News 2018-07-02T21:06:21+00:00

Our Latest News

It’s Here

Our very latest book Why Dogs Sniff Bums has arrived and is for sale through our website, our Salamanca Market stall and through listed stockists.

Have you ever wondered why
When dogs meet they’re never shy
In sniffing each other end on end
Without ever seeming to offend?
Dogs alone share this habit.
It’s not for cats, mice or rabbits.
They prefer to muzzle and cuddle.
So why dogs do it is a puzzle.
But there is a reason for dogs to scrum
And excitedly sniff each other’s bum.
The story begins with a doggy dance
And ends in the strangest of circumstance.

It is a very funny as well as a very old story.  As best we can determine, it appears to have originated in the United Kingdom many years ago. Since then it has travelled the world.  The story was told to Greg by his mother when he was just a boy.  However, his version, written in rhyming verse, is unique.

While he doesn’t like to admit it, this is Greg’s favourite in the series, and not just because the story is hilarious and Jenny Miller’s illustrations fantastic, but because it reminds him of his late mother, who he describes as a wonderful person, teacher and storyteller.

We would love to tell you more about the book, but we don’t want to spoil the surprise of reading it. However, as the excerpt above reveals, it’s all about a chance event at a doggy dance.

Since the book arrived, we have been busily posting out copies to all those who had placed advance orders, and the feedback so far has been terrific.

School Visits

Author Grey Ray visiting a Primary SchoolOn request, Greg has been visiting Tasmanian schools to talk to his young readers about the Why Dogs series, as well as the stories he plans to write in the future. His visits have ranged from primary schools with nearly 200 students to an isolated country school with only 16 primary school students.

Greg admits to being surprised at the extensive use of his books in schools to stimulate the imagination of students. He has seen how students have used watercolour painting to replicate Jenny Miller’s beautiful illustrations, while others have used origami to produce miniature dogs.

Many of the children Greg talks to are particularly interested to know how he began his career as an author. Greg says it comes from a long-held love of writing, having once worked as a journalist and TV reporter for the ABC. He then set up his own public relations business. So, writing has always been at the centre of his professional career. He began writing children’s books some years ago but could not find the right person to do the illustrations.

When he finally advertised for an illustrator, Greg received dozens of submissions. However, only one of them captured his imagination. It was from Jenny Miller who, fortunately for Greg, is a fellow Tasmanian. They have been partnering successfully ever since – producing the beautifully illustrated stories that make-up the Why Dogs series.

Greg and Jenny are currently working on even further additions to the Why Dog series. The next book will be Why Dogs are Man’s Best Friend, but it won’t be ready for release for some time yet.

There has been an amazing response from primary school teachers to the Why Dogs series, which has prompted us to engage the services of an experienced, professional educationer to develop a rich resource to assist teachers to use the series in their classrooms.

The Why Dogs Educational Resource Kit includes discussion questions, comprehension activities and even a playscript, all aligned with possible key learning areas, themes and ideas and content descriptions drawn from the Australian National Curriculum. Additionally, the kit equips teachers with printable classroom displays, borders and biographies of both the author and illustrator.

In a pilot study, we have invited selected teachers in Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales to trial the resource kit and provide us with comment and feedback. When the study is completed in mid-July, we will provide you with the detailed results. However, preliminary reaction has been terrific.

You can learn more about our education program on our Schools page.

Here’s a chance to win!

Did you know that if you join our email list, you have the chance to win a full set of the Why Dogs books plus the audio book, which contains all the stories. The books will be signed and personalised to you by the author Greg Ray. There are also plenty of consultation prizes to be won as well. 

All you need to do is email a photo of your dog – the more unusual the better – to jacinta@whydogs.com.au to be in with a chance to win.   The best photos will also be posted on our website and Facebook page.

Don’t miss out!

A Message from The Author

As one of my many young readers, you are very important to me. It is your support that gives me the inspiration to keep writing.  The fact you love my books is the best reward ever – so, thank you from the bottom of my heart! To try to repay your support, I offer regular competitions with great prizes for all my readers. To keep up with the latest competition, why not join our Mailing List. I can then let you know when the next competition is coming up and what you can win.

Right now, I am inviting all my readers who own a dog to email me a photo or video of their pet. Whoever sends in the best photo or video will receive FREE a full set of all five books, plus the audio-book which contains all the stories. I will personally sign each book to the winner. There are also plenty of consolation prizes to be won.  So, send in your entry today by emailing it to: jacinta@whydogs.com.au. I look forward to hearing from you.

Greg Ray

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