Emma the Eager Emu

A Land of Sweeping Plains and Flooding Rains (Part 1)

These last couple of weeks I have been concentrating on writing my short story for the Creative Kids Tales Anthology due to be released in time for Christmas this year. The story is about a young selfish boy who through rallying his small country community together in order to save a pod of whales, comes to realise the importance of helping others. My inspiration for this story came from the wonders of whale watching along our amazing coastline during our drive across Australia last year. In December 2015 my husband and I drove the incredible dry hot outback from Darwin to Canberra, of which I wrote about in my blog "We Drove a Sunburnt Country, " parts 1, 2 and 3.




Last September- October 2016, we drove across from Canberra to Perth and back. It was a dream come true, to drive across the Nullabor had been on my "bucket-list" for years. This at last, is my story of that amazing journey. To continue my quote from Dorothea MacKeller's famous poem "My Country,", we certainly discovered Australia really is a land of contrasts, "A land of sweeping plains, of ragged mountain ranges, of droughts and flooding rains." During this journey we  experienced it all!

First stop was only an hour from home, the country town of Yass, their information Centre was waiting on a delivery of my books. Not a bad way to start a holiday, and a great sign for the opportunities that were to come.

This is where the adventure really began as we drove further west across NSW into the Riverina district. Before departing home it had been raining pretty much non-stop for weeks, particularly in this farm region. I knew there was more rain predicted, so this was our only window of opportunity to cross before major flooding set in. Sure enough roads were only just re-opened as we drove through and closed again within the next few days. It must be so difficult to make a living on the land, if our country is not in severe drought, it's in major flood, there's never a compromise. Not sure which is harsher,  seeing first hand starving cattle and sheep, even kangaroos, desperate for a blade of grass along the side of the road in outback Queensland, or fruit and wheat crops that farmers were ready to harvest (and desperate for payment to feed their families) all destroyed by massive floods. My heart and thoughts go out to the many people in townships suffering after the aftermath of cyclone Debbie in all the current flooded regions of northern NSW and Queensland.

We made it into Hay after dark, lesson learnt, never drive across the wheat plains at dusk. We live in a rural community, so are aware and always cautious of kangaroo hopping across the roads at dusk, but nothing prepared us for the amount of bugs!  Hubby used so much windscreen water to clear the vision that we ran out of water. We could barely see the turn-off on arrival into Hay through the amount of bugs smeared on the car's screen in front of us. First stop in the morning consequently was a car wash.

Hay is in the western part of the Riverina district of western NSW, with the surrounding farm regions being either vegetable, cotton and rice crops or sheep and cattle. It is the home of "Shear Outback," a museum dedicated to the history of our wool industry. It is definitely worth a visit to learn all about the history behind the saying that Australia is known to have 'grown up on a sheeps back!" Get to read about some of the characters that were shearers, their lifestyle, and their tools of the trade. Learn all about the early pioneers, their present day shearing counterparts and into the future. If you have never seen a sheep being sheared, then watching a sheep shearing demonstration is an opportunity not to be missed. The shearer is very informative and handles the sheep with the utmost  care. The coffee shop is great for a snack or lunch and of course there is a gift shop with plenty of choices for woollen apparel. Thanks to the manager, Kathy, Shear Outback gift shop now also stocks 'Emma the Eager Emu' and 'Frazzled Freya' too. We enjoyed spending time at Shear Outback so much that we only made it as far as Mildura (just inside the top of Victoria,) that day.






The next morning we woke to beautiful clear blue skies, but were assured all that was about to change in a big hurry. A massive storm was approaching from South Australia, exactly where we were headed next.

Have you ever driven across Australia? Share your experiences below. 

Is the drive across this magnificent country on your bucket-list? Why or why not? Share your comments below.

Next week :- The havoc of the storm, a surprising find and much more!

What Age Group is a Picture Book Best Suitable For?

The short answer to this question is 3 to 8 yrs, however I like to say from birth to whatever age you are reading with. Picture books are wonderful for whatever age you want to read aloud and share a moment with. There should never be an age limit for good picture books. Editors of traditional publishing houses will categorize picture books into three main sub-sections.

  1. Baby books - lullabies, nursery rhymes, finger plays etc
  2. Toddler books - Very simple everyday life stories teaching concepts, eg numbers, colours, shapes, etc.
  3. Picture books for 4-8 yrs. -These contain simple stories with plots where a main character evokes emotions and the stories often contain a moral or lesson.

However there are two more sub-sections that may also be considered.

4. Early Picture books - Often focused towards the younger age group with less words. The emphasis is more on the illustrations to help convey the meaning of the story.

5. Easy Readers - Still have pictures on nearly every page but are longer in text length for the beginning "independent" reader.

With my combination of launching "Frazzled Freya" in ebook format last week and print format this coming weekend, I was a guest blogger on A.J. Cosmo's Fellow Friday Blog where I spoke about the significance and importance of picture books as conversation starters for children of all ages. I believe my picture books, along with so many other wonderful picture books are a magical way to inspire children to open up and talk about all manner of topics. Whether they initiate discussions on emotions or learning about writing, authors and illustrators, books are an amazing way to open an unknown world to children no matter how old they are.

If you are in Canberra this weekend, Saturday 9th July 2016, come along to The Paperchain Bookstore in Manuka at 2:00 pm. Listen to me read 'Frazzled Freya." Learn a few fun facts about the quirky creatures that are the characters in the story. The kids can make their own paper craft frill neck lizard and even eat a reptilian treat! Everyone is welcome, I would love to meet you and your children.

ebook: https://www.amazon.com/Frazzled-Freya-Sandra-Bennett-ebook/dp/B01H8WPPMU/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1466302516&sr=1-1&keywords=Frazzled+Freya#navbar

Below is a copy of my blog from A. J. Cosmo http://ajcosmo.com/blog/index.php/sandra-bennett/#comment-9

Sandra Bennett, Australian Children’s Author- Fellow Friday

Frazzled Freya_cover_amazon_001

Picture Books Are Wonderful Conversation Starters

Have you ever been afraid of the dark?

Frightened of monsters hidden under your bed or in your wardrobe?

Picture books can be a wonderful way to start a conversation with children about ways of facing those fears or sorting through other emotions.

Why not read a picture book and start a discussion today?

I realized the power of picture books and their potential to start a dialogue when I was teaching a year 5 class one day. It was one of those moments when I needed an impromptu lesson, so I grabbed a picture book out of my trusty resource bag and began to read aloud. The initial class response was stunned silence. What was I thinking reading them something with pictures and very few words! It didn’t take them long to sit back, relax and enjoy the experience. After reading the story, the real work began. A lengthy conversation ensued that lead to some amazing writing of their own. I had re-opened the world of picture books to 10 and 11 year old students.

Curtin South Preschool

What was this amazing picture book that enlightened and brought so much wonder to our classroom? One of my favourites, “Diary of a Wombat” by Jackie French. Written so simplistically, yet capturing the character of a wombat so magnificently.

Since then I’ve now written two Australian picture books myself. My goal, is to introduce unusual Australian creatures to children around the world while opening opportunities for conversations with parents and teachers. Through my stories children can learn a little about Australia’s environment, the animals that call it home and something about themselves along the way. Each book finishes with a few fun facts about the characters contained in the story.

My newest release is “Frazzled Freya.” A rather timid frill neck lizard so scared of shadows and unknown monsters she is too frightened to join in all the fun and games with her desert friends. Set in the harsh Australian Outback, the vivid yet earthy colours used by my illustrator, Dianna Budd, depict perfectly the heat of the sun Freya is desperate to avoid.

Frazzled Freya_cover_amazon_001

Parents, teachers and children can read along and discover Freya’s journeyto triumph as she conquers her fear with a little help from a few unusual desert friends. The story provides an excellent opportunity to begin talking to your little ones about facing their fears, trying new experiences and stepping outside of their comfort zone.

Emma the Eager Emu,” tells the tale of a very unusual bird who can’t understand why she is so different from all her friends at flying school. She is desperate to learn to fly and be just like everyone else. An assortment of colourful yet different species of Australian birds come to Emma’s aid. Through her tenacity to never give up, Emma eventually learns the significance of individualism and discovers her own special way of doing things. This is another wonderful conversation starter as children struggle to fit into peer groups at school and learn to understand and embrace their own unique qualities and differences.

EmmaEMU_black fontcover1_001 - Copy

Is there a topic you feel you would like to discuss with your child? I’ll bet you can find a picture book to help lead you into the conversation. So, pick up a picture book today, snuggle with your child tonight, share the book and read aloud together. If you’re a teacher, don’t be afraid to use a picture book in a middle grade classroom. You just might be surprised by the conversation it helps start.

Big Dreams, Bigger Fears

As children we all had big dreams, and yes most of us admit it, we had even bigger fears. When we are little we are often asked "What do you want to be when you grow up?" John Lennon famously replied "Happy." That is the best dream of all, but most children usually answer with familiar and somewhat innocent standards like "a fireman, doctor, teacher, nurse etc." It takes us a lot of our growing years to realise the importance of simply being happy with ourselves for who and what we are. One of our biggest fears is that we may not grow up and reach the full potential of our dreams. Walt Disney was one of the biggest dreamers of us all, but he also had a very big fear. Disneyland was born from his dreams and fears. The dream of building a fantasy world where parents could take their children and escape their everyday life and his fear of never being able to make a second movie as good or better than his original Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. While his staff at the studio consistently made animated film after film, Walt Disney fixated on bringing the world his greatest creation, Disneyland. The results speak for themselves, crowds today flock to Disneyland in Anaheim, Orlando, Paris, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. Walt Disney is famously quoted as saying :-

"All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them."

My dream, for as long as I can remember, was to write books for children. Books that will make them laugh, learn and find a love of reading. My biggest fear was that I wasn't good enough and that nobody would take me seriously. After years of teaching and writing I finally tested the waters with my first short chapter book for early and reluctant readers. "Gingerbread Aliens" was received with great enthusiasm and gained many favourable reviews. I was on my way. "Alien Shenanigans" followed and book three, "Alien Milkshakes" will be released in a few months.

Children however have much simpler dreams and fears. Shadows and monsters

Copyright Sandra Bennett and Dianna Budd

under the bed, or in the cupboard are rather familiar ones.

This is why I began writing my picture books using uniquely Australian animals as the characters.


"Emma the Eager Emu" dares to dream big. She dreams of being the same as all the other birds at flying school. Emma dreams of one day being able to fly, just like her friends, Rosie Rosella, Kelly Kookaburra, Patsy the Pink Galah and Cathy the Yellow Crested Cockatoo. This is a subtle tale about learning to strive to reach your goals and finding your own unique qualities to fulfill your dreams in your own individual way.

Copyright Sandra Bennet Illustrator Dianna Budd

"Frazzled Freya" is my newest release which is coming soon. Freya is a frill neck lizard who with the help of her desert friends learns to face her fears. Freya is too frightened to go out in the heat of the midday sun. She is happy to sit under a rock and watch while all her friends play and have fun. I teamed up once again with my fantastic illustrator Dianna Budd, to produce this gorgeously illustrated Australian picture book to tell a second subtle tale. This time it is about learning that some of our biggest fears once faced proved to be quite small after all and that the biggest fear of all is fear itself. Freya's Cover will be released within the next week or two. She should have her own link on my wesite and be ready for pre-order then also.

What are your biggest dreams and fears? Does your child have dreams or fears? Leave a comment below, I'd love to hear what they are and if they have been faced. Perhaps my books can help.

Spreading a Helping Hand

The majority of us go through life lending a helping hand wherever we can, not really planning to try to save the world in any huge way. Most of us don't have the ability to make a huge difference in the lives of great numbers of people at any one time but in general we do attempt to make a difference in whatever small way we can. Whether that be by volunteering at a hospital, helping the homeless, reading in a classroom on a regular basis, or simply raising our own children to the best of our capabalitiies, we all hopefully make a difference in at least one other persons life during our lifetime. Although not everyone has the time to volunteer or the ability to provide their services somewhere, even a smile as we pass by a stranger can brighten someone elses day, a kind word to a child or a moment taken to listen to a friend's problems can change their outlook and make a problem that seemed insurmountable suddenly manageable.

When I began teaching primary school I believed my way of helping society was through increasing literacy skills in our youngest generation of readers. However as the years progressed I hoped to achieve this through writing children's books and spreading a love of reading with fun and laughter instead.

Imagine my surprise when just last week I discovereed I was also lending a helping hand in a completely different way with my books than I ever expected or planned.

I always enjoy spreading a helping hand by encouraging home reading through my facebook group "Raising Awesome Readers" as well as giving away many of my children's books to people in need. Earlier in the year I gave a copy of each of my books to a fellow who lives a somewhat difficult family life. He happens to be a "fly in/fly out" dad to three kids, one of which is severly Autistic and another with Aspergers Syndrome. You can imagine the difficulty and frustration not only for him livng away from his family three weeks at a time as well as his wife trying to manage while he is away. So I gave him copies of Gingerbread Aliens, Aliens Shenanigans and Emma the Eager Emu to take home on his R&R to read with the kids. He was so grateful to be given a simple opportunity to read aloud and share a few precious moments with his children.

I hadn't heard anything from him, nor did I expect to, until I ran into him just last week. I was delighted to learn that not only did his family enjoy all the books very much but his wife, who is a psychologist, found the stories were so good for her children she began taking the books to work.

Her clients are mostly children of parents going through break ups mainly from the rigors of the fly in/fly out life style. She is using my books on a regular basis with the children as they find the characters real and relatable. My stories are spreading a helping hand to help chidren overcome anxieties, fear, tension, sibling rivalry. lack of self-confidence and helping them to learn to face conseequences for their actions all in an entertaining and light-hearted manner. The use of the books have become so successful, she is now lending them to her colleagues.

It is not only nice to know that in my own small way I am making an imapct in childrens lives different to that which I had ever anticipated. It is also rather overwhelming to know that children that need love and understanding are gaining so much more than just a simple smile from reading the pages of my children's books.

What are you doing in your small way to spread a helping hand in your community? DSCN0436

Fun, laughter, mischief tied together in my two new books!

As most of my readers know by now, one of my goals in life is to help parents improve the literacy skills of their children by providing uniquely fun and imaginative books for them to read together. As I stood beside my former colleague and dear friend Sue LaFlamme and listened to her present the opening speech for my double book launch I realised two things. She really gets me and understands my dreams. I felt so honoured by her wonderful words of praise for both myself and my books, that I wanted to share her speech with all my readers that could not make it on that memorable morning here in Canberra. So, without any further ado, I give you Sue :-

It is with great pleasure that I introduce a fabulous person and author, Sandra Bennett, to you today. I have known Sandy for more than a decade and I have observed some wonderful things about her: - she is fun - she loves to laugh - she enjoys good mischief - she has a great sense of humour - she understands lots of special things about other people and particularly about kids, (big and small)

Most importantly she knows how good a fabulous well planned, researched, well-written and well-read book can be. So, I'm extremely lucky today because I am able to suggest that you dive into the pages of two new books. These are called "Emma the Eager Emu" and "Alien Shenanigans/" Book_Launch_12_46 Book_Launch_8_01 The two books are completely different, cleverly illustrating that Sandra Bennett is an adaptable author, knowing that her reading audiences love to read a range of genres and books that emphasise different things.

I think that your toughest decision today will be which one to read first, Emma the Eager Emu or Alien Shenanigans? Flip a coin! Heads. So, it's Emma the Eager Emu.

Actually, I'm not going to read it to you, but I'll introduce Emma to you through my eyes. First of all, Emu's are such big birds, that have big dreams. I'll tell you now, Emma is the same. She dreams big - of something I always wanted to do as a child - and that is to fly. Emma is extraordinary. She has intellect, persistence and the strongest of desires to make dreams real. Emma sets about this. as her creator - Sandra Bennett, sets about tasks - she plans, imagines, deliberates, investigates and keeps on going!

In the end I think you'll discover Emma's amazing feat. I can't tell you more, except that you will really enjoy reading this book. I will add that the illustrations are an absolute delight. Gourmet! Emma the Eager Emu will be well loved and recommended.

Now I turn to "Alien Shenanigans." It has a certain unknown mystery about it. Dad da daa! Are there truly such things as aliens? If so, or not (as the case may be) we can imagine that there are! We can also imagine a melody of mishaps around mischievous full of beans kids, especially when they come into contact with an observant, witty, lovable alien.

I wonder what your favourite part of Alien Shenanigans will be? Will it be foods that fly, the giggles, the serious investigations or the extreme science experiments?

My favourite part is the driving force behind the story - the kids. Sandra Bennett knows that without these characters - the kids - books, life and the universe would be somewhere less special, adventurous, creative and imaginative. True!

So, without further so ons, I'll introduce the lovely, clever and fun Sandra Bennett and her two new reads: "Emma the Eager Emu" and "Alien Shenanigans."

Thank you so much Sue for your faith in me and my books. The time you spent reading and preparing your speech was very much appreciated. I hope the kids in your class enjoyed both books.

Hands up, who believes in aliens? Could there really be lovable, mischievous aliens hiding out there somewhere?

For helpful tips and tricks to improve your child's reading come and join in the discussion by joining my facebook group Raising Awesome Readers. https://www.facebook.com/groups/847306541974020/855851921119482/?notif_t=like

The Importance of Reading Aloud.

Royalla Roundup Community Country FairThe one main take home message I gained from having a stall at our community fair the other month came from discussions with parents as they looked at my books. I realised that parents still don't understand the importance of reading aloud to their child no matter the age. This has also been confirmed during my days working in the gift shop at Cullen Bay Darwin and selling my books during the book launch there as well. "What age is this book appropriate for?

"My child is only in kindergarten, she can't read that herself yet."

Time and time again it has become obvious that parents are still not getting the importance of shared reading aloud with their children.

Teachers can only do so much in the classroom when it comes to teaching reading, the fundamental Cullen Bay book aunchbuilding blocks of language have to be established in the family home. Reading together from birth stimulates the brain and enables significant connections to be made that develop the foundations for literacy.

Reading out loud to a child during the early pre-school years not only gives you a wonderful opportunity to snuggle with your children and show them how much you love them, it also allows you time to demonstrate a number of pre-reading language skills.

Picture books like "Emma the Eager Emu" provide a wealth of opportunities. 1. You model reading with great enthusiasm and expression. 2. Reading alliteration helps teach that language is made up of individual sounds not just words and syllables. 3. Repetition increases familiarity and produces opportunities for guessing what might happen next? 4. Vibrant illustrations allow for discussions and further language learning. 5. The more often you read, the more they will make the pre-reading connections such as which way up the book should be, front to back, words flow left to right and top to bottom to tell the story. 6. They will also realise the significance of the pictures in the story telling too. A picture truly can be worth a thousand words. 7. Increases empathy and understanding of the world around them. 8. Extends their vocabulary.

Once children reach that early independent reading level, parents seem to think their child needs to do it all alone. This couldn't be further from the truth.

Books like Gingerbread Aliens and Alien Shenanigans might be early independent chapter books but they are still excellent resources for sharing reading out loud together. Your 6 - 10 year old still needs you! 1. They still need to hear modeled reading out loud for expression. 2. It can be fun to share a humorous chapter book with your child. 3. It opens opportunities for discussion when you read together. 4. It provides opportunities to discuss any words they may have difficulty reading or understanding. 5. You can determine through questions whether they have comprehended what they have read. 6. If you read a book just above their level of ability, you extend their comprehension and vocabulary. 7. It builds wonderful memories of special time spent together reading and sharing no matter their age.

If you enjoyed reading this post and are interested in joining a discussion on helping parents, grandparents and other carers with encouraging children to read, please come and join us in my new group forum Raising Awesome Readers https://www.facebook.com/groups/847306541974020/?pnref=story. I'd be happy to see you there, I look forward to more people becoming involved in our chats and spreading the word on the importance of reading aloud.

How often do you read aloud with your child? What are you doing to build fond memories with them no matter what their age? What are you reading with them to help expand their vocabulary?

Book Launch!

The time has finally arrived!

It's time to celebrate the release of not one but two new books!

Alien Shenanigans and Emma the Eager Emu

With that comes not one but two fantastic book launches!

As most of my readers know I am living a bit of a nomadic life these days living between two homes in two beautiful cities of our magnificent country. Therefore I am lucky to be able to have a book launch in both cities.

The first will be held in Canberra for those of you down south. It will be held at the same gorgeous book store that supported me so welcomingly by holding my first book launch for Gingerbread Aliens.

Saturday 16th May 2015 11:00 am Paperchain Book store 34 Franklin St Manuka ACT.

The second book launch will be held in Darwin for those of you living in the Top End. This one will be held by the fabulously supportive friends at Shine Gifts Cullen Bay and the Waterfront during their fantastic Friday night champagne shopping.

Friday 22nd May 2015 5-9 pm, Shine Gifts 63 Marina Blvd Cullen Bay NT.  http://shinegifts.com.au/

Parents, Grandparents, teachers, Aunts and Uncles come along join in the fun and listen to me read from both these delightful new books.

Emma the Eager Emu is a wonderfully illustrated picture book. I hope to have its illustrator Dianna Budd, join me in Canberra. This book is ideal for pre-school and the early years of school. There is so much that can be discussed from reading this story as children learn all about patience, persistence and never giving up.

Copyright Sandra Bennett and Dianna Budd

Here's what one happy mum had to say about the book -Helen Jones Hazlewood Emma and I read Emma the Eager Emu last night and we loved it! The illustrations are stunning, the story is simple and appealing, with us quickly both saying "one, two, three look at me..." together each time. I loved that it has a great messsge too - it prompted a good discussion about how we all have our talents and things we aren't so great at, and that's OK. Thanks for another wonderful book!

Alien Shenanigans_cover_FNL_001Alien Shenanigans is the long awaited part two of the Bradberrie brothers adventure with aliens. If you enjoyed all the mayhem and mix-ups in Gingerbread Aliens, you will find more explosions and mischief in this one. There are more science experiments for the classroom as well. Teaching opportunities arise with the simple to read text allowing for easy comprehension activities for early and reluctant readers. Fun and laughter abounds assuring even the most reluctant reader will want to continue all the way to the end.


If you can't make it to either of the book launches, both books are available from this website, as well as both above mentioned bookstores, and Harry Hartog Woden. Emma the Eager Emu is also available from the National Botanic Gardens, Canberra and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney.

A Great Day at the Fair.

The Royalla Roundup proved to be a fantastic Fair day, celebrated and enjoyed by all community members, neighbours, friends and visitors. Everyone who came was welcome to share in the delights of the fabulous Autumn weather as well as the country air and atmosphere. Initially I was a a little concerned when we drove down to "the Common" to set up as a typical gorgeous crisp, clear Royalla morning had turned bleak with a thick fog that had rolled in across the hills. We could hardly see the road in front of us as we drove down into the valley. This was not a good sign, but I should have known better. A thick morning fog in the valley always means a very still day and by the time the fair was declared open at 10.00 am the morning had cleared, the sun shone bright to a perfect day.

Visitors soon filled the adjoining paddock carpark to overflow capacity as the air was filled with the sounds of children laughing, and the aroma of freshly baked bacon and egg rolls. As the day progressed children ran around with brightly painted faces eating pink fairy floss on sticks while parents listened to the wonderful sounds of the musicians performing in the amphitheatre under the shade of the trees in the elm grove.

I later asked a neighbour's son which of all the rides was he favourite? He couldn't decide between the mechanical bucking bull, (which he had 3 turns of and only fell off once!) or the pony ride.  The fact that he could also remember that the mechanical bull's name was "Kevin" but had trouble remembering the name of the pony, hinted to me just which one might have truly been his favourite. :) There was also a jumping castle and animals to pat in the petting zoo, but the cutest of all to me were the baby alpacas. If only I could talk my hubby into letting me have one or two on our land...mmmm.....will work on that!

DSCN0178A huge thank you to all those lovely parents, families and friends who came by my stall to chat, support me and purchase a book or two. You are all wonderful and I appreciate you all very much. :) I hope you enjoy reading the books with your children and ask if you would kindly take the time to write a review and send it to me either here on my website, via email or on Amazon once they are listed there. Struggling authors always need good reviews to help spread the word.


DSCN0185My table was nestled under the shade of the beautiful elm trees amongst all the other lovely arts and crafts, the path lead to the children's craft tables where they could create easter activities and other crafts before the path eventually finished near the logs to view the musicians and at one time a spectacular magician. I looked out towards the Rural Fire Services truck and helicopter DSCN0183where children spent a delightful time looking at all the equipments and could ask the usual array of inquisitive questions that all budding "fireman" at that tender young age tend to do.

Naturally, mums and dads were not forgotten. There were plenty of shiny old cars on display. Farm equipment and machinery to learn about, all your septic tank and storm water issues could be answered, gardenimg supplies were plentiful, not to mention an abundance of secondhand books and clothing to peruse.

Batch of aliensMy "Gingerbread Alien" cookies were another yummy take home delicious treat to be saved and eaten while reading the newest exciting chapter in the 'Bradberrie Brothers Alien Adventure" series. I was both surprised and delighted to meet several families who walked past and noticed my original book, "Gingerbread Aliens" then realised part two was now released. It was music to this author's ears to hear children ask their parents if they could  "please have the next book." They just had to find out what was going to happen next in Alien Shenanigans!

Emma the Eager Emu was the most popular of all three of my books. Some of the lovely feedback was that it was wonderful to find a book written about Australian animals, these are very hard to find, we don't have near enough of them. Mind you I think a lot of it has to do with the amazing illustrations my fabulous illustrator has done for me. Dianna Budd has made my bird characters come to life with charm and humour. I adore them. :) 15Thiis afternoon we met for a cuppa where I had the opportunity to tell Dianna how much everyone adored her illustrations. We agreed we perhaps need to get to work on the next book.

Once again I would like to thank the Royalla Roundup committee for the opportunity for me to be involved in the inaugural country living fair and hope that the community has rallied together to raise enough funds to begin the building of our community centre. I look forward to many years ahead meeting more and more neighbours during gatherings in our upcoming newly built shed.

For those of you still waiting for the books to come on-line so that you may purchase a copy via my website, I appreciate your patience. My son is working on it, and promises to have all the kinks worked out within the next few days. A busy Uni schedule has held him up, my sincere apologies.

Alien Shenanigans_cover_FNL_001Alien Shenanigans and

Copyright Sandra Bennett and Dianna Budd

Emma the Eager Emu will be available here. Please stay tuned!