Linda Ashman

children's book author, mom, wife, writing instructor, animal lover, gardener, vegetarian . . .



"Wagmore Gently is the spotted, long-tailed pet of the Gently family in this original tall tale from Ashman. Bendall-Brunello's exuberant watercolor illustrations bring Wagmore to life, creatively showing Wagmore's wacky tail in action." Kirkus Reviews

"Wagmore the dog has one huge problem -- a tail so long and fluffy that it has a life of its own. Wagmore doesn't mean to wreck things, but his happy, wagging tail can clear a checkerboard, crack a wall, level a pot of zinnias, and sound like an earthquake when it thumps on the floor. Mr. Gently is losing patience, and he warns the dog that he had better control his tail or else. A particularly good choice for children who know a happy dog like Wagmore." Booklist
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From THE TALE OF WAGMORE GENTLY. Illustrations c2002 by John Bendall-Brunello. With permission of Dutton Children's Books.

Author's Note

Meet Wagmore, a happy dog with a powerful tail. Which sometimes makes his family very unhappy.

One wag can wake the deepest sleeper. A mere twitch can wreck a game of checkers. And a few blissful thumps can spoil a fine musical performance.

The story of Wagmore was inspired by our oldest dog, a high-spirited Black Lab/​Australian Shepherd mix. Nicky is forever whacking people, knocking over toys, and clearing coffee tables with her exuberant tail-wagging. Before Jackson became the family alarm clock, she used to wake us up every morning with the joyful thumping of her tail.

One early morning, as I listened groggily to her tail drumming the hardwood floor beside the bed, I thought of Wagmore, a lovable pooch whose joyful nature -- and powerful tail -- frequently got him into trouble.

Teaching Themes: tall tales, struggles with self control, dogs, acceptance, humor, exaggeration.


Brand New
"A go-to source of calm and comfort." PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
In Print
"Altogether delightful." Starred review, KIRKUS
"Excellent advice in a sweet and easy-to-swallow package." KIRKUS
"A memorable first skate by an irresistible imp." Starred review, KIRKUS
"Ashman's concept is both sophisticated and delightful." KIRKUS
"Beautifully crafted and satisfying." Starred Review, BOOKLIST
"Kids will love the colorful paintings while parents will appreciate that it's chock full of facts about the Centennial State." VAIL DAILY
A "lovely reverie on the joys of being alive and being loved." Starred Review, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
"As pithy and clever as Ogden Nash at his best." Starred Review, KIRKUS
"A splendid bedtime fantasy." KIRKUS
Other Titles
"Ashman's poetic portraits are packed with lots of tasty assonance and alliteration." Starred Review, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
"Quirky, sarcastic, and rather educational, too." BOOKLIST
"A 10 on the "aw"-inspiring scale." PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
"A family outing gone hilariously awry." BOOKLIST
"A rip-roaring, exciting excursion." SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
An "enchanting ride." PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
"The clever, rhyming text bounces along with perfect cadence." SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
"A riotous adventure." HORN BOOK MAGAZINE
"Vibrant, playful text . . . excellent for storytimes." SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
"A hilarious look at the world through the sharp eyes and nose of a dog." SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE
"This one's a keeper." SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
"Youngsters will find nothing but comfort in these pages." KIRKUS
"Ashman captures the non-stop action in rollicking rhyme." KIRKUS
A "captivating collaboration." Starred Review, KIRKUS
"A lighthearted look at bad behavior." KIRKUS
Wagmore is "a charming, gentle hero." KIRKUS REVIEWS