Books by Rose Rosie Russell Children's Books Author Illustrator
 
   Author Sandra Bennett is a mother of three boys, retired Primary School teacher. She appreciates the struggle of teaching reading to reluctant readers and understands the importance of hooking readers from an early age. Increasing literacy in our children has become her passion. Throughout her many experienced years in the classroom Sandra began writing stories to encourage and entice her students to develop a love of reading. She started by writing familiar stories about her students that they could easily relate to. These gradually became more involved, humorous tales that Sandra believed other children could benefit from also.

   Sandra had always wanted to write for children, even more so once she went to teachers college and began teaching. As she raised her sons and taught part-time she practiced the craft of writing, took a few courses and eventually grew in confidence to begin the process of helping early and reluctant readers with her own stories through independent publishing.  




I see you have four books currently out. Tell us more about those.

    First of all thank you for the wonderful opportunity to be interviewed by you on your website and the chance to talk a little about my books and myself.

   As you know I currently have published four books. Two are the beginning of my short chapter book series for reluctant readers while the other two are part of a series of uniquely Australian picture books.

   Gingerbread Aliens and Alien Shenanigans are fun science based early readers designed with a bunch of pictures (for aid in comprehension) and a huge dose of humor to encourage reluctant readers. They have easily relatable characters, suspense, twists and hooks along with intrigue and often gooey science experiments for kids to try.

   The main characters are three mischievous brothers and one particularly cheeky little alien. You won't believe the antics and trouble they get up to together.

   I have written the third book in the series and hope to publish it next year. I introduce a new female character in  book 3 ( Alien Milkshakes) to encourage young girls to read the books even though so far I have found my boy characters does not seem to have limited  my readership.

   My Australian picture book series uses our beautiful wildlife to tell tales that help children explore their feelings and emotions while also learning about the birds and animals that are so unique to our country. I always add fact pages at the end of the books to learn a little about each character.

   Emma the Eager Emu is a bird with tenacity.  She is determined to learn to fly just like all her friends at flying school.  Emma has to learn a different way of flying and in so doing discovers her own very special qualities. On reading the story children also learn that it is okay to be different, and that if they have a goal, they can strive to reach it if they practice and don't give up.

   Frazzled Freya is a timid frill neck lizard much too frightened to join her friends and play in the heat of the desert sun no matter how much she desperately wants to join them. She must learn to reach out of her comfort zone to face her fears. Children come to realize that not all their fears are so bad after all.

   I am now working on two kangaroo stores where little joey must learn to listen to his parents and one about a playful platypus discovering the important lesson of stranger danger.

   Each tale is told with the moral tale being subtle so that children enjoy the story first and the lesson behind it second. I don't like to make it too obvious I like to encourage thinking and family or class group discussion.

After teaching for twenty-five years, what changes have you seen in the way literacy has been taught? Or in other words, would you say things have greatly improved in this area?


   In the 80's when I began my teaching career literacy was taught in a more holistic approach, a sort of one size fits all. It is great to see the changes that have arisen through the years since then. Now students are taught more individually, their different learning styles are taken into account. Guided reading groups and directed reading and writing are tailored to suit a wider range of needs within the classroom.
   
   I began with teaching on a chalkboard, progressed to a whiteboard and today we have smart boards. The introduction of technology has dramatically changed the way we teach and children learn. The days of rote learning have disappeared in favor of a mixed bag of strategies to enhance how to learn, research, discover, and grow. 

   Children arrive at school far more equipped and ready to learn to read than ever before. What we taught in Kindergarten 25 years ago, is now taught in preschools. Sight words and reading strategies are abundant as classrooms continue to evolve to find the most suitable solutions. Reading records are constantly being updated and checked to ensure children aren't left behind. 

   Parent helpers are welcomed and encouraged to listen to children read and become more involved with the daily classroom routine and activities. 

   As an author now, I enjoy the opportunities that enable me to be invited into classrooms to read to children. I remember from my teacher college days being taught that a love of reading, and reading aloud lots of great stories produces readers. The more words a child hears and sees, the more they become familiar with the written word. If children enjoy my stories, then I am still helping in some small way towards developing their literacy without being in the classroom full time. I can now share my stories to many more students instead of one class at a time.

Who are your illustrators for your books and how did you find them?


   Diana Querubin is my illustrator for my alien short chapter books. I originally had another illustrator however have moved on. Dianna has now produced the illustrations for all three books in the series even though Alien Shenanigans is the only published one with her illustrations at present. We work really well together considering it is all via email as she is in the Philippines. We met through the company that has helped me self-publish. When I said I was looking for a new illustrator, Dianna was recommended to me and I haven't looked back.

   Dianna Budd is my fabulous Australian illustrator who designs all the gorgeous drawings in my picture books. We met at a mutual friends book launch in Canberra where we both live. We began talking over a glass of champagne and hit it off instantly. I mentioned I had a couple of stories I really wanted to make into picture books if I could find the right illustrator. Dianna asked me to send her the manuscript to Emma the Eager Emu, which she adored and the rest is history. I loved her work, we developed a mutual respect and have worked together ever since. When I sent her the manuscript to Frazzled Freya she simply replied with "A Freya Fan."

   It's funny how both my illustrators have turned out to be named Dianna. It can be a bit confusing at times. At least I can distinguish between the two by the number of "n"s in their name. Mind you Diana does all her illustrations through computer graphics, while Dianna uses fabulous vibrant pastels. They both have very different and unique styles. Each suitable to the age group the books are targeted towards.

On you website, you mention you do many school visits. What advice would you give other authors for visiting classrooms when sharing their books?


   The best advice I would give anyway about school visits is be prepared.  By that I mean organization beforehand and during the visit. 

   Prepare a letter to be sent to parents and teachers at least two weeks prior to your visit introducing yourself with a brief explanation of what you plan to do with the children. Does it fit into the current curriculum? Give them a reason to want to see you there. 

   Also forward a poster for the school to display so that the children and school community become familiar with you before your visit.

   Ask permission to send a pre-order form of your books for parents to prepay. It saves handling money on the day.

   Make sure you arrive with plenty of time to introduce yourself to the organizing teacher or librarian and have plenty of time to set up.

   Be courteous at all times and set expectations from the outset regarding behavior. E.g. welcome children for their good behavior as they enter quietly. Thank them for using their listening bodies etc. 

   Things don't always go to plan, so have alternative strategies and activities or books to read. The more
material you have up your sleeve the smoother the visit will go.

   I like to use puppets to help read my stories and talk about our wildlife. Find something about your books that will engage the students and keep their interest.


Last, but not least, what advice would you give new authors starting out? 


   My advice to new authors starting out is never give up. If writing for children is your dream, then go for it! There are so many wonderful authors just willing to give support and advice never hesitate to ask. I love being a part of this wonderful writing community, it has given me so much encouragement and help, and I want to keep paying it forward. Write every day, keep honing your skills, seek reviews on your work and when you are ready to take the plunge and let your baby out into the world, dive right in. You'll never know if you don't give it a go!
Thank you for your awesome interview Sandra!


To find Sandra, here are her links to her website and books:


Website: http://www.sandrabennettauthor.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GingerbreadAliens

Amazon: Frazzled Freya - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01H8WPPMU

               Emma the Eager Emu - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YUDDK1Y

               Gingerbread Aliens - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H5WD2NI



 


Comments

The introduction by Sandra-Bennett is too short but it seems she is a very successful lady, living very busy life. The details about new books are very impressive. Her efforts to write for the children are remarkable. I appreciate her struggle.

Reply
04/12/2017 3:23am

From being a teacher to an author, Sarah Bennett is a hard working and focused woman who knows what to do in order to achieve her dreams. Since she has been teaching for twenty five years she now knows how to capture the attention of her target readers as to why her books are a success. Children's book authors should know what kids want to read and what they want to see in their books to provide them satisfaction. I appreciate her advice to keep on writing and going after your dreams. I want to be a writer and reading advice and receiving support from anyone in the writing community keeps me motivated.

Reply
04/12/2017 7:36am

Hi,

Thank you for your note today for author Sandra Bennett.

The best of luck to you in your journey in becoming an author.

Rosie

04/04/2017 1:19pm

Hello,
Thank you for your comment today.
Yes, author Sandra Bennett is very talented. Her engaging stories have been enjoyed by many. :)

Thanks again,
Rosie

Reply
04/24/2017 9:10pm

Really appreciate all the stuff made by this blog to let people know more about this topic. I added little more relevant points to my knowledge which definitely going to help me in coming future.

Reply
04/24/2017 9:26pm

There might some different approaches according to place or knowledge. Your skills depends on how you got an opportunity and where you have trained. Personal or professional training might distinguish between each other.

Reply
04/25/2017 7:14am

Hello and thank you for your comment today.

Have a great day,
Rosie

Reply
04/24/2017 10:45pm

A huge amount of studies have stated that birds are largely appropriate pets for children. This particularly concerned parrots.

Reply
04/25/2017 7:17am

Hello and thank you for your comment today.
Agree, it's wise to keep children safe around all animals and birds.

Rosie

Reply
04/26/2017 10:36am

I truly favor to reading your post. Thank you a lot for taking the time for you to share such a nice info.

Reply
04/27/2017 10:01am

Hello, thank you for stopping by and reading about author Sandra Bennett and her writing journey.
I'm glad you enjoyed this.

Have a great day,
Rosie

Reply
04/27/2017 11:08pm

Children's would love to listen her stories, as seen in above picture.

Reply
04/28/2017 7:31am

Yes, author Sandra Bennett has an engaging audience.

Thank you for your comment today.

Rosie

Reply
04/28/2017 12:36am

Quite interesting personality she is as a author.

Reply
04/28/2017 7:33am

Thank you for stopping by and reading my article and interview with author Sandra Bennett. Yes, she is a talented and interesting person.

Rosie

Reply
04/30/2017 11:59pm

An elementary teacher shows essential ideas and courses to understudies as per the destinations set by the grade school educational modules. Notwithstanding building up a cozy association with understudies in the classroom, a grade teacher is likewise required to assess the advance of understudies and track these records.If you would like to know about Mech Design visit us at http://www.militaryvehiclemodels.com.

Reply
05/01/2017 6:49am

Thank you for your comment for author and teacher Sandra Bennett.

The best of luck to you in your business in crafting military vehicle models. I'm sure that's a lot of work.

Thanks again,
Rosie

Reply

Thanks for sharing.

Reply
05/03/2017 7:34am

Thank you! I'm glad that you enjoyed this interview with author Sandra Bennett.

Rosie

Reply
05/05/2017 12:40am

Nice sharing.

Reply
05/05/2017 5:39am

Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed my interview with author Sandra Bennett.

Rosie

Reply
05/27/2017 3:18am

I wish I was a kid again. I love story telling. I remember when I was 5, I will always asked my parents to buy me new books so they can narrate the story to me before bed time. However, when my little brother was born my night time story telling stop. My parents had to divide their time for us. I appreciate your time Sandra for writing inspirational books to the young generation. Keep up the good work!

Reply
05/27/2017 6:38am

I'm glad you enjoyed hearing more about author Sandra Bennett.
Thank you for stopping by and leaving your comment! :)
Rosie

Reply
05/29/2017 3:21am

Parrot adoption is very much like baby adoption. Those who have parrots they cannot care for offer them to people who want a parrot.

Reply
05/29/2017 6:58am

Thank you for your comment today. I never thought of parrots being adopted but you brought up a great point. All animals in need should considered and well taken care of.

Thanks again,
Rosie

Reply

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Books by Rose Rosie Russell Children's Books Author Illustrator