My View Book Review: If I Could Climb Trees by Jeff Minich


Title: If I Could Climb Trees

Author: Jeff Minich

Illustrator: Renan Garcia

Publisher/Year: Nuggies Inc./2017

Coco the puppy is back and ready for fun in volume 5 of the Nuggies picture book series by author Jeff Minich and illustrator Renan Garcia. Coco dreams of climbing trees. She wants a birds-eye view of the world. She imagines the amazing things she might see, a vast ocean with a sandy beach or snow-capped mountain peaks. Coco wants to leap from branch to branch like the squirrels and lick sweet sap like the ants. When the sun goes down, she’ll stretch out on a sturdy limb as the lights of the city twinkle in the distance. And as she begins to fall asleep, she’ll wonder what the birds, and the bugs, and the squirrels dream about. Maybe they dream about doing the things that puppies do.

If I Could Climb Trees is a sweet and inspiring ode to dreams, not just the dreams we have while we’re asleep, but the dreams each one of us aspires to. Once upon a time, I had a dream to publish a book and see it on the shelves of libraries and bookstores. My dream came true with the publication of The Peddler’s Bed. My husband dreamed of earning a black belt in karate. He accomplished that goal and now actually has a fifth degree black belt. 

I believe that kids should be encouraged to follow their dreams. This colorfully illustrated book with its super cute animal characters is a great starting point for light discussions about their hopes for the future. If we encourage and support the aspirations of children, there’s no doubt that one day they will reach great heights…perhaps higher than a little puppy that climbed a tree.

To read a review of volume 2 in the Nuggies series, All The Other Nuggies, click HERE.

For more information about the Nuggies book series, click HERE.

My View Book Review: All The Other Nuggies by Jeff Minich

Title: All The Other Nuggies

Author: Jeff Minich

Illustrator: Renan Garcia

Publisher/Year: Nuggies Inc./2015


I’m a sucker for picture books about puppies, so when Jeff Minich, the author of All The Other Nuggies, contacted me about reviewing his book, I couldn’t say no. Just look at the cute little canines on the cover. I asked Jeff why he calls them Nuggies and he told me that the name is a transformation of the word nuggets, a nickname he uses for his own dogs. And All The Other Nuggies was, in fact, inspired by his dog Coco who was found living under an abandoned car.

All The Other Nuggies is the second book in the Nuggies series. The first book is Daddy Forgot My Dinner, which stars a very hungry pup named Chomper. All The Other Nuggies focuses on Coco, a shy and lonely little pup without a home. In the story, Coco meets Chomper who encourages her to come play with him and the other Nuggies. As the puppies all play a game of hide and seek, Coco discovers that the things she was worried about, the things that make her different (long skinny legs, big pointy ears, a mask), are the very same things that make her special, and even help her win the game.

When I was a child, I was shy, and so I didn’t interact with other children much. Like Coco, I felt different, like I didn’t fit in, and as I watched the other kids play, I felt lonely. How many kids today feel the same way? All The Other Nuggies is a perfect choice to share with children who are just entering preschool or kindergarten, especially since making friends and self acceptance, two very important concerns in a young school-aged child’s life, are the main themes in the book. Children will enjoy this sweet story starring puppies, which is illustrated in a fun, cartoon style. I especially like the picture of Coco imagining herself with giraffe legs. So cute! I think my dog Java, who inspires my writing too, would make a great Nuggie. What do you think?

Can I be a Nuggie too?