Smelly Ellie

It’s always so nice to have encouraging words from another writer. Writers know how much blood, sweat, tears and terrible self-doubt go into producing every page!

John Needham


Here’s a lovely little book for animal-loving children, by exciting upcoming France-resident author Susan Russell. It’s the second offering by her in the genre and very different from her first excursion into it.

Smelly Ellie for bedtime reading really hits the spot – if my my son or daughter (or grandchildren) were still tinies, they’d absolutely love it. Well, with an astutely-chosen puppy as subject matter, satisfaction is definitely guaranteed! But it isn’t just that; this really is a sweet, funny and entertaining little story with just the right degree of sentiment and a judicious amount of drama.

It’s inspired by Susan and her husband’s work in an animal refuge and the titular Ellie is inspired by their own pooch of the same name.

There’s the classic storytelling device of a jeopardy episode towards the end but never fear; the clever final twist (which I didn’t see coming) and resolution…

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A Second Book Comes to Fruition

I think it was February 2018 that I intended to make a start on this ‘blog’ and here we are in late June 2019 before a single word has materialised! Currently I’m feeling pretty cheerful about the fact that my second book for children, Smelly Ellie, is now out there on Amazon. Of course, I really hope that young children enjoy it, but I also hope that it makes people think about adopting a Shelter dog rather than buying from a breeder. We, that’s me and husband, Alan, are active volunteers at our local dog refuge here in France and know at first hand that they are all normal, adorable dogs who have had the bad luck to find themselves abandoned.

Our own dog, Ellie, was adopted from a French refuge in 2012 and she was the inspiration for my book. I’m not a trained artist but I had great fun making the illustrations for the book and our middle son, Joe, made a great job of doing a few interesting things with the text here and there. If you read my book let me know what you think. And I love to hear about other dogs that have been adopted from a shelter, if you happen to have one, or two, or three…