THERE ARE MANY children’s books dealing with introducing young children to a new family pet, but not too many about making sure the dog is comfortable with the arrival of a new, human baby sibling. Jessica Whiteman brings this unique perspective to “Humphrey Has a Hunch,” her 2019 board book illustrated by Max Alley.
The Mandeville author’s inspiration came from her and husband Bryan’s family dog, Humphrey, and his extreme curiosity when they brought home a small creature from the hospital. Their son, Noah, arrived home to meet Humphrey as well as the two other family dogs, Hemingway and Hepburn. Humphrey’s comical interest and expressions when investigating the baby brought many laughs and lots of joy which Jessica wanted to share with other families.
With its small size, sturdy design and colorful illustrations, this sweet and funny offering is geared towards reading to young children and encouraging hands-on participation from them. Humphrey follows clues to discover what this strange new creature his parents brought home could possibly be, and in the end, finds a new best friend.
Amazon reviewers unanimously give the book five stars with high praise such as, “Our kids love the story line and the illustrations,” “Incredibly clever,” and “This is our new favorite book that makes our little boy giggle every time.”
Jessica credits Bryan for always encouraging her, Noah and the pups for inspiring the book, and her twin babies (Jack & Owen) for providing sleepless nights which led to the completion of the book. Because all three of her sons were born premature and spent time in the NICU, Jessica is committed to donating books to children’s causes, hospitals and schools.”