Grandmamma and the BFG

Grandmamma and the BFG

Written by Mavis Gulliver, illustrated by Bronagh Newman
Inspired by The BFG

 

The BFG shook his head so hard that the breeze from his ears sent grandmamma flying.

“Most totally unpossible,” he said as he picked her up and popped her into his waistcoat pocket. “My dreams is for tiddly childers. They is not for oldy human beans with prunefuls of winkles and goldilocks as grey as bodgers’ bottoms.”

“Please,” she coaxed. “Just one phizzwizard for a box of peaches and a real live elephant.”

“You is tempting me,” said the BFG, “but no promises and no kiddling. I wants to see peaches and elefunts before I decides if they’s worth it.”

 

With grandmamma safely inside his waistcoat pocket, he strode across town and hopped over the fence into the zoo.

“There,” said grandmamma. “There’s your elephant.”

“That is NOT a elefunt,” said the BFG. “That is a pretend elefunt. I is wanting a truly elefunt that I can ride.”

“That IS an elephant,” said grandmamma. “It is the biggest animal in the whole world. But you are a giant and there are no animals big enough for giants to ride.”

The BFG stuck out his bottom lip. He scowled and he sniffed and tears of disappointment dripped from the end of his chin.

“I is discombobulated,” he said. “My hopes is smithered to smashereens.”

He crouched down and peered at the elephant. It rubbed its head against his knuckles, coiled its trunk around his finger and rolled on its back.

“Coochy, coochy coo,” chortled the BFG as he tickled its tummy. “You is nice and jumbly even though you is titchy as a squip-peak. I is going to be the only ever giant with a pet elefunt.”

He took grandmamma home and popped her through the bedroom window.

“I is thanking you muchly for my elefunt,” he said, “and I is leaving you a plentiful of goldenmost phizzwizards.”

He tipped thousands of happy dreams into his trumpet and blew them into every corner of grandmamma’s house.

“One by one they is coming out of crooks and nannies,” he said, “and they is enuff for your whole lifelong.”

With the elephant dangling from his little finger, he danced down the road.

“You forgot the peaches,” grandmamma called as she waved goodbye.

The BFG waved back. “You eatem,” he said. “I is lappy as a hark. I is dappy as a hutcher’s bog. I isn’t needing peaches now I got my ownmost elefunt.

 

Bronagh Newman's illustration for Grandmamma and the BFG.

 

My words

Unpossible – impossible

Tiddly childers – little children

Oldy – old

Prunefuls of winkles – as wrinkled as a prune

Goldilocks as grey as bodger’s bottoms -hair as grey as a badger’s bottom

Kiddling – kidding

Discombobulated – disorientated – I may have heard this somewhere else

Smithered to smashereens – smashed to smithereens

Titchy as a squip-peak – as little as a pip-squeak

Muchly – ever so much

Crooks and nannies – nooks and crannies

Enuff – enugh

Eatem – eat them

Lappy as a hark – happy as a lark

Dappy as a hutcher’s bog – happy as a butcher’s dog

Ownmost  – my own

 

Read the feature story ‘Writing about the BFG’

The Roly-Poly Bird goes on holiday with the Muggle-Wumps

Written by John Simmons, illustrated by Aimee Simmons
Inspired by The Twits

After the Twits got the shrinks, the Muggle-Wumps were happy to be free.

“Let’s celebrate,” they said to their bird friend who helped them escape from their cage. Monkeys don’t like being kept in cages any more than you would.

“We should go on holiday. How about France?”

“Oooo,” said Muggle-Wumps.

Ooo-la-la,” said the Roly-Poly Bird. “We should learn French – no good going and not knowing the language.”

He flew them on his back to Paris. They were enjoying  chocolat chaud and croissants in a café when they saw the sign: “See Paris from above. Best views from our chauderairee.”….

 

They went straightaway to buy tickets. “Quatre singes,” said the Roly-Poly Bird, hoping to get a reduced price for the four monkeys. The man in the ticket office just shrugged.

“My treat,” said the Roly-Poly Bird. They walked through the gate to where a scruffy-looking man was holding the rope attached to the balloon’s basket.

“Hop in,” the Roly-Poly Bird led the way. Soon they felt the basket move under their feet as the flames heated the air in the balloon. They started to lift off the ground. Looking down, the man holding the rope, with his beret pulled low over his head, looked strangely familiar. The Muggle-Wumps laughed: “Looks like Mr Twit!”

Up they soared. Paris was all around them down below. There was the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame Cathedral. The Muggle-Wumps were having a high old time jumping around. The basket shook from side to side. They were going higher and higher, and the Roly-Poly Bird noticed that the man holding the rope had been lifted off the ground and was swinging below them. He did look familiar. It was Mr Twit – Mr Twit unshrunk.

Non, non, arrête!!” squawked the bird at the Muggle-Wumps, forgetting that they didn’t speak much French. They jumped and swung all the more, enjoying themselves. They didn’t realise that a flame from the chauderairee was now burning the rope that Mr Twit was holding on to.

The flame burnt through the rope and they all watched Mr Twit fall from the sky, landing with an enormous splash in the River Seine.

Au revoir, Mr Twit,” shouted the Roly-Poly Bird.

Adieu,” screamed the Muggle-Wumps as the chauderairee took them back across the channel towards England.

rolypoly-sm1

Read the feature story ‘Aimee and the Twits’

Mary, Mary

Mary, Mary

SAM_3048Written by Irene Lofthouse, illustrated by Leo Stanley Goy
Inspired by Mary in Rhyming Stew

 

I was gobsmacked when a reporter appeared from “Where Are They NOW?” to interview mum about gardens. We lived eight floors up surrounded by concrete paths, parking bays, high rises and scraps of yellowing grass.

“Go away!” Mum shouted from the open balcony door.

I could see tears trickle down mum’s face. I didn’t know why she was crying and went to hug her.

“You were famous! Our viewers want to…” the reporter’s loud voice floated up causing Mum to storm onto the balcony.

“Leave me alonnnnnne!” she cried, clambering on the balcony railings, sobbing and swaying.

 

He skedaddled, leaving me to talk Mum down.

“It’s OK,” I said, hugging her, a tear dropping on my head as she stroked my hair. She revealed that when she was eight, my age, she’d grown a fantabulous garden with wondrous plants.

“Rodidodis rambuculated rampantly,” she said. “Spangalicious sprawled, spitting seeds at sunset. Silver Bells as tall as the Town Hall tower trembled and tinkled. Pretty Maids danced and dipped like ballerinas in the breeze. Cockle Shells croaked each full moon, cackling a cacophonous chorus. Tiger Lilies tangoed together, pouncing on slugs and savouring them. Spotted Snaglethorpe ladybirds leapt around.” Mum choked. “All gone! Destroyed when the council built the flats.”

She went to bed. It’s what she needed. Sparko in a moment. What she’d said explained a lot. Her change of mood from smiles to foot stamping. Contrary Mary, I’d heard at the school gates.

I loved her, wanted to make her happy. I had an idea. I ferreted in the box room for an old tin Gran had showed me.

It was full of paper seed packets Mum had collected. Gran had told me about “Guerilla Gardeners” and how they threw their “plant bombs”, onto bare patches of land to fill them with colour and life.

I became one. With Mum’s seeds and compost from the pound shop under my bed, I catapulted bombs from our balcony and “dropped” them to and from school.

Three months later, nothing. Soooo disappointing.

Mum’s birthday arrived, I left chocs and a card in her room. A squeal wakened me.

“Oh! What a Morning Glory!” Mum was on the balcony.

“You mean glorious morning,” I yawned.

“I know exactly what I mean,” she beamed, “rumboculating rodidodi, sparkling spangalicious . . .”

I ran to look.

Colour, scent, life entwined everything.

Mr Twit rides again

1_DanGermain_MrTwit (1)Written by Dan Germain, illustrated by Ruby Germain
Inspired by The Twits

 

As he oiled his chain with the greasy gunk from behind his ears, Mr Twit felt quite happy, which was most unusual. He couldn’t remember the last time he had been for a bike ride, and even the fact that it was a sunny day didn’t put him off.

The last time Mr Twit had left the house had been some time in 1980. Since then he’d been recovering from the Terrible Shrinks, gathering his strength and looking for his wife. Mrs Twit appeared to have disappeared, and Mr Twit could only imagine that the VILE OLD HAG hadn’t had the gumption to save herself from the Shrinks or those idiotic Muggle-Wumps.

Still, he didn’t miss her. Without her around, he’d been free to revel in his own filth for the last thirty-six years. He’d survived on and enjoyed a delicious diet of worms, mud and whatever poor unfortunate creature he could snare in his overgrown back garden. He washed his pants just the once, when it had become clear that they were starting turn into a sort of pant soup.

In short, he’d enjoyed being the filthy man that he was. It was making him feel quite GOOD. And he wanted to share that feeling with the world.

He walked to the gate with his bike, chain freshly ear-gunked, and off he pedalled, lungs wheehoozelling like a pair of rusty bellows. His knees clackled, the bike moaned and groaned under his weight, and fresh air whistled through his filthy facial fur.

Minutes passed, and Mr Twit found himself passing through a part of town he hadn’t visited for many years. Young people sat outside cafés, drinking strange green drinks, and seemed to be enjoying them.

“Mmm, pond slime,” thought Mr Twit enviously, and wondered if he should try one of these new concoctions.

It was only then that it struck him. All of these people – they all looked like him. They had straggly, unkempt beards and frightening hairstyles. They wore raggedy trousers and rode antique bicycles. And they drank those weird drinks, full of algae and grass clippings.

Mr Twit’s mind rumbled. His heart grumbled. His temper soared like a dirty vulture.

“What, in the name of all that is filthy, is going on?!” screamed Mr Twit inside his own extremely tiny brain.

“Everyone seems to have turned into me!”

 

 

Mr Fox

Written by Andy Hayes, illustrated by Millie Hayes
Inspired by Fantastic Mr Fox

 

Mrs Fox used to call me Fantastic Mr Fox. I was a magnificent creature: from my sharp white teeth to my neckerchief, but please – don’t mention my tail.

I had outfoxed the farmers, Boggis, Bunce and Bean. We thrived under ground as they shivered above us. We were happy, but good things never last. Mr Badger called me a show-off. We fought, I won, but hurt the poor chap in the process. The others started looking at me with fear in their eyes. They scuttled away whenever I came around. So I felt it was time to move on.

_

I took Mrs Fox and the little foxes to the city. It broke our hearts to leave the country. We went from green grass to grey concrete, fresh chicken to greasy leftovers, and the sharp, sweet air to the toxic fumes of killer cars.

The city foxes laughed at my country ways. They bent their heads, curled up their tails, and called me Fantastic Sir Fox – the insolent fellows. But I soon held sway. I knew they were weak. I could tell from their fundge, which was pale and insipid. Not like our pure pungent poo at all.

I marked my territory on the best patch, right by an all-night take-away. The fried chicken scraps were not bad. I’d eaten better, but my little foxes loved the fries.

Mrs Fox wasn’t happy. She wanted to go back home, or what was left of it. My stupid pride stopped me from seeing sense, and I refused to go. So she left, and took my darling cubs with her.

They left a huge hole in my heart, deeper than the one dug in the field by Boggis, Bunce and Bean. I ate to fill the emptiness. I stopped caring about my appearance. I became angry and bitter. I lost all my sense of joy. My teeth started to yellow, and my neckerchief hung from me like a dog chain, heavy, dragging me down.

And now, when I prowl my patch at night, I can hear the other foxes whispering, waiting for their turn, wanting to gnaw on my discarded fried chicken. Listen hard and you’ll hear them. ‘There he goes,’ they sneer, ‘he used to be someone. He thought he was the best thing since onion rings. Sad old fat old Mr Fox.’

MrFox

Read the feature story ‘Mr Fox, meet Millie and Me