The US Review of Books

Corky Tails: Tales of a Tailless Dog Named Sagebrush: Sagebrush Meets the Shuns
by Joni Franks

reviewed by Michael Radon

“But the little dog never stopped to listen. Off she went. She was faster than lightning, off to save her friends.”

This second book in the author’s children’s series re-introduces young readers to Sagebrush, the Welsh Corgi puppy without a tail. Sagebrush’s life is a happy one, living with her parents and the owner of the ranch. One day, Sage goes on an adventure into the forest while sniffing all of the smells of nature and is surprised to meet two tiny creatures that introduce themselves as Sprout and Shroom, members of a race known as Shuns. Shuns revere nature and live inside trees, but the deforestation that’s been going on has been destroying their homes and made them distrusting of humans. Now it’s up to Sage to protect her new friends the Shuns from the giant machines that are destroying the forest and prove to her family that these creatures are real and in need of help.

Pretty much every child loves a cute pet, and the bright, cartoonish illustrations of Sagebrush and her family will have them falling in love with the adorable puppy at first sight. This helps make readers interested in not only following Sage’s adventure but also in taking the moral of this story to heart, creating a new generation of children interested in preserving and protecting the environment. The story itself is light-hearted, friendly, and full of love, making the audience care about the characters and actively root for each and every one of them (except, perhaps, for the briefly seen loggers). Whether the young audience targeted by this book are lovers of animals or the great outdoors, the strong writing and lovable characters combine with the cute and vibrant illustrations to create a story that won’t be soon forgotten by those who read it.


Top customer reviews

Mar 08, 2019 David Crow

Joni Franks writes vividly but simply using a tailless Welsh Corgi with no tail to express compassion, a sense of environmental justice, and hope for the under dog (no pun intended). When my children were young, I read them the Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House on the Prairie series and got as much out of them as my children did. Joni Franks does the same thing. Her stories open the eyes of my nieces and nephews (who love them) but with an adult message about doing the right thing. And they are fun to read because Sage is a curious dog who has a nose for finding troubled creatures and saving them, usually from careless people who don’t preserve the environment. I am in the process of reading and sharing all of Jon’is books because of the messages and superb writing that opens a child or adult imagination. She is a gifted author with a powerful moral message and compass.

5.0 out of 5 stars I really loved the book (and I’m an older adult) but thought …

By Katie on March 6, 2017

Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase

I really loved the book (and I’m an older adult) but thought it had a great lesson. I had a Corgi mix many years ago and was amazed to see her “herding” my neighbor’s goats. I didn’t realize that Corgis were natural herders.


Pacific Book Review