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Penelope Anne Cole enjoys writing children’s stories to be read aloud. “Reading to children is the best way to help them love literature.” Ms. Cole has taught and tutored at every grade level, K to 12, and community college. She also reviews children's books. When not writing or reviewing children’s books, Ms. Cole enjoys dog walking, reading, gardening, church, and choir activities. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, a member of the California Writers Club:  Fremont Area Writers, SF Peninsula Writers, and South Bay Writers, and is a Reading Therapist with Read America. Ms. Cole reviews books at


See reviews of Ms. Cole's books at


Her website is www.penelopeannecole.com

Contact Ms. Cole for School Author Visits, locally in-person, or by SKYPE.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Manny the TV Watching Dog, by Linda Derkez and Mike Derkez, illustrated by Nina Marie Rothfuss

Manny the TV Watching Dog, written by Linda Derkez and Mike Derkez, and illustrated by Nina Marie Rothfuss, is a delightful story that children and doting pet owners alike will enjoy. Inspired by the Derkezes’ real life dog, Manny is a fun story about how hard it is to get your sweet dears – dogs and kids – to do what you want them to do.

Manny The TV Watching Dog The book begins with Manny answering an ad for a cleaner, cook, and babysitter in chapter one. Of course, Manny says “I can do that” when asked about her cleaning, cooking, and babysitting skills. Then we get into the story and find that Manny’s main skill is TV watching! Hmmm, does that remind you of anyone you know? It’s so easy for any of us to get distracted by the TV and fritter away hours watching our favorite shows (or even watching online). Manny is no different. Still, it’s as much fun for us to watch her “at work” as it is frustrating for the Master to see that Manny is no great shakes as a housecleaner, cook or babysitter.

Her next adventure is getting ready for bed. Although everything she does is exaggerated for humor’s sake, parents will easily relate to how frustrating it is trying to get a child into bed.  There’s snack time, bath time, story time, drink time, potty time – preparations drawn out in getting our darlings into bed and, finally, asleep. This is the perfect bedtime chapter to read to your dawdling toddlers.

In the final chapter, Manny “helps” get her things together for moving day and the movers to load. She keeps getting distracted and Master has to come and finish the jobs he’s asked of her. Again, there is much relatable frustration and humor in keeping little ones on task and moving in the right direction.

The artwork, by Nina Marie Rothfuss, is another treat in this little chapter book. Manny is beautifully portrayed doing all her little tasks, to the best of her ability, but so cute, darling, and funny, that kids and parents alike will delight in pointing out the silly things that are pictured. This is a fun and funny book that will be enjoyed over and over again. Recommended for children ages three to seven -- plus parents, teachers, and grandparents.

Read more about Linda Derkez at:   

Manny the TV Watching Dog is published by Wee Creek Press, an Imprint of Whiskey Creek Press, www.weecreekpress.com


  1. Sounds like an absolutely adorable book! Terrific review! Thanks for bringing this book to my attention.

    Happy New Year!


    1. Thanks for stopping by. Yes, it's a really cute book -- a lot of parents will see their children (and themselves) in this book. Happy Christmastide wishes!

  2. Seems to be a real winner--just in time for the holidays! Many thanks for sharing, Penny!

    1. Thanks, Nancy for commenting. Yes, I'm sure a lot of kids, parents, and grandparents will enjoy this book!

  3. What a funny, cute concept! Thanks for sharing the review.

    1. Hi Donna, It is a cute book -- love doggie stories. I love it when she says "I can do that!" Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Replies
    1. Hi Jan, thanks for commenting. It's a cute book that will be fun for both kids and parents.