ABOUT THE BOOKIllustrations by: Bill Haynes, Jr.
Story by: Kristin S. Everson
Fire Dog is a book about a puppy who sneaks out of a pet shop in a big city on a quest to find out what his name is. Along the way he encounters many things he’s never seen before. Whenever he meets a person, his first question is always polite, “Excuse me, sir. Can you please tell me my name?” By the end of the book, he has not only discovered his name, but he also has a new home.
For most books, an author writes a story and then an artist creates the illustrations. That is not the case for this book.
The illustrations for Fire Dog were done by William G. “Bill” Haynes, Jr., probably circa 1930 while he was an art student in New York. His idea for a children’s book and all the wonderful vintage works of art showcased in this book remained in storage until discovered by volunteers working at Ashantilly Center, the nonprofit historic property that was Bill’s home just outside Darien, Georgia until his 2001 death.
During a 2016 tour of “the Old Tabby”, the historic home at Ashantilly, retired reading teacher Kristin Everson saw the Fire Dog illustrations. Inspired by her love of good children’s books, she felt drawn to the little dog who needed his story told. The rest, they say, is history. There is a special section at the back of the book, “Did you want to know more?”, that further explains how illustrations created in the 1930s became paired with a story written in 2017, and finally became a book some eight decades later.
WHERE TO BUY
Where to purchase “Fire Dog“:
The Book Lady Bookstore
E. Shaver, Bookseller
GJ Ford Bookshop
The Local Exchange
Old Jail Art Center
Fort King George
Sapelo Island Vistors Center
The Local Exchange on the Marietta Square
“Fire Dog” also can be purchased through your favorite online supplier.
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-03-915367-7
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-03-915366-0
eBook ISBN: 978-1-03-915368-4
Size: 8” x 10”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kristin S. Everson, born in Savannah, is a life-long resident of Georgia. She earned a master’s degree in elementary education and trained as a Reading Recovery teacher. During her 30 years as an educator, working with students from kindergarten through junior college, her favorite part was helping students improve their reading skills. After retiring from teaching, she spent 9 years as project editor for a Christian publishing company. When Kristin visited The Ashantilly Center and saw the artwork for Fire Dog, she knew the story needed to be written. The following March something unexpected occurred. Kristin awoke early and was amazed to find that the story of Fire Dog was inside her head! She hurried to her den to get the words down on paper. With very few changes, the story you read in this book is exactly as she wrote it that morning. She was as surprised as you probably were to find out the little dog’s name, especially his nickname!
ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR
William Greaner “Bill” Haynes, Jr. (1908-2001), letterpress printer, preservationist, and environmentalist, was also an artist and aspired to a career as an illustrator. Bill was born in Columbia, South Carolina, and moved with his family to Ashantilly, a historic tabby home in Darien, Georgia. Bill ventured to New York City in the 1920s and attended the Grand Central School of Art. After WW II he returned to the city to attend Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. While there he took a course in letterpress at the American Institute of Graphic Arts. To support himself and his new bride, he obtained a position with the Thistle Press and learned his craft while working on the Frick Art Collection Catalog. He graduated from Cooper Union and in 1955 he returned home and founded The Ashantilly Press. Bill’s handset book designs won many awards from the prestigious Southern Books Competition throughout his lengthy career.
ABOUT ASHANTILLY CENTER
All proceeds from the sale of Fire Dog will be donated to the 501(c)(3) nonprofit Ashantilly Center, Inc. You can find more information about Bill Haynes, Jr., and the Ashantilly Center in Darien, Georgia, by visiting the About Ashantilly page.
Individuals or groups can arrange a tour of both the house and print shop by calling (912) 437-4473.
Phone: (912) 437-4473
“This delightful story will warm your hearts with its tenderness. It also offers a depth of kindness and acceptance. The lovely, fanciful artwork by Bill Haynes enhances Kristin S. Everson’s lyrical prose.”
— Pamela Bauer Mueller, author of “Splendid Isolation”
“Great book to read to children. Gives an opportunity to share and discuss bygone days and way of life. Recommended for young readers.”
— Cecilia S.
“Fire Dog is an adorable story with a very sweet ending. This easy-to-read book has unique and very expressive illustrations that make you smile as you follow the puppy in the story through his journey to find his true name.”
— Cassie M.
“Fire Dog follows the perfect picture book plot—an introduction to a relatable character (a cute little puppy) who has a problem (no name), with several attempts at an answer defeated, building tension, and then a heartwarming solution!”
— Becky P.