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Susan is an author, canine behaviourist, and a storyteller. She lives with her family and dogs, in particular, Rocky the Border collie and Stella, the blind dog. She spends her time blogging, writing and illustrating; training and counselling dogs and being bossed around by the family cat, Speed Bump Charlie and his sidekick, Furball (see Dogs in Space).
Susan travelled around the world twice before she was seven years old. It seemed only fitting that the wonderful events she experienced and the places she visited on these journeys be recorded for history. Thus, her story telling skills began. Firstly, to Rupert Bear, her lifelong companion, and then to a host of imaginary friends and finally to her pet dog once the family finally set down roots in Australia.
Susan is passionate about children's literature and wants to inspire children to be better people and encourage them to follow their dreams. She runs workshops for children teaching them how to form the wonders of their imaginations into stories.
Susan lives in a small country town where there are more kangaroos than people. She shares her country property with four dogs, three cats, three rescue guinea pigs and a very large fish and her patient husband. More about her adventures are reflected in Clarence the Snake from Dunolly.
on April 22, 2015 :
Lots of fun and entertainment that will inspire your children's imagination and thought process!
There are two missions on-the-go in this well paced, fun and entertaining story:
Thanks to the antics of Speed Bump Charlie (an old alley cat) - the Moon has been destroyed!
NASA turns to a special group of canines, known as The Organisation, for help. Their mission is to find a replacement for the Moon! – NASA has a spaceship waiting for them at Cape Canaveral.
After a brief meeting with NASA, the spaceship is ready. Commander Rocky agrees to lead the mission, along with the help of his special team of canines, Astro, Alfie, Digger, Indy and Stella.
Needless to say, but this adventurous trip to the far reaches of the solar system does not go exactly to plan! What will this space crew encounter? And will they overcome their challenges?
It's very entertaining for the reader. One of my favourite moments is when Astro and Alfie encounters a space walk, with their moon-ropes. They encounter some angry aliens – it's very amusing!
Meanwhile, Speed Bump Charlie has a mission of his own. He devises a wicked plan to rid the world of dogs forever – after finding a chariot of treasure, lying on an ocean seabed! He soon meets a little kitten, who looks remarkably like himself! - Eventually, they join forces. Speed Bump Charlie calls the kitten, Furball. After an adventurous journey together in a truck, Speed Bump Charlie and Furball arrive at 123 Meow Muse, Cat Town. It's here that they devise an ingenious dog-trap, using the treasure and their skills with a hot welding machine!
Speed Bump Charlie is confident that his dog-trap will free the world of all canines.
At first, his plan appears to be working. Hundreds of dogs are leered and mesmerised into his wicked dog-trap!
What eventually happens?
Well, I can tell you that The Organisation are a very highly-technical team! Before arriving back on Earth in their spaceship, they hear shocking news from Dotty and Buster (based in the communications room at their headquarters) about Speed Bump Charlie's plans!
Will they have time to stop Speed Bump Charlie and save the future of the canine world?
The final part of this story brings the canines face-to-face with the felines. It's highly entertaining!
I counted thirty-seven cute and colourful illustrations. This adds another dimension to the characters and the well-written story telling. I recommend this book to science-fiction lovers, and to children who love to use and express their thoughts and imagination. Age range: 8 to 14 years.
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
(reviewed 7 days after purchase)
on March 26, 2015 :
I think this is a great children's book. I don't read very many anymore but I glad I got to read this one. I think the cat and dog part of the book is great. I love both animals very much. It was a great adventure book I think any kids would enjoy. * I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*
(reviewed 58 days after purchase)
on Feb. 19, 2015 :
An evil cat, Speed Bump Charlie, has taken a trip out to a remote part of the ocean. He dives deep and soon finds the object he seeks. Meanwhile, in another part of the ocean, a group of dogs have just completed an assignment. They are part of The Organisation, a group of dogs which saves dogs from neglect, set them free from animal shelters and protect everyone from general mistreatment. Unfortunately, they've just received words from a superior that something has happened to the moon. It has somehow been destroyed and NASA now relies on this group of dogs to go into space to find a replacement. Have a read to find out what happens!
The overall story relies on silliness rather than proper plot or character development. The characters are stereotypical. The plot has no proper explanation and makes little sense beyond the fact that dogs are now going to space with no training and little instruction, to steal a moon from another planet with no thought as to how it might affect either Jupiter or the aliens located on that moon. To be honest, it just seems kind of embarrassing to have Alfie save the whole crew by farting. It just seems like he was only there to provide some sort of sick humour; that the crew insist on bullying him he then saves the day by doing something embarrassing for everyone (so much so that "No one mentioned the incident again"). After he had saved all of their lives, they go right back to bullying him again. The bullying and ill feelings of other characters is fairly prominent. Some of the goings on in the book are a bit advanced for some children; the book derives several portions of the plot from real life events, like mention to "The Great War" and Speed Bump Charlie's part to play in it. Though, I think that in some ways it might be more appropriate for younger children; the overall story relies on silliness.
Admittedly, it was an alright book if one completely ignores the ridiculousness of the writing. The thing is that I could probably accept dogs going to space, but not in such a silly manner. I could probably accept a cat trying to take over the world, but the book gives us little reason as to why he does it so it just seems silly. I could probably even accept that Furball might be the child of Speed Bump Charlie, but the story gives no proper explanation to the idea, so it just seems incredibly irrelevant. I'm could probably accept the book much better if many of the motives and actions were explained better the characters were less stereotypical. I think it's worth three stars. I know it's a book for kids, but there still ought to be some practicality in all of it. I obtained a free copy via use of a coupon code and this is just my honest opinion on it and I mean no offense.
(reviewed 28 days after purchase)
on Jan. 25, 2015 :
This book is hilarious. I laughed a lot. The villains are funny and their machinations are diabolical. The space trip is terrific and what the dogs encounter, well, I won't spoil the story, but it's unexpected. I liked the cute illustrations and cover. This book is good for dog lovers and sci-fi fans as well. I hope to read more in this series.
(reviewed 4 days after purchase)
on Jan. 25, 2015 :
This is a great story, and I wanted so bad to give it five stars. But I can't. Why? Because the cats and dogs in this story are meant to be actual pets, so should have the same physical abilities as your average pet - even if they can talk, and are using technology - but these pets somehow have things cats and dogs don't (like opposable thumbs). They also do things that even humans couldn't do unless they have super strength (like single handedly move a large object the size of a car and larger). However, if you can get past those things, it's a good read, and either way it's very entertaining; I liked it enough that I plan to get the rest of the series at some point, anyway.
(reviewed 3 days after purchase)
on Jan. 24, 2015 :
This is the 8th book in the Series of Astro's adventure. Although I haven't read the previous 7, this is an amazing book in itself. Astro and his gang has to go to space to find a replacement for the Moon. At the same time, on earth, Speed Bump Charlie and his new side kick, Furball are all set to destroy all the dogs of the world. But bringing a replacement for the Moon is not easy. And so is getting rid of all the dogs in the world. Who manages to accomplish their mission and who does not?
Astro and his gang are amazing. I have always loved dogs and this book just falls right in the my list of loved books. The cute illustrations in between and the the way the story goes, the language and the way the characters are built, the typical Cat and Dog animosity and the idea of the story overall is really beautiful and artistically prepared.
The book is for a bit older kids who can read themselves. There is no doubt that it will be adored by every one who reads it
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)
on Jan. 21, 2015 :
I don't get many children's books to review, so Dogs In Space was rather a treat. It's silly in the way that books for small children are, but it is the magnificent silliness that one finds in the best children's books.
The earnest, bumbling dogs are very dog-like, and the wonderful arch-villain, Speed Bump Charlie, is beautifully wicked. Such a very catlike cat. This faithfulness to the animals' essential natures gives the book a level of realism that I found pleasing, despite the traditional elements of children's book that have paws functioning as hands, things being removed from pockets, and so on.
The book is well paced and the action is kept up and does not flag at all; there's an evenness to it that is very pleasing. It would work well if read to a child in a number of sessions.
I note with approbation that Dogs In Space is the latest volume in a fairly extensive series, and feel sure that future generations of adults will look fondly back on the Astro's Adventures books as a childhood classic.
(reviewed the day of purchase)