Ralphie, Always Loved
By: Andrea Yerramilli
Illustrated by: Samantha Van Riet
Publisher: About Something Good, LLC
Publication Date: October 2017
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
It’s a rare occurrence when a book comes along that not only teaches a lesson and gives children something to truly enjoy, but also fills the heart with love. This is that book.
Readers meet Ralphie when he is a pup, helping the lovely angels paint the white puffy clouds that will decorate the sky. One day, God picks Ralphie up, draws a white heart on his chest, and tells him that Ralphie is not only loved, but also…he is love. It is on this day that Ralphie comes down from the heavens and is born.
A journey commences where Ralphie must go through some confusion before finding the couple that he will love forever. Then, as time moves forward, he must learn obedience, be educated on what a child is and how great they can be – especially when throwing food from the high chair for the pup to enjoy. Ralphie also meets an older black dog that will be his sibling, and he then ages gracefully with friends and loved ones all around.
The illustrations are adorable and the words are kind, loving and filled with emotion. In addition, the little red “gifts” that come with the book are a whole lot of fun. Here, however, is why this reviewer believes Ralphie is a book that moves from the category of lovely to award-winning:
As a mother (and now new grandmother) who had a big black dog who I loved with all my heart for 12 years, Ralphie brought back the good times when that beloved dog of mine (Reuben) was a constant friend and companion in my life. Now, I watch my granddaughter in a high chair throw food on the ground to a new dog by the name of Chloe, as she smiles wide and screams “Woof! Woof!” while the food flies. I have always believed that my dear Reuben embarked on a journey “home” when he left this earth, and that I will meet up with him again one day. It is a fact that the love, respect, admiration, and kindness dogs bring to our lives is something that goes beyond the norm; they are truly a gift from Heaven, and this author/illustrator team has put on paper what dog owners everywhere feel with all their hearts.
It is important to note that the publisher of this book, About Something Good, was created to curate, inspire, and share goodness in the world. As opposed to the many negative words and images that surround us on a daily basis in the media, ASG focuses on the beauty that is life. (www.aboutsomethinggood.com) It will be interesting to see the creations that come from this particular house in the future.
Quill says: You need to jump on board with the many other passengers out there who, I am quite sure, have already fallen absolutely in love with Ralphie!