Lone Star Book Blog Tours – I Am Jax Protector of the Ranch By Catherine Stier – Book Review

A Dog’s Day Series, Books 1 and 2
Illustrated by Francesca Rosa
Animals / Adventure / Farm Life / Ranch Life / Chapter Books 
Date of Publication: April 1, 2020
Number of Pages: 96
Scroll down for the giveaway!

Spend a day in the life of a livestock guardian dog! Jax the Great Pyrenees has a big job. After the Texas sun goes down, it’s up to him and two other LGDs to protect their ranch from predators. But when the lead dog gets hurt, Jax and a
young pup are the only ones left to protect the flock through the night. Told from the dog’s perspective, this story also includes back matter about the breed and role of the working dog.

Spend a day in the life of an avalanche rescue dog! Ava is a chocolate Labrador retriever with a big job. She and her handler have trained for years to be ready to help people at their ski resort if an unexpected avalanche hits. But Ava quickly finds out there’s much more to being an avy dog than daring rescues. Told from the dog’s perspective, this riveting story also includes back matter about the breed and the role of the working dog.


I am a city girl. Sheep and ranching are about as foreign to me as the idea of a working dog who loves living outdoors amongst all of its dangers and discomforts.  After all, in the city and in the suburbs these days, nearly all dogs (and cats and bunnies and birds and even reptiles and who know what else) live in air conditioned luxury as someone’s pet. 

So, I was very interested to learn about Jax, Protector of the Ranch. After reading about a day in the life of this Great Pyrenees, I’ve got to say, “Wow! What an amazing dog.”

Jax is big and can easily stand his own against predators like coyotes and mountain lions. He is perceptive and can tell when the rain is coming just by sniffing the air.  He is protective of his herd and he is protective of his humans, too.

Jax’s sharp wit makes him thoughtful.  He remembers words and their
meanings but he doesn’t need a human trainer to become good at his job.  Watching and learning from the other guardian dogs on the ranch has helped him keep his flock safe.

He learned his trade by observing Bev, the oldest dog on the ranch.  She’s
an Anatolian shepherd. The new kid, Stormy, is a guardian-pup-in-training.  That little Great Pyrenees still has a lot to learn and Jax is happy to be her mentor.

A guardian dog’s work day begins as the sun starts to go down. That is when sheep most need a defender.  There’s a full moon on this night.  Jax knows that strange things seem to happen when the moon is full.  That’s when more
predators come out.  It’s when animals act up in unexpected ways. There are plenty of uncertainties for the sheep this night.

The author takes readers on an exciting and sometimes, gripping adventure that lasts throughout a very long and scary night.  You can feel the tension
build as Jax and the other protectors of the ranch do their best to guard their
sheep from hungry wild animals. With every turn of the page, you will be
wondering and hoping that when the morning finally comes, everyone will still be
safe and accounted for. 

Ms. Stier really makes you feel like you are inside Jax’s head.  My favorite insight into his thought process is when he’s telling us, “Now, I know Colton thinks I got a tough break having to work outside all night. But tonight I look around and see what Sweep and other dogs that stay inside at night are missing.  There are more stars in the sky than there are wildflowers in a Texas field.”

Sweep, by the way is a Border Collie.  She’s a herding dog and her job is moving the sheep from one side of the ranch to another.  She gets to sleep in a soft doggy bed in the ranch house with Gail, the ranch owner, and her grandson, Colton.

You don’t have to feel sorry for Jax’s lack of air-conditioned luxury.  He is right where he wants to be, out amongst his sheep where he will do whatever it takes to keep them all from harm.

This is a very quick read and kids who love dogs are absolutely going to devour this very informative chapter book.  Each chapter features several black and white illustrations, by Francesca Rosa, that are reminiscent of those by Marguerite Kirmse, who illustrated Eric Knight’s “Lassie Come Home.”  They also remind me of those in “The Adventures of Scamp” by Mary Pollack. Unfortunately the illustrator is unknown for that book.

Get “I Am Jax, Protector of the Ranch” for your early reader today. They will love you for it.

Catherine Stier, a former Midwesterner, now lives deep in the heart of Southwest Texas, on the edge of the beautiful Hill Country. Her children’s books have received honors and awards from the Society of School Librarians International, the International Reading Association, and the Bank Street College of Education.

Stier has served as a frequent contributor to Woman’s Day Magazine and as a newspaper columnist. Her work has also appeared in Highlights for Children, My Friend, Child Life, and several newspapers, including the Chicago Sun-Times and the San Antonio Express-News.

Stier’s lively and interactive Author’s Visit programs have entertained, educated, and inspired thousands of children. Visit Catherine Stier’s website at www.catherinestier.com for more information, activities, and free curriculum guides.



ONE WINNER: Hardcover copy of I Am Jax, Protector of the Ranch (Book 1), hardcover copy of I Am Ava, Seeker in the Snow (Book 2), $15 gift card to The Twig Book Shop, stuffed animal – adorable “Ava” Lab dog toy, dog stickers, dog socks.  
September 17-27, 2020 
or visit the blogs directly:

Review Jax
Character Interview
Review Ava + BONUS Jax Review
Jax Scrapbook
Ava Scrapbook
Review Jax
Review Ava
Sneak Peek Jax
Review Jax
Review Ava
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