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Emerson's Pooch Problems 

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As kids know all too well, sometimes it's hard to be quiet. That's the dilemma facing the pup protagonist in Charlotte resident Liza Woodruff's picture book, Emerson Barks, released on August 16. When Emerson's enthusiastic barking scares the neighbors, his owner, Eva, bans his yapping altogether. It's a hard order to obey, and ultimately the cute gray pup doesn't have to — he's able to use his high-volume vocalizations in a helpful way. Woodruff, who has been illustrating children's books for 18 years, was inspired to finally write a story about the real Emerson, a small terrier mutt her family adopted from All Breed Rescue in Williston seven years ago. "Emerson really does bark all the time," Woodruff wrote in an email. "I wondered what would happen if he held in his barks. Would he blow up like a big balloon and explode, or could he turn his barking into something positive?"

Emerson Barks, Henry Holt/Christy Ottaviano Books, $16.99. Ages 4-8. Liza Woodruff will be reading her new picture book on Saturday, September 10, at 10:30 a.m. at the Vermont Book Shop in Middlebury.

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