Reviewed by Haiqa Munir for Readers’ Favorite

Heartwarming tales of friendship, love, and environmental harmony highlight the interconnectedness between all beings, reminding us of the importance of preserving and cherishing the natural world. Corky Tails: Tales of a Tailless Dog Named Sagebrush by Joni Franks starts with Never Summer Mountains, a remote and mystical alpine region inhabited by creatures including the Shuns, a group of tiny people. The story focuses on Clover Leaf, a young Shun, who has faith, hope, and love in his heart, especially for his ailing mother. Determined to cure her from the mysterious blue flu, he gathers wild asparagus and plums. He learns about a massive landslide that has blocked Froze Creek, the water source for Shun Village. Clover Leaf, together with Firefly, a Shun girl, the Young Miss, the owner of the cattle ranch, and Sagebrush, a tailless puppy, volunteer to clear the debris and restore the water flow. The story ends with their arrival at Stormy Pass, where they begin their challenging journey.

The author creates an intriguing and enchanting setting with a description of the Never Summer Mountains. The lush meadows, ancient trees, and the presence of fairies and various animal species contribute to the mystical atmosphere. The author brings the scenery to life, allowing readers to immerse themselves in the world of the Shuns. Joni Franks introduces characters with unique qualities and roles in this story. Sagebrush, the tailless puppy, adds a touch of charm and loyalty to the story. The plot revolves around the crisis caused by the landslide and the characters’ determination to resolve it. The author effectively builds tension and suspense with the looming storm and the challenges faced by the group. Corky Tails: Tales of a Tailless Dog Named Sagebrush sets the stage for an engaging and adventurous story. The writing style is descriptive and engaging, immersing readers in the magical world of the Never Summer Mountains. The characters are well-developed, and the plot promises exciting events to come.

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.


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Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers’ Favorite

Sagebrush lived with her parents Maverick and Ginger and they were house dogs of the young Miss, who was kind. The young Miss owned the ranch which had cows, horses, and ranch dogs. It was a beautiful ranch. Sagebrush was up that morning and she decided to take a stroll before breakfast. She decided to explore the woods and she strayed farther and farther away from home. Since she was smelling the earth and walking, she did not really pay attention to where she was going. On that same day, Shuns were going about their business as keepers of the forest and they saw a tailless creature smelling flowers and making her way into the forest. Sagebrush became friends with Sprout and Shroom and they showed her how their homes were getting lost due to humans clearing the forests. Would the Shuns be left homeless? How does Sagebrush, together with the young Miss, help them?

Corky Tales of a Tailless Dog Named Sagebrush: Sagebrush Meets the Shuns by Joni Franks is an adorable story that helps young readers understand the importance of protecting Mother Earth so that everyone has a place which they can call home. Raquel Rodriguez adds to the color and magic of the story with her wonderful illustrations that breathe life into the characters and the scenes. It is a story about kindness, love, being helpful, and giving a hopeless situation a happy ending. It is a perfect book for storytelling sessions in classrooms as it conveys a lot of important messages to readers. It is also about living in harmony where every creature and everything on earth should be honored and preserved.