Dorothy Hearst and Pam Berkman | The Children’s Book Review
Get to know Filigree from Dorothy Hearst and Pam Berkman’s Filigree’s Midnight Ride, an early chapter book inspired by important events and told through the eyes, ears, and noses of dogs.
The Children’s Book Review: What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Filigree: Three things! One is helping the other patriot dogs fight for freedom against the Redcoats. Another is spending time with Frances Revere and helping her sneak out of the house. Her family thinks she’s too sick and weak to play, so I help her get strong. Third, making sure that Anvil, Mr. Revere’s cat, doesn’t steal my spot on the bed.
I see you have a bag with you. Will you tell us what you keep inside of it?
Ummm, well. I was inside the bag. Most dogs wouldn’t be small enough, but I was. I hid inside Mr. Revere’s saddle bag so I could protect him on his ride. But if I had a bag of my own, I would have snacks inside.
Are you hungry right now? Can we fix you anything to eat? Maybe we could make you your favorite dish?
I’m always hungry. My two favorites are sausages with cornbread and shortbread. But I’m happy to eat anything you have for me. Do you have anything for me? Do you have food? What’s in your pocket? Is it a treat? I like treats.
I like sausages a lot, too. I’ll cook us some when we’re done with our chat. Do you like to read?
I like to sit next to Frances and have her read to me. She reads from Charles Perrault’s fairy tales, but also from Mr. Franklin’s “Poor Richard’s Almanack.”
Do you have a favorite song?
Free America. Dr. Warren wrote it to encourage people to fight for freedom during the revolution. He’s Frances’ doctor, but he’s also a leader of the patriots. That’s a secret, though, so don’t tell anyone.
Are you a rule follower or rule breaker?
I like to follow rules, but there are times when I can’t. Sometimes you have to break rules that are unjust or unfair. Like the British making us pay taxes without letting us decide how we want to be ruled. But I would never break rules of friendship and I would never break a promise.
When was the last time you felt embarrassed?
It was awful! I was trying to help Jove—he’s Mr. Adams’ dog and he’s the leader of the patriot dogs. He’s really big. Anyway, I was trying to protect him from a British soldier who was going to bash him in the head, so I ran and tried to jump between Jove and the soldier, but I hit Jove in the face instead. He said—in front of all the other dogs—that I was useless. It was the second-worst day of my life.
If you weren’t answering the questions in this interview right now, what would you be doing?
Playing with Frances, and helping Jove make sure that there aren’t any Redcoat spies around.
Do you have any secrets you would like to share with us before you go?
I pretend I don’t like Anvil, Mr. Revere’s cat. But I secretly admire her because she’s smart and brave. I just wish she’d stop stealing my spot on Frances’ bed.
Written by Dorothy Hearst and Pam Berkman
Illustrated by Claire Powell
Publisher’s Synopsis: Join Filigree, a five-pound Pomeranian, as he stows away on Paul Revere’s midnight ride in this first book of the At the Heels of History series, inspired by important events and told through the eyes, ears, and noses of dogs.
Filigree may be a small puff of a Pomeranian but he has a big, brave heart. As the Revere family dog, he’s ready to do his part to help the American colonists stand up to the British soldiers. But the other dogs, like Jove, Sam Adams’s Newfoundland, and even the Revere cat, Anvil, think Filigree is a joke. The Reveres’ daughter Frances is the only one who believes in him.
When Frances’s father, Paul Revere, leaves home on a secret mission, Filigree and Frances know they have to help, no matter how dangerous it might be. Will a pint-sized pup just be in the way, or can Filigree prove that even a very small dog can fight for freedom?
Check out the fun facts about dogs, activities, and more on the At the Heels of History website.
Ages 6-9 | Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books | August 27, 2019 | ISBN-13: 978-1534433335
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About the Authors
Pam Berkman has written books for grownups and this is her first book for kids. She loves writing about events in history and thinking about how they connect to things that are happening today. She also works as an editor. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and twin sons. For more information, and to download a free curriculum guide, visit her website, or on Twitter: @PamelaBerkman
Dorothy Hearst is the author of the Wolf Chronicles trilogy; Filigree’s Midnight Ride is her first book for young readers. She loves writing about canine characters, birds, and other creatures who can give us the chance to see ourselves in new ways. She is an acquiring editor, a martial artist, a self-defense instructor-in-training, an avid hiker and reader, and a dog lover. She is not entirely domesticated, but is very food motivated. Learn more and download a free curriculum guide at her website, or on Twitter: @DorothyHearst
About the Illustrator
Claire Powell is an illustrator, writer, and designer who lives and works in London. She has spent several years as a design director in the world of channel rebranding working for clients such as Nickelodeon, BBC Three, CBBC, and BBC One. To learn more, visit her website. Instagram: misspowellposts
For more information about the At the Heels of history series, visit: https://www.simonandschuster.com/series/At-the-Heels-of-History
This interview with Filigree, a character from Filigree’s Midnight Ride (At the Heels of History), was conducted between Dorothy Hearst, Pam Berkman, and Bianca Schulze. For similar books and articles, follow along with our content tagged with Books About Revolutions, Historical Fiction, Illustrated Chapter Books, and Revolutionary War Tales.