Anne Haberland Emerson’s new book Doodle Love asks and answers that question in a delightful celebration of the love between dogs and their owners.
Emerson has been in the business of enriching the Door County community with art and beauty for most of her adult life. A lover of art in all forms, she adds yet another dimension with the publication of Doodle Love. This rhyming picture book is half a story about the joy that dogs bring into our lives and half dog-encyclopedia with side bar information describing a variety of dog breeds.
This delightfully illustrated book with vibrant watercolors by Molly Johnson also introduces readers to Emerson’s own labradoodles, Stella and Tiller. Affectionate and friendly, they show the typical characteristics of doodles, those dogs that result from cross breeding poodles. Doodles, who have become wildly popular in recent years, come in all shapes and sizes, be they labradoodles or goldendoodles or the over twenty doodles mixes named in the book.
Emerson highlights the character of the doodles in an easy-to-read text:
First we found Stella by starlight it’s true,
Then we got Tiller so now we have two.
They’re Labradoodles, they’re smart and they’re fun,
They play hide-and-go-seek through the house on the run.
They’re kind and loving, loyal and carefree,
They’re all the things we hope to be.
Molly Johnson is not new to children’s book illustration. Readers may recognize her work from another Door County book, Wisconsin’s Rock Island, written by Sandra Johnson and published in 2014. A graduate of The American Academy of Art in Chicago, a professional artist and teacher, her studio is located in The Mill Art Center, a restored granary in Denmark, WI, built in 1909. Door County’s Craig Blietz was instrumental in introducing Anne and Molly.
Perhaps best known as the former owner of Edgewood Orchard Galleries, Emerson was also influential in the creation of the Door Community Auditorium, which opened in 1991. She received the Wisconsin Governor’s Award in Support of the Arts for her work promoting the arts in education. She is a founding member of Write On, Door County, the writing-focused nonprofit that is about to break ground for a Writing Center in Juddville, and she has pledged a portion of the profits from the sale of Doodle Loveto that organization.
So why a book on Doodles? Emerson explains simply: “I believe in books and the importance of writing. I love beauty and the creative spirit. I love dogs and I love people. Doodle Lovebrings together so many things I care about.”
Doodle Love is published in hardback by Sand Beach Press, 32 pages, and retails for $20. It is available at Edgewood Orchard Galleries as well as several other retail outlets across Door County and beyond.Books can be purchased online through doodlelovebook.com, edgewoodorchard.com, or sandbeachpress.com.Emerson will have a book signing at Boswell Books in Milwaukee on July 11 and at Fair Isle Books on Washington Island on July 27.