Book Review mentioning the Christian aspect of Space Ranger Fred

This is one of the first Book Reviews to mention the Christian message contained in the story.

Reviewed by Joyce McPherson for Readers’ Favorite


Space Ranger Fred and the Umbrella Rescue by Matthew Newnham is a delightful early chapter book about Fred, who is almost seven years old. He is enlisted to help Zando Centauri, the space ranger from his favorite comic book. Fred has already earned the title “Space Ranger” in an earlier adventure. On this particular rainy day, Zando appears and whisks Fred away to a birthday party for the daughter of King Gandori, whom Fred has helped earlier.


Unfortunately, their spacecraft needs refueling, and during this delay they encounter an alien Quantaxian who needs help. The alien is a rough-looking creature with tattoos, and he has been stranded for three weeks because no one would help him. Zando is wary of him, but Fred insists that they help. In the end, Fred saves King Gandori once again when he arrives with the alien who is shipping PFLS’s which are exactly what the king needs to save the princess’s rainy party from ruin. If you would like to know what a PFLS is, you will have to read the book for yourself!


Newnham incorporates many fun details like Jupiter, Fred’s stinky dog, and Zando Centuri’s embarrassment when he discovers that the PFLS has already been invented on earth. The best part of the tale is the way Newnham incorporates the lesson of the Good Samaritan in an imaginative space story. The simple illustrations and text may even inspire young space rangers to take up their pens and create their own stories. I recommend Space Ranger Fred and the Umbrella Rescue for early readers, reluctant readers, and wanna-be space rangers. An endearing early chapter book about space heroes, aliens, and helping others.

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5 Star Book Review

Book Review

Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers’ Favorite

Space Ranger Fred and the Umbrella Rescue is a children’s book written and illustrated by Matt Newnham. Six-year-old Fred Sanders is the youngest Space Ranger in the universe. As he looks out from his bedroom window into the pouring rain, Fred smiles as he remembers his most recent awesome adventure in which he had assisted one of his favorite Space Rangers, Zando Centauri. Looking down at his dog, Jupiter, sleeping on his bed, Fred feels the familiar shudder of Zando’s space rocket as it enters the Earth’s atmosphere. Quickly pulling on his Space Ranger suit, Fred watches as Zando disembarks from the space rocket, carrying an umbrella. Fred is invited to a special surprise birthday party for Emperor Gandori’s daughter. On their way to the party, Fred and Zando perform an unexpected rescue, which not only results in a surprise extra guest, but also saves the party from an unforeseen disaster.

The excitement and humor which carried throughout Matt Newnham’s adventurous children’s book was an absolute delight, as were the illustrations which were so bright and colorful. I could not help but laugh out loud at some of the weird and wonderful names which Zando Centauri came up with for everyday devices used on Earth, such as umbrellas, windshield wipers and buckets. Whether or not the adventure was real or imagined by the child, the fable-like story line was quite heartwarming. Refusing to rescue somebody because they might possibly be from a part of space where people were not popular is typical of stereotyping and racial profiling. It reminded me of a story which I’d heard as a child, titled The Good Samaritan, when it was pointed out that everybody needs help, even if they are a stranger to us. Kindness and common sense prevailed, both of which reaped their own rewards. Whilst Space Ranger Fred and the Umbrella Rescue is an adventure book filled with imagination, it equally carries vital lessons in life about being selfless, helping others, and not judging a book by its cover. I wholeheartedly enjoyed Matt Newnham’s space antics and recommend this book to be read at story time to children aged 4-7 years of age, or as a read-it-yourself book for early readers.

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Paperback Umbrella Rescue

space ranger fredSpace Ranger Fred and the Umbrella Rescue is available in Paperback.

The latest book in the Space Ranger Fred series sees Fred and Zando leave a wet and soggy planet earth for a birthday party. They have to go via Saturn to refuel and get a mayday distress call.

Fred’s hero, Zando Centrauri tells Fred to ignore the distress call as the person making it is a waste of time and it will only cause trouble.

What happens next will surprise and amaze every young reader.

Sometimes doing the right thing is not easy, especially when an adult tells you not to. In Space Ranger Fred and the Umbrella Rescue kids learn an important lesson about doing the right thing.

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NEW RELEASE: Space Ranger Fred and the Umbrella Rescue

51vjqdub7lYes it is here… in eBook at least, there is a delay of about a week on the print edition due some sad matters out of my control in the US. Space Ranger Fred and the Umbrella Rescue is available!

The latest book has the same characters as the first with a few new faces and has more laughs, more crazy devices and a valuable lesson for all kids to learn.

The eBook is available on Amazon, Smashwords and other online stores.

The Print edition is due in the first week of December and will be just about ready for Christmas. Don’t forget Space Ranger Fred and the Shoelace Adventure is still available and Space Ranger Fred and the Tick Tock Tale is due in January!!!  Keep an eye out for 2 new titles – the Emma Jane Series and the Sunnygate Farm coming in 2017.

The audiobook of Space Ranger Fred and the Shoelace Adventure as well as Space Ranger Fred and the Umbrella Rescue will be recorded in early 2017 and a brand new layout of the books and some exciting developments are underway to make Space Ranger Fred a name every household will know.

There are another 7 Space Ranger Fred Books in the process of being written, all of which will be self-published at this stage –  hopefully a publishing deal will be signed very soon to make the books even more accessible.

If you have read the first book please give a review on Amazon, it really helps get the books seen and is the ultimate thank you for an author.  Space Ranger Fred and the Shoelace Adventure has received a number of 5 star reviews and more reviews are always welcome.

If you have a school that wants a copy of the books for the library please let me know – school libraries are a great place for kids to learn to love to read.





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Breaking News: Space Ranger Fred and the Umbrella Rescue due for release October 2016

The 2nd Space Ra017nger Fred book – Space Ranger Fred and the Umbrella Rescue – has been sent to ePrinted Books for formatting and will be available for review in early October 2016  and on the bookshelves by late October 2016.

For more details contact the author

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PRESS RELEASE: Children’s Author Set to Raise $15,000 to blast a series of books about a 6 year old boy into orbit through crowdfunding


Matt Newnham WriterCrowdfunding campaign established to  provide for the production of the book — Space Ranger Fred and The Shoelace Adventure, as he is keen on turning it into a series of eight that kids would love



Children love to learn new things; they have an inbuilt drive to find and master new experiences, and that is one of the reasons parents and guardians introduce their young child to books and the exciting stories, adventures and ideas that they contain. Providing stimulating reading material for children, and reading aloud to young ones is one of the best ways to create a child that will be open to different ways of doing things and one who will succeed. With a burning desire to bequeath such of these materials to kids, and to allow them to explore the adventurous world in a fascinating way, Matthew Newnham, a passionate writer, wrote and launched the book —  Space Ranger Fred and The Shoelace Adventure.

3D-Book-Template1However, ever since the release of the book in December 2015, many parents and kids who got absorbed with the book’s content has been requesting Mr. Matt as he is fondly called, to turn the Space Ranger Fred and The Shoelace Adventure into a fantastic series. This reason made Matthew start a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo ( as he his keen on raising $15, 000 US Dollar to make the project a reality. He hopes to use  the fund to provide for the production of the next few book in series of eight, which kids would love.

One of the parents who bought the on Amazon shared his experience, “My son is almost five years old, and he is at a stage where he loves the galaxy, astronauts, and aliens. We spent nearly a week reading this story together around bedtime, and he loved it. The writing is easy for him to understand, and the story is engaging. Sometimes, when reading stories as a parent, the story becomes trivial and boring. Not with Fred… I was not able to guess the next sequence of events and my son loved the story. Even if you have a reader on your hands already, I think kids would enjoy the story on their own.”

Matthew provides an explanation of what the book entails and how children will benefit from it:

Space Ranger Fred and the Shoelace Adventure is an exciting science fiction novel, ideal for elementary and middle school-aged children.

“In this thrilling adventure story, we meet Fred Sanders, a six-year-old boy. Fred’s biggest dream in life is to become an intergalactic space ranger. Out of boredom, Fred finds himself talking to his dog named Jupiter. He tells Jupiter that he wishes his comic book hero Zando Centauri was there to make things exciting. No sooner had he finished speaking when Zando Centauri arrives in a rocket ship, and Fred’s exciting intergalactic space odyssey begins. Fred flies off into outer space with Zando. The pair visit Jupiter for refueling and then travel on to the planet Jambori where Fred meets the aging Emperor Gandori and helps him with an important shoelace tying challenge,” Matthew explained.

004 (2)Space Ranger Fred and the shoelace adventure is the first in a series of books each with the same group of characters.  Space Ranger Fred and the Umbrella Rescue is currently being edited, Space Ranger Fred and the broken treasure map and Space Ranger Fred and the lost spacemen are all written and about to be edited.

“Spaceships, planets, galaxies, emperors, adventure..what’s not to love?! Fred is the master of shoelace tying; he even teaches the emperor of a foreign planet how to tie laces… that’s his sole share his talent and to show others. Helping others, and teaching others, is what this book is all about. Community and being proud of the small things, that to another may be not very small,” explained another parent who bought the book from Amazon.

For more information about Space Ranger Fred and The Shoelace Adventure crowdfunding campaign, and to make donations, visit

About Matt Newnham

Matt Newnham was born and educated in Sussex, England and fell in love with reading at a young age. Matt now lives and works as a freelance writer and author in Cape Town, South Africa with his teenage son, Sebastian and his love of reading has now turned into a passion for encouraging others to read through his writing.


Matt Newnham

Telephone: +27 (0) 81 708 2166

Twitter: @mattnewnhamZA

Instagram: @spacerangerfred



Space Ranger Fred:

Crowdfunding Campaign:


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Blast Fred into orbit with crowdfunding


So it is happening…  Space Ranger Fred and the Shoelace Adventure has proven it can work and now it is time to get serious…. really serious!

A crowdfunding campaign has been started with the intention of raising $15,000 to get the Space Ranger Fred series of books on bookshelves of real bookshops all over the world.

The smiles and laughter from kids as they read Space Ranger Fred and the Shoelace Adventure or as I or someone else reads it to them are so special and more stories, more adventures have been demanded.  The crowdfunding campaign will also answer the question I dread most “where can I buy your book?”

Thanks to some solid support from friends and finding someone who can promote and distribute the books professionally a crowdfunding campaign makes absolute sense.

To take part is easy and there are 3 things anyone can do:


  1.  Donate and support –
  2. Share the campaign on Social Medial –
  3. Tell your friends who are not on social media

This is your chance to be part of my books, for one lucky supporter there is even a chance to turn yourself or your child into a character in one of the books.

Your support in this crazy adventure is very much appreciated and I cannot wait to see the Space Ranger Fred books in stores all over the world – imagine what it will look like in Chinese?



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Reading at Generations school

Grade 2 and 3 @generation schools. @spacerangerfred #shoelaceadventure #reading #read #capetown

A photo posted by Bianca Peace (@pact_bianca) on

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Shoelaces tied… thanks to my book!

BOOK REVIEW: Space Ranger Fred and the Shoelace Adventure, by Matthew Newnham

Is your child learning how to tie their shoelaces? Then this might be a delightful little treat for them.
Space Ranger Fred is a little boy called on to help the famous Zando Centauri on a vitally important mission – to help Emperor Gandori. The problem? The people on Gandori’s planet have never used shoelaces, and he has a new pair of shoes with them that he needs to learn how to tie! Fred to the rescue!
This is a fun read – though perhaps a little long for younger readers to enjoy at a single bedtime reading, but with six chapters it makes a great read at a chapter a night across a week.
My stepson, Dylan, who is six, enjoyed it in two sittings, even though it had to contend with his favourites such as If I Ran The Zoo and The Dinosaur That Pooped A Planet. He didn’t quite engage with the first two chapters, but once the mission he was under way, he loved it. His review is in the video below.
Will Fred complete his mission and get back home to his pet dog, Jupiter? Read and find out!
And the bonus? Dylan tied his first shoelace by following the instructions in the book. Result!

Read the full review here

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