LAKE ISLE is receiving enthusiastic reviews,
reproduced here in their entirety.
Three of the reviews, that of Kirkus, the I.P.Vt. Historical Society, and the Small Press Bookwatch all point out that LAKE ISLE is "suitable for all ages," as the author intended it to be. The book is targeted for dog-lovers, and not for any particular age group, and so can be listed appropriately in General Fiction. Nevertheless, the reviews from Reader Views Kids are written by young persons with their parents' help, and LAKE ISLE's reviewer in this instance is 12 years old. This review demonstrates LAKE ISLE's appropriateness for young people, too, for whom it merits a Young Adult listing, as well.
Tobi Little Deer
Tobi Books (312 pp.)
ISBN: 978-1-949596-00-7; February 12, 2019
A small city dog, lost in the rugged backcountry of Vermont, relates his eventful struggle to find his way home.
In the same league as Ann M. Martin’s touching novel A Dog’s Life, this beautifully observant story, told from the point of view of a big-hearted Chihuahua, will stay with canine-loving readers long after the tale is finished. A sequel to the New York-based Little Deer’s (Little Tramp, 2014) first book—both inspired by his real-life dog companion—the YA novel begins when the Chihuahua is uprooted from his contented life in a New York City apartment. The dog, named Tobi, travels with his beloved human, Ted, to northern Vermont for a summer on the family farm. Tobi is confused and bereft when one day Ted is gone, unaware that he will be traveling and can’t take the canine along. Ted’s gruff dad doesn’t help, banning Tobi from the house and forcing him to share farm dog Rex’s quarters. A tragic loss and other incidents periodically bring Ted back, but he always leaves Tobi behind when he departs again. The pooch suffers but gradually adjusts, finding comfort with gentle Rex and Ted’s grandmother until, caught up in the thrill of a dog pack’s wild deer hunt, he is lost in the woods. Danger, refuge, companionship, and a hint of uncanny mystery follow, as Tobi encounters memorable animals and people during his months long ordeal. Tobi’s internal dialogue (he doesn’t speak with other animals) has a compelling authenticity, encompassing eloquent ponderings about the bond between humans and dogs, canine devotion, and forgiveness—and the awakening of his own ancestral memory. Driven to join in the howls of a pack of Native American sled dogs one night, he observes: “I was carried into timeless moonlit wilderness, and I, too, became a wild thing.” The novel’s rural, woodsy, and lake setting, described from Tobi’s perspective, is vividly detailed in sights, sounds, and smells. Little Deer (a pen name) seamlessly connects the intersecting stories of all his well-drawn characters, both human and animal, with a poignant thread—keep the tissues handy.
Delivering suspenseful storytelling, colorful and believable characters, and a deeply moving tribute to canine loyalty, this tale should resonate with dog lovers of any age.
I.P.Vt. Hist. Society review
by Tobi Little Deer
ISBN: 978-1-949596-00-7; December, 2018
"The latest literary offering from IPHS member & author [Tobi Little Deer] of New York is his book Lake Isle which will be published Spring 2019. This wonderful book features the adventures of Tobi, a thoughtful little dog from New York whose perceptive observations – and his adventures in the fictional small Vermont town of Lake Isle, are touching and poignant. Every reader who loves [our town] might recognize the landmarks Tobi passes through as he tries to find his way home in this fictionalized work. This book is suitable for all ages and resonates with imagery so realistic you’ll believe you can pick up Tobi or reach out and touch the braided rug ‘Mémère’ lovingly made for this little dog!"
Small Press Bookwatch
Tobi Little Deer
"An utterly charming and inherently entertaining read from first page to last, "Lake Isle" showcases author Tobi Little Deer's genuine flair for originality, narrative storytelling, and the creation of truly memorable characters in a story that will linger fondly in the mind and memory long after the book itself has been finished and set back upon the shelf. While very highly recommended for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Lake Isle" is also available in a paperback edition (9781949596007).
Tobi Little Deer
Tobi Books (2019)
Reviewed by Ciara (age 12) for Reader Views Kids (3/19)
[By a young reader:] I enjoyed reading “Lake Isle” by Tobi Little Deer. The author must be very close to his dog to have written a story that gives the reader the experience of what a dog is feeling, when he is separated from his owner. Tobi, a small dog living with his owner in New York, ventures out to a family’s farm in Vermont to stay for the summer while his owner Ted goes away on business. The story portrays a dog who has to adapt to new surroundings and new experiences while waiting for his owner to return.
I liked how the author had Tobi interact with different kinds of animals throughout the story, but only wrote about what Tobi was thinking as he was exploring his new home, while waiting for ted to return. There were a couple of sad parts in the book, but mostly a story of a dog’s adventures on a farm.
It was interesting to see how Tobi got along with the different characters in the story, and how each character had their own story to tell. They all had different hardships to overcome, but it seemed like the community was close and helped each other out.
I think my favorite part in the story was how Tobi and Rex got along. It was like Rex was a big brother figure to Tobi and they took care of each other. I also liked how Tobi would explain his excitement and fears of exploring on his own – like the time he went by the chicken coop and the rooster ambushed him, or how he thought that at the end of the farm’s driveway you would go into a black hole. Mostly because he could not see beyond that point, so in his opinion it just swallowed you up. “Lake Isle” by Tobi Little Deer is a wonderful story, especially for a person who loves animals. The reader gets to experience life through a dog’s eyes. The storyline is realistic and will kept the reader’s attention to the end. I can see how this book could continue on into several more stories of Tobi, and his interesting adventures!