After writing The Dalmatian that Lost its Spots, dedicated to her late Dalmatian Lucy, Cumbrian children’s author Helen Haraldsen is back with another doggie adventure – this time featuring Petra, her Pointer…
When Lucy died suddenly in April 2020, I thought I would never be able to finish the book I was working on, The Dalmatian that Lost its Spots. But later, I decided to finish it in her memory – and the Daley’s Dog Tales series was born. The second book, Petra and the Dogs in Danger, will be out on 20 August 2021 – with the third story due for Christmas.
The book features Petra the Pointer as the main character this time, although Lucy is in the story too. The inspiration for the plot of this book came from seeing increasing news about dog thefts and puppy farms over the lockdown periods of the last 18 months.
It’s quite a dark topic for a children’s book, but one that I felt would make for a tense and exciting story. The Hundred and One Dalmatians, after all, centres around dogs and puppies being stolen by Cruella De Vil to be made into fur coats, and it was one of my favourite childhood books, despite the dark subject matter.
A team of young readers helped me pre-publication by reading the manuscript and approving it as suitable for the intended audience. They loved it and parents told me it was a good conversation starter to discuss ideas around modern day dog theft and animal welfare. I’m really excited about its release.
I launched a competition to create a logo for this series. The winner was eight year-old Daisy Mean, whose hand-drawn entry was digitised to create the final logo which now features on the books’ covers and interior pages.
Petra and the Dogs in Danger is beautifully illustrated by Steve Hutton, who illustrated The Dalmatian that Lost its Spots. The third book in the series is currently being edited, then it will make its way to a small team of young pre-publication readers. It will star the newest doggy addition to my family – Bella the Dalmatian.