An Interview with Charlotte Bennardo
For my twenty-third Dream Gardens kid lit podcast, I interviewed author Charlotte Bennardo about one of her favorite children’s books, Beautiful Joe: A Dog’s Own Story by Margaret Marshall Saunders.
Beautiful Joe is the fictional autobiography of a dog named Joe, based on an real-life incident told to the author. The book was originally published in 1893 under the name Marshall Saunders because Margaret did not think most people at that time would read a book written by woman. In it, Joe relates his harrowing life as a puppy living with an owner who abuses and disfigures him. But he is rescued by a loving family whose home brims with animals of all kinds, and for whom the welfare of animals is a paramount concern. There Joe makes friends with the other dogs, horses, and birds that populate the household, and has many adventures. Beautiful Joe was a best-selling book in Canada for many years after its publication, and in 1995 a Beautiful Joe Society was created to maintain Joe’s memory and to establish a museum in the house where the original Joe lived.
Charlotte Bennardo is author of such books as the Evolution Revolution series, including Simple Machines, Simple Plans, and Simple Lessons. She is also co-author of Blonde OPS and the Sirenz series . You can find Charlotte’s website at charlotteebennardo.blogspot.com.
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