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

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

rolypoly-lgWritten 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.”….

Read more…


Read the feature story ‘Aimee and the Twits’


A Warning about Books

A Warning about Books

Matilda_Riley-Dobson---Jo_TWritten by Jo Thomas, illustrated by Riley Dobson
Inspired by Matilda


Books put mush between your ears
They turn your brains to jelly
Ideas make little heads explode
You’d better stick with telly

Books spark phizzlejimbly spells
Transform you while you’re reading
Into a girl or boy or dog
Or dragon that needs feeding

Books can blast you into space
To far off lands and oceans deep
Best prepare for wild adventures
Wave goodbye to dreamless sleep

Books will get you hooked for life
Like nose-picking, a habit
You’ll catch the reading bug and say
“Now here’s my chance,” and grab it!

Mike Teavee

Mike Teavee


Written by Jane Berney, illustrated by Meagan Fowler
Inspired by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory


Pistols, rifles, cannons
Ready, aim, fire!
Who needs a job
when you can be
a TV gun for hire?

Since Wonka stretched me to such lengths,
I’m further from the floor
So watching TV all day
is a pastime no more.

Blow me down,
I’m so tall
I’ve changed my slinging ways.
Instead of guns, I now shoot
hoops with style and grace.

My mother and my father
used to yell at me.
Now I tower above them
they see me differently.

is what they think I had.
I don’t know,
maybe I’d best go
check on my iPad.


Read the feature story ‘How we stretched our imaginations with Mike Teavee’

From Mean Low Wretch to Grand High Witch

From Mean Low Wretch to Grand High Witch

jan-dekkerWritten by Jan Dekker, illustrated by Emily Dekker & Alice Dekker
Inspired by The Witches


Once I was who I used to be.

Kind, modest, demure, delightful. Amenable, accommodating. Pleasant, patient. So nice. So lovely. But so put-upon, so pliable. Servile, supine, simpering. Diffident, deferential. Base, bowing, scraping, quaking, flaky and kow-towing.

So, a sip of special grunchelpotion and…fizz-bubble, scubbletrouble… I became who I am.

My old self crrracklepackered to a cinder, and my new self in its place. Strong, certain, in control. In ze drrriving seat. Ven I say ‘jump’, zey jump out of their miserable skinz.

Zat’s better. So, so much better. I rrreccomend it. In fact, I rrrequire it.

Who’s viz me?

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.


Read more…

All Grown-Ups Have Secrets

All Grown-Ups Have Secrets

geetaWritten by Gita Ralleigh, illustrated by Leela Delamere
Inspired by Danny, the Champion of the World

Danny’s father returned from the war, lost a wife and gained a child. Like his gypsy caravan, soft-lit in the darkness, he’s an adventurous soul who stays in one place: dispensing petrol, tinkering with engines and inventing go-karts, fire-balloons and big friendly giants for his son.

As night descends, he quietly leaves their caravan, alone. When the yellow moon rises and the owl makes its low, eerie hoot, he walks to the woods, each footfall taking him further away from Danny – and closer to his secret.

One night, he shares his secret with Danny, blue eyes squinkling.

The Accidental Hero

The Accidental Hero

gillian-cWritten by Gillian Colhoun, illustrated by Amalie & Bruno Caves
Inspired by Matilda


I’m no knight in shining armour
Not tall, not proud, not full of ardour.
I never asked to be that guy
The one they cheered to swillafy.
Never thought there’d come a day
I’d get my turn to make her pay.


I’m no hero in tights and cape
Not brave, not bold, not Iron Man shaped.
I never meant to scoff that cake,
The one The Trunchbull had Cook bake.
Never defied a grown-up before,
I’m so very easy to ignore.


I’m Bruce Bogtrotter
Round and plump.
A stammerer, a stutterer,
An invisible chump.


But, you know what?
I won.

Caterpillar Snacks

Caterpillar Snacks

Emily_Cracknell_David_6Written by Emily Cracknell, illustrated by David Duan
Inspired by George’s Marvellous Medicine


A matchbox carefully worn; adorned:
‘Beware the bite and bark’
Starts to rattle, shake and spit.

A ravenous spark jives within’t;
Granny – tiny; yet hot-fierce
Rasps for ‘pillar.

“’Pillar, you hear!”

She wants to suck the
Juice from creepy-crawlies,
Rip the prickles from their backs,
Make caterpillar-snacks.

They’ll last her weeks –
She’s very small.
(A thimble-tall, if at all.)

The recipe is simple.
Slide the rascalliwagon ‘pillar in.
Shred some cabbage for effect.
(She won’t be keeping the ‘pillar as a pet.)

She’ll chomp her way to the centre
Using her very miniature dentures.

It’ll soothe her temper.

Grandma’s Heart

Grandma’s Heart

IMG_2645Written by Elen Lewis, illustrated by Rosie Paynter
Inspired by George’s Marvellous Medicine


As George told it

His grandma’s heart

Was sliced with ice

Shards of glass

Darker than darkly.


When she croaked

It was drill on dry stone

And her clutch

Was a tightrope

That made him fall down.


When she glared

It was a chest thump

That snatched his breath

Until his soul stretched pale

And started to fray.


When she shrieked

It was a cave echo

That lost his name

And all sense of who he was

And what he might be.


As George told it

His grandma’s heart

Gave him one choice

To be bravellous

Braver than bravely.


A Creamery Reinvention…

A Creamery Reinvention…

3_DebbyMoss_MissTrunchbullWritten by Debby Moss, illustrated by Charley Moss
Inspired by Matilda


Upon realising her teaching career was now toast,

Miss Trunchbull fled to hiding on the west coast.

Exhausting her bloodthirsty pursuits,

And giving up her love of chocolate for fruits,

Agatha hit meltdown.


Reaching rock bottom, she purchased a van,

An unWormwoodised contraption,

Not a tin can.

And converted this to a “Whippystick”.

Full of ice creams, lollies, cones and flavours to lick.

All kinds of sundaes were sold to the brats,

From the Chokey-choc-sizzle, Trunchcrunch and those with gamp hats.

Was she the new Child Catcher? Who is to tell?

Had she risen to Heaven or descended to Hell?