Life to the Max made me max-ificent!

August 28th, 2009 by Robin Reynolds

Robin Reynolds is hardly the first woman to write the self-help, feel-good book for adults or children on life’s lessons, but this creative soul chose an unusual route to what appears to be publishing success. She has taken the “traditional” self-help, life lessons concept and written it from the voice of her late pet, Max who has personality to “the max” and keeps you turning pages.

Bypassing clichés, she writes clear and concise messages with one-liners on lessons for all ages along with the story and experience of this lovable dog that could have only been in Robin’s household. She has taken the children’s book genre to a new level by including the “big kids” like you and me. With the reminders we love to remember and the lessons we hold dear, Life to the Max is a journey back in time and you should not miss it.

Originally awarded the “best gift book award” by the AZ Book Publishers Association this past year, this book has transcended that arena and catapulted itself into self-help. By gently taking us on a path only a well-bred, sophisticated pooch like Max could take us, we travel all the way to his most critical lessons in life.

Many books about dogs are sappy, and I like dogs, many books for children are not educational, and I am a demanding teacher. Many books in the self-help genre are insulting and I read about one a month, but this book Robin has written takes all of that to task and shines through a different view — that of a lovable family pet.

Robin has found her niche in children’s books by utilizing the voice of an animal to tell “big kids” and children about life. Her work should be lauded for its fine writing, graceful lessons, good humor, beautiful illustrations, and fun photos and of course the philosophy behind it all.

I commend Robin and Max for doing an outstanding job, along with the other characters she developed to make this a family we would want to know and have as neighbors. I recommend this book to any of you as a gift giving idea for any “big kid” or smaller child on your list — self-help genre is a natural for gift giving.

We are in challenging times and many are seeking quiet and spiritual moments. I was moved to tears while reading this beautiful book and all the issues it addresses and all the lessons it reminded me were possible to revisit and love again.

Thank you, Robin, for rolling the dice and taking a shot at a new type of writing for you, we are all the better for it. We appreciate your courage in telling this very personal and heartfelt story that needed to be out there to be useful to many readers young and “forever young.”

Patricia L. Brooks, 
author, speaker, publishing consultant and associate faculty member of the Arizona State University Morrison School of Business, founder and president of the Scottsdale Society of Women Writers

Life to the Max Pose of the Week: Amber & Robin Reviewing “Beef Casserole for the Dog’s Soul”

August 26th, 2009 by Robin Reynolds

From across the pond comes a very creative book by Scotland author, Peta Love, that you can read to your dog. While Beef Casserole for the Dog’s Soul may seem like just a collection of lighthearted short stories at first glance, in reality, it provides the reader with some important information and some touching life lessons.  For example, in her first story entitled Puppy Dog, the reader learns that puppies like routine and that training is most successful when it doesn’t “last too long.”  In another story, Glam Dog, Love relates the story of Contessa, a prissy show dog who spent all her time being primped and coiffed. After she was caught in the fire and badly burned, however, she became a therapy dog at a local animal hospital where she helps other dogs and their owners cope with their fears.  At the end of each story, Love also provides Dog Jive, a list of words and phrases and what they mean to dogs.  Beef Casserole is a delicious helping of fun for dog lovers of all ages and their furkids are sure to lap it up!  I know mine did!!  Available online from

Life to the Max Pose of the Week: Krissy Hiding

August 19th, 2009 by Robin Reynolds

Our little rescue, Krissy, seems to spend more time upside down than right side up!  Not only that, she also has a tendency to try to burrow her nose under pillows, blankets, chairs, etc. as if that somehow makes her invisible.  Here she is in one of her most blissful poses:

Life to the Max Pose of the Week: Dad & Krissy (Aaaaah-mmmm!)

August 12th, 2009 by Robin Reynolds

Over the weekend, everyone in our household was dog-tired from a hectic week!  Here’s my hubby with Krissy getting in some much needed relaxation!  Aaaaah-mmmmm!

Life to the Max Pose of the Week: Amber at a Photo Shoot

August 5th, 2009 by Robin Reynolds

At NICE Creative, we are involved with a lot of photo shoots for our clients and ourselves.  As art directors, we are meticulous about attending to details that others might deem as unimportant.  But sometimes it is just a tip of the head, the position of appendages or the cast of light and shadow that can make a big difference in a photo.  Of course, some of our subjects are more forbearing than others.  Here’s Amber at one of recent photo shoots in her Life to the Max Pose of the Week: