Vaunda Micheaux Nelson


Ready? Set. Puppies!
Ready? Set. Puppies!

I’m excited to begin the new year by spreading the word that my Step-into-Reading book — Ready? Set. Puppies! — will be released January 16th.  Many thanks to illustrator Derek Anderson, my agent Tracey Adams, my editor Heidi Kilgras and everyone at Random House.

I’ve had many pets in my life.  But when I think of puppies, I think of my Grampap Batch’s Brittany Spaniel Samantha.  Samantha was his companion when he went hunting for pheasants and other small game.  In addition to her field work, Sam was an amazing mother.  Her litters were big, they were healthy, and they were smart.  One year, Samantha had 14 puppies!  She had such a good reputation as a bird dog, her pups were sought after by other sportsmen.


Grampap always reminded us kids that these were hunting dogs, so “don’t get attached.”  I laugh when I think back on this.  We’re talking about puppies here.  Puppies.  Puppies that lick your face and nip your ears with their new little needle teeth.  Soft, cuddly puppies that yip and squirm, jump and tumble.  Puppies with their wonderful puppy breath.  Of course, we got attached.  I suspect Grampap knew we would but, as the grownup, felt he should warn us anyway.  What memories!

My dad, my Grampap Batch, and my niece Kelle, with Sam and her puppies

I dedicated Ready? Set. Puppies!  To Grampap.  To Samantha who put me in puppy heaven.  And to Skippy, Brownie, Terry, Shadow, Bud, Zipper, Punk, Charlie and all the pets who enrich our lives.

Sam’s puppies

I hope my new book helps readers appreciate the love and joy their own four-legged friends have given them.  Or maybe sharing this book will bring a new furry family member into their lives.

Pleeeeeze, Mom and Dad.