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Teachable Tales

Linda Harkey Author Interview

Doc, Willie, and the Pack: Secrets, Gifts, Family (A Hickory Doc’s Tale) follows a crow that has a secret he’s keeping from his dog pack family and is worried about what will happen when they find out. What was the inspiration for your story?

A friend told his true story to my husband and myself of a crow that befriend his family.

What was your inspiration for the characters and their relationship?

Many days were spent on our twenty acres in Oklahoma watching Patch and our other hunting dogs find birds including crows. The trainer said Patch had “a lot of energy” and would “never stop hunting”. She was a very determined hunting dog.

What are some of your inspirations as a writer?

To present teachable tales to elementary school children on the lives of hunting dogs, other animals in nature, their habitats, and life lessons involving—family, friendships, bravery, diversity, and problem solving.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

Desert Friends: Travels with the Pack (Archway Publishing)
It will be available in the Spring of 2022.

Author Links: Twitter | Facebook | Website

Doc, Willie, and the Pack: Secrets, Gifts, Family is the continuing humorous saga of five hunting dogs and their encounters with many different types of animals.

Doc and the pack discover that Willie, the crow with bad eyesight, has a big secret. Can Willie convince the pack he is part of their family? Will the pack discover what Willie’s big secret is? How does Zeke accept Willie’s gift? The adventure continues at the Lazy Dog Hacienda with Doc, Willie, and the pack.

The Remarkable Story of Willie the Crow

When a young hunting dog and a crow decide to be friends, the dog pack does not know what to think. They hunt birds, yet a crow wants to hang out and be friends with them. Willie, the crow, is undeterred by the gruff hunting dogs and enjoys playing with the puppy Patch. While playing, Willie flies over the pool, and Patch, not paying attention, falls in. Turns out Patch does not know how to swim. None of the dogs know how to swim. They run to find the Labrador Newt thinking he can swim, but he is terrified of the water. Finally, through some encouragement from family and friends, he jumps in to save Patch.

The Remarkable Story of Willie the Crow: A Hickory Doc’s Tale, written by Linda Harkey, is a creative picture book about the friendship between two unlikely animals. The pack of dogs is concerned that a puppy hanging out with a crow is wrong, and they try to convince their senior dog Doc to put an end to the friendship. Doc, however, is a thinker; he looks at the situation and, rather than jump to conclusions, evaluates the benefits. He backs up his decision by pointing out that Willie the crow has worked with them to save Patch rather than just flying off and leaving her to drown. The message of inclusion and acceptance makes this children’s book a great addition to any book collection.

Illustrator Mike Minick has done an excellent job capturing the emotions of the dogs and Willie. Each page is vibrant and engaging. Even without the text, the story is clear from the marvelous drawings. Children will laugh as they learn a valuable lesson about friendship and family.

The Remarkable Story of Willie the Crow: A Hickory Doc’s Tale is a captivating tale about friends, family, acceptance, working together, and believing in yourself. Parents and educators will love having this picture book to read to children in and out of the classroom.

Pages: 38 | ASIN : B07LCKSXSW

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Secrets, Gifts, Family

Willie the crow wants to eat the pack’s dog chow. The problem is he promised to not eat it from the kennel, and the other bowls are in the house with the Food Giver. To get to the bowels he must enter through the dog door, and this turns out to be harder than expected. Willie nearly drowns and gets stuck in a plant. After being rescued by Patch twice he makes it inside. There he taps on the refrigerator door and the Food Givers arrives and give him a small packet of walnuts and he flies out the window before the pack gets in and sees him. Willie keeps his special treats a secret from the pack

Doc, Willie, and the Pack: Secrets, Gifts, Family written by Linda Harkey returns readers to the Lazy Dog Hacienda. Willie the crow is part of the family that lives here. Willie however has a secret, he gets special treats from the Food Giver and is afraid to tell the pack about them. Instead, he brings the empty wrappers to Zeke as gifts making up stories about where he found them. Eventually, the truth comes out thanks to a newspaper article that was done on Willie that the pack saw.  

This entertaining picture book talks about family, keeping secrets, and friendships. Young elementary-age children will love the colorful illustrations of Mike Minick and the expression all the dogs have. This light-hearted story has a great message about friendship and family that they will be able to relate to. The adventures of Willie trying to get into the house will have children and adults laughing and asking, can crows get glasses, because clearly, poor Willie needs them.

Doc, Willie, and the Pack: Secrets, Gifts, Family: (A Hickory Doc’s Tale) is an engaging read for classrooms, libraries, and parents to read to children. It will make a great early reader for children learning to read with the vibrant artwork to help tell the story.

Pages: 52 | ASIN: B07XLHR2SZ

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Solitary Toes and Brown-Headed Cowbirds

Solitary Toes and Brown-Headed Cowbirds: A Hickory Doc’s Tale by author Linda Harkey tells the story of how a pack of bird hunting dogs meet a race horse. Zeek, Deacon, and Doc are German Shorthaired Pointers and very proud of their pedigree and hunting abilities. They live in their hacienda with the Great One and the Other One and hunt birds. They were not pleased at all when BJ the race horse is brought to their farm. After a few scuffles between horse and dogs, they decided to set things straight once and for all, with an old fashion race.

Author Linda Harkey has written an entertaining children’s book. The personalities of all the animals will delight children. From the first page you will find the hunting dogs humorous and engaging. The artwork by illustrator Mike Minick brings Harkey’s words to life. The collaboration between the two is extraordinary. Readers will enjoy the banter between BJ and the pack, especially Zeek who likes to stir up trouble and than blame someone else.

Solitary Toes and Brown-Headed Cowbirds: A Hickory Doc’s Tale by author Linda Harkey is perfect for a classroom library or for children that love animal stories. This enchanting picture book has humorous dialogue, colorful and vibrant artwork, and a thrilling storyline that will make this a book you will definitely want to add to your collection.

Pages: 48 | ASIN : B07NJLPL94

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