Today, we have a special guest at my pad, author Deanie Humphrys-Dunne. She's a super nice person who's also known as the "horse tale lady." Her books feature horses, and always impart valuable life lessons to kids. Her newest book, Charlene the Star and Bentley Bulldog, was released recently. She's here to talk about it with us. But before we begin, let me first share my review of the book:
Five out of five stars: Charlene the Star and Bentley Bulldog is the third book in author, Deanie Humphrys-Dunne's, Charlene the Star series. Like the other books, it is filled with valuable life lessons. Charlene the Star is a champion jumper horse. It is her dream to win the High Score Award. By setting goals and working hard, she accomplishes her dream. The new character in the book is Bentley, an English Bulldog, who in the beginning, is quite a bully. He learns, however, that being a bully isn't the right thing to do. Helping and encouraging others is much better.
Ms. Humphrys-Dunne cleverly puts these life lessons into a story where the animals are the protagonists, sharing their points of view. Children will enjoy this type of story telling, as well as the pencil illustrations which compliment the text nicely. Charlene the Star and Bentley Bulldog is a good book for children ages six to ten, which will teach them about setting goals, teamwork, and good character.
Hi Deanie! Welcome to my pad!
Thank you so much for inviting me to be a guest on your blog, Sherry. I love reading your stories on ‘Mama Diaries’ because they always make me smile. I hope your readers enjoy finding out more about me and my books.
I'm sure they will!
Your blog, Childrens Books with Life Lessons, features some great kids who show good character. Where do you find these inspiring stories?
I listen to lots of news stories and search the internet to find true stories of kids who have done amazing things. Sometimes I find articles in children’s magazines. Once I discover a good story, I try to write a blog that would relate well to one of my books. I love featuring kids who are wonderful role models for others.
Those kids really are amazing. I hope our readers will hop over to your blog and read some of their incredible stories.
Your own books are stories with life lessons. What inspired you to write these?
My first book, Tails of Sweetbrier, is an award-winning autobiography that I was inspired to write after I’d taken a course on medical coding, hoping to start a new career. But once I graduated, I couldn’t find a job. I kept having an intuition that I should write the story of my childhood to help children realize that all things are possible if you persevere. The feeling to write the story wouldn’t go away, so I decided to write it and see if anyone would publish it. I kept remembering my Dad’s advice that when we’re afraid to try something, we should consider the worst thing that would happen. In this case, it would have been that no company wanted to publish the story so I’d have had to improve it. Once this book was published I had a little more confidence and tried to think of entertaining ways to approach other stories that carried subtle lessons for children to ponder. I love children and it makes me happy to write stories that are fun to read and convey important lessons.
I'm glad you followed your intuition. You've produced some really nice stories that encourage good character.
Can you share some of the life lessons with us?
Well, as I mentioned, one of the characteristics emphasized in Tails of Sweetbrier is perseverance. I think everyone struggles with various challenges and if you’re not determined you’re not likely to reach your goals. Another good character trait is setting goals. If you don’t do that, you’ll be wandering around with nothing to work toward. Setting goals is introduced in my book, Charlie the Horse, for example. Many of my books stress helping others and developing your natural talents because I think we often don’t realize our abilities until we test them. Teamwork is another important lesson that’s evident in my books because by working together we can achieve amazing things.
So true! Teamwork and perseverance are really important!
Tell us about your new book, Charlene the Star and Bentley Bulldog.
There is a series of Charlene the Star books and this is the third of those. In this story, we meet Bentley bulldog. He’s quite an obnoxious fellow at first. He insults Hattie the chicken by telling her that “Chickens don’t know how to do anything. Nobody talks about them unless they’re on the menu.” Poor Hattie was so upset she nearly faints. But she makes a plan to help cheer up her friends after she sees the headline in The Gazette. Bentley has a lot to learn and the other animal characters do their best to educate him on the errors of his ways. In the end, Bentley does some amazing things to show that he’s reformed. The story highlights good manners like apologizing, teamwork, sportsmanship, and building self-esteem. Of course, since Bentley is a bulldog, there’s a little advice on handling bullying as well.
Bentley is your classic bully at the beginning. I'm glad he shaped up and learned to be a good friend!
The animals in your stories are cute. They’re the ones teaching the lessons. Why did you choose animals instead of people?
I thought it would be more entertaining and interesting for children to read about adventures with animals. I try to make their antics amusing, too. Also, children generally love animals and it’s another aspect that makes my stories unique. My sister, Holly Humphrys-Bajaj, illustrates all my books and designs the covers. She really is a remarkable talent. She makes the characters come to life.
You're lucky to have such talent in your family!
Are you working on anything new?
Yes, I’m working on another story for the Charlene the Star series that will be partially based on truth. But it’s still in the beginning stages.
I'm sure it'll be another great book in the series. Good luck with it!
Where can we find your books?
They can also be purchased from my website: www.childrensbookswithlifelessons.com
Or you’ll find links to amazon.com on these sites:
You may also make arrangements to purchase signed copies by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deanie has graciously offered to give away one autographed copy of her book to a lucky commenter. For your chance to win, just leave a comment below. I'll announce the winner on Tuesday.