News & Reviews

Review of A Butterfly in Paris by Suzy Davies, Children's Author & Poet

“Esmee, a butterfly from Saint Denis Les Chevreuse, France, ventures one day to a local train station and flutters onboard a train. When the doors close, she is trapped. She tries to alight from the moving train, but the perpetual movement, rare stopping points, and jostling of passengers makes it impossible. However, in this travelers' tale of adventure, the unexpected happens.

The world-building in this book is superb, and it comes from the author spending six months in Paris to research the factual background to the story.

As I read, I felt a deep, atmospheric sense of place. There was a great feeling of "point of view" throughout,

and the idea that a city is interpreted through the unique vision of the eyes of the beholder. The beautifully descriptive detail in the writing is painterly, and use of simile and metaphor, stunning.

The action in the book seems immediate, exciting and in the present. Magical guides and helpers - almost by chance - help make destinies, not least one very significant bee, who understands life in perpetual motion, the river that always takes us home...

There are many grand themes in this book that are explored very well. For instance, loyalty and trust; friendship and forgiveness; gentleness and violence, empathy, compassion and healing; teamwork, communication and cooperation; confinement and freedom; agency and constraint; losing and finding; city and countryside; movement and stillness; life and death.

Filled with flawed yet likable anthropomorphic characters, this book is subtle and nuanced. It is suitable for older children, say from 11 years old, but with a subtext that will appeal to adult readers.

The ending of the story is… satisfying - all the better to let in readers' imaginations. Our journey continues, beyond the book itself, like a mythical river that always leads us home ...

At the end of the book, there are some black and white illustrations and a useful Glossary that helps with the French language in the book. This is mostly explained as you read.

I highly recommend this immersive, heartwarming book."
– Suzy Davies, Children's Author & Poet

Read the full review on

Rome Sentinel
Rome, New York

Author to visit VVS schools

VERONA — Vernon-Verona-Sherrill school district alumnus Matt Pelicano, the author of three children’s books, will be visiting VVS schools and the community on Monday and Tuesday, the district announced.

Students and community members will have a chance to meet Pelicano, hear his stories, and learn about the writing process, the district noted.

On Monday, Pelicano will visit English Language Arts classrooms in the high school, working with students on the writing process and reading excerpts from his books. Among his books are Tabouli, the story of a heart-driven diabetes alert dog; With Just an Empty Shoebox; and Philbert Larue had a Hole in his Shoe.

Also Monday at 6 p.m., the Sherrill-Kenwood Library at 543 Sherrill Road will host Pelicano for a book signing.

On Tuesday, Pelicano will visit all three VVS elementary buildings to read his books to students.

Students and faculty are excited to host Pelicano and welcome him back to the area, the VVS district added.

Oneida Daily Dispatch
Oneida, New York

Matt Pelicano, author of service dog book, to give talk at OPL

Oneida, N.Y. — Matt Pelicano, the author of the recently published non-fiction book for young adults, “Tabouli: The Story of Heart-Driven Diabetes Alert Dog,” will talk about his book and the work of service dogs in company with a service dog in training at Oneida Public Library on Tuesday, Oct. 22, at 6 p.m.

“Tabouli,” with illustrations by Cecile Brissard, tells the story of a real-life diabetes alert dog who lives with his owner, 13-year old Elizabeth Vaughan, in Greenville, South Carolina. Cruelly abandoned as a puppy, Tabouli finds a home with Elizabeth’s family and learns through his devotion to overcome many obstacles to become a certified service dog.

Camperdown Academy
Greenville, SC

I had such a great time speaking with ALL of the students from 1st to 8th grade at Camperdown Academy in Greenville, SC. We talked about overcoming obstacles and finding a love of reading! What a great group of students (and teachers!). Thank you all!
Watch the Video


WSPA News Channel 7
Your Carolina Interview

Thank you very much to Megan Heidlberg and WSPA News Channel 7 in Greenville/Spartanburg, SC for speaking with Elizabeth and Matt (and Tabouli!) about Tabouli: The Story of a Heart-Driven Diabetes Alert Dog on the Your Carolina show.

We had so much fun and thoroughly enjoyed our LIVE TV broadcast! Thank you!
Watch the Broadcast

WKCRA News Channel 3 (NBC)
Sacramento, CA

Thank you to WKCRA3 in Sacramento, CA for picking up the story of Tabouli.
Watch the Broadcast

CNBC News Channel 5 (NBC)
Burlington, VT

Thank you to CNBC5 in Burlington, VT for picking up the story of Tabouli.
Watch the Broadcast

WCVB News Channel 5 (ABC)
Boston, MA

Thank you to WCVB in Boston, MA for picking up the story of Tabouli.
Watch the Broadcast

MSN (Microsoft News Network)

Thank you to MSN for picking up the story of Tabouli.
Watch the Broadcast

WYFF News Channel 4 Interview

Thank you very much to Carol Clarke and WYFF News Channel 4 in Greenville, SC for speaking with Elizabeth and Matt (and Tabouli!) about Tabouli: The Story of a Heart-Driven Diabetes Alert Dog.

We couldn't be happier with the generous and wonderful coverage we received! Thank you!
Watch the Broadcast

Radio Podcast

Thank you Mr. Divabetic for covering the story of Tabouli and taking time to speak with us on air!

"We’re talking to the owner of the World’s Most Famous Diabetes Alert Dog, Tabouli Gallagher, Elizabeth Gallagher on August’s Diabetes Late Nite podcast with musical inspiration from Phyllis Hyman scheduled for August 13, 2019, 6 PM, EST. TUNE IN

"Diabetic Alert Dogs are trained to alert their owners in advance of low (hypoglycemia) or high (hyperglycemia) blood sugar levels before they become dangerous.

"Tune in to find out how this service dog not only helps Elizabeth who is living with type 1 diabetes, happy and healthy but also inspired a series of children’s books, “Tabouli: The Story of a Heart-Driven Diabetes Alert Dog” by Matt Pelicano..."
Read More

Tabouli's Television Debut

Tabouli appeared in a television commercial for Vic Bailey Subaru in Spartanburg, SC.
Watch the Commercial

The Greenville Journal

Local author’s ‘Tabouli’ tells adventures of real-life diabetes alert dog
by Melody Wright, August 6, 2019

Local author Matt Pelicano’s new book shares the adventures of a real-life diabetes alert dog named Tabouli and his 13-year-old owner, Elizabeth. “Tabouli: The Story of a Heart-Driven Diabetes Alert Dog” will release on Aug. 15.

“The main focus of the book is the relationship between Elizabeth and the dog,” Pelicano says. “It shows the benefits of a medical alert dog but also the benefits of the love between the two of them.”

Tabouli’s life was not easy before he found Elizabeth. Tied in a trash bag and thrown from a car, then later found by a family who couldn’t afford to keep him, Tabouli knew only abandonment.
Read the Full Story

“Matt has so perfectly captured the joys, tribulations, and lessons this team experienced in a wonderful children’s story. You will cheer for Tabouli, cry with him, and want to hug him for being such a remarkable dog; giving unselfishly, not just once for his owner, but over and over again.”

-Debby Kay
World-Renown Dog Trainer
Owner of Chilbrook Kennels, Harpers Ferry, WV

Book Review

Nanine Simmons D’Aquin

“Tabouli is a great book! I enjoyed reading it and I feel it truly captures the essence of the little red dog. It is a warm and loving story of family bonds and determination to fight and win even when the odds are stacked high against Tabouli and his young owner.

We are delighted, saddened and educated by this amazing tale!

A 5 star rating!”

Book Review

Pixie Geren

“In reading Matt Pelicano’s book, Tabouli, the picture he paints with words echo’s atmosphere, rhythm and emotion.  He brings to life the mind of a dog and the minds of the people who surround him.  Not only is this a fabulous read for any age, it also sends a message about the true worth and meaning of a service dog, which many people don’t understand. 

This book highlights the trust, empathy, and wisdom at work between Tabouli and Elizabeth, with great focus on loyalty and mutual respect. 

Congratulations, Matt on a job well done!”

Book Review

Susan Manchester, poet and artist
Visit Susan's Website

“Today is a very good day -- for I have just finished reading Matt Pelicano's latest book TABOULI. If you love dogs you must read this book; if you love your family you must read this book; if you have ever lost someone you must read this book -- and finally; if you believe in the resiliency of the human spirit you must read this book! 

In an attempt to bring awareness to those in need of Alert dogs Pelicano has achieved that and much more. The unwavering trust based on love between dog and human is indisputable and this is proven again in this story but beyond that TABOULI demonstrates the exquisite beauty of family love that carries us through grief, disappointment, and fear. I was moved to tears of both joy and sadness as the Vaughan family deals with the challenges that any one of us might face. 

Matt Pelicano has written a truly beautiful book. It is a book that might be described as a story about the best parts of the human condition. The Vaughan family reacts to their new puppy this way: "It was as if they'd found something precious, without even knowing they'd been searching." My thoughts exactly about this book!”

Philbert LaRue had a Hole in his Shoe by Matt Pelicano begins with Philbert deciding to ignore the hole in his shoe. As the hole gets larger and larger, Philbert plugs it with his shirt, his cap and his belt, even the pot his plants were in. Nothing works. Had he fixed his shoe properly when he discovered the problem, Philbert would have been fine. But the hole gets larger, and Philbert finds himself in a terrible situation.

Pelicano uses Seuss-like rhymes to create a delightful children's book with a message even little ones can learn: Take care of your problems when they are still small. My nieces and grandchildren laughed, finished the rhymes, and wanted me to read it again.

You will find Pelicano's book a delight---and you'll agree with Philbert: "If I'd properly fixed it/when first it was small/I would sooner have found/ I'd no problem at all."

Linda Kelly
Author of Mice on Main

The Sherrill-Kenwood Library

I'm proud to know that "Philbert LaRue had a Hole in his Shoe" now rests on the shelves of several school libraries in SC.

Knowing, however, that it is part of the New York State Library System (Mid-York Library System) and sits on a shelf in the Sherrill-Kenwood Library, where I grew up and made so many wonderful memories, well... that's pretty gratifying.

Thank you, Sherrill-Kenwood Library!

The Greenville Journal

Local children’s author, student illustrator bring clumsy character to life
by Melody Wright, Sept 13, 2018 | Photo by Will Crooks

Philbert LaRue’s journey begins with a hole in his shoe but by the last page ends with a valuable lesson.

The clumsy 65-year-old man is trapped in a comedy of errors.

“He’s kind of an ‘aw, shucks’ type character,” Greenville children’s author Matt Pelicano says. “Bad things are happening to him, and he never really figures out why.”

The recently released picture book “Philbert LaRue Had a Hole in His Shoe” is written in a Dr. Seuss rhyming style.

“Rhyming is fun because you can do things with a rhyme that are more clever and more surprising than you would with prose,” Pelicano says.

The fun-to-read book also teaches a moral...

Book Review

Deb Richardson-Moore Visit Deb's Website

"A delightful and hilarious book about the dangers of taking shortcuts in life. I don't know what I loved more -- Matt Pelicano's Seuss-like rhymes or Ashley Spikings' perpetually surprised sun.

"Philbert LaRue is a fun and funny character!"

Deb Richardson-Moore
Author of The Weight of Mercy and the Branigan Powers mystery series

Book Review

Susan Manchester, poet and artist
Visit Susan's Website

“What a delight to read Matt Pelicano’s wonderful children’s story, “Philbert LaRue had a Hole in his Shoe.” It is a story with a playful rhyme and an engaging rhythm. I started to giggle as soon as I read the title and never really stopped until I reached the end.

Pelicano’s point is made perfectly clear: that when we put off fixing a small glitch it can turn into a big problem.

This story is a marvelously fresh approach to learning a very important lesson. Philbert LaRue does indeed rue the day he decides not to fix the hole in his shoe! A must read for adults and children alike.”

Book Review

Rod McClendon
Writer, Actor, Comic

"I wondered why I was chosen to review this children’s book. Then I remembered the pair of shoes (one with a hole) that have been riding around in the backseat of my car for months now. LaRue’s plight literally touched my sole.

"Matt Pelicano authors this delightful tale, echoing Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein in his playful use of verse. Lines like, “He sat there just shivering in the cold autumn air; with his shirt in his shoe and the rain in his hair; with his hat on his toes and his saggy old pants; and a pot on his foot, from his favorite plants” will enthrall small listeners.

"How does Philbert get into these predicaments? Children may not understand the phrase, “A stitch in time saves nine,” but they will be able to anticipate disaster for Philbert with each new crazy method he employs. His hilarious mishaps will hopefully help them learn to search for more sensible solutions.

"Illustrator Ashley Spikings cleverly includes an observant sun, a companion cat, and other concerned creatures, keeping children engaged on every page. This is a great read-a-loud for youngsters who like to laugh and adults who love the sounds of children’s laughter."