This is an adorably fun book. I think this would be perfect for kids who are just starting to read chapter books. My boys really enjoyed listening to the story and even my daughter listened most of the time! The pictures are cute, bright and colourful and nicely complement the story.
Here is an interview with the author- Jennifer Swanson...
- Tell me a little about yourself and your family.
I am a wife to Jon and mother of three very active children ages 10, 14 & 15.
-What do you do in your non-writing time?
Let's see, I drive kids all over the place, for the most part. But I am also an online middle school instructor for Johns Hopkins University. I science to gifted students all over the world. When I have free time, I love to go the beach with my husband and take our dogs for a walk.
-When you are writing what are the things you must have... quiet? music? chocolate? chips? pens in 6 different colours? a clean desk? a messy desk? a desk at all? Do you prefer to write at a certain time of day? During a certain season?
Quiet is so nice to have when I'm writing, but I rarely get that in my active household. I write when I can fit it into my schedule, usually while the kids are at school, the dishwasher is running and the clothes are washing (that is my background noise).
- What is the oddest thing about you?
People find it funny that I was a cheerleader in high school. I guess it doesn't really fit my personality these days, since I am a science teacher and children's author. But I loved being a cheerleader it was great fun.
-If you had access to a time machine where would you go? If you could live in another era when would it be? Why?
I wouldn't use a time machine, but give me a transporter like they had on Star Trek and I'd be thrilled. Put one kid in and send them off to soccer, another to lacrosse practice, and the third to school. I'd be in heaven!
-What is the best book you've ever read (other than yours of course!) or best movie you've seen?
My favorite books are the Harry Potter series. I think I've read them at least four times all the way through. The intricate plot is enough to allow me to discover new things every time I read them. My favorite movie is a toss up. I love Star Wars, the original ones, but the kid in me loves Toy Story 2.
- If you could be any fictional character who would you be?
Well, that's a toss up between Samantha from Bewitched. (yes, I know she was from a tv show, but who wouldn't want her powers?) and Nancy Drew. She was such an awesome detective. I read every single one of her books as a child, probably more than once.
- If you could be a superhero what would your special powers be?
I would fly. I think it would be so neat to be able to soar through the clouds and look down on people, of course, I'd have to get over my fear of heights, first. But to be able to fly around and get things done, that would be great.
- Who is your favourite writer and have you met them yet?
I have so many, both children's authors and adult authors. I would love to meet J.K.Rowling, Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary, or adult authors, Anne Perry, Elizabeth Peters or JoAnn Fluke. Unfortunately, I have not met any of them yet, but I hope to some day.
- What is the worst job you have ever had?
Detasseling corn. I grew up in a small town in Illinois and as a teenager, my first job was detasseling corn. You had to walk through the corn fields that were 1- 1/2 miles long and pull the tassels out of the top of the 5-6 foot tall corn stalks. You caught the bus at 4:30 am and then worked until 2:30pm. It was very hot,because it was August and you had to wear long sleeves and pants so the corn leaves wouldn't give you a rash. Dirty, smelly, hot work. I lasted four days before deciding I wanted to be a lifeguard and went to lifeguard training. Now that was the better job, sitting in the sun, getting a tan and watching kids in a pool. Who wouldn't like that?
- Did you know you wanted to write as a child?
I actually started writing when I was five. I used to write and illustrate my own books. (of course, back then you could get away with stick figures.) I would beg the teacher to let me read them to the class. When I was in second grade, I wrote my own version of Beauty and the Beast and coerced my friends into putting it on. I must not have been a great director, though, since they all quit before the performance, something about me being too bossy. :) After that, I wrote for myself. When I was at home with my young ones, I wrote to keep my sanity. It's become a lifelong habit.
Thanks so much to Jennifer Swanson for sending me a review copy of this book and for sponsoring this giveaway.
Would you like to win a copy of Penny & Rio?
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This giveaway is open to readers in Canada and the USA. I will choose a winner on December 9, 2009.
Winner will be chosen with random.org and notified by email so please leave me a way to contact you. Winner will have 48 hours to reply to my email or I will choose a new winner.
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