Granddaughter Ava inspires Stephanie Owen Reeder’s 20th book, Ghostie | Canberra time



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When mom and dad are busy working at home, Ava gets bored. Luckily for her, Ghostie comes to the rescue. There’s mischief and mayhem galore as together they explore his ghostly powers and celebrate family, friendship and imaginative play. So goes the premise of new children’s book Ghostie by Canberra author Dr Stephanie Owen Reeder, a work that not only captures the zeitgeist but also the creative imagination of the eight-year-old granddaughter of the author, Ava Loves Hope. Ghostie is actually Ava’s imaginary friend, Torrens’ only daughter and third year student at Orana Steiner School in Weston. “I sometimes pick up Ava from school and a lot of times I don’t just have Ava in the back seat of the car, but also Ghostie. And he can be very cheeky, can’t he Ava?” said Dr. Reeder. “I just hear that little voice say, ‘Ghostie, get in your seat’! And ‘Stop flying around the car’.” said, “Oh, you have to write a book about it – Ghostie and Ava and their adventures”. So I did. This is his 20th book and one full of meaning and fun. Dr Reeder says the COVID lockdowns have meant many parents will identify with the delicate juggling of entertaining young children while trying to work from home. “Many children have found it very difficult to be cooped up at home without their friends, and escaping into their imaginations is a very important way to deal with the anxiety that can be caused by this unusual situation,” he said. she declared. “That’s what Ghostie is – a little girl stuck at home [while] Mom and dad work on their computers all day, and out of her wonderful active imagination comes this little creature called Ghostie with whom she can have adventures, creating joy, fun and chaos in the house.” And in a spooky coincidence, Illustrator Mel Armstrong drew the spitting image of fictional Ava without ever having seen the actual baby girl. Ava says Ghostie is like her “imaginary little brother” who likes to have fun and eat noodles. inherited writing genes from her grandmother and also mom, arts publicist Megan Reeder Hope. A poem Ava wrote about an apple tree was recently included in her school’s poetry anthology. She feels ” good “to be in a book by his grandmother and writing is something that attracts him. That just brings me to that,” she said.


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