Hello book lovers! Here we are on day two of the Back to School Spotlight – Ages 6-10! Today we are going to celebrate Christmas a little early with author Maxine Sylvester and her Ronaldo the Reindeer series. I can’t recommend these books enough. I love them! They are fun and hilarious!

Ronaldo: The Reindeer Flying Academy

Back to School Spotlight
  • Title: Ronaldo: The Flying Reindeer Academy
  • Author: Maxine Sylvester
  • Publisher: Self Published
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Pages: 109

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Ronaldo is the top flying cadet at the prestigious Reindeer Flying Academy. He dreams of getting his flying license and becoming one of Santa’s reindeer, just like his hero, Vixen. 

In the first adventure in the Ronaldo series, the second year flying cadets face their toughest ever flying test – The Endurance Challenge. Will Ronaldo be victorious and lift the silver cup? Or will mean brothers Dasher, Comet, and Prancer ruin his chance for success? 

Ronaldo: The Phantom Carrot Snatcher

Back to School Spotlight
  • Title: Ronaldo: The Phantom Carrot Snatcher
  • Author: Maxine Sylvester
  • Publisher: Matador
  • Format: Paperback and Kindle Editions
  • Pages: Paperback is 112 pages and Kindle Edition is 216 pages

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Ronaldo and Rudi discover friends come in all shapes and sizes as they embark on a superhero mission to help a lost wolf cub called Ernie to find her pack. 

Rudi comes up with a plan to find the pack and deliver a message during a speed test at flying school. But Ronaldo isn’t totally on board with the idea. He desperately wants to break the speed record and the plan means jeopardising his chance of becoming champion. 

Will Ronaldo go for glory… or will he discover the true meaning of friendship and sacrifice the race for Ernie? 

Bumbling Wing Commander Blitsen, head of The Reindeer Flying Academy, and mischievous brothers, Dasher, Comet, and Prancer also feature in this fun tale of bravery and friendship.

Ronaldo: Rudi’s Birthday Extravaganza

Back to School Spotlight
  • Title: Ronaldo: Rudi’s Birthday Extravaganza
  • Author: Maxine Sylvester
  • Publisher: Self Published
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Pages: 167

Synopsis from Goodreads:

It is summertime in Beresford. Ronaldo and Rudi are beside themselves with excitement: Monty the Moose, the most incredible Magician in the whole world is performing at Rudi’s birthday party!

But before the festivities begin, there’s the important matter of The Reindeer Flyover, an ancient tradition of The Reindeer Flying Academy that marks the end of the school term. But Rudi might not be able to fly. He’s injured his hoof and refuses to see Doctor Kloppen. Rudi is terrified of needles and, rumour has it, the Doctor’s needle is the size of a rocket!

Meanwhile, Ronaldo meets celebrity baker, Mrs. Sorensson, and offers to deliver her cakes to ‘Carrot’s ‘N’ Cakes’ bakery before flying school. The weather is hot so Ronaldo rushes through the forest so he can deliver the cakes before the icing melts. But trouble is lurking in the woods. Dasher and his menacing brothers, Comet and Prancer, are hiding in the bushes. Waiting for Ronaldo!

Back to School Spotlight – Author Interview: Maxine Sylvester

1. What is the inspiration for this book(s)?

My favourite plush! Sorry, I stole the idea from A.A. Milne whose inspiration was the toys in Christopher Robin’s bedroom. Michael Bond did the same. He used to take his bear plush (Paddington) on holiday with him. There’s a statue of Paddington at the station in London; a reminder for us to stay young at heart-and to have manners. Paddington is always polite!

2. How long did it take you to write this book(s)?

Each book has taken a year to write and illustrate. Ronaldo’s character developed over the years so although my writing got quicker – my stories got longer! Looking back, Ronaldo: The Reindeer Flying Academy, is an introduction to Ronaldo. His character seems younger whereas, in The Phantom Carrot Snatcher and Rudi’s Birthday Extravaganza, he is enjoying full-blown adventures with Rudi and making important decisions.

3. What made you decide to be a writer of children’s/YA novels?

I wanted a reason to illustrate, so I created a character, a young reindeer called Ronaldo, and intended to write a short story about him going to flying school. But once I started, I couldn’t stop. Pandora’s Box opened and all these ideas came flooding out. It’s such fun creating exciting new worlds and characters to live in them. Imagination is limitless!

Walt Disney has always inspired me; I love the films, the theme parks, even the cruise ships. When times are tough, it’s essential to put love and laughter back into the world, whether through a book or a film. Children are particularly vulnerable and books can be a source of comfort or inspiration. My two main characters, Ronaldo and Rudi, are fun and adventurous, but not perfect; they always have lessons to learn and children can relate to them.

4. Is your main character modeled from a real person? Who or why not?

Not consciously, but I can see myself in Ronaldo. He’s hardworking and conscientious; I was like that at school. My report cards said I was ‘responsible’. My teachers scared me; I was too frightened not to be! Rudi is the child I always wanted to be, carefree and goofy. I think Ronaldo and Rudi complement each other; Rudi brings out the fun in Ronaldo and Ronaldo helps Rudi with his flying. (He can’t understand his flying compass. He’s landed on the wrong runway in the past and crashed into other cadets!)

5. Just for fun, what is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Chocolate, although I would only eat it on top of a warm fudge brownie.

If you have not read these yet and would like to pick up copies for your family, you can purchase them at Amazon.com. If you use my special image links below, I earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

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