Linda S. Gunther, Author
This children’s book is set on the beach in Northern California. A young girl named Esmerelda moves to Seacliff Beach near Santa Cruz with her mom who has just inherited grandpa’s house. Her dad is in the U.S. Army, stationed in Afghanistan and has been gone for many months. Esmerelda feels sad and because she’s new in the neighborhood and now it’s summertime, and she hasn’t met any other kids. Lonely and noticing that her mom is also down in the dumps, the two take walks together on the beach each day.
One afternoon, they meet three volunteers from the local ASPCA who are walking three happy little dogs on the beach path. Esmerelda falls in love with Toffee, a rambunctious brown and white mix of Jack Russell terrier and Beagle. Esmerelda and her mom rush to Santa Cruz to adopt Toffee. But first the SPCA requests the dog and perspective owners spend time together to ensure that there’s a good match.
Success! Toffee is adopted and Esmerelda is instantly delighted, no longer a lonely little girl. When bad news about her dad comes from far away, both mother and child are fearful. But a happy ending is around the corner for everyone. The illustrations in this book promise to be enchanting.