Just a quick one from me today as I’m busy having an adventure! I mean, Christmas has come early!
We went out in the car the other night…for a really long drive in the dark…
She wasn’t best pleased, I have to say, wen she found me on the passenger seat, next to her in the front. Not when she’d fastened me into the back seat with my special safety belt harness.
I may have got a bit excited, ’cause I accidentally bit it in half…
But anyway, we went to this place, loads of miles away… and there was a cat! It sat on the stairs and looked at me. I looked back and, as I was still on the leash and on duty, I thought I should sort it out… But she took the leash off, so I knew it would be okay to just walk away.
Anyway, we went into this other room… and four dogs bounced up!
I played with them and their two-legses for ages. And then, she said I could go stay with them for a few days while she has to go north. ( I thought she’d been ‘going south’ for a while, but that’s another story…).
So, while I’m busy adventuring, Someone else would like to send you a letter…
Much love, Ani xxx
I know that you are busy at this time of year with thousands of letters from boys and girls all over the world, but I have a special request for three children’s books that include lovely stories about the gift of sharing at Christmas time. I thought if you had time you could put them on my three little sisters Christmas wish lists. I know they will love them.
The first book is Little Women by Louise May Alcott. I think this one would be perfect for Elizabeth as she is always so sweet and good and kind, just like Beth in this story book. My favourite extract about Christmas from Little Women is when their mother comes home on Christmas morning and asks her four daughters to gift their breakfast to a nearby family of six children and a newborn baby, who are starving.
““My girls, will you give them your breakfast as a Christmas present?”
They were all unusually hungry, having waited nearly an hour, and for a minute no one spoke, on a minute, for Jo exclaimed impetuously, “I’m so glad you came before we began!”
“May I go and help carry the things to the poor little children?” asked Beth eagerly.
“I shall take the cream and the muffins,” added Amy, heroically giving up the article she most liked.
Meg was already covering the buckwheats, and piling the bread into one big plate.
“I thought you’d do it,” said Mrs March, smiling as if satisfied. “You shall all go and help me, and when we come back we will have bread and milk for breakfast, and make it up at dinnertime.”
My second choice is What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge. I have read this book four times myself and some of my homemade present ideas come from this book. I think it will be perfect for Elsie, who is a lovely little girl and so patient. Katy is injured by falling out of a swing and becomes paralyzed from the waist down. She must learn to adjust to life from her bedroom and not enjoying the freedom of movement she had before. Through trial and error, Katy does learn to become patient and becomes the heart of her motherless home and the centre of her younger siblings’ lives. My favourite extract about Christmas from this book is as follows:
“But what was that strange thing beside the bed? Katy stared and rubbed her eyes. It certainly had not been there when she went to sleep. How had it come?
It was a little evergreen tree planted in a red flower-pot. The pot had stripes of gilt paper stuck on it, and gilt stars and crosses, which made it look very gay. The boughs of the tree were hung with oranges and nuts and shiny red apples and pop-corn balls and strings of bright berries. There were also a number of little packages tied with blue and crimson ribbon, and altogether the tree looked so pretty that Katy gave a cry of delighted surprise.
“It’s a Christmas-tree for you, because you’re sick, you know!” said the children, all trying to hug her at once.
“We made it ourselves,” said Dorry, hopping about on one foot. “I pasted the black stars on the pot.””
The final book is for my youngest sister, Susan. She is a little ragamuffin and tomboy. I thought she would enjoy reading about another high-spirited little girl who lived in America during the late 18th century. She got to travel across America all the way to “Indian Territory” in a covered wagon and learned to live off the land. My favourite Christmas extract from Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingals Wilder is as follows:
“”I can figure no way whatsoever to get to their cabin this year, Edwards,” Santa Claus said. “Would you do me the favor to fetch them their gifts this one time?”
“I’ll do that, and with pleasure,” Mr Edwards told him.
Then Santa Claus and Mr Edwards stepped across the stree to the hitching-posts where the pack-mule was tied. (“Didn’t he have his reindeer?” Laura asked. “You know he couldn’t,” Mary said. “There isn’t any snow.” “Exactly,” said Mr Edwards. Santa Claus traveled with a pack-mule in the southwest.)
And Santa Claus uncinched the pack and looked through it, and he took out presents for Mary and Laura.
“Oh, what are they?” Laura cried; but Mary asked, “Then what did he do?”
Then he shook hands with Mr Edwards, and he swung up on his fine bay horse. Santa Claus rode well for a man of his weight and build. And he tucked his long, white whiskers under his bandana. “So long, Edwards,” he said, and he rode away on the Fort Dodge trail, leading his pack-mule and whistling.”
Thank you, Santa for reading my letter and I hope you have a safe trip around the world with no heat waves or snow waves.
About the author
Robbie, short for Roberta, is an author with five published children’s picture books in the Sir Chocolate books series for children aged 2 to 9 years old (co-authored with her son, Michael Cheadle), one published middle grade book in the Silly Willy series and one published preteen/young adult fictionalised biography about her mother’s life as a young girl growing up in an English town in Suffolk during World War II called While the Bombs Fell (co-authored with her mother, Elsie Hancy Eaton).
All of Robbie’s children’s book are written under Robbie Cheadle and are published by TSL Publications. Robbie has recently branched into adult horror and supernatural writing and, in order to clearly differentiate her children’s books from her adult writing, these will be published under Roberta Eaton Cheadle. Robbie has two short stories in the horror/supernatural genre included in Dark Visions, a collection of 34 short stories by 27 different authors and edited by award winning author, Dan Alatorre. These short stories are published under Robbie Cheadle.
Find and follow Roberta Eaton Cheadle
Books by Roberta Eaton Cheadle
Through the Nethergate
Roberta Eaton Cheadle
Margaret, a girl born with second sight, has the unique ability to bring ghosts trapped between Heaven and Hell back to life. When her parents die suddenly, she goes to live with her beloved grandfather, but the cellar of her grandfather’s ancient inn is haunted by an evil spirit of its own. In the town of Bungay, a black dog wanders the streets, enslaving the ghosts of those who have died unnatural deaths. When Margaret arrives, these phantoms congregate at the inn, hoping she can free them from the clutches of Hugh Bigod, the 12th century ghost who has drawn them away from Heaven’s White Light in his canine guise. With the help of her grandfather and the spirits she has befriended, Margaret sets out to defeat Hugh Bigod, only to discover he wants to use her for his own ends – to take over Hell itself.
It is available from Lulu.com here: Lulu.com
It is also available from TSL Publications as a soft copy book here: TSL Publications
While the Bombs Fell
What was it like for children growing up in rural Suffolk during World War 2?
Elsie and her family live in a small double-storey cottage in Bungay, Suffolk. Every night she lies awake listening anxiously for the sound of the German bomber planes. Often they come and the air raid siren sounds signalling that the family must leave their beds and venture out to the air raid shelter in the garden.
Despite the war raging across the English channel, daily life continues with its highlights, such as Christmas and the traditional Boxing Day fox hunt, and its wary moments when Elsie learns the stories of Jack Frost and the ghostly and terrifying Black Shuck that haunts the coastline and countryside of East Anglia.
Includes some authentic World War 2 recipes.
Robbie also writes as Robbie Cheadle
The Sir Chocolate books are a delightful marriage of story, verse and cookery
… a perfect recipe for sharing with children. Silly Willy goes to Cape Town tells the adventures of two very different brothers…and includes five party cake ideas.
You can purchase the Sir Chocolate books from:
or you can buy them in South Africa directly from the authors by emailing Robbie Cheadle at firstname.lastname@example.org.