Welcome Wednesday – The Power and Fun of Story with Penny Reeve

Author: Penny Reeve

Genre: Children’s Picture Books, Children’s Early Reader Chapter Books, YA Fiction


Pet Sitters: Two best friends. One talking cat. What could possibly go wrong?! #childrensbook #earlyreader

The Power and Fun of Story

Interview by Jenny Fulton

Penny Reeve is an Australian award-winning Christian author of more than twenty books. She writes primarily for children and young adults in the genres of picture books, non-fiction, junior fiction and novels.

“My most recent publication is a series of early reader chapter books called the Pet Sitters! I co-authored these books with a writer friend and they are published under the pen name Ella Shine.”

Writing and publishing twenty books is no easy feat, especially when they span several genres. As with any art form, writing books has as much of an impact on the writer as it does on the reader. For Penny, engaging in the writing process forces her to slow down and look at life through another lens.

“It forces me to think deeply about the issues I’m writing about and to empathize with my characters. So even with the Pet Sitters series – a lighthearted series of chapter books with a sprinkling of the unexpected – I find I’m caring for the characters, trying to see what they’d be feeling, wishing, hoping for. I feel it’s a truth-seeking activity, really, even if it’s completely fiction!”

“What inspires you to write your books? Where do you get your ideas?”

“I love the power of story, and the fun of it, too. So, I write to explore. I find ideas everywhere, and often find questions about the world drive my writing. For example, while living in Nepal for a few years, I researched human trafficking and wrote a novel around the question ‘What would it be like to return home after being sold into slavery?’ That story became a YA novel, Out of the Cages, which was written under the pen name, Penny Jaye.”

As she wrote the Pet Sitter books, Penny pulled from her own experiences.

“I’m constantly remembering what it was like to be nine years old and my love of animals and that wonderful sense of responsibility when caring for someone’s pet. I’ve put a lot of that excitement and fun into these stories.”

“What are some of the themes in your books? Are there any that seem to show up multiple times?”

“I often find that I’m writing about issues I care about and often that revolves around how we are in relation to our world. A repeated theme has probably been finding hope in hard places. Whether it’s a playful pet sitting disaster, or the arrival of a new foster/adopted sibling, I write to find the love, compassion and hope in tough places.”

What do you hope readers come away with after reading your books?”

“I suppose all of my books have a different deep purpose, but essentially, I hope they find their worlds are expanded just a little and their hearts are made a little braver. I also hope they learn a deep love of reading!”

Free Sample

If readers are interested in sampling the Pet Sitters stories for the 6-9 year old readers in their lives, visit www.puddledogpress.com and sign up to receive the first book absolutely free! Pet Sitters books are available everywhere you buy your great children’s fiction.

Book Blurbs

Here are the blurbs to the Pet Sitters stories:

#1 Gus Makes A Fuss

Best friends Cassie and Lina would love to take a pet to the Pet Parade but it’s not possible… until they’re asked to pet sit Gus the cat next door. The girls might be ‘ready for anything’ but Gus isn’t quite the cat they were expecting.

#2 Purple Panic

Princess Gina’s owner is very fussy but Cassie and Lina think they’ll be able to care for her guinea pig just fine… until Gus runs off with the pet sitting instructions and Princess Gina can’t even be seen!

#3 Tony Takes Off

‘No chaos! And no emergencies!’ says Mum when Cassie and Lina pet sit again. But Tony the miniature pony isn’t your average pet… And when Tony disappears from the paddock with Lina’s little brother, someone’s going to have to fly to the rescue.

#4 Glitter Jitters

Cassie and Lina think Bella the bearded dragon is SO beautiful. Gus is not so sure, and he’s determined to prove it… But no one’s expecting Bella to have some seriously sparkly allergies. Now everyone’s got the glitter jitters, especially Gus!

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