Perfect Picture Book Friday – The Duchess And Guy: A Rescue To Royalty Puppy Love Story

It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday, and with less than a week to go until Valentine’s Day, I have the perfect puppy love story to share with you.

Not only is it a wonderful story, it was written by my good friend, talented author Nancy Furstinger, and a good book by a good friend is always extra special!

I hope you like it 🙂


Title: The Duchess And Guy: A Rescue To Royalty Puppy Love Story

Written By: Nancy Furstinger

Illustrated By: Julia Bereciartu

HMH Books For Young Readers, January 8 2019, fact-based fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-7

Themes/Topics: being yourself, animal adoption/rescue, pets, true story

Opening: “Once upon a time, a happy-go-lucky beagle named Guy found himself without a family or a place to call home.
He blinked his puppy dog eyes and begged for someone to take him home.
But he didn’t have much luck . . .

Brief Synopsis: A beagle puppy named Guy waits in a shelter, hoping and hoping for a forever home.  When Meghan adopts him, he has no idea that home is going to be Buckingham Palace.  Can a shelter dog of uncertain beginnings find a way to fit in among royalty?

Links To Resources: back matter includes “Guy’s True Rescue-to-Royalty Tale” including photographs, and a section on “Adopting A Dog Like Guy”

And we are lucky enough to get to hear directly from talented author, Nancy Furstinger, about how she got the idea to write this book as well as some crafts and activities you can do to go along with the book!

For how I got the idea to write GUY:
My agent emailed to ask if I was a “royal watcher.” And, to his disappointment, I had to admit that I had zero interest in the royal wedding and hadn’t watched Meghan Markle and Prince Harry tie the knot (apparently everyone in his office was “obsessed”). But my ears perked up when my agent attach an article about Meghan’s rescued beagle, Guy, and to ask me if I wanted to “whip up a PB text pronto.” Did I ever! Rescued dogs are near and dear to my heart—I’ve written books about them, volunteer with them at my local SPCA, plus I adopted my own two: Bosco and Rosy. So I “whipped up” a manuscript; my agent submitted it to a select group of editors; and we received a prompt response from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (which had published two of my middle-grade nonfiction books that also focus on animals) saying that they had been discussing a picture book about Guy, but didn’t have a writer attached—I enthusiastically became that writer! I did rewrite the ms (twice!), but my editor, who is also passionate about pooches, gave feedback/comments/edits that strengthened GUY’s story!

For the extensions that parents, teachers, and librarians can use with the book:

Here is a fun beagle mask craft (also a corgi plus other breeds) for kiddos:
And if you scroll to the bottom of my GUY webpage, there’s free activity sheets to download (coloring pages, mazes, a matching game, and spot the differences):

Thank you, Nancy!!!

Why I Like This Book: If you’ve spent any time around this blog, you know I love dogs – rescue dogs in particular since I have two and they’re the best dogs in the world!  So I was predisposed to like this book 🙂 I love that it presents a true story to kids so they learn about something that really happened in a fun and entertaining way.  I also love that it models shelter adoption as a great way to get a wonderful pet.  If a real duchess can get her dog from a shelter, you can too!  But I really love how the book shows that everyone can sometimes feel that they have a little trouble fitting in and finding their place, especially in a new situation.  That is a concept that I think all of us can relate to, and one that really speaks to kids.  This is my favorite page:


text copyright Nancy Furstinger 2019, illustration copyright Julia Bereciartu 2019

And in case you can’t read the wise words:

…Meghan gave him an encouraging scratch behind his ear.
‘I wasn’t sure I’d ever fit in here either,’ Meghan told her pup. ‘But if you just be yourself, you’ll be part of the family in no time.’

And the back of the book states that “The publisher has made a donation to the Montgomery County Animal Shelter to help other shelter dogs like Guy.”  Isn’t that wonderful?

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do 🙂

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

PPBF folks, please add your titles and post-specific links (and any other info you feel like filling out 🙂 ) to the form below so we can all come see what fabulous picture books you’ve chosen to share this week!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!! 🙂


44 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday – The Duchess And Guy: A Rescue To Royalty Puppy Love Story

  1. viviankirkfield says:

    I love this book, Susanna…for all the reasons you named…and also because it kind of plays into the love many people have for the royals. I think parents will enjoy reading it as much as the kids will enhoy hearing it.

  2. Genevieve Petrillo says:

    I’m pretty sure this will be my favorite book ever as soon as Mom finds it and reads it to me. Guy is pretty lucky to be the pup of a princess. Too bad he didn’t get to be queen of the world like me! Hang in there, Guy…

    Love and licks,

    • Nancy Furstinger says:

      Awwww, Cupcake, I’m sure you’ll love it–my two dogs–Bosco and Rosy–wagged their tails when I read it to them! Plus several of my book launches featured adoptable dogs from the SPCA where I volunteer–two Cocker spaniels already were adopted…now they’re kings and queens of their castles!

  3. authorlaurablog says:

    I was a royal watcher back when Lady Diana became Princess Diana. When she died, my interest waned until by chance I saw Kate Middleton in person when she was making an appearance in Luxembourg. Now with a dog added to the mix, I’m interested again.

  4. Jilanne Hoffmann says:

    Oh, geez, I’m crying. Our pup is a rescue from the SPCA. She was considered a “challenging” puppy due to her size, exuberant nonstop barking at other dogs (because she wanted to meet them), and GI problems. She’s now almost 3 years old and, while not a model of decorum, the sweetest dog I’ve ever known. Cheers to the SPCA! And Cheers to fitting in and finding your forever home!

    • Nancy Furstinger says:

      Awwww, Jilanne, so glad you adopted her! I always take the “least adoptable” shelter animals, which is how I ended up with 2 huge dogs, 3 house rabbits, plus a chin! Give your pooch a big kiss from me; woofs/wags/slurps from Bosco and Rosy:-)

    • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

      Hurray for you, adopting a challenge, Jilanne! My brother and sister-in-law did that too. Their dog is a pit bull mix who had a rough beginning and is mistrustful and inclined to bite first and ask questions later. My dogs are rescues too, but the only challenge with them is fitting all of us on the couch together 🙂

  5. Angie says:

    I didn’t even realize this book really WAS about Meghan, but as I looked at the cover, I was thinking, wow, that looks like Meghan. And her wedding dress. And her hair. And- it is Meghan! Well done. Can’t wait to read this. The encouragement to adopt rescue dogs is great.

    • Nancy Furstinger says:

      Oh, yes, the artist (who lives in Madrid) did a fantastic job–I adore her illustrations and all of the outfits the royals were are authentic! And thanks, Angie, I hope my book leads to more rescue dog adoptions:-)

      • Nancy Furstinger says:

        Yesh: Adopt, Don’t Shop=my motto! I also contributed part of my advance to help other dogs like GUY:-)

      • Nancy Furstinger says:

        LOL, now I’m intrigued about which book tackles a tough topic! But hope you enjoy reading all about Guy, Keila, and rescue dogs (plus other species) are my favorite breed:-)

      • Susanna Leonard Hill says:

        Hahaha Keila! I was thinking, well, yes, adopting a pet can be a tough topic – it’s hard to go into a shelter and see all those hopeful faces and know you can only rescue one… but your follow-up comment made me wonder which book that was supposed to be a comment for! Now I’ll have to look at the list and guess! 🙂

    • Keila Dawson says:

      HA! Had a second cup Jilanne! My initial comment was about the PB Mister and Lady Day: Billie Holiday and the Dog Who Loved Her. I was in London last week and truly hoped to have a Meghan sighting, but no luck. Once on a previous trip, I saw Prince Charles out and about!

  6. Patricia Tilton says:

    I wondered when a story about Meghan’s rescue dog story would become a picture book. Such a heartwarming and appealing for children with bright, lively illustrations. Will have to check it out. Congratulations, Nancy!

    • Nancy Furstinger says:

      Many thanks, Patricia, I’m so glad that my agent suggested the topic and that my publisher paired me with illustrator Julia–I love her artwork!

      • Nancy Furstinger says:

        Thanks, Susanna:-) It’s from the team who did that Marlon Bundo parody (which I love and have my own copy), but there’s not much plot to the Guy story (Guy pees on the opposite side of the fire hydrant, steals Prince Charles’ sandwich, etc.) and nothing to spoof (the previous book spoofed that Pence book about bunny Marlon Bundo).

  7. Angela Brown (@ALBrownwrites) says:

    I remember there being a lot of hoopla around Maghan and Harry. I’m not a big royal watcher either so I don’t know much, though I was admittedly taken with their love story.

    As the happy mama to a rescue myself, I’m also predisposed to like the topic of this book, and the sample shared shows the beautiful writing and art work. Well done!

    • Nancy Furstinger says:

      Many thanks, Angela, and rescued dogs rock! I had to quickly catch up on the Meghan/Harry love story (and became a SUITS fan in the process), but they take a backseat to GUY’s “tail.” Plus I got a half page in the back to emphasize Adopt, Don’t Shop!

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