Our Story

The Max and Annie project began in 1999 with the publication of  Annie Loses Her Leg But Finds Her Way and Max's Wild Goose Chase. Annie's book was based on the true story of Annie and a struggle with cancer that took her front leg. This book marked the beginning of an amazing journey, not only for Annie and Max, but for author, Sandra Philipson.


Annie's book and the real Annie became an Max_Annie_Color.jpginspiration for many who had cancer or lost a limb, either to cancer or in the conflict in Iraq. Annie corresponded with children who were suffering from cancer, and in 2000, along with Max, became a registered therapy dog with Therapy Dog International. Annie's last public appearance was in 2005 when she was invited to Walter Reed Army Hospital's Fisher House to meet with some of our wounded veterans and their families. Her book is used to comfort and encourage children of veterans who have suffered amputation in the war in Iraq and is used in the curriculum of the educational program, Military Child. 

The Max and Annie project has always had the mission of soliciting children's ideas and feedback in what is published for them. Our company, Chagrin River Publishing Company, seeks ideas and information from children, teachers, media specialists, principals and other educational professionals in the the development of all our books and programs. The book, Max's Rules, is an example of a book that was developed in collaboration with 56 schools and contains pages of ancillary materials that teachers wanted: a song, writing prompts, vocabulary and rhyming fun, biographies of the dogs and plenty of pictures. Forever Home and Ollie's Monsters And Other Stories were also written with the classroom in mind, always including writing opportunities and vocabulary building at the end of the stories. Over the years, we have published seven books and one literacy workbook. 

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A big part of the Max and Annie project is the promotion of literacy, especially through school visits. The dogs and Sandy have been privileged to visit over 450 schools, encouraging children to read and write their own stories. Mrs. Philipson has worked with thirteen schools to produce literary magazines of their students' writings.
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Chagrin River Publishing also is committed to giving back tothecommunity,using the arts asa spring board. Since 2008, the dogs and the author have run a creative writing group for children in the Chronic Pain andRehabilitation programs at the Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital for Rehabilitation. Each year Mrs. Philipson produces a book of the collected work of the young writers, entitled Writing Through (Volumes I-III ) with the support of a grant from The Arts and Medicine Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. 



Although Max (1997-2008), Annie (1990-2005), and Trini (d. 2011) are gone, their spirits live on in their stories, Annie Loses Her Leg But Finds Her Way, Max's Wild Goose Chase, The Artist, Max and Annie's Mysterious Campfire, Max's Rules and Forever Home.

We also lost our beloved first illustrator, Robert Takatch, in 2003. Bob made the dogs come alive with his playful illustrations in our first four books. Our project still honors Bob and the dogs' contributions to our body of work and their considerable talents in helping us "find our way" in the wonderful world of children's literature and illustrating.

Since 2003, we have continued our work with illustrator and professional cartoonist, Jenny Campbell. With the help of Jenny and the current dogs, Tak and Ollie, we continue to seek to produce work sensitive to the voices of the children and the adults who nurture them.

Thank you to the thousands of children, parents, and educators who have purchased our books and continue to support our mission and work. We will always strive to write and draw to the highest standards and to support what is funny, educational, humane, and inspiring in childhood.

The dogs we are traveling with these days are Tak and Ollie. They will be seen a numerous schools, libraries, and public events as well as doing therapy at the Cleveland Clinic.

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Just for fun, see how our business cards have changed over the years!

Max and Annie 1999-2003 Bus_Card1.jpg
Max, Annie and Tak 2003-2005 Bus_Card2-1.jpg
Max, Tak and Trini 2005-2008 Bus_Card3.jpg
Tak, Trini and Ollie 2008-2011 Bus_Card4.jpg