Roy Firestone, seven-time Emmy and cable ACE Award-winning host, interviewer, narrator, writer and producer has had a legendary career and I expect there’s considerably more to come. (He’d almost have to have a separate room to keep all his awards.) Besides his rich sense of humor, what makes Roy so unique as an interviewer is that he’s a terrific listener, an under appreciated art and he’s genuinely interested in the guest as a person more that his or her accomplishments.

One interview statistic that jumps out at me is that Firestone has hosted more than 5,000 athletes, musicians, actors, political figures, writers and filmmakers. 5,000? It’s remarkable he doesn’t have chronic laryngitis. But, as they say on infomercials, “Wait, there’s more.”

Firestone is a stunningly talented impressionist, singer, hilarious story-teller and over-all entertainer who has performed in Las Vegas and all over the country. (If only he wasn’t so lazy.) Not so secretly, I sense Roy would love to be a Vegas-like cabaret performer full time.

Roy also has written three highly successful books, primarily sports oriented. But now he’s just released his first children’s book about a boy and his dog, that I’m sure kids from 2-7 would love having read to them as a bed time story.

Actually as I read it, I found myself remembering, at age 4. the unmitigated joy on the day my dad drove us to his friend’s house and came out holding our new puppy, part Samoyed, part toy collie, who sat in the backseat between my sister as we petted and kissed him. Thankfully, we were able to love him for 15 wonderful years.

But first let me share the back story of Roy’s book. It might have began with the overwhelmingly tragic death of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gigi and seven others. Roy was the first host in L.A. to have interviewed Kobe who had just turned 18 and the two remained close until that horrible helicopter crash on January 26, 2020. As so many were all over the world, Roy was devastated. And shortly thereafter came Covid and sheltering alone at his Encino home as his two sons were already living on their own.

As so many people did during the pandemic which left them isolated Roy thought about possibly getting a dog, though having gone through the pain of his previous dog’s death, he swore he couldn’t go through that again. Or so he thought.

Roy was feeling so low he gave more thought to adopting a rescue Labrador and discovered a terrific non-profit organization the West Coast Labrador Retriever Rescue that services Southern California. He paid them a visit and the rest is eight months now of pure joy.

Actually the dog Roy gravitated to was 20 pounds overweight and had been twice abandoned. Roy wasn’t entirely sure he could deal with that but it was too late, he had fallen in love. So it came to pass Roy had a new 4-legged best friend he named Kobe after his legendary late friend. (It turns out Roy didn’t rescue canine Kobe as much as Kobe rescued Roy.)

Though Roy is a gifted and prolific writer, he had never thought about writing a children’s book but Kobe, in his own way, inspired him. While the Roy in the book obviously isn’t Roy Firestone, there’s definitely some of Roy’s heart in the story. My guess is if you’ve ever had a dog you loved dearly, as you read this to your children or grandchildren, there might be a little of your heart in this book too.

As the story goes, the boy Roy and Kobe do everything together and have unbridled fun, including walking into the woods. But somehow Kobe disappears and all Roy’s calling and searching is to no avail. But the despair is short-lived as other forest animals help reunite Roy with his beloved dog.

I must make mention that the illustrations in the book are outstanding. The images seem to perfectly reflect the imagination of young children. As it happens, the talented illustrator, Sue Sherman is Roy’s sister. (Begging the obviously rhetorical question, did she have to interview for the job.)

Roy is delighted with the success of the book and the feedback from readers. Mensch that he is, the proceeds from the book are being donated to the West Coast Labrador Retriever Rescue. (Admittedly It’s not often you see the word “mensch” in a book review but in this case it’s deserved.

I have a feeling in the future there might be more adventures of Kobe and a boy named Roy. I also have a feeling if you read this book to your child or grandchild, if the family doesn’t already have a dog, they just might wind up getting one.

To order a copy of “Kobe and a Boy Named Roy” go to Amazon.com or, for a signed copy, go to royfirestone.com. Also please Google “Emmy winning Firestone on how Kobe inspired him to write a children’s book” as revealed in a recent and uplifting KTLA TV interview. Lastly, go to YouTube for a hilarious video by typing “Kobe and a Boy named Roy” and see Kobe the lab jump in the swimming pool to fetch three tennis balls in his mouth at one time.