There have been a few hold-ups, with Christmas, shipping delays, restrictions and more, but I’m thrilled to say that Next Door’s Dog is a Veteran’s Dog is about to hit the bookshelves.
Again, a huge thank you to the kindergartens, schools, libraries, RSL and other veteran organisations and individuals who have supported, ordered or spread the word about this title.
The fourth in the Next Door’s Dog series, Next Door’s Dog is a Veteran’s Dog is in durable hardcover, and beautifully and accurately illustrated by Vivienne da Silva.
I very much appreciate the lovely emails I’ve received in response to this book release. It feels very satisfying to know that the book will be used not just as a story of Veteran Joe and his dog, but as a tool to educate children about the very important topics of mental health, invisible disability and the invaluable role that Assistance Dogs play.
I am delighted that Next Door’s Dog is a Veteran’s Dog will be released on April 1st, 2021. To my knowledge this is the only book of its type, educating children about PTSD and Assistance Dogs. I have been overwhelmed by the help and support I have had from veterans, first responders and Assistance Dog organisations, as well as from schools, kindergartens and psychologists. Pre-orders are now being taken so please get in touch if you wish to order. Bulk orders to organisations can also be arranged.
I was invited, along with Assistance Dog, Kiera, to Burnside Library in January 2021 to take part in their school holiday program. In our session, I spoke with the children about two topics, writing books and Assistance Dogs. I believe it really important to educate children about correct etiquette around Assistance Dogs as they become more prevalent in our society. After our chat, I read two books from the Next Door’s Dog series. The children concluded the session by painting dog rocks.
There were twenty children with parents in the group. Emily Holmes of Klemzig brought her two daughters, Cadence and Lillian, to the session and said they learnt a lot. “We had watched a documentary on working dogs so this session was perfect. It is good for the girls to understand how to behave around an assistance dog.”
I also took the opportunity to announce the fourth book in the Next Door’s Dog series, Next Door’s Dog is a Veteran’s Dog, which is due for release in April 2021.
Following the session, some children chose to have photographs taken with Kiera and I, and others chose to purchase books.
Thank you to Caroline, Jenny and Angus of Burnside Library. It was a lovely morning.
It’s been a quiet year for author visits, with many schools and centres scaling down or cancelling Book Week due to COVID-19 restrictions.
It was lovely to have the opportunity to visit a school and a kindergarten during November. At both venues the children were very enthusiastic participants in the sessions, where we discussed how books are made from idea to shop shelf, as well as reading books from the Next Door’s Dog series.
Thank you to the wonderful staff and children at these venues. For those that were booked for 2020 but were unable to proceed, I look forward to making up for lost time next year and visiting you all. May 2021 be a better year for all.
We can all do with a little cheer in these times so during May I am offering several discounted book packages. There’s a four book package for the younger children including Next Door’s Dogs, a six book package for older children about growing up and bullying and a ten book package which combine the two. Schools, kindergartens, organisations or individuals are invited to contact me for further details about the packages on offer. I have limited stock of some titles, so offers are only while allocated stock lasts.
There are also discounts on the two 2020 releases, Next Door’s Dog is a Therapy Dog and We Can Deal with Bullying! for purchases buying multiple copies. Again, contact me for details.
Feel free to get in touch through my contact page to receive a package order form.
This week I left town and headed for the Riverland! Whilst there I visited the Berri Community Preschool. I spent time with the children, explaining the process of how books are made as well as the role of Assistance Dogs in our community. It was extremely satisfying to see the children, mainly four year olds, show such enthusiasm about both topics! The session continued for more than thirty minutes, a wonderful effort for such little ones.
Thank you to the Katrina and the fabulous staff for inviting and welcoming me. I was also thrilled to hear that, such was the interest, the children spent time afterwards drawing what they had learned with their teachers scribing for them. They are also going to do more work during the year to extend the children’s knowledge on Assistance Dogs and writing.
A very satisfying and enjoyable morning.
Photos used with permission.
This month I visited the Starlight Room at the Women and Children’s Hospital, where I spoke to the children, parents and teachers who came along to meet me and to talk about books. I read Next Door’s Dog is a Therapy Dog to the children, which suited the occasion perfectly, being about Monty the spaniel who visits a hospital and helps people to feel better. This was streamed through the hospital so that children who weren’t able to attend could watch from their beds.
After the session each child was given a copy of the book to take home. Thank you to the Starlight Foundation for inviting me and in particular to Captain Noisy and Captain Confetti, who made me feel very welcome. The Starlight Foundation do wonderful work and it was my privilege to be a part of it.
Last year I visited numerous schools, kindergartens and children’s centres and spoke with children from age four to sixteen about writing books, being an author, the process of how books are made and my love of reading.
Recently I received a lovely photograph from a centre that I visited, along with an email from the centre director, Jenny. Jenny explained that it was a highlight to see young Ava read her book in front of the group. She is a shy girl and this was the first time she had come up to the front! Thank you to Ava’s parents, who have given permission to share this lovely photograph and to Jenny for the invitation to visit the centre.
And yes, Jenny, I’d love to come back and do it again this year! You and your staff do such wonderful work with your groups to teach them about authors and the joy of books – and it shows!
For some time now I’ve been receiving requests from schools to write a book about bullying. It’s such an important topic in our community, so after a year of research and writing I feel pleased to have produced what I hope is an uplifting, motivational yet practical book for young people to read, in schools or at home.
In the same conversational style as my previous books aimed at this age range, We Can Deal With Bullying! aims at guiding young people along the path of asking for help, maintaining self-esteem, managing their reactions, standing united with friends and classmates and making safe, healthy and active choices.
Illustrator Kate Bouman has done a fantastic job of illustrations and the New Holland Publishers design team have presented the book so well,
This title will suit the classroom, school or family library, so I hope you’ll take a look and as always your feedback is very welcome.
I’m pleased to announce that the release date of Next Door’s Dog is a Therapy Dog is January 4th, 2020. I’m also very humbled by the huge amount of interest this book has generated. Therapy Dogs are much loved and play such a valuable role in today’s society, and I’m thrilled to be able to share the story of Monty the spaniel and the wonderful work he does.
To all the kindergartens and schools who have pre-ordered, your orders will be dispatched in time for the school year.
Thanks again to illustrator Vivienne da Silva, to Francesca at New Holland Publishers and to my fabulous proof-reading team. And of course to readers who continue to purchase my books, and send such positive and encouraging feedback. Very much appreciated and always taken on board.
I’m considering a fourth book in the Next Door’s Dog series and haven’t decided on the topic as yet. If any reader has a “dog job” topic close to their heart, or that they feel children would benefit by learning about, please get in touch.