#893 – Nipper of Drayton Hall by Amey Lewis and Gerry McElroy

This month may be National Adopt a Cat Month, but today is for the dogs: 18th annual Take Your Dog to Work Day (scroll for  pictures). This is an easy task, as I work at home. I have a chihuahua, and anyone who as ever had their life run by one of these little dogs knows, they run you.

Nipper was not a chihuahua, but today he calls the shots as narrator of his title book, Nipper of Drayton Hall.

Nipper of Drayton Hall
Written by Amey Lewis
Illustrated by Gerry McElroy
University of South Carolina Press/Young Palmetto Books
24 pages    Ages 5—8

“Nipper of Drayton Hall is the just-about-true story of real-life characters who loved a grand old house and the natural beauty of its surroundings on the Ashley River of Charleston, South Carolina. Join Nipper, an energetic little dog, and his beloved Charlotta Drayton as they travel from Charleston’s Battery to historic Drayton Hall and spend a spring day in 1916. At Drayton Hall, Nipper plays with his friend, eight-year-old Richmond Bowens. Both Charlotta and Richmond have family ties to Drayton Hal going back many generations, and both do their parts to presence the history and spirit of their families’ houses.” [inside jacket]

Each April, Nipper and Charlotta spend six weeks at Charlotta’s family home, called Drayton Hall. With black ears, one black encircled eye, and a black tipped tail, Nipper is Charlotta’s loyal companion. After a long ride through South Carolina, the pair arrives. Awaiting is eight-year-old Richmond. Richmond calls Nipper “Little Business Man” because Nipper checks on everyone. Together, Nipper and Richmond play ball and take long runs.

nipperofbookNipper narrates the tour of Drayton Hall, Charlotta’s family home since 1798. First is the Great Hall, where most guests meet. Climbing up the stairs, Nipper arrives at the Upper Great Hall where parties take place. Above the fireplace is the family coat of arms. Its motto: “this way to the stars!” Nipper continues exploring Drayton Hall, adding in historic bits about the home, and playing with Richmond, as he narrates this annual trip.

Drayton Hall, located on the banks of Ashley River outside of Charleston, South Carolina, is the oldest preserved plantation house in America open to the public. While the story of Nipper of Drayton Hall is partially contrived, its characters are not. Nipper (1914—1929), was Charlotta’s (1884—1969), real dog, now buried on the grounds of Drayton Hall. Richmond 1908—2998), was the African-American boy who lived on the grounds. Nipper of Drayton Hall hopes to acquaint children and adults with this grand old house through the eyes of one energetic dog. Nipper explores the plantation grounds in addition to the house.

nipper and icon red ballHistorians will love Nipper of Drayton Hall and its gorgeous illustrations. Children looking for an unusual angle for a report may find Nipper quite helpful. The narration feels more like that of a chapter book, but it works well with the beautiful watercolor illustrations. As a regional book, Nipper of Drayton Hall should do well in its state of origin.

For those interested in beautifully illustrated picture books, historical-fiction, or simply looking for something unusual, Nipper of Drayton Hall is the picture book to treasure. After reading Nipper’s tale, you may just want to visit the real plantation.

drayton hall

Drayton Hall

Backmatter includes information on each character, a glossary, and a timeline of Drayton Hall.
NIPPER OF DRAYTON HALL. Text copyright © 2016 by Amey Lewis. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Gerry McElroy. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, University of South Carolina Press/Young Palmetto Books, Columbia, SC.

AmazonBook DepositoryIndie BooksApple BooksUniversity of South Carolina Press

Find Nipper of Drayton Hall on Goodreads HERE.
Visit Drayton Hall:  http://www.draytonhall.org/          @draytonhall

Amey Lewis:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/amey-lewis-15aa729
Follow on Twitter

Gerry McElroy:  http://www.pastelbridalportraits.com/
Follow on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/gerry.mcelroy.161

University of South Carolina Press:  https://www.sc.edu/
Follow on Twitter          @USCPress

Reprinted with permission from NIPPER OF DRAYTON HALL © 2015 by Amey Lewis, University of South Carolina Press & Young Palmetto Books, Illustrations © 2015 by Gerry McElroy.
Copyright © 2016 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

Full Disclosure: Nipper of Drayton Hall by Amey Lewis & Gerry McElroy, and received from Gerry McElroy University of South Carolina Press/Young Palmetto Books, is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Nipper of Drayton Hall
Written by Amey Lewis
Illustrated by Gerry McElroy
University of South Carolina Press/Young Palmetto Books


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Take Your Dog to Work Day
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6 thoughts on “#893 – Nipper of Drayton Hall by Amey Lewis and Gerry McElroy

  1. Nice way to introduce history to kiddos by way of a cute little dog. For some reason I thought Molly was a bigger dog, not a chihuahua. Or is this a different dog? No wonder you didn’t have any problems with the cats, they are both larger in size. Maybe not in spirit? She rules the house? Be the alpha of your pack, Sue. Haha! Great review, as always.


    • Molly is a bigger dog. She went to a fabulous new home. I now have a little chihuahua which the cats tower over. My girl hates dogs and Molly would get clipped with her claws for no reason, so we found her a great home. She’s happy; sleeping in a bed; going everywhere her new pet-parent goes. (Worst part of dog rescue is adopting out the dogs.) Now that my girl is bigger than the dog, she puts up with him and doesn’t feel the need to slap him. His name is Jonathan and he thinks he is a great dane. I’ve learned to be alpha, but a spoiling one.


    • Your mom might disagree about having it easy, work is work no matter where it is done. But I agree, having your dog with you while you work is fun. A quick nuzzle can recharge the batteries. Being a history nut (you still are, right?) you would love this book.


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