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

Double Trouble and Mischief Make a Great Tale.

The other day as I was glancing through one of my Facebook groups I came upon the middle grade children's book "The Rabbit Ate my Homework" by Rachel Elizabeth Cole. I looked at the front cover and read the blurb and was so intrigued I was enticed to offer to read the story and write a review. The Rabbit Ate my Homework

Rachel certainly did not disappoint. The book held up to my every expectation. As a former primary school teacher, I absolutely loved this! I read this story thinking all the time how an 8 to 10 year old student would enjoy reading it and felt they would laugh from beginning to end. It is certainly a story to encourage reluctant readers, which is something I am always searching for. Not only were the two main characters, Drew and his little sister Libby, believable, so too were the background characters including the two girls in Drew's class who proved to be a constant torment. The story provided huge doses of humour, a little intrigue and suspense, not to mention a large dollop of cuteness.

It raises many discussion opportunities as the story develops, right from the opening where Drew makes the decision to go against his father and ride his bike in the woods unsupervised. Naturally, mistakes are made and consequences must be faced, or do they? From this one seemingly innocent moment of quick decision things quickly escalate out of control. As I read this I couldn't help thinking about the lessons learned in my own chapter book "Gingerbread Aliens" where the three brothers must also face the consequences of their behaviours. Both books use humour and escalating problems before a resolution is eventually and inevitably reached. Naturally, there is the whole discussion topic of how to keep and take good care of a pet, especially one your parents don't know you have! The topic of bullying is a background issue but covered substantially well and sibling rivalry changes to a form of united understanding and bonding over a common cause.

A thoroughly entertaining story for readers 6 -12 years of age. I recommend it for home and school. Parents and teachers will delight in reading it aloud with their children. I gladly give it 5 stars.