Reviews of Soaring Soren

Based on a beloved dog’s true story, this debut picture book celebrates hard work and determination. ... A canine tale offers an exuberant reminder that winners come in all shapes and sizes (and should never listen to naysayers).   --Kirkus Reviews

Expressive cartoon color illustrations bring Soren the French Bulldog's amazing and inspiring story to life, bringing joy and inspiration to young readers everywhere. --Midwest Book Review

Soren is an adorable French Bulldog who is on a mission - to prove that dreams can come true, especially if you work hard to obtain them. And he wants to take your child along with him on his adventure. ... Soaring Soren helps teach children that with a little hard work, if they can dream it, they can achieve it. A wonderful message and a delightful book.  --Feathered Quill Book Review

Deborah Stevenson's children's animal book, Soaring Soren: When French Bulldogs Fly, is an inspirational and exciting true life story that shows how even seemingly insurmountable odds can be overcome, if you believe in yourself. What a marvelous way to teach children to have confidence in their abilities!  --Readers' Favorite Book Review

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KIRKUS REVIEW 5/5/2017 OF SOARING SOREN

Based on a beloved dog’s true story, this debut picture book celebrates hard work and determination.

Originally from Denmark, Soren the French bulldog is adopted by a kind American woman named Deb. Soren dreams about becoming a show dog; unfortunately, he grows too large to compete in his category. Then one day, Deb notices he jumps quite high, so she thinks he can enter agility contests instead. To begin training, Deb takes Soren to a special park with planks, tunnels, jumps, and weave poles. After months of practice, Soren and Deb attend agility trials, where a couple of rude folks scoff that a Frenchie can never prevail because of his large head and short legs. Undeterred by these judgmental individuals, Soren continues to prepare, even running through tricky weave poles, which is the most difficult maneuver for him. With much effort and an indomitable spirit, Soren eventually becomes the first French bulldog to ever win a Master Agility Championship. Told from Soren’s point of view, the story features kindly Deb with “wild, curly hair” as the main human character and effectively emphasizes Soren’s devotion to her. Playful and often humorous, Soren’s voice should appeal to a wide array of primary school kids (Stevenson’s work is aimed at ages 5 to 8). In one amusing part, the bulldog’s excitement wreaks havoc with his tummy: “Deb’s eyes got wide and she blurted out, ‘Uh oh. Soren, noooo!’ But before I could stop it…blarrgh! I threw up—right on Deb!” Spicer’s (Sashi and the Puppy Mill Girl, 2016, etc.) bold color illustrations are eye-catching and complement the exultant message; for example, gleeful Soren flies in the volume’s margins with winged pigs because critics said a Frenchie would claim victory “when pigs fly.” (The small human cast, however, lacks diversity.) Reminiscent of a cute Disney character, Soren has huge adorable, expressive eyes, lending a classic feel. A compelling close-up of bug-eyed Soren as he makes the triumphant jump takes up two pages—requiring the book to be turned for optimal viewing—and adds vivid excitement to a jubilant climax.

A canine tale offers an exuberant reminder that winners come in all shapes and sizes (and should never listen to naysayers).  

--Kirkus Reviews

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MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW 3/17/2017 OF SOARING SOREN 

Soaring Soren: When French Bulldogs Fly
Deborah Stevenson, author
Morgan Spicer, [illustrator]
Aperture Press LLC
201 Washington Street, Suite #533, Reading, PA 19601
9780997302059 $14.95 www.aperturepress.net

"Soaring Soren: When French Bulldogs Fly" is the unlikely but inspiring story of the author's French bulldog, Soren, and his dauntless quest to become an agility champion despite his breed and handicaps. Symbolic of the determination and inspiration of Soren, little flying pigs carrying green ribbon banners decorate and frame initial and intermittent page illustrations. Written from the dog's viewpoint, "Soaring Soren" tells the amazing story of a French Bulldog born in Denmark who flies to the United States to be adopted by his American owner, Deb, a kind lady with lots of curly hair. Soren was born and bred to be a show dog, so he expected the training that would be an integral part of that. However, Soren also grew and grew, until he had grown bigger than a French Bulldog for showing was allowed to be. This was a sad disappointment to Soren, but there was nothing he could do about his growing, so he accepted it. Deb noticed that Soren could run fast and jump high, so she wondered if Soren could make a great agility dog, not something French Bulldogs are bred or built for. Soren tried extra hard to show Deb that he could be a great agility dog, even if his fast running and high jumping ended up making him sick to his tummy. With Soren's enthusiastic acceptance, Deb began Soren's agility training, using agility field obstacles such as the A-Frame, jumps, weave poles, the teeter, and the tunnel, Soren's favorite. Soren worked hard with his owner as a team, receiving cheese treats for rewards when he did well on the agility obstacle course. then Soren attended his first agility trial course and did very well. Deb began to think that Soren could become an agility champion, even though no French Bulldog had ever achieved such a thing. With their big heads, short legs, and heavy bodies, French Bulldogs just weren't built for agility achievement, people thought. But Soren thought differently. He knew he could be a champion one day. Soren practiced hard with Deb, hoping to win an agility championship to give her. What an exciting event day! Soren concentrated and worked very hard, making no mistakes on all the obstacles. Soren won a purple ribbon! Plus his owner gave him a new collar with little flying pigs on it! At a fabulous party afterwards for all participating show dogs and owners, Soren was so happy. He loved his agility training work, but he loved his owner, Deb even more. Finally, Soren knew that "if you work hard and believe in yourself and your dreams, you can do just about anything. And if you have someone you love who believes in you too, that's even better." Expressive cartoon color illustrations bring Soren the French Bulldog's amazing and inspiring story to life, bringing joy and inspiration to young readers everywhere.

Feathered Quill Review August 2017 of Soaring Soren

Reviewed by: Holly Connors
Review Date: August 2017

Soren is an adorable French Bulldog who is on a mission - to prove that dreams can come true, especially if you work hard to obtain them. And he wants to take your child along with him on his adventure.

Soaring Soren is based on the true story of Soren, a little French Bulldog who traveled all the way from Denmark to the United States to become a top-notch show dog for his owner Deborah Stevenson. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other plans for Soren because as he grew, he grew a little too much. He was too tall for the strict showing standards required of French Bulldogs. What would Soren do? There was no doubt that Deb truly loved and adored him so maybe Soren was destined to simply become a lap dog.

One day while Deb was outside watching her beloved dog play, she noticed that Soren loved to run fast and jump quite high. Hmmm....maybe Soren would make a good agility dog. But everybody knows that French Bulldogs are too slow, too heavy, their legs are too short, and, well, they just can't do agility. But they didn't know Soren. He adored Deb and would do anything for her. He also loved the fast-paced training required for agility, and soon he loved participating in agility trials too. Soren was about to change the minds of those who doubted him but would he be good enough to earn an agility championship? Dreams do come true if you work hard and never give up...

Soaring Soren is a totally delightful story of one dog's efforts to make his, and his owner's, dream come true. With a positive message of working hard, and never giving up, children will be inspired to reach for their dreams too. The illustrations are quite nice, and fit well with the happy mood set by the story. In addition, with Soren's happy face and big, brown eyes appearing in almost every drawing, the artwork really brings out the personality of Soren. At 37 pages, there's a bit more text than restless 4 or 5 year olds may sit through, so for the youngest readers, you may need to break the story up into 2 or 3 bedtime readings.

Quill says: Soaring Soren helps teach children that with a little hard work, if they can dream it, they can achieve it. A wonderful message and a delightful book.

 

Readers' Favorite Book Review, January 2017

Reviewed by Jack Magnus

Soaring Soren: When French Bulldogs Fly is a children's animal book, based on a true story, written by Deborah Stevenson and illustrated by Morgan Spicer. Deb was there at the airport waiting for the small French Bulldog puppy who had traveled all the way to her from Denmark. She greeted him with hugs and french fries, and he instantly fell in love with her. Deb explained that he was going to train to be a show dog, and she helped him learn the correct posture and behavior that would be expected. All too soon, however, Deb realized that her pup was just too big to be a show dog. Watching him jump, play and cavort outdoors had her thinking what many thought was improbable -- her French Bulldog could become an Agility Champion. The two of them worked hard to get Soren to master the jumps, A-Frames and weave poles that were used in agility trials. Soren and Deb heard others at the first trial say that French Bulldogs just couldn't do agility, no less be a champ, but they knew better. Soren had what it takes to win.

Deborah Stevenson's children's animal book, Soaring Soren: When French Bulldogs Fly, is an inspirational and exciting true life story that shows how even seemingly insurmountable odds can be overcome, if you believe in yourself. What a marvelous way to teach children to have confidence in their abilities! Soren's story is beautifully told, from that first plane trip through to the celebration after Soren wins the honor of being the first ever French Bulldog AKC Master Agility Champion. Morgan Spicer's illustrations are masterful and bring this remarkable story to life. Each panel is colorful and shows Soren as he soars over jump bars and successfully navigates the dreaded weave poles. Stevenson also provides a link to Soren's site, which has photographs and a video showing Soren in action. I loved this book! Soaring Soren: When French Bulldogs Fly is most highly recommended for children and animal lovers of all ages.