayock, MA, LPC
Genre: Children 4-8
10 pages
Willow The Highly Sensitive Pup by Amanda Mayock

Book Review

October 14, 2022

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About Willow The Highly Sensitive Pup, the book and this review

Willow The Highly Sensitive Pup is a children’s book by author Mandy Mayock, MA, LPC. The Illustrator is Tammie Lyon. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily. Spoiller alert, This review IS going to reveal a number of elements of the books. That is an inevitable side of the nature of my reviews.

The subject of Willow The Highly Sensitive Pup

Willow The Highly Sensitive Pup is a wonderful, well thought-out and super informative book about high sensitivity, be it in puppies or in people. It is well thought-out because it manages to thoroughly explain a complex condition and its downside and making it appear, beyond words as a superpower, all that in a language that is plain, simple and fun. And wow, the book is able to give an admirably succinct account of the main facts to describe the condition. It kindles empathy and compassion rather than pity which is an extraordinary feat to achieve in a reader, without chewing the sentiment for them. It has fun between its lines and is richer than its number of pages will seemingly suggest.

The author’s approach

Before I even identified with the subject, I was taken by the narrative. This is because the approach is sensible and sensitive. It is clear that the narrator knows what they are talking about. The language is appropriate. The illustrations are cute. The font, layout and amount of text is highly readable. The flow is uninterrupted and takes you in and along. Everything about how the book is conceived makes the reader want to read it and know more and that is what you would want. It does not intimidate the younger reader, not only because the text is so carefully spread out throughout the pages but also because the illustration are a great complementary item for the textual content.

The little thing I did not like

The only thing I will reproach it is that in a possible attempt to make the pages more fun, the illustrator or the author opted for textured backgrounds that, I believe, went against the subject. These “loudly” textured background choices are a pain to the highly sensitive human that I am. They basically crowd the page with uninforrmative media which makes it a distraction! I wish they continued to look like the promise that the cover gave.

What I particularly love about Willow The Highly Sensitive Pup

I love the story. I love the story’s background. I love that the main character who tells the story is the dog. I love that we can relate even though it is a dog. I love the way the book goes from the dog’s personal experience to people. I absolutely love a book that doesn’t just quench the author’s good intentions to share a story with children but also couples it with a professional approach: a highly educated  knowledge of the subject, personal experience and a real passion for and involvement in the subject.

Further information

At the end of the story, there is a link to a test by Dr. Elaine Aron. There, you can find out whether you or your child are highly sensitive persons (hsp). The author also manages to add into the pages a very useful note for parents and caregivers. This includes characteristics of a highly sensitive child, tips on how to identify whether your child is a hsp (highly sensitive person or highly sensitive child in this case), a website with a quiz and tips on ways to help the child deal with the condition as well as a disclaimer regarding all this.

A professional and personal work

I love that the author Mandy Mayock is involved in borth aspects of the book subject (counselling and animal rescue). This, to me, is the reason why this book is so well written and so effective.  I love that the proceeds of the sale of Willow The Highly Sensitive Pup will go to charity. That is so on point and in harmony with the subject. I love the note on the Sato project and I love their work.

Willow The Highly Sensitive Pup definitely makes it on Fussy Tongue’s list of great children’s books.

The Sato project - Willow The Highly Sensitive Pup

The Sato Project

The Sato project mentions “an estimated 500,000 stray dogs roaming the island’s streets and beaches”. With no access to food, fresh water, or veterinary care, many of these dogs are living daily lives of severe suffering” and “only 5 shelters across all 78 of the island’s municipalities”, with “a combined euthanasia rate of over 94%”. The mission of the Sato Project is to rescue abused and abandoned dogs from Puerto Rico, end their suffering and save their lives.

The Sato Project programs

The Sato Project aims to achieve their goals through six primary programs:

  • Rescue and Rehabilitation
  • Freedom Flights to the Mainland
  • Spay/Neuter Community Outreach
  • Adoption & Shelter Placement
  • Disaster Relief
  • Education & Awareness
  • Sanctuary by The Sato Project