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Book details
  • SubGenre:Friendship
  • Language:English
  • Series title:Tales of Spring Valley
  • Series Number:1
  • Pages:46
  • eBook ISBN:9781667801476
  • Hardcover ISBN:9781667801469

Tales of Spring Valley: 'The Beginning'

by Sharon Lynn McGraw

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Four real-life animal friends can't wait to tell young readers their stories! Meet Pierre the 'Boss' cat, Roo the amazing cattle dog, Finnegan the kind, gentle pony, and Blackie a bouncy, brave young collie. These almost true, heartwarming short stories come with beautiful full-color illustrations and a map for easy reference. Tales of Spring valley is based on a real foothills cattle ranch.


Tales of Spring Valley: 'The Beginning' is book one of a two volume set exploring the ranching lifestyle, now rapidly disappearing from the world. The book introduces four animal friends: Pierre the 'Boss' cat, Roo the amazing cattle dog, Finnegan the kind, gentle pony, and Blackie a bouncy, brave young collie. Young readers will discover the roles each animal plays in the life of the ranch. The animals share their observations in 'almost true' short stories, with full-color illustrations to enhance the text. A full-page map guides readers as they follow the animals around the ranch and the valley. Quiet, gentle humor, adventure and traditional values are the framework for this collection. 

About the author

Sharon L. McGraw Bio: BFA, B.Ed.

Alberta Artist 45 years, author-illustrator, teacher, mother of 4, grandmother of 9.

 Some of Sharon’s earliest memories include picking apples from a huge old tree as she leaned out the kitchen window, and gathering shells on the beach a few minutes away. At the age of three, the damp coastal city was exchanged for a dry windy, prairie city with a big pile of dried out dirt for a yard. While living there, her life was shaped by some unique exoeriences: a beautiful rock garden gradually transformed the new property; in grade four her best friend died; she entered and won first in an art drawing contest; was gifted with and became enthralled by an old set of Oz books; wrote her own stories for school; and her family started the first of four flower shops.

​Growing up under a flower pot, sharing secrets with her cat, learning to cook, and spending every spare minute learning and helping to arrange flowers was the routine until  the family bought a horse. Weekend life changed to driving to see the horse, riding the horse, showing the horse, living and breathing anything horse. Two new horses were bought [one for Sharon’s sister], the two girls and later a young brother shared a horse, with all three siblings escaping from the flower pots as often as possible.

​While completing a BFA, Sharon met and married her future husband, a mischievous cowboy, and spent the next seventeen years as a ranch wife raising four kids and Black Angus cattle. Hard workdays were filled with hilarity and many memorable moments. Somehow she found time to teach art and do her own paintings. A family move north to another rural location, included travelling every week to complete a BEd degree, and then teaching public school Art and English in two small towns. She misses her students. 

​Wonderful animals and amazing children are finally stepping into the pages of her books: stories exploring what animals might think and speak; her children’s poetry capturing first-time moments and observations through the eyes of children.

Currently she has 12 different books in her head, all bursting out around the edges!

 Nine incredible grandchildren, eight of whom are very young, provide a delightful source of inspiration for both writing and painting.

*Fixed Layout eBook. Will include a file for Apple device and for Kindle devices that support KPF.

Book Reviews

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Tales of Spring Valley:'The Beginning' "I read this book to my neighbor's children who loved it! After one reading, the five year old boy knew the names of all the animals! His three year old sister kept patting all the animals in the illustrations. Adorable! Their mom liked it so much she bought a book too!" NW Read more