Bennie was born on July 4, 1989, as a story to soothe restless grandchildren on a road trip. The stories continued on a regular basis when the grandchildren would spend the night with me. There were three of them, then, and we would all crawl into the big bed, turn on the tape recorder, and the youngest, who was two going on twenty, would beg, "Don't make it too scary, grandma." So I would not. Thus the Bennie books began to grow, and at my grandchildren's insistence, the only dangers came from accidents and facing the unknown. (The cover art is done by the then two year old. She is now a mother herself.)
The first Bennie book was used as a reading assignment for 6th graders at a school here in Iowa. Here is a sample of a book report.
I really liked your story about Bennie the BeltMouse. At first, it is kind of hard to follow, and then it isn't so hard. I really liked the names of the characters, too. I also really liked the idea of using glowworms for lights in the tunnels. You should write more about Bennie sometime.
Jennifer Van Dyk