Born in Morse, Saskatchewan, Canada. Education: University of Regina, B.F.A. (film and video); Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology, diploma (library and information technology). Hobbies and other interests: Reading, enjoying the outdoors.
Home—Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 195 Allstate Pkwy, Markham, Ontario L3R 4T8, Canada. E-mail—[email protected]
Writer and library technician. Wapiti Regional Library, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada, catalogue technician; formerly worked as a computer graphics artist; CKTV, Regina, Saskatchewan, former producer of program CK's Club for Kids.
The Prairie Dogs, illustrated by Philippe Beha, Fitzhenry & Whiteside (Markham, Ontario, Canada), 2005.
When Canadian-born author Glenda Goertzen wrote her first novel in the ninth grade, one of her life goals became clear: to become a published author. While her career has involved her in a variety of multi-media positions, including as a computer graphic artist, her eventual career switch from television to libraries rekindled her old interest. After reworking an old manuscript, Goertzen located a publisher, and when The Prairie Dogs appeared on bookstore shelves in 2005 it represented a dream come true for its author.
Reflecting Goertzen's interest in nature, The Prairie Dogs introduces readers to a miniature poodle named Pierre, a prized agility dog. Pierre's owners hope he will win the title of Agility Master due to his exceptional jumping ability, but fate has other thing in store.
When the mobile home door is left open during a return trip from a dog show, the opportunistic pup makes his break for freedom and suddenly finds that freedom has its down side. Fortunately, the poodle joins up with a gang of stray dogs known as the Prairie Dogs: Mouse the Chihuahua, Dare the terrier, and Mew the puppy. Pierre soon finds a way to help his new friends when the rival Bull Dogs pose a threat, but also begins to miss the pampered life of a kennel dog.
"Pierre and his Prairie Dog friends are caring, supportive and protective of each other, yet their story does not escape the harsh reality of independent existence," commented Resource Links reviewer Carolyn Cutt in praise of The Prairie Dogs. As Cutt continued, Goertzen provides readers with "an entertaining story, especially for animal lovers," while Sharon R. Pearce wrote in School Library Journal that "the book has some funny moments and plenty of dog puns." In Canadian Review of Materials, Deborah Mervold wrote that, in addition to humor, suspense, a quick moving plot, and Goertzen's ability to intertwine "many different themes" within her story, the story features a "delightful" ending.
Biographical and Critical Sources
Canadian Children's Book News, winter, 2006, Ellen Donogh, review of The Prairie Dogs, p. 7.
Quill & Quire, May, 2005, Carol L. MacKay, review of The Prairie Dogs.
Resource Links, April, 2005, Carolyn Cutt, review of The Prairie Dogs, p. 9.
School Library Journal, August, 2005, Sharon R. Pearce, review of The Prairie Dogs, p. 94.
Canadian Review of Materials Online, http://www.umanitoba.ca/ (June 6, 2006), Deborah Mervold, review of The Prairie Dogs.
Glenda Goertzen Home Page, http://www.glendagoertzen.ca (June 6, 2006).