Ruby’s Camping Adventure

19 October 2022

Ruby’s Camping Adventure
by B. A. Tomka
Published by Shiba Books
Review by Michelle Shaw
ISBN 9781778147500. $14.99

Ruby’s Camping Adventure is a gorgeously illustrated adventure story with a great message for children of all ages. Mother-daughter writing team, Bonnie and Anna Tomka, who live in Northern Saskatchewan, have written a fun story featuring their Shiba Inu dog named Ruby (a Shibu Inu is a breed of hunting dog from Japan.)

I always love reading books set in Saskatchewan. They are invariably filled with pictures, words and situations that Saskatchewan children can relate to. And this book is full of them.

The story revolves around Ruby and her owner (and best friend) Anna who decide to go on a camping adventure. We are told very early on that this isn’t your ordinary story about a cute, cuddly puppy. “Sure, she’s cute and cuddly. But she’s also trouble.”

The friends are looking forward to roasting marshmallows and singing camping songs but when Ruby chases a rabbit into the forest, things start going awry. Ruby is so intent on catching the rabbit that before she knows it, she’s lost. It begins getting dark and the northern lights start dancing across the sky.

Ruby is starting to feel rather sad and scared when she meets a bear. But he’s very unfriendly and tells her to scram because he doesn’t want foxes around (Shibu Inus do look quite a lot like foxes). Ruby tries to protest that she’s not a fox, but he doesn’t believe her. She soon meets other animals too, like a beaver and a moose, and they all think she’s a scary fox. Ruby begins to realise that arguing doesn’t help because the animals just see what they want to see. She finally meets a wise owl who sees her clearly and helps her find her way back to Anna.

This 32-page soft-covered book is made up of brightly illustrated pages with the most beautifully rich colours. The type is large and clear and there is also a lot of white space on the pages, so you never feel overwhelmed with images and words.

The illustrations beautifully reflect the story and artist Natia Gogiashvili, who lives in Georgia with her family, has done a wonderful job.

This is the first book in the Shiba of the North book series so it looks like we can expect lots more of Ruby and Anna’s adventures. Visit for more information.


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