Tor & Raven Are Friends

By Katharine Crawford Robey & Tracy Mikowski

There really is a Tor and Raven!

In Tor & Raven Are Friends, Tor, a King shepherd, finds a Petoskey stone on the beach at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. He hopes that the rare stone will bring him a friend. Meanwhile in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, Raven, too, finds a remarkable stone, a heart-shaped rock, right in the middle of the print of a bear paw. That night a great West Wind arises and blows Raven all the way across the country. She lands on Tor’s chimney and falls inside his cabin.

Tor and Raven don’t know what to make of each other. But Raven can’t help but be curious about the big white dog. Tor is kind and loving to Raven in spite of his initial reluctance. The two unlikely friends bond during a summer full of outings, including a visit to Fishtown, hiking, and building a sand castle.

But Raven gets homesick for Alaska and together the friends figure out a way back. Before Raven soars away, the two friends exchange their special stones and Raven promises to return the next summer. The unlikely real-life friendship of Raven and Tor is revealed in the afterword, which includes photos of the raven and shepherd dog playing together along with pictures of the unique stones that inspired this story.

There really is a Tor and Raven!

Tracy Mikowski is the co-author of the story and the owner of the big white dog named Tor. Tor is a King Shepherd who grew up in Leelanau County, Michigan. Later he moved to Haines in southeast Alaska, where he became friends with a raven. After many years Tor came back to northern Michigan and had to leave Raven behind. While walking on the sandy Lake Michigan beach with Tor, Tracy wished that Raven could visit and see how beautiful Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is.

Thus, the story was born.

Tor & Raven Are Friends is the perfect marriage between enchantment and life lessons. As a child psychologist, I found that children are challenged by making friends. This tale presents a road map for them …” 

— Kathryn Den Houter, Ph.D., author ofAbigail’s Exchange, Cobalt Chronicles,
and Prison Shadows

Parents will appreciate the simple, yet elegant text, and the beautiful illustrations of the Lake Michigan shoreline with the cartoon-like additions of dog and raven. As a special bonus, we learn from the afterward that this charming story is based on a real raven-dog friendship. How magical!” 

— Eleanor Blitzer, MD

A gentle and endearing story, Tor & Raven Are Friends strikes all the right notes about friendship … As a pediatrician, I loved this book and highly recommend it.” 

— Ann Beach, MD

I’m very happy to see the friendship between Tor and Raven captured so beautifully in this heartwarming story. We humans can learn a lot from them about love. I hope this is the first of many books about their remarkable adventures.” 

— Heather Lende, Alaska State Writer Laureate 2021–2023

About the Authors

Katharine Crawford Robey is the author of The Sleeping Bear Wakes Up; Where’s the Party?; Hare and the Big Green Lawn; and a short story collection, Cardinal Coat and Other Stories. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia, and Empire, Michigan. Learn More

Tracy Mikowski has loved animals her whole life. Her childhood was spent in and around her family’s wild game park. When Tracy grew up, she became a zookeeper at Clinch Park Zoo in Traverse City, Michigan. Her first two children’s picture books, Squirt the Otter and Fuzzy the Eagle, were based on true stories of animals at the zoo. Tracy lives in Haines, Alaska, and Honor, Michigan.

Zoë Williams is a multidisciplinary artist based in Atlanta, Georgia. She graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2020. Tor & Raven Are Friends is Zoë’s debut book. Learn More