The lentil hotpot gambit and other clever tricks

For the whole story click here 🙂

The conclusion of Chapter Ten:

For dinner his mum had cooked lamb chops.  After getting to know Curly and Squirt, Joe couldn’t bring himself to actually bite into one but when no one was looking he cut a piece off and hid it in his pocket. Then he shoved some mashed potato in his mouth.  After swallowing, he started making retching noises.

“Joe!  Do you have to make that revolting noise?” his mum asked with disgust, “what’s the matter?”

Joe jumped up from the table and ran to the toilet.  Mrs Currant was close behind so he had to be quick. He tipped the pre-opened tin of lentil hotpot, that he’d hidden behind the toilet, into the bowl and then leaned over it and made vomiting noises.  Mrs Currant caught up.

“Oh, Joe, have you got a stomach bug?  I hope the rest of us don’t catch it!”

Joe looked up at her.

“No,” he said pathetically, “I think I’m allergic to meat.”  He bit his lip as he remembered Luke had told him not to tell her he was allergic, but to let her work it out for herself.

Mrs Currant looked in the toilet, saw the orange slop and thought with revulsion how different a person’s food looked when it came back up from how it looked when it went down, only moments before.  She looked at her son, he did look pale.

“Okay, you go and lay down.  I’ll bring you a glass of water and a bucket.”

“So far so good,” thought Joe and went to bed, hungry.

In the morning, he was even hungrier but knew he had to ditch one more meal.  As it was Saturday, breakfast consisted not only of cereal, but also fried eggs on toast.  First the cereal – Joe tipped the choco pops into his bowl and covered them with cows’ milk.  He put a spoonful into his mouth and immediately spat it back and grabbed his throat.  He gasped.

“I can’t breathe!” he whispered desperately as he bent his head to his knees and reached in his pyjama pocket for Luke’s mum’s blue eyeshadow.  He rubbed his fingertip into the colour and smeared it across his lips before lifting up his head to reveal it to …. no one.  The room was empty.  His dad had taken his plate into the living room to watch the news and his mum had gone to get the paper from the front door. Joe continued to hold his breath, hoping his mum would return before he was forced to exhale.  Just then the kitchen door opened and his older sister, Janet, walked in.

“That better not be my eyeshadow,” she warned him.

“It’s not,” he assured her, forgetting not to breathe just as Mrs Currant re-entered the kitchen.

“Mum, Joe’s messing up my eyeshadow.”

Mrs Currant looked at Joe then screwed up her face and shook her head.

“That’s not yours.  Yours is more turquoise,” she said and sat at the table to read the paper.

Part two was a bust.  Joe loaded his plate with eggs from the pan and toast from the rack before stealing himself to proceed with part three of the plan.  He sat down and reached into his other pyjama pocket to get the stinging nettles hidden there.  While his mum read her horoscope and Janet searched the fridge for jam, Joe quickly and bravely rubbed the nettles on his forearms and neck before hiding them again in his pocket.  The pain was immediate.  It stung a lot.

He chopped and mashed one of his eggs with his fork to make it look as if he’d eaten some of it.  Then, as he noticed the white bumps starting to appear on his arms he said,

“Mum! Mum!” and rubbed his arms and neck furiously with the palms of both hands.

Mother and daughter both looked at him.

“How on earth did you get stung in here?” Janet said in high-pitched disbelief.

“I didn’t,” Joe argued, in genuine distress, “I’m allergic to eggs!”

“Stop rubbing it like that, silly boy!”  Mrs Currant grabbed a tea towel from the drawer and ran it under the cold tap.  “Here, put this over the bumps, keep them cool ’til they go down.  And maybe have a look in the garden for a dock leaf to rub on it.”

“It’s not stingers,” Joe protested, “I’m allergic to eggs!”

“Honestly Joe,” said his mum, shaking her head and returning to the horoscopes, “only you could get stung at the breakfast table.”

“Boys,” said Janet derisively.

Joe had had enough.  His skin was burning and itching and stinging – he was in real pain and they still didn’t listen.

“I’M A VEGETARIAN!” he shouted.

“Joseph Currant!  How dare you raise your voice to me?!” said Mrs Currant, shocked by his impertinence.

“Keep the noise down in there!  I’m trying to watch the news!”  Mr Currant yelled from the living room.

“And now you’ve upset your father,” his mother went on.

Joe looked at his hands.

“I don’t want to eat meat no more,” he said quietly, “or eggs or fish or milk, or cheese,” he finished, getting quieter with every word.

“Oh, I get it,” Joe’s mum said, knowingly, “you want to be like your little friend don’t you?” she peered at him over the newspaper. “You don’t have to copy everything he does you know.”

“No, that’s not …” Joe tried to explain.

“I know what it’s like, it’s not that long since I was at school myself you know.  Of course I was vegetarian, long before it was fashionable,” she boasted.

“Why’d you stop then?” Joe wondered.

“But then I married your father and you can’t imagine him giving up his sausages and his bacon can you? Ha! I’d like to see the woman who could pull that off!”

“Mm,” said Joe.

“Talking of which, I bet you haven’t thought this through, – if you do this you won’t be able to have fish fingers any more.”

“I never eat fish fingers.  I don’t like …”

“And no more ice cream, or cake,”

“You can get special ice cream and …”

“Oh my boy, you don’t know what you’re letting yourself in for!”

Joe looked at her, holding his breath.

I know what you’re letting yourself in for – been there, done that!”

She studied him through squinting eyes.  Joe said nothing.  She seemed to be considering it.  After a couple of minutes she made a decision.

“Well, alright.  But I’m not making special meals just for you.  You can have whatever we’re having with some extra vegetables instead of the meat.  Is that acceptable Your Highness?”

Joe looked up and smiled.

“Yes,” he said, “thank you.”

His mum returned the smile and ruffled his hair.

“Boys,” she said, slowly shaking her head.

Joe pressed the damp tea towel against his throbbing skin and smiled.  Janet scrunched up her nose and stuck out her tongue at him.

“I give it a month!” she whispered.

Joe just carried on smiling.

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More Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er (chapters 9 to 16) is available in paperback now from Amazon 😀

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Back to the drawing board

For the whole of Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er, Chapter Ten click here 🙂

Chapter 10 continued from yesterday:

“But what will I eat today?” he asked, disheartened.

Luke was busy thinking.

“What?  Oh, you can share mine,” he said generously, and they continued on to school.

As luck would have it they wouldn’t be short of food that day because class 4 was having a cookery lesson and that meant they’d all brought ingredients with them.  They were making scones.  Mrs Tebbut never allowed the boys to work together on these things and insisted on choosing their partners for them.  As a result, Luke found himself sharing a table with Penelope Bittern.  Penelope was very particular about doing things properly.

“Don’t put any of your stuff on my half of the table,” she instructed, “I can’t let it contaminate my stuff.”

Luke was affronted.

“There’s nothing wrong with my stuff,” he told her, “it’s clean.  It’s new packets – haven’t even bin opened – look!”

She lifted her arm to shield her side of the table from the sealed bag of flour he thrust towards her.

“You can’t put that near my stuff!” she sounded panicked.  “I might be allergic!”

“Allergic to what?”

“I’m allergic to raisins and kiwi fruit so …”

“I ‘aven’t got no raisins or kiwis!”

“Sooo, my mum said we’re playing it safe ’til they know for sure what else I’m allergic to.  I’m having tests.”

“Well, you’ve got the same stuff as me,” Luke couldn’t abide hypochondriac drama queens, “flour, sugar, margarine – so if you’re allergic to mine you’re allergic to yours.”

“But my ingredients have been specially kept separate from things that might give me allergies – like milk, eggs, peanuts – and …”

“You can be allergic to milk?”

“Yes, lots of people are, which is why…”

“And what happens to you if you eat it, if you’re allergic?”

“Well, that depends,” she was gratified he was finally listening to her. “I think it’s different for different people.  It depends how serious their allergy is.”

“It can be serious?”

“Yes.  Some people die if they eat something they’re allergic to.  Even just a tiny bit of it.  Even if it’s so tiny you can’t hardly see it.”

“Okay, now I know you’re makin’ it up.  No one’s dyin’ from a tiny bit of peanut!  You’re just a ‘ttention seekin’ hypochondrian who’s makin’ stuff up to get the whole table to ‘erself!”  That was disappointing. Luke went mentally back to the drawing board.

But Penelope wasn’t finished.

“They do!  Their throat swells up so they can’t breathe!  My mum told me and I think she should know ’cause her brother’s allergic to nuts and he has to carry a life-saver injection with him all the time in case he accidentally eats one.”

“Really?” That sounded real.  Penelope didn’t have enough imagination to make up something as cool as that.  “What other things might happen to someone who ate somethin’ they were allergic to?”

Penelope patiently answered Luke’s endless questions and he, in return, took great care to keep his ingredients away from her half of the table.  By the end of the lesson Luke knew how to make Joe’s mum listen.  The hard part, however, would be persuading Joe to do it.

***

Joe swallowed his last bite of overdone scone and made a face that suggested he wasn’t enjoying it.

“Not good?” asked Luke.  His had been delicious.

“What?  Oh, yeah, the scone’s good, it’s your idea I don’t like.”

“Drastic times, drastic scissors,” Luke reminded him, “I know it’s not very nice but it’ll be worth it won’t it?  You need to make it look real or it won’t work.”

Joe was still reluctant.

“But I don’t see why I can’t just do the lentil hotpot thing.  I could do that.  And the not breathin’ thing – I can hold my breath longer ‘n most people.”

“You have to show you’re allergic to all three things – milk, eggs and meat – so you have to have three different allergic reactions to be convincin’.  Jus’ think yourself lucky you’ve never liked fish, otherwise we’d have to come up with four reactions.”

Joe nodded and took the bag Luke handed him.  Luke patted him on the back.  It was important to give moral support to your soldiers.

“You can do it,” he said encouragingly.

Joe walked home from Luke’s house, dreading what he had to do, but determined to do it.  Luke was right.  It would be worth it.

************************

Story concludes tomorrow 😀

Click here for all ten chapters of Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er

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Feigning self-sacrifice

Chapter ten continues 🙂

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Dinner was almost over and Jared was helping Mum clear the table.

“Hurry up Luke,” Jared was impatient to get to Youth Club and wasn’t allowed to go until he’d done the washing up.

“You want me to get indigestion I suppose!” said Luke, not really surprised that his brother would be so blasé about the dangers of rushing one’s food. He’d learned about them from the Rennie advert. “You want me to get acid an’ a burnin’ heart from eatin’ too fast do you?”

Truth be told, Luke was just full up. He really wanted that last roast potato but knew he couldn’t swallow another mouthful. He pushed his plate away.

“Go on then – take it,” he said, feigning self-sacrifice.

Mum ignored them both and went upstairs to run a bath. Luke followed her.

“Do you want your lavender bubble bath Mum?” he asked helpfully, “the one I got you for your birthday?”

Mrs Walker smiled.

“Yes please, it’s on my dressing table.”

Luke brought it to her.

“D’you want me to get your KT Tunstall CD? The one I gave you for Mother’s Day?”

“Wasn’t that from both of you?”

“Yeah, but it was me what chose it. Jared wanted to get you a set of tea towels but I said that wasn’t a relaxin’ present. I told ‘im Mother’s Day is for mothers to relax so it had to be a relaxin’ present.”

Mum nodded slowly.

“Is there something you want Luke?” she asked.

“No, you just have a nice bath. I’ll get the CD for you,” he volunteered.

“Wait,” said Mum, quiet but firm. “What do you want?”

“Oh nothin’ really,”

“Luke.”

“Well it’s nothin’ much, jus’ thought I’d better mention that I’ve bin feelin’ hungrier at lunch times and I could really do with a bigger lunch.”

“Really?” She raised her eyebrows and tilted her head, “since when?”

“Well, jus’ this week really, but I think I’ll be hungrier from now on coz I’m growin’ fast.”

“Are you?”

“Yes.”

“So, just how much extra food do you think you’ll need?”

“Prob’ly about twice as much I should think,” he said nonchalantly.

“Twice as much?” she exclaimed with exaggerated surprise, “So that would be two sandwiches, two bags of crisps, four pieces of fruit and two cakes?”

Luke nodded.

Mum shook her head.

“I’m sorry Luke, we just don’t have enough money in the budget to give you two lunches every day. I’m sorry if that means you’ll stop growing but we should be thankful that you’ve had a good spurt recently.”

Luke had a sneaking suspicion she was being facetious.  He frowned.  As he turned to leave she called him back.

“Don’t forget my CD,” she reminded him, smiling, “and tell Jared not to give the potato you didn’t have room for to Dudley or he’ll get the runs.”

****

The following morning Joe called for Luke and they walked to school together.  When they reached the bins outside the Memorial Hall, Joe stopped and took out his sandwich.  Egg mayonnaise.  Before Luke could stop him he tossed the whole thing into the bin.

“So, what have we got for lunch today?” Joe smiled, enjoying the quiet rebellion.  Luke felt awkward.

“Well, erm, …”

Joe’s smile faded.

“Couldn’t you get it?” he asked, disappointed.

“Well, it’s not that I couldn’t get it,” Luke didn’t want to admit defeat, “it’s just that I was thinkin’ a lot about it and I decided that actchally it’s not a good idea.”

“Why not?” said Joe, feeling hungry already.

“Well, if your mum still gives you meat and eggs and cheese and stuff, even though you don’t eat it, then it’s still bein’ bought for you, which means animals are still bein’ killed for you.”

“Oh. Yeah,” Joe agreed. He didn’t want that.

“So we’ve got to find a way to make your mum listen,” said Luke decisively.

Joe was not hopeful.

“She won’t listen.”

“She hasn’t listened yet,” Luke corrected him.  He liked a challenge. “We’ve just got to tell ‘er in a way she can’t ignore.”

Joe sighed.  He preferred to do things quietly.  Secretly.

******

Chapter ten continues tomorrow 🙂

For chapters 1 to 9 click here 🙂

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Chapter Ten starts here: Luke Walker and the allergic reactions

For the stories so far click here 🙂

Chapter Ten: Luke Walker and the allergic reactions

Luke was hesitant. If he made a mistake now it could cost him the game.  Janeway was a good card. She had a lot of Starfleet Authority and was also very cunning.  But which to choose, that was the important question.

“Come ohn,” said Joe, “it’s borin’ when you just sit there.  Choose one.”

“Okay, erm, I choose …” he hesitated again.

He really needed to win this round. He took a deep breath, looked Joe in the eye and said,

“Janeway. Cunning: 45.”

Joe looked at his next card and smiled.

“Worf. Cunning: 49.”

“Blast! I knew I should have chosen Starfleet Authority! What’s Worf’s Starfleet Authority?”

“I’m not telling you that!” said Joe, laughingly holding his cards close to his chest.

“Well, it can’t be higher than Janeway’s.  She was Captain.  Worf wasn’t captain was he?”

Luke consoled himself with the notion that he would have won if Joe hadn’t rushed him.  If he’d just been able to think about it for a bit longer he would certainly have chosen Starfleet Authority instead of Cunning.  Joe really should learn not to rush people, it’s not sportsmanlike.  Luke had one card left. It was Joe’s turn to choose the statistic.

“Neelix. To Boldly Go: 20.”

“What?!” Luke looked at his card in disbelief.  “Neelix can’t be better than Spock at boldly goin’!”  He sighed and handed it over.  “Spock. To Boldly Go: 15”

“Yesss! I have triumphed! The cards are mine, all mine, ha ha ha haaa,” Joe revelled in his rare victory.

“I’m hungry,” said Luke, pretending not to care.

“Me too,” his friend agreed and they took out their lunch boxes.  Joe peeked apprehensively between the two slices of Hovis Best of Both which made up his sandwich.  Sadly the peanut butter he’d hoped for was not present.  Luke was adding crisps to his Marmite and beetroot sandwiches.

“The crunch makes ’em extra good,” he explained.  Then, “uh oh, has she done it again?”

Joe nodded as he removed two slices of ham and bit into his plain bread and margarine.

“You’ve got to tell ‘er,” said Luke, tipping a few of his crisps into Joe’s lunch box.

“I have told her, she won’t listen!” Joe complained, “I said I’m not eatin’ meat or cheese no more and she said, ‘course you are!’ and that was that!  She won’t listen.  It’s okay, I just put it in the bin when she’s not lookin’.”

“What about your dad – you could tell ‘im to explain it to ‘er.”

“He won’t.  He just says ‘ya mother knows best’ and ‘listen to ya mother!’.  I’ll just have to be vegetarian in secret ’til I leave home.”

Luke frowned.

“That doesn’t sound like a good idea.  It’ll be pretty borin’ jus’ livin’ on bread an’ marg..”

“That’s okay,” said Joe as he took another bite, “thanks for the crisps,” he added.

“That’s it!  That’s what we’ll do!  Outlaws have to help each other!”

“What?”

“I’ll tell my mum I’m more hungry and I need a bigger packed lunch, with an extra sandwich an’ an extra bag o’crisps an’ an extra cake an’ an extra apple … then I can give half of it to you!”

Joe liked that idea.

“Yeah! Thanks Luke. D’you think she’ll do it?”

“No problem,” said Luke confidently.

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Story continues on Monday.

Have a lovely weekend 🙂

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Luke Walker and the secret society continues …

When Joe was clear about how to do it, he went home to make one for himself.

“Don’t tell anyone!” Luke reminded him on his way out.

After hearing the front door close, Luke stood at the window and watched Joe walk out of the cul-de-sac feeling full of optimism. Now there were two of them. He’d always known he could rely on Joe, and had benefited from his help a couple of times already, but it was really something to know that his best friend now properly understood that animals needed sticking up for every day; and that sometimes you have to be sneaky about it.

“Luuuke! Come and do the drying up please!” Mum’s voice called from downstairs.

“In a minute,” he called back. He just needed to wash up the saucer of paint before it dried.

“Now!”

On the other hand, perhaps it was prudent to go down right away.

***

Once the drying up was done, Luke hung out with the damsons in the garden for a while. He gave them yesterday’s left over salad, and supervised to make sure Rusty didn’t eat it all. She was one naughty rabbit! Ash could look after himself but Scratcher was never quick enough and Rusty would pinch her share given the chance. Luke made them a clean bed, and picked them some raspberries that were too high up on the canes for them to reach before coming back inside to get Dudley for his walk.

“Wear your mac,” said Mum, “looks like rain.”

Luke grabbed his Spiderman cagoule from the hall cupboard and called his dog.

“Dudleeeey. Dudleey. Dudley!”

Finally the sleepy boy emerged from Luke’s room at the top of the stairs and trotted down, tail wagging. Was that mud? Luke couldn’t think where Dudley could have been to get one of his paws muddy – it hadn’t rained yet. But not too worry, it would dust off the carpet when it dried.

Outside it was breezy and the purplish-grey sky looked ominous but Luke and Dudley weren’t afraid. They walked briskly to the allotments to see Curly and her beloved lamb, Squirt, and check they had everything they needed. Little Squirt, who wasn’t so little any more, came running up to meet them and he and Dudley ambled off to play together. The big allotment plot provided them with plenty of grass and clover to eat but Curly knew Luke was carrying treats and nuzzled against his leg until he gave her the carrots he’d brought. Then he refilled their water trough by stretching the long hose from Dad’s plot. In the big shed Luke mucked out the droppings and made a deep, fresh bed of clean hay. Mm, it smelled good. Curly looked in to see what he was up to.

“I just tidied up,” Luke told her and he plopped down on the soft hay and rolled around in it. The sound of raindrops on the roof made it extra cosy and Curly decided to join him. She settled herself into a comfortable spot and started chewing – mostly hay but occasionally hair.

“Ow!” Luke yanked his head away and sat up to stroke her. She liked that. Suddenly the rain started coming down hard, sending Dudley and Squirt for cover. They rolled in the hay to dry themselves off, and then the four friends sat together and watched the downpour. The storm was powerful and awe-inspiring. It was exciting to be so close to it.

The rain lasted for almost an hour and when it stopped Luke and Dudley made a break for it. With any luck they would be home before it came down again. That wouldn’t keep them dry though. When they reached the village shop a passing lorry relocated a giant puddle at the edge of the road to the exact spot in which Luke and Dudley were standing. Dudley promptly shook. Luke got wetter. Dripping from head to toe, he noticed a card in the shop window. It read:

“Blimin’ breeders!” thought Luke, “them babies’ll prob’ly be left in small cages all on their own. An’ there’s already too many pets who don’t get looked after prop’ly! When I’m Prime Minister I’ll make it against the law for humans to breed!”

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This chapter concludes tomorrow but if you want to finish it now click here 🙂

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Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er Chapter 9 starts here!

For chapters 1 to 8 click here 🙂

Luke Walker and the secret society

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Luke handed his notebook to Joe.

“Read that and if you agree, write ya name there, under mine, and then put ya thumb print there,” he said, pointing to the designated pages.

He uncapped the bottle of black poster paint and squirted a dollop into the saucer while Joe read the pledge.

“D’you agree?” he asked him when he’d finished.

Joe nodded.

“Are you sure? Do you solemnly swear?”

Luke knew he could not over-emphasize the gravity of this decision. Once you became an outlaw there was no going back.

“I’m sure,” said Joe, picking up the Biro and writing his name on the line under Luke’s.

Luke was very happy. He ceremoniously pushed the saucer across the carpet to Joe who dipped his thumb into the paint a little too enthusiastically. Thankfully he avoided messing up the book by wiping off the excess on his trousers before pressing his thumb onto the page alongside Luke’s handwritten pledge:

we, the outlaws, promise to help the animals when they are sad or fritened or hurt. even if we are not alowd we will fly under the raydar.

When Joe passed the book back, Luke forced himself to purse his lips and simulate a frown as he turned to the next page. It was vital that Joe had no illusions about the seriousness of the commitment he had made.

“These are the rules we live by,” he said gravely as he spun the book around and pushed it back to Joe.

secret society of animal stick up for-ers: RULES

“Do I get one now?” asked Joe when he’d finished reading the rules.

Luke thought he was getting ahead of himself.

“Do you agree to the rules?” he asked.

“Yes. I do. That’s why I want to be in the club.”

“It’s not a club, it’s a secret …” he paused suddenly, “shh, someone’s out there!” Luke swiftly closed the book and slid it under the bed. He silently got to his feet and crept to the door. He listened. He could hear breathing on the other side. He yanked the door open to reveal his brother, standing frozen stiff with his mouth open.

“Jared! What are you doin’? This is private!”

Jared laughed.

“Nobody cares about your stupid secrets. I’m going to Mike’s, Mum told me to tell you it’s your turn to do the drying up.”

Luke slammed the door and waited until he heard Jared go downstairs.

Joe raised his eyebrows.

“So, do I get one?”

Luke shrugged.

“I s’pose it would be good if you had one, but you’ll ‘ave to get it yourself. I made this one out of my Maths book. You can use any subject though coz it don’t matter what colour it is, as long as it’s got plenty of blank pages left. Just tear out the used ones.”

Joe nodded.

“But the most important thing you need is a code-maker,” Luke went on, “this is mine.”

He revealed two circles of cardboard fastened together, that he’d secreted between the pages of his Batman annual.

“Look here,” he said, pointing to another page in the notebook, “I’ve done diagrams to show you how to make one. When you’ve done it we can send each other coded messages that no one else will be able to decode.”

continues tomorrow 🙂 but if you want to read the whole chapter now, here it is 🙂

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Getting ready for the Christmas Bazaar

For the story so far click here 🙂

Friday 29 November

In history we studied more about Boudicca and her battles with the Romans.  She sounds brilliant.  I like that she had long red hair.

This afternoon we made treats for the Christmas bazaar! I made chocolate hazelnuts and fudge, while Jude made chocolate oaty treats and peppermint fondants.  Fondant is great because you can do anything with it.  You can dip it in chocolate or stick leaves to it, or make it shaped like mice, or turn it pink with beetroot juice.  The fudge was so nice I wanted to eat it all.

I am really looking forward to the bazaar because it’s so much fun. There is always a raffle and a bric-a-brac stall and a stall where you can buy knitted tree decorations and a games stall and a lucky dip where you close your eyes and pick a prize.

They also have a mystery jars stall which has lots of glass jars wrapped in Christmas paper and you pay fifty pence to buy a jar without knowing what’s in it!  Sometimes the jar will have cotton wool in it, or sweets or toys or buttons or jam or anything.  Once I got a jar full of mint imperials, which I wasn’t too keen on at first, but after I ate some I really started to like them. They also sometimes have a game where you have to name a teddy bear, which is how Jude won those bears we drew in art.

Find out what Jude and her sister got up to in December – Chapter 3 coming soon 🙂

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Steerforth, Traddles and the Warrior Queen

For the story so far click here 🙂

In history we are studying Boudicca who was a Celtic queen.  Celtic women were equal to Celtic men, so when her husband, the Iceni King, died she became the leader of their people.

But the Romans didn’t believe women could own property, so they tried to overthrow her by attacking her, her daughters and the village they lived in.  So she got very angry and she rampaged the country collecting people to help take back the land which belonged to the Celts.  The Romans were really bad and tried to fight her army but the warrior queen was too sneaky for them.

After lessons Jude wrote in her diary. Jude has a diary with a padlock on it, which she got for Christmas.  It has stickers and stamp pens which make love hearts and exclamation marks. I have seen it and it’s really tidy, she writes in different coloured pens and her writing is much neater than mine.  And she’s really good at eking out her stickers. I can’t help sticking stickers nearly as soon as I get them.

Wednesday 27 November

After breakfast and chores we each read a chapter of Little Town on the Prairie out loud and then we had English and read chapter six of David Copperfield together.  Mum set us homework to read chapter seven and answer an essay question by next Wednesday.

We had cereal for lunch today.  Jude got the free gift from the box, which was a plastic football player. He came with stickers which you could use to make his uniform stripey and decorated.  Jude took the stickers and used them to decorate a toy car instead.  It’s very good, it looks all ready for a demolition derby.

For needlework we are making cross-stitch tapestries!  They will be beautiful when we’re finished. They’re so delicate and complicated. They take a really long time to stitch.

The salt dough ornaments we made last week are ready to paint now so we painted them red and yellow and blue and green.  I tried to write Merry Christmas on one, but it was too small, so I wrote Xmas instead.  The holes we made for the strings are a little bit small, but we can make them bigger with a needle.  When the paint is dry we can varnish them with pva glue.

Thursday 28 November

I have read Chapter Seven now, it’s all about David being at boarding school and the friends he makes. He has two friends, Steerforth and Traddles, which is lucky because the teachers are horrible to him.  At the end of the chapter Mr Peggotty and Ham come to visit David, and they meet Steerforth.

I don’t think I have ever written an essay before, and I thought it was spelled S.A.. Mum said that lots of people think it’s spelled S.A. when they first hear the word, and that a school friend of her’s wrote “S.A.s” in big letters on the front of her exercise book in the first year of secondary school.

Mum says an essay has to have an introduction, a middle and a conclusion.  The beginning is where you say what it is that you are planning to prove in the essay, the middle is where you explain why your point is true, and use quotes to prove it.  The conclusion is where you explain that you have now proven your point.

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The end of November concludes Chapter Two tomorrow 🙂

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vegan, vegetarian, home-school, education, learning, children, reading, books, literature, veggie kids, vegan children, vegan family, home-education

 

Find the White Horse and other stories

For the story so far click here 🙂

For cookery we made party food! We made a big bakewell tart and twelve miniature ones, sosmix rolls and a big sponge cake.  Mum helped us make pastry for the bakewell tarts and for the sosmix rolls, and I put the jam in the bottom of the bakewell tarts, Jude made the cake mixture and poured it into the tins.

We put it all in the oven to bake and while it was cooking we cleaned up the kitchen and washed up the bowls and spoons and things.

We went to bed early so we could read our books. I have already read thirty-seven pages of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix but there are still hundreds of pages left, so I know I won’t finish it before it has to go back to the library.  It’s a great story! Hermione likes knitting just like me.  Except she does magic knitting.  She has a magic cat with one red eye and one green eye, who is really grumpy.  I would like it if the story was all just happy, but sadly there are some scary characters too.

Thursday 21 November

This morning we read some more David Copperfield, it is such a good story we just wanted to keep going.  We took it in turns to read it out loud.  Poor David keeps getting in trouble with Mr Murdstone and his horrible sister who has taken over the house.  At the end of the chapter we read today, chapter four, Peggotty is whispering to him through the keyhole of his bedroom door, where he has been locked, and she tells him he is going to be sent away the next day to school.  It’s so sad because the three of them were so happy before Mr and Miss Murdstone arrived.

This afternoon we made salt dough Christmas tree decorations!  Salt dough is excellent. We made round ball ornaments and rolled the dough out and cut shapes like bells and circles and little people.  Then we made holes in them so that once they are baked we can thread strings through and hang them on the tree.

Then Jude worked with Mum going through her mental arithmetic test, and I did a beat the clock maths test in my room at my desk.  I had to clear my clothes off my chair first because I keep forgetting to put them away – I always think I’ll wear them again tomorrow so hanging them seems a waste of time but the next day I choose something different and eventually I’ve got nowhere to sit.

I finished reading my book I Want Doesn’t Get!

I really enjoyed it, it’s different to other books I’ve read. It’s all about this boy called Julian, who lives with his sisters, and doesn’t know where his mum has gone. I liked it because it had lots of little details about what Julian thinks about what’s happening, a lot of the pages had little notations at the bottom of each page, explaining words and phrases.

Tuesday 26 November

This morning we went swimming and I swam a whole width without touching the floor! Jude swam a whole length without stopping!

We went to the library and I chose some books to read since I finished I Want Doesn’t Get on Thursday, and I had to return the Harry Potter book because it was due back at the library. I don’t mind taking a break from it, it’s really long.

I borrowed a book called Find The White Horse by Dick King Smith which is about two dogs and a cat and a pigeon who get lost from their homes and have to try to find their way back.  It’s called Find The White Horse because one of the dogs lived in a house on a hill with a chalk horse carved into it, so he knows where he’s heading, and the other animals just want to come too.

I also got a book about toads and a book about witches. Jude got some more fox books and Mum got some history books.

continues tomorrow 🙂

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vegan, vegetarian, home-school, education, learning, children, reading, books, literature, veggie kids, vegan children, vegan family,

 

 

Portraits and Gingerbread

For the story so far click here 🙂

Friday 15 November

I am making a dress!  I’ve got a whole lot of blue fabric and a pattern to follow.  The first thing you have to do is cut out all the pieces of paper, pin them onto your fabric and cut around them.  That’s what I did today. Next time I will sew the seams with the sewing machine.

While I was doing that, Jude made an apple crumble. I love apple crumble, I love the crunchy top and the soft fruit.  We had it after dinner with custard which Mum made.

I also had a times tables test today, and I scored nine out of twelve!  Then we made drawings of Dmitri, which was wonderful because he’s so handsome.  He’s black and white mostly, but I coloured in his brown eyes, his blue collar and his pink tongue.

In the evening we got dressed up and sat on the settee in a pose for Mum to paint us. I love being painted, I wore a scarf and a purple dress, and Jude wore her stripey top and Mum’s beautiful orange dress. It’s like being in the time of Robin Hood when they had to paint pictures of each other because they hadn’t invented the camera yet.

It’s not finished yet, Mum says it will take several sittings for her to do the whole painting. So far she has painted us all in lines, and started to colour us in, but there aren’t any details yet.

Monday 18 November

This morning for English I wrote a letter in formal language, and Jude wrote poetry. I like writing letters, it makes me feel like I’m in a story, because I imagine all kinds of mystery and adventure could be started by a letter. Jude has a book which is entirely written in letters, it’s called P.S. Longer Letter Later. That’s a great title because all the words begin with L, which is alliteration.

After lunch Mum and I worked on sewing the bodice of my dress, which was really complicated! I’m so afraid I’ll sew it wrong, there’s lots of pieces to sew together and none of them look like pieces of a dress.

While I was sewing Jude made two gingerbread cakes!  We had some after dinner and it is delicious!  I love gingerbread cake, it’s so sticky! I like that it’s soft inside and crispy like toffee on the outside.

Wednesday 20 November

Today in science we tested our rainwater for pollution and acid rain.  We had these special pieces of paper, called “Universal indicator paper” which you dip in the water and then it changes colour depending on the pH levels.  This is all to do with Hydrogen ions, and how many there are in the water.  Too many mean it is acidic and too few make it basic. Ordinary water should be somewhere in the middle, which is called neutral.So, if the rain water was basic, the test papers would turn blue or purple, and if the rain water was acid the papers would turn red or pink or orange.  If water is neutral, the papers turn green!  And that’s what happened.  We did the test several times because it’s fun.

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continues tomorrow 🙂

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Not Too Spicy For Dad

For the story so far click here 🙂

Tuesday 12 November

We read to the end of chapter six of Wuthering Heights.  It’s a great story, everyone is very mysterious and dramatic.  I think Heathcliff is a bit scary, although you can’t blame him for getting cross with Mr Lockwood, he’s a very annoying character, I would get cross with him if I was Heathcliff.  Nelly is my favourite character so far.

We have been writing out our reports for Operation Independence in our best handwriting.  A whole week of shopping and planning and cooking takes a long time to write out neatly.

In the afternoon we made salt dough plaques to hang on our bedroom doors. Salt dough is a bit like clay, so I pretended I was a sculptor. We made our names and decorated the edges with forks.

Wednesday 13 November

We did Batik today!  We made our own dye by picking mint leaves from the garden and boiling them in water.  Then we melted red and yellow wax crayons in a pot over some hot water, the same way you melt chocolate.  We painted leaves onto a tea towel with wax, and then we let that go cold and used our mint dye to dye the tea towel green! Once that is dry you are supposed to remove the wax with an iron, but we haven’t done that yet.

In the afternoon we went to Nanny’s house and did cookery!  Jude made samosas and I made spicy garlic mushrooms fried in batter.  Sadly I don’t like them, they taste too spicy. I will feed them to Dad, because he likes things like that.

Thursday 14 November

Jude wrote a newspaper report for English today, which is one of her favourite things to do because one day she wants to be a reporter, like Lois Lane.

Mum said I should write an essay describing what happened on our trip to the Robin Hood Pageant.  I used a lot of adjectives.  Luckily I had written about it in my diary, which helped me remember the details.

Later on Mum made a still life for us to draw using a fruit bowl and things.  She showed us how to hold a pencil differently to the way you do when you are writing words and numbers.  You hold it gently so that you don’t press hard.

We read some more Wuthering Heights today, I feel sorry for Heathcliff, he is so lovely when he is little. Nelly is still one of my favourite characters, I don’t like the Lintons at all.continues tomorrow 🙂

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vegan, vegetarian, home-school, education, learning, children, reading, books, literature, veggie kids, vegan children, vegan family

Last but not least … the Megan & Flos Diary winner:

The winner of the Megan & Flos Diary [for any year] is Annette Rochelle Aben!  Congratulations Annette, email me your address or use the Contact Form and I’ll get that off to you as soon as possible 😀

Have a lovely day 😀

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vegan books, vegan books for children, vegan, vegetarian, free book, free diary, prize draw, giveaway, books, children’s books

The Third and Final Giveaway: The Megan & Flos Diary

We have one copy of The Megan & Flos Diary: For Any Year to give away so if you want it, just let me know.  The draw is on Friday 🙂  If you win, this is what you’ll get:

There’s somewhere to write your information;

there’s somewhere to make a note of web addresses that you don’t want to forget;

there’s stuff about our solar system

there’s stuff about Flos’s planet’s solar system, as well as a brief history of Summum and the Summum Esse;

And there’s two days to a page for you to write a brief journal or record appointments.

Plus there’s an illustration and quote from the Megan & Flos comics at the end of every month.

So there you have it.  If you want it, let me know in the next 48 hours 😀

NB don’t be put off by the darkness of the photos, the pages are bright and cream 🙂

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The Second Giveaway: Luke Walker’s PRIVUT NOTEBOOK

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Luke-Walker-animal--er-notebook/dp/1530311284/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1469185270&sr=1-1&keywords=luke+walker+animal+stick+up+for-er

Luke Walker (animal stick up for-er) is a very resourceful chap, so when he decided he needed a notebook to record all his outlaw activities, and he didn’t have any money to buy one, he just made use of an exercise book Mrs Tebbut gave him because he knew maths was a waste of time.

vegan book for children

This notebook has very private, secret things in it but Luke is willing to share it with other veggietareun outlaws who join his secret sersiety.  Every sersiety member should have one!

vegan book for children

Each new member can add their name to the first page if they agree to the pledge.

There’s lots of important information in it,

including how to make a code-maker/code-breaker,

plus lots of empty space for other outlaws to make their own contributions.  Luke’s lined it for you.

All secret coded messages can be written at the back of the book.  Members will be able to decode it when they’ve made their own code-breaker.

We have two of Luke Walker’s notebooks to give away 😀 Let me know if you want one, the draw will be on Thursday.  You’ve got two days: GO! 😉

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vegan, vegetarian, books, children’s books, vegan children’s books, competition

 

And the winners are …

Thank you to everyone who entered the Reflecto Girl’s Lost Notebook giveaway draw.  The two lucky winners are Cheryl and Susan 😀

Congratulations!  You can give me your address privately using the Contact Form on the About page, or email me at violetsvegnecomics@gmail.com

And don’t be dismayed if you weren’t a winner this time, there are going to be more notebook giveaways this week, but different ones 😉

Have a lovely day, and don’t get too hot 😀

Reflecto Girl’s Lost Notebook GIVEAWAY!!!

Miranda and I are off on holiday this week so we thought we’d leave you with this:  2 copies of Reflecto Girl’s Lost Notebook are up for grabs! 🙂

We have two of these cute little books to give away, (it’s only 14 x 18 cm), and if you want one all you have to do is tell me that you want to be entered into the draw 😀 But first of all, let me tell you a little bit about this notebook.

The thing is, it’s Renée’s, but she lost it.  She left it on the bus when she was on her way to meet George in episode 5  and she was really worried about it because she’d written about all her Reflecto Girl adventures so far in it.

Luckily George reminded her that as long as her real name wasn’t in it (which it wasn’t, she’d made sure of that) it didn’t matter if anyone else learnt that Reflecto Girl was out there.

Renée was still a bit miffed that she’d lost the recipes she’d written in her notebook,

and the important websites she’d made a note of,

plus it was a really nice little book which was a Christmas present from a friend.  But she couldn’t go to the bus depot lost property and claim it because that would reveal her identity to anyone who had read it.

So, there is this half-filled notebook (revealing the girl behind Reflecto Girl – her real life in her own words, an engrossing read 😉 ) with lots of empty space for someone else to write their journal, and/or shopping lists, and/or to do lists, and favourite websites, and favourite recipes, and fill with doodles and sketches of their own.

If you want it, let me know – two lucky winners will be pulled out of the hat next week 😀

See you then 😀

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vegan book, vegan children’s book, vegan notebook

 

Wide-eyed Joe

Chapter 7 continues (For the first 6 chapters click here 🙂 )

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“…. She belongs to ‘erself. I think she should be allowed to keep belongin’ to ‘erself, don’t you?”  He looked at Joe earnestly.

Joe looked back, wide eyed.

“Yeah, I do.”

Luke smiled, Joe was with him.  But now he really had to think.  Where would the sheep be safe?  If they just left her to wander, someone else was bound to discover her and return her to the farm.  No, he couldn’t let that happen.  He had to get her to a place of safety where the farmer wouldn’t find her.  Joe gently stroked the sheep’s forehead.  Luke was thinking hard.  There had to be a way.  There was always a way if you thought hard enough.  And then it came to him.

“I’ve got it!” said Luke, “I know how we can save her!”

“What? What will we do?” asked Joe eagerly.

“You wait here with her,” Luke instructed, “keep ‘er here, out of sight.  I’ve got to go somewhere and I’ll be back quick as I can.”

“Where are you going?” asked Joe, a little nervous about having sole custody of the refugee.

“Don’t worry, I’ll be quick,” Luke assured him as he turned to run back along the lane towards the village.

Joe continued to stroke the sheep, telling her softly that it would be ok, that Luke had thought of something and he wouldn’t let her down.  Obviously comforted by this, she resumed munching the grass.

It started to rain. Just a few drops at first and then it settled in to a steady drizzle.

“Hurry up,” thought Joe as he became gradually wetter.

The sheep didn’t seem to mind.  Eventually, after almost an hour by Joe’s reckoning (seventeen and a half minutes), Luke returned.  He was smiling and had with him a piece of rope.

“Where ‘ave you been? What are we gonna do?” Joe asked as Luke tied the rope carefully around the sheep’s neck so that he could lead her.

“I’ve got a place where we can take ‘er,” Luke told him, “come on.”

The rain ensured their independence by keeping other people indoors.  They walked back half way along the lane until they came to the back entrance of the allotments.  Luke opened the gate with a key and they went in.  He led his old friend and his new friend past many well-kept plots full of rows of cabbages and turnips and carrots and leeks and all sorts of plants that Luke didn’t recognise.  The sheep was keen to try a few.

“No! Stop ‘er!” Luke half-shouted as she bent her head to some turnip tops.

Joe stopped her just in time and the boys quickened their pace.  After a while the plots began to look a little untidy and, the further they walked, the more unkempt they became.  They stopped alongside Luke’s dad’s plot which was one of the unkempt because he hadn’t had it very long.

“Here we are!” said Luke happily to the sheep, “welcome to your new home Curly.”

“Really?” said Joe.

Yeah!” said Luke, “I think it suits her.”  Joe shook his head.

“Not the name, the place!  Won’t your dad go mad?”

“Why would he?” Luke asked, a little irritated that Joe was being so negative.

 Then Luke realised that from where he was standing, Joe couldn’t see what he and Curly could see.

“No, not here,” he said, “there!”

And he pointed to something behind his dad’s ramshackle shed.

Joe stepped forward to look.  The plot behind Luke’s dad’s plot had been abandoned some time ago and was quite overgrown.  The former tenant had erected post and rail fencing all around it so that she could keep her Shetland pony there.  And there was a big shed that she’d used as a stable.  Luke beamed.

“This is my plot!”

Joe’s jaw dropped.

“But how? …. When?”

“That’s where I went.  To the ‘lotment committee man’s house.  To rent this ‘lotment.”

“But how … I mean, don’t that cost loadsa money?”

Joe knew the answer to his question almost before he’d finished asking it.  Luke was so happy as he led Curly to her new home.

“Won’t ‘ave time for bike rides now anyway,” he said.

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The first eight chapters of Luke’s adventures sticking up for animals – only £4! Click the pic!

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vegan children’s story, children’s book, books, children, animals, sheep

Quiet boys in a quiet lane

Chapter 7 continues (For the first 6 chapters click here 🙂 )

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The lane was quiet, the boys were quieter, until Luke noticed something.  As they approached the stile that led to the meadow that was crossed by the stream that was bridged by the bridge on which the boys had planned to play Pooh sticks, Luke saw a sheep.

The sheep was munching the long grass in front of the field gate next to the stile.  There were no sheep in the meadow at that time but Luke knew that sometimes there were.  He could only assume that this sheep had got separated from the rest when they were being moved to another field.

“A lost sheep!” said Joe when he looked up.

“Yeah,” said Luke, their discord forgotten.  They approached her slowly so as not to startle her.

“What should we do?” whispered Joe.

“I don’t know,” said Luke.

“I bet it belongs to Manor Farm,” Joe guessed, “I know they’ve got sheep.”

Luke was deep in thought.

“Maybe,” he said after a while, “but we can’t really be sure.”

“We should prob’ly go and tell the farmer at Manor Farm, then he could come and see it.  I think he’d know if it was one of his.”

Luke took his water bottle out of his lunch box.

Maybe,” he said again as he tipped what was left in the bottle onto the mud, “but then again, he’s prob’ly got hundreds of sheep and they prob’ly all look the same to ‘im.”

He rubbed his hand in the wet mud and then wiped it gently over the red dye mark on the sheep’s back.

“And it would be wrong to hand ‘er over to the wrong person.”

“Why are you doin’ that?” asked Joe.

“Jus’ coolin’ ‘er down. Wet mud really cools ’em down,” Luke explained, “don’t want ‘er to be hot an’ bothered.”

Since it was March, Joe was unconvinced by this explanation.  His friend was clearly up to something and he had a good idea what it might be.

“You can’t keep it Luke,” he said firmly, “it don’t belong to you.”

“An’ who does she belong to?  We don’t ezzactly know do we?”

That mark you just covered …”

“What mark?  I can’t see no mark!  Can you?”

“Not now, no.”

“No.  There’s on’y one thing we do know.”

“What’s that?”

“That whoever she does belong to wants to kill ‘er!  Do you want to give ‘er to someone who will kill ‘er? Would you do that Joe?  Would you?”

Luke was trying to keep it to a whisper so as not to frighten the sheep, but his hushed tones were still fierce.

“Well, you don’t actually know that,” Joe said cautiously.

“Don’t I?  Why do farmers keep animals?  Is it ’cause they love ’em?  Is it ’cause they want to play with ’em and cuddle ’em?”

Joe shook his head.

“No,” Luke agreed, “they keep ’em to make money out of ’em, and they make money out of  ’em by sellin’ ’em for meat.”

Joe couldn’t argue with that.  He nodded.

“So what can we do?” he asked.

Luke continued.

“Here is a brave sheep who has prob’ly bin hidin’ from the farmer for days or weeks.  And he prob’ly hasn’t even noticed she’s missin’; or he has noticed but he’s given up lookin’ for ‘er.  So she’s free.  She belongs to ‘erself.  I think she should be allowed to keep belongin’ to ‘erself, don’t you?”  He looked at Joe earnestly.

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continues tomorrow 🙂

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vegan children’s story, children’s book, books, children

Disappointment

Chapter 7 continues (For the first 6 chapters click here 🙂 )

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Twenty two minutes later he suffered a bitter disappointment. In truth Dad hadn’t been surprised to learn that the blue bike Luke had set his heart on a year ago wasn’t there anymore, but he’d assumed Luke would happily choose a different one from the same shop.  But Luke wouldn’t even look at a different one.  He wanted the blue one.  It was perfect.  He could describe every detail of it and why it was perfect in every detail.  For this reason the bike shop man knew which make and model he was talking about and looked it up on his computer.  He said he could order another one, especially for Luke. It would take two weeks to get there.  Luke smiled with relief.

“Yes please,” he said.

He’d waited a whole year, what was another two weeks?

By the time they got back home he was feeling much better and cheerfully returned his money to the safety of his money box.  Just two weeks – then he’d have it for sure.  It was ordered.  The order was in his name.  Just two weeks more.

Luke sat in his room and drew a grid of fourteen squares.  In each square he wrote a day of the week.  At the end of every day he put a big red cross through one of the squares.  When there were fourteen red crosses it would be time to go and get his bike.  He could think of nothing else.  He could talk of nothing else.  To tell the truth, even his devoted friend Joe was getting a little tired of it.

It was the thirteenth day, Friday afternoon.  The boys were sitting at either end of their desk, doing their sums.  At least they were supposed to be doing their sums.  In actual fact Joe was drawing dinosaurs and Luke was daydreaming about how much faster than Butler’s bike his new bike would be.

He won’t even be able to keep up with me,” he chuckled, “I’ll be so fast that when I pass ‘im he won’t even know it was me.  I’ll jus’ be a blur to ‘im!”

“Mm,” Joe nodded.

He’d stopped listening half an hour earlier but it was easier to nod along than admit that he’d lost interest.  Joe was a ‘path of least resistance’ sort of boy.  However, by the end of the afternoon, when they were walking home from school, he couldn’t help expressing his wish to change the subject.  Luke was more than a little affronted.

“Oh I’m sorry, ‘ave I bin borin’ you?” he said in mock apology, “I wun’t want to bore you with somethin’ as borin’ ‘n’ unint’restin’ as a new bike!  I’m sorry to bother you with the unint’restin’ information that it took me a whole year to save up for it!  I’m sorry I got so excited ’bout somethin’ so borin’!”

An awkward silence followed during which the friends walked at opposite edges of the country lane.  They had been given permission to walk home without adult accompaniment as long as they stayed together.  They therefore kept pace with each other whilst keeping as far apart as the width of the narrow road allowed.  Joe looked at his shoes.  Luke looked straight ahead.

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Continues tomorrow 😉

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vegan children’s story, children’s book, books, children

Furious

other-materials-symbol-2 leather-symbol-2

“That’s to tell you what the shoes are made of.  That’s the symbol for man made material,” she explained, pointing to one of the shapes on the label, “and that’s the symbol for leather.  So the soles of these shoes – the bit you walk on – are made of synthetic, man made material, and the uppers – the top part – are made of leather.”

She smiled and told everyone to go and sit down.  She did like it when her pupils asked her about things unconnected with lessons.  It showed they had active minds.

Luke hung back.  He was furious.  Not only had he been humiliated by Simon Butler, but his own mother had lied to him.  He took off his other shoe and threw them both into the swing bin in the girls’ toilets.  Then he pulled out loads and loads of paper towels, screwed them up, soaked them under the tap and tossed them into the bin on top of the shoes.  He put his blue plimsolls back on his feet where they belonged and, somewhat calmer now, went to class.

When Mum met him from school at half past three he smiled and was friendly, pleased to be finished school for the day.  She was happy too.  The afternoon weather had really brightened up and lifted her spirits.  They waited for Jared and then walked home.  About half way, Mrs Walker noticed that Luke wasn’t wearing his new shoes.

“Where are your new shoes Luke?” she asked, apprehensively.

Luke looked into her questioning eyes and said,

“At lunch time I was jus’ sittin’ quietly on the grass pickin’ wild flowers and makin’ daisy chains for Mrs Tebbut, when suddenly a flock of big black crows flew at me an’ knocked me over!  Then they pecked at me shoes ’til they’d got ’em off me feet and then they grabbed ’em with their claws and carried ’em off into the trees.  I ‘spect they wanted to make nests in ’em.”

Mum stared at him.

What has happened to your expensive new shoes Luke?  I want the truth!”

“Truth is very important isn’t it?” Luke said thoughtfully, “It’s bad to tell lies.  People who tell lies can’t ever be trusted.  They’re like the boy who cried wolf.  No one’ll ever believe a word they say again.”

Mum’s lips tightened, she looked straight ahead and they continued their walk in silence.  When they were nearly home she spoke.

“Luke, your feet have grown, you have to have new shoes.”

“Ok, I’ll have plimsolls.  Blue ones please.”

“Plimsolls are no good when it rains.”

“I’ll get wellies for when it rains.  Blue would be good.”  

Mum looked at him.

“Ok,” she said.

lukes-favourite-shoe

textile-symbol

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If you missed the beginning you can read the whole story here 🙂

Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er, the paperback containing the first eight chapters of Luke’s adventures, is available from Amazon in the UK, Europe, the USA and Canada

vegan book for children

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vegan, children, children’s story

Wouldn’t have had to do this with plimsolls!

So Luke had new shoes.  Mum said it would be a good idea to wear them around the house for an hour on the first day, then two hours the next, gradually increasing the time until they were comfortable enough to wear all day.

“Wouldn’t have had to do this with plimsolls,” thought Luke as he paced up and down his bedroom.

lace-up-shoe

A week later he wore them to school.  He had to admit it was good timing because it had started to rain and it wasn’t pleasant being stuck in wet socks all day.  His new shoes kept his feet dry.  He would say that for them.  And he got a few compliments.  Joe said he liked them, and so did Eddie and Susan.  Miss Shaw said they were very smart, which undermined his confidence in them a little, but at least Mrs Tebbut hadn’t been impressed.  At lunch time Luke changed into his plimsolls for football on the playground – hard, shiny shoes just weren’t good for running in.  When the bell went he returned to the cloakroom to change back into his shiny shoes and found Simon Butler looking at them.  Luke scowled.

“Wouldn’t have thought you’d wear them ,” said Simon smugly, “that makes you a hypocrite.”

Luke had no idea what a hypocrite was but knew that if Simon Butler was calling him one, it wasn’t something nice.  He assumed he was making some derogatory remark about the shoes and decided he was glad that Butler didn’t like them.  He didn’t like the stupid stuff Butler wore either.

“If I’m a hypocrite so are you – that horrible jumper makes you the biggest hypocrite in the world for wearing it!” said Luke as he walked away, very satisfied with his comeback.

Simon laughed.

“You don’t know what hypocrite means do you?”

Luke blushed.  Simon enlightened him.

“It means someone who doesn’t practice what they preach.  You say you won’t eat animals because you don’t want them killed but you’re wearing cow skin on your feet!”

“I am not!” Luke shouted, “these shoes are made of sprayed canvas, stupid!  Don’t ya think I made sure o’ that before I let me mum buy ’em?  Don’t ya think I’d make sure o’ that?”

 Butler smiled his insufferable smile.

“Those are made of leather, it says so on the label.  Leather is cow skin!”

Luke trembled with indignation.  He knew Butler was lying because he’d seen the label inside his shoe. The word ‘leather’ was not on there.  They had an audience now, the whole class was gathering round, eager to see who would get the last word.  Luke would not let it be Butler.  He took off one of his shoes, looked inside it and then proudly held it up for everyone to see.

“I do not kill animals!  I do not pay for animals to be killed!  I do not eat animals and I do not wear animal skin!” he said with gravity.

“What is going on out here?” Mrs Tebbut entered the cloakroom in search of her missing class.

“Mrs Tebbut,” said Simon politely, “we were wondering what this means,” he pointed to the label inside Luke’s shoe.

*************************

Story concludes tomorrow, but you can read to the end here now if you don’t want to wait 🙂

Luke Walker and the New Shoes – begins today!

Luke Walker and the new shoes

Luke was having a stressful day.

“It’s not fair!” he thought, “I don’t want new shoes; I don’t need new shoes.”

He looked down at his left plimsoll for proof and was satisfied that he could hardly see his big toe.

“In fact,” he said out loud, “I’m sure if someone who dint know it was there looked at my feet, they wun’t notice it at all.”

Mum disagreed.  She quite unreasonably insisted that a big toe sticking through a hole in one’s shoe was an unmistakable sign that it was time to get new ones.

It was 4.17pm.  Luke and Mum were in the fifth and final shoe shop their home town had to offer.

“This is it Luke,” Mum said testily, “this is the last one. We will be buying shoes from this shop.”

She picked out four different styles and put them down in front of him.

“Choose one.”

Luke looked at them with disgust.

“ Brown?  You want me to wear brown shoes?  I am not wearin’ brown shoes!”

Mum removed the two brown ones and, through gritted teeth said of the remaining two,

“Choose one of these or I will choose for you!”

If he had to have new shoes when he didn’t even need new shoes he would have chosen blue ones.  He would have chosen blue plimsolls.  They were comfortable. They were good for running in.  And blue happened to be his favourite colour.  But Mum said plimsolls were not proper shoes.  She said they were not suitable for wearing in wet weather.  She said they were not smart enough for school.  She said he had to have those shiny sort of hard shoes that give you blisters for the first two weeks.  Luke had put up strong resistance all day long but now it looked like he would have to compromise.  It came down to two different black shiny shoes and one of them had tassels. 

tassel-shoe

It was clear that he wasn’t going to get the plimsolls so the best he could do was make sure he didn’t get the tassels.  He chose the lace-ups.  Mum exhaled.

“Finally,” she said.

 After Luke had tried them on and walked up and down on the carpet in them, and Mum had squeezed the toe ends of them to see how much growing room there was, the shop lady boxed them up.  But just as Mum was about to pay, Luke remembered something.  He’d heard a horrible rumour at school which he hoped wasn’t true but he had to be sure.  He’d heard Katia tell Susan that shoes are made of cow skin!  It was too shocking to contemplate and Luke had assumed Katia, who was always melodramatic, was making it up to get attention.  But could she have been telling the truth?

“What are they made of?” Luke asked the shop lady.

“These are made from quality …..”

“Canvas!” Mum interrupted, “they’re made of the same material your plimsolls are made of but they’re sprayed with a special substance that makes them hard and shiny.” 

Luke was surprised at his Mum for rudely interrupting someone who was already talking.  The times she’d told him off for doing that.  And the shop lady was obviously surprised at her too as she looked at her quite strangely.  But in a way Luke was glad to discover his Mum didn’t always do everything right.  It made her a bit more human.

*********************************

continues tomorrow 😀

or you can read the whole story here now 🙂

I wrote a book

vegan Christmas book

I wrote a book about some birds,

With pictures in and also words.

Brother birds who love each other,

And want to be free together.

1

The birds are turkeys, big and fat,

The farmer makes them fat like that.

He makes them fat to kill and eat,

For those who think they are just meat.

2

But they are not, they’re meant for more,

Christmas dinner’s not what they’re for.

They’re clever and they think and care,

They suffer too and that’s not fair.

3

So when I saw some library books

In which a family smiles and cooks

A big fat bird to celebrate

The Prince of Peace born on that date, …

4

I decided to put my book

On that shelf in the library nook.

A child might find it and read it and see

Turkeys deserve to be happy and free.

5

**************************

There are so many books in libraries that perpetuate the illusion of the witch’s spell.  Whether they be fiction or non-fiction, they tell children, at the most impressionable  time of their lives, that some animals are “farm animals” and as such are there to serve our ‘needs’; that we ‘need’ meat and dairy and fish; that our health is dependent on these things; that animals are happy on farms and rearing animals to kill them is the most normal, natural thing in the world.  It’s no wonder it’s an uphill struggle for those of us trying to share the truth:

  1.  Animal farming is extremely cruel,
  2. Eating animal products is detrimental to our health
  3. Animal agriculture is by far the biggest cause of global warming, rainforest destruction and ocean deadzones.
  4. Going vegan is the only way to save the world.

Years ago I purchased a new copy of a Ruby Roth book and donated it to my local library.  It never made it to the shelves of that or any other library in the county.  They refused to include it.   They rejected it.

Adults don’t listen.  Children might 😉

NB: If you photocopy an insert from a different county library than the one you’re infiltrating, maybe with the word DISCARDED stamped on it, img199and a child finds and likes the book and wants to take it home, one of two things is likely to happen:

  1.  The child puts the book, perhaps with a pile of other books, onto the automated check out machine and doesn’t notice the illegitimate book hasn’t registered on the system.  They simply bag it and take it home.

Or

2.  The child does notice the book hasn’t registered and takes it to the librarian who looks at it and says, “oh, this has been returned here by mistake, you can keep it”.

And just keep doing it, different books, different libraries, all with a positive vegan message that tells children they are right to follow their instinctive, compassionate natures and love all animals, not eat them.  Most grown-ups are too stuck in their ways; too brainwashed.  Communicating directly with children is the only way we’re going to change anything.

Go on, be a rebel – it’s kinda fun 😉

dscn5751

That’s it!

While Cedro continued to ponder, Grandpa walked behind him, into the kitchen.

vegan children's story

Grandpa picked up the biscuit tin, rattled it, put it back down and trudged back to the living room.

vegan children's story

“That’s it!” thought Cedro, “Grandpa’s got a sweet tooth!  I’ll make him a birthday cake!”

vegan children's story

Cedro washed his hands and gathered together all the ingredients he would need.  They were flour, baking powder, sugar, sunflower oil, water and vanilla essence.  Then he carefully switched on the oven and set it to 160° centigrade.

vegan children's story

continues tomorrow 🙂

but if you don’t want to wait you can read the whole story here now 😀

*********************

#veganpicturebook, #veganchildrensstory, #vegankidsstory, #veganchildrensbook

“What shall I give to Grandpa?”

“What shall I give to Grandpa?” Cedro asked Kauri.

“It’s up to you,” said Kauri, unhelpfully, “think of something Grandpa likes.”

vegan children's story

“What do you think he would like from me?” Cedro asked Myrtle.

“That’s not for me to say,” said Myrtle, unhelpfully, “what do you think?”

vegan children's story

“He likes knitting,” Cedro thought, “maybe he’d like some yarn, or a new pattern.  But those things cost money.”

vegan children's story

Cedro didn’t have any money.

Cedro thought again.

“He likes gardening, maybe he’d like some new seeds.”

vegan children's story

But seeds cost money.

“He likes playing with his train set, maybe he’d like a new engine.”

vegan children's story

But new engines cost money.

******

continues tomorrow 🙂

but if you don’t want to wait you can read the whole story here

***********************

#veganpicturebook, #veganchildrensstory, #vegankidsstory, #veganchildrensbook

A dependable friend

Continued from yesterday

*******

He was such a dependable friend.  The two of them searched for almost ten minutes without any luck. Joe said the Park Keeper would probably understand if they apologised and explained what had happened but Luke wasn’t ready to give up yet.

“This pavement goes downhill,” he said.

“No it don’t, it’s flat,” Joe disagreed.

“Give me your ball,” said Luke.

He placed it gently on the pavement and it started to roll.

“See! It’s slightly downhill.  If we follow your ball it will lead us to mine.”

“Ok,” said Joe, and they followed it.

It went past the chip shop and the laundrette; past the pub and the bingo hall.  Joe looked back over his shoulder.  He couldn’t see the park gate anymore and was a bit worried.  Mrs Walker had told them to

1. stay together and

2. stay in the park.

He couldn’t do both so, after very little deliberation, he decided that ‘stay together’ was the more important rule.  He hurried to catch up with Luke.  The ball continued to trickle on but was slowing down because the slope levelled out just before it reached the main road.  Joe’s ball came to a stop against a bulge in the asphalt.  He picked it up and put it in his pocket.

“So where’s yours?”

“It must be here somewhere,” said Luke looking around.

His logic was flawless.  The ball must have rolled in this direction.  But it was nowhere to be seen.

“Well at least we tried,” said Joe, “I think we should prob’ly be gettin’ back to the park.”

“Just one more minute,” said Luke, “I know it’s here.  It must be.”  Suddenly he realised “someone prob’ly accident’ly kicked it.  It’s prob’ly gone across the road!”

“Oh no!” said Joe as he looked at the busy traffic, “we’re not goin’ to cross the road!”

********

Continues tomorrow 😀 but if you can’t wait, you can read the whole story here

Luke Walker chapter 5 starts here!

Luke Walker and the police car

Luke and Joe were on the putting green at Swanspool Gardens.  They were on the sixteenth hole of an eighteen hole game and Joe was winning.  Not by much, but he was winning.  It was Luke’s turn.

“It’s so hot,” he said, wiping his face on his T-shirt, “I shun’t be surprised if that’s why I’m not getting’ ’em very quick. Usually I get ’em really quick.”

Joe, lying on the grass under the spray of the sprinkler, took his word for it.  Luke eyed the distance and angle of the sixteenth hole from where he was standing.  Should be straightforward enough.  He even felt quite confident he could beat Joe’s three, in spite of the heat.  Of course if he got it in one that would give him a chance of winning.  It would at least demonstrate what he was capable of.  Joe rolled away from the sprinkler.

“Haven’t you done it yet? Come on, I want another go.”

luke-putting-2

Luke struck the ball with his putter, a little harder than intended, and it sailed way past the hole, hit a tree, changed direction and finished up under the hedge.  Joe laughed.  Luke ran to fetch the ball.  He patted the ground just under the hedge where he’d seen it go in but couldn’t feel anything.  He laid down on his side against the hedge to see if he could see it.  Yes.  There it was.  But it was too far to reach with his hand so he slid his putter under the hedge to try and knock it back out.  Unfortunately this knocked it further away and it rolled out the other side and down the slope towards the pavement.  Luke called to Joe.

“Jus’ goin’ to get my ball.”

“Leave it.  You can share mine,” said Joe.

“It’s my ‘sponsibility to return the ball when I’ve finished playin’,” Luke replied with dignity.

The Park Keeper had treated him with respect by speaking to him like an adult and trusting him to return the hired equipment in as good a condition as he’d received it.  Luke was not going to let him down.  He had to leave the park to get the ball – something his parents had told him not to do.

They were watching Grandad in a bowling match on the other side of the tennis courts and had only let Luke and Joe go to the putting green on condition that they stay together and stay there until Mum or Dad or Nan came to fetch them.  Under no circumstances were they to leave the park.  But Luke was sure they’d want him to return the ball to the Park Keeper who had trusted him with it.  And it was only just outside, on the pavement at the bottom of the slope on the other side of the hedge.  So close to the park that it could hardly be called outside the park.

Luke ran along the hedge until he reached the gate. He exited the park and ran down the path to the pavement.  He ran along the pavement in the opposite direction until he was level with what he thought was the spot in the hedge where the ball came through, though it was difficult to tell.

“Joe,” he called, “are you there?”

Joe’s voice came back from the other side of the hedge but it was a bit further along.

“I’m here. Can you see it?”

“Not yet,” said Luke, “but it must be here somewhere.”

He continued along the pavement until he was level with Joe’s voice and then looked carefully for the ball.

“Joe! I can’t find it! Come an’ help me!”

“We’re s’posed to stay here.”

“I know but it’ll be quicker if you help an’ then we’ll go back an’ no one will know.”

“Ok,” said Joe.

******************************************

continues tomorrow

but if you can’t wait that long you can read the whole chapter here 🙂

This must be it!

vegan story book

vegan story book

vegan story book

vegan story book

vegan story book

vegan story book

vegan story book

vegan story book

vegan story book

Thank goodness for the happy ending 😀

We hope you enjoyed Lavender Laine’s poetic collage which beautifully illustrates that there’s no point experimenting on animals because, chances are, what’s good or bad for them, is not what’s good or bad for us.  She has dedicated the book to the Safer Medicines Campaign.

You can read the whole story here and it is available in paperback from Amazon

*******

#vegan story, #vegan children’s book, #vegan rhyming story,

Post Script

How many friends could a Bibbolybob make if a Bibbolybob came to Earth? (which you can read in full here) has a post script:

ps

You might be interested to know that at one point during that afternoon, Herb noticed Wibbolywub had put down his notebook on the grass.  As a gentle breeze turned some of the pages he was able to steal a look inside – and who could blame him?  We’d all be curious about what someone was writing about us wouldn’t we?

Anyway, Herb didn’t actually understand most of what he glimpsed but he was pleased with himself for recognising the numbers.  Some of them were big ones.

The following is what he saw:

vegan children's book

vegan children's book

vegan children's book

vegan children's book

vegan children's book

vegan children's book

and that really is the end 😀

***

How Many Friends Could A Bibbolybob Make If A Bibbolybob Came To Earth? by Edward Benn and Juliet Mahoney is available in paperback from Amazon so if you enjoyed it, why not give it a good review?  I’m sure the authors would appreciate it 😀

***********************

#vegan children’s story, #vegan children’s book, #vegan early learning, #children’s early learning book, #vegan bedtime story

New story for ages 2 and up

We haven’t added anything new to the 2 and up page for ages, so we thought we’d do it now 🙂

With the permission of Honestly Books, we are delighted to share with you How Many Friends Could A Bibbolybob Make If A Bibbolybob Came To Earthby Edward Benn and Juliet Mahoney.

children's counting book

vegan counting book for children

vegan counting book for children

vegan counting book for children

vegan counting book for children

vegan counting book for children

vegan counting book for children

vegan children's story

vegan children's story

The story will continue tomorrow, but if you don’t want to wait that long you can read it the whole thing here

***************************************************************

#vegan children’s story, #vegan children’s book, #vegan counting book, #vegan picture book

Not all colouring books are boring

Continued from yesterday:

*****

“Come in boys and take off your coats, dinner will be ready in twenty minutes.”

Auntie Joan smiled as she waved to Mum and Dad and closed the front door.  Luke and Jared sat down quietly in the living room and looked at their hands.  Auntie Joan disappeared into the kitchen and nothing happened for three or four minutes until the front door slammed.  Uncle Brian was home from work.  He burst into the living room loudly.

“Hello boys!  I forgot you were coming!  Ready for a re-match Jared?”

Jared grinned shyly.

“Yeah,” he said.

“Great.  We’ll set up after dinner.  Hey, where’s Amelia?  She must be in her room.  Why don’t you go and see what she’s up to?  We’ll call you when dinner’s ready.”

The boys looked at each other uncomfortably and then quietly did as they were told.  They knocked on Amelia’s door and entered when she said ‘come in’.  Their six year old cousin was dressed in a pink tutu with pink tights and wire-framed white lace wings on her back.  She had a pink plastic tiara on her head.  She was bent over a colouring book, colouring butterflies.

“Hello,” she said, without looking up.

“Hello,” said Luke.

“Alright?” said Jared.

Jared sat down on the bed and picked up two of Amelia’s soft toys.

“Ah, pink pony! Today you will fight blue dolphin to the death!  And whoever wins will fight yellow kitten to the death!” he said in a fake evil voice while making the toys wrestle.

“Stop it! You’ll spoil them,” said Amelia.

Jared laughed and continued tormenting her.  Luke shook his head at his brother’s predictably boring behaviour and browsed Amelia’s bookshelves.  Colouring books, colouring books, colouring books.  He wondered how she hadn’t got tired of them.  He took one from the shelf at random and flicked through it.  It was full of pictures of sea creatures and shells and seaweed.  Under each one was its name and a brief description.  Amelia had coloured it in very neatly, Luke had to admit, and she’d ended up with a full colour encyclopedia of the sea.  He picked out another one – it was about birds.  Every other page had a drawing of a different bird to be coloured in, with the name, description, habits and location of the bird on the opposite page.  There was another one about fish, another about wild flowers, another about trees.  There was Animals of the British Isles, Jungle Animals, Arctic Animals; Space, Planets, Stars; Fruit and Vegetables; People from History.  There were also quite a few with fairies but Luke had seen enough to know that he had misjudged Amelia.  Not all colouring books were boring.

So the visit to Auntie Joan’s turned out to be not so bad after all.  Luke was given beans on toast with tomatoes and leeks for dinner, which went down very well.  And Amelia kindly let him do some colouring in her History colouring book from which he learned that Albert Einstein, who was famous for being a very clever man, was a vegetarian like him.  He showed that page to Auntie Joan.

****

Monday morning Luke sat in awe, watching Joe draw a brilliant picture of Mrs Tebbut.  It looked just like her.  He was especially impressed with how Joe had captured her eyebrows, the way they each did their own thing when she was angry.

“Joseph Carter put down your pen!” Mrs Tebbut shouted from behind her desk.

Luke looked at her and then at the drawing.

“Amazing!” he breathed.

As she stalked towards them, it dawned on Joe that it would have been better to have drawn it on paper so that he could tear it up.  He licked his finger and tried to rub it off but the ink had already sunk into the wood.

“Headmaster’s office! Now!” she boomed when she saw his handiwork.

Joe was already on his feet.  He knew the routine.  Luke tried not to smile.

“And you, Luke Walker,” Mrs Tebbut still had some rage to vent.

“What did I do?” asked Luke incredulously.

“You two are as bad as each other.  Move to the front where I can keep an eye on you!”

“There’s no room at the front,” said Luke with relief.

“Katia, Shania, swap desks with Luke please.”

She had an answer for everything.

“I didn’t do anything,” he said plaintively.

Joe was gone until after playtime and when he did come back he had to stand in the ‘naughty corner’.  Luke sat alone in a haze of Lily of the Valley, trying not to make eye contact with his teacher.  At least Joe was allowed to sit with him after lunch.  Well, sort of.

“Luke and Joe, sit at either end of your desk, facing each other.  I’ll have no more whispering and conspiring.”

The boys moved their chairs, turning sideways to the white board.

“Great,” muttered Luke, “now I’ll get a stiff neck twisting round to look at the board.”

“And I’ll have no muttering either,” said Mrs Tebbut, quiet enough to let him know that, at this distance, she could hear everything.

While the class got themselves settled in for afternoon school, Mrs Tebbut directed Miss Shaw, the new classroom assistant, to the photocopier.

“Just make 30 copies – I don’t want spares cluttering up my desk – and then put the Master Copy back in here,” she said, indicating her desk drawer.

Miss Shaw went to the staff room, where the photocopier was stationed, and Mrs Tebbut wrote on the board:   The Eatwell Guide

******

Concludes tomorrow, but if you don’t want to wait you can read the whole chapter here 😀

Part 3 of the plan

Story continues from yesterday:

*******

Luke, wearing full school uniform, was finishing his jam and toast when his mum entered the kitchen at half past seven.  She was stunned.  Normally she had to call him at least three times before he’d get up, and even when he was up he had to be constantly nagged to get dressed and breakfasted.  He didn’t appear to have had a shower and he was wearing Friday’s dirty shirt, but Mrs Walker decided to let that go.

“Morning Luke,” she said, apprehensively, “everything ok?”

“Yes thanks Mum,” he replied politely, “I want to get to school early today so I’m bein’ organised.”

“So I see.  Any particular reason?”

“No.”

Mrs Walker, known by Luke to be very distrustful, looked closely at her youngest son.

“Ok,” she said, eventually, “well done.”

Luke smiled, put his gobstopper back in his mouth and went upstairs to clean his teeth.

He was at school a good twenty minutes before most people got there.  Even Mrs Tebbut wasn’t there yet.  He went in to his classroom.

He furtively looked around to confirm he was alone and then rushed over to the drawers.  Everyone had a drawer with their name on.  They kept their books and pencils and stuff in them.  He found Kenny White’s drawer and pulled it out.  Then he took from his bag Kenny’s droppings – 1 panda pop can, 1 crisp packet and one half-empty sherbet fountain.  He pushed them into the drawer and closed it.  Then he ran outside to kick a ball around on the playground until the bell went.

After the register had been called everyone had to line up for assembly.  Luke took his place at the end of the line, followed the rest of his class into the hall and sat down on the floor behind class 3.  He watched all the other classes file in and the assembly began.  He sat still, faced forwards and pretended to be interested.  When it was half way through he tried, quietly, to get Mrs Tebbut’s attention.

“Psst, psst, Mrs Tebbut,” he whispered.

She didn’t hear him.  He coughed.  She didn’t turn her head.  He faked a loud sneeze.  She frowned at him.

“Mrs Tebbut,” he whispered again, “can I go to the toilet?”

She silently shook her head.

“Please Mrs Tebbut, I really need to go,” he whispered a little louder.

The children near him started to snicker and Mrs Tebbut reluctantly gave in.

“If you must,” she hissed, “slip out the back.”

Luke did as he was told.

Once back in the classroom he grabbed his bag and exited through the cloakroom.  He ran to class 6, the long way round so as not to pass the hall, and entered their cloakroom.  He scanned the names above the coat pegs until he found what he was looking for.  Yes! There it was. Haines.

On Haines’s peg hung Haines’s coat and into its pockets Luke deposited Haines’s droppings: 1 Tango can, almost empty, upside down; 1 crisp packet, almost empty, upside down; and 1 used piece of …… oh no! Luke found that the chewing gum he’d wrapped in paper when he’d recovered it from the crime scene, was now as hard as plastic and therefore unfit for purpose.  He needed something sticky.

Of course! With almost no hesitation – he reminded himself it was for a very important cause – Luke spat what was left of his gobstopper into Haines’s inside pocket.  Part three complete.

“Who are you?  What are you doing in here?”

The man’s voice behind him made Luke’s cheeks flush hot.  He turned round and reached into his bag.

“My brother is in this class,” he said, meekly, “’e forgot ‘is English book so I brought it for ‘im.  I was jus’ lookin’ for ‘is bag on ‘is peg.”

He handed Jared’s book to the Year 6 classroom assistant.

“Oh, I see. Thank you,” he said as he took the book, “I’ll see that he gets it.”

“Thanks,” said Luke and ran back to his own class.

He opened the door just in time to witness Mrs Tebbut holding up a cola-soaked, sherbet smeared, grease-stained copy of the new History text book while shouting at Kenny White.

Luke sat down quietly and waited for lessons to begin.

****************

You can read the whole of Chapter 3 here, and the first eight chapters are available in paperback.

vegan book for children

Spiker

Story continues from yesterday:

******

And so the morning continued.  Dad read the paper; Dudley sniffed, peed and eventually laid down; and Luke resentfully picked up other people’s rubbish.

He spotted a set of six-pack rings in the long grass and reached for it.  It moved.  He reached for it again and it moved again.  Luke parted the long grass and found, with one of the rings caught tight around his body, a little hedgehog.

hedgehog

“Oh dear oh dear,” said the vet, “come on fella, let’s get this horrible thing off you.”  

She cut it off and then gently cleaned the hedgehog’s wounds.  

“I would say, going by the severity of the cuts around his neck and behind his forelimb …”

“His armpit,” Luke clarified in case anyone was unsure to which wound she was referring.

“er, yes, if you like,” the vet went on, “and the fact that he is quite undernourished, that this unfortunate animal …”

“Spiker,” said Luke.

“I’m sorry?”

“That’s his name.”

“Oh, I see.  I would say that Spiker has been struggling with this horrible appendage for over a week.  It’s very lucky you found him when you did.”

Luke suddenly saw the job of picking up litter in a very different light.  It was a very important job and, in conjunction with punishing droppers, was outlaw work.

The vet said that she would take care of Spiker until he was better and then she would call them to pick him up and they could release him where they found him.

“That means,” thought Luke, “I need to make sure the park is safe for him to come back to.”

On the way home, Luke formulated a plan: 

➔ First he would clean up all the rubbish;

➔ then he would keep watch and record the names of all the droppers and what they dropped;

➔ then he would teach them a lesson.

All afternoon Luke and Dad picked up litter.  They filled three and a half large dustbin bags with bottles and cans, crisp packets and sweet wrappers, fast food containers and carrier bags.  Luke also found a £2 coin which Dad said he could keep for being such a good worker.

“Nice to be ‘preciated for a change,” thought Luke and spent 99p of his hard-earned cash, on the way home, on a giant gobstopper.

Part one of his plan was complete.  Now, on Sunday, he was carrying out part two.

It was slow going. His eyes glazed as he stared across the empty park.

“There’d be no shame in bringing more than one comic in future,” he decided.

Then, at 10.06, on one side of the park, seven Year 6 boys entered, laughing and pushing and kicking a football between them.  At the same time, on the other side of the park, came Simon Butler, Kenny White, Becca Nithercott and Christina Burkiss, all from Class 4 – Luke’s class.  Becca and Kenny were carrying large, brightly-coloured kites.  

Luke shrank down behind his Beano.  The Year 6 boys raced around chasing their ball and shouting insults at each other.  The class 4 kids took it in turns to run across the field trying to keep their kites aloft in the windless sky.  

Luke kept his eyes on them all as discreetly as he could.  No litter was dropped. He was getting awfully tired of sitting still.

Then the football suddenly flew higher and further than intended and landed in one of the back gardens. Luke watched as one of the Year 6 boys vaulted the fence to retrieve it.

“What are you doing here all by yourself?”

Simon Butler!  Where did he come from?  Luke tried to look nonchalant.  With slow deliberation he took the gobstopper out of his mouth.

“Readin’ me comic. What’s it to you?”

“Reading my foot!” Butler scoffed, “you’ve been sitting here with your comic against your chin for the last ten minutes. Are you waiting for someone?”

This was no good.  Butler was drawing attention.  And he was distracting.  Now there were only five Year 6 boys – where did the other two go?  Simon Butler climbed onto the bench next to Luke and sat on the back of it, his feet on the seat.

“Who are you waiting for? What are you waiting for?”

This was infuriating.  Flamin’ Butler!  Luke had to get rid of him and he could only think of one way to do it.

“Is that yours?” he pointed to a £1 coin on the ground.

“er, oh yeah, I must have dropped it just now,” Simon lied as he stooped to pick it up.

He called to his friends.

“Anyone fancy some crisps?”

And he ran off without giving Luke another thought.

“Expensive,” thought Luke, mourning the loss of the last of his money, “but worth it.”  

******

Continues tomorrow but if you can’t wait that long you can read the whole chapter here and the first eight chapters are also available in paperback.

vegan book for children

Luke Walker Chapter 3 begins here

Chapter 3: Luke Walker and the Giant Gobstopper

SUNDAY

LITTER: 1 PIZZA BOX AND 1 COKE CAN

DROPPER: UNNOWNE

Luke tutted and looked across the park.  At 8.27 there was no one else there but he knew they would come.  And when they did, he would be ready.

On one side of the park was the school, on the other, the pony paddock.  The top and bottom edges skirted the ends of back gardens.  With his binoculars Luke could see it all clearly.  He waited.

At 8.49 a dog walker entered the recreation field and walked around twice.  Luke pretended to read his comic while secretly watching the person’s every move.  No litter was dropped.

At 9.12 and 9.18 two more dog walkers arrived at opposite sides of the park.  One threw a ball for his dog, the other kept her dog on a lead.  No litter was dropped.

For Luke time was passing extremely slowly.  He had read his comic three times and it was losing its appeal.  At least his enjoyment of the gobstopper was not waning.

“The solitude of the outlaw life might be too much for some people,” Luke mused, “but I’m used to it now, I can handle it.”

Twenty four hours earlier he had been less philosophical:

“I don’t see why I should have to clean up other people’s mess!” Luke complained to Rusty who was sitting on a cabbage leaf, watching him.

Mrs Tebbut had followed through on her threat to send home a letter after the zoo trip and Luke’s dad had sentenced him to a month of weekends cleaning up litter.  Luke was bitterly resentful at the injustice of it all.

“I mean, I could see the logic if I was a litter dropper myself.  Makin’ me pick up litter would serve me right.  But I’m not a dropper.  I’ve never been a dropper.  I won’t ever be a dropper – so what kind of lesson is this s’posed to teach me? A lesson I already know, that’s what!”

Rusty, Ash and Scratcher, the only witnesses to this tirade, did not attempt to answer him.  They were used to his rhetorical rants and knew it was best to just let him get it off his chest.  Sitting with his friends in ‘the damson patch’, as it was now known, letting off steam with the only ones who really understood him, was a kind of therapy for Luke.  He always felt better afterwards.

But at the park Luke felt humiliated.  It was Saturday morning; scouts were having football practice; skateboarders were zooming up and down their ramps and slopes; little girls were skipping rope and playing hopscotch.  Luke felt like everyone was smirking at him picking up litter.  It was disgusting.  Disgusting people had dropped their disgusting rubbish and he was forced to clean up after them.  It made him so cross.

litter

Then he noticed his dad trying to get his attention.  Maybe he was going to let him off.  Maybe he’d done enough now.

“Luke, look, behind you. Dudley’s done his business.  Make sure you pick that up as well.”

Dad went back to reading the paper and Luke seethed.  It wasn’t fair!

******

Continues tomorrow, but if you can’t wait you can read the whole chapter here now😀

and the first eight chapters are also available in paperback

vegan book for children

Might as well make the best of it.

Continues from yesterday:

*****

But, it was nice weather, and anything was better than being stuck in a classroom.  Luke decided he might as well try to make the best of it.

Mrs Tebbut pointed at two big tigers.

“What can you tell me about the tigers in this enclosure?” she asked the group.

Luke was shocked.  He put up his hand.

“Are they criminals?” he suggested.

“Don’t be silly Luke, of course they’re not criminals.”

“Well it don’t seem fair to put innocent animals in prison.”

“Can anyone give me a sensible answer?”

Simon Butler read aloud from the board on the fence.

“They’re Bengal tigers; well known for their power and strength; one of the most feared predators in nature.  In the wild they scent mark large areas of up to 100 square kilometres to keep their rivals away.”

“Very good Simon,” Mrs Tebbut smiled.

Luke didn’t think there was much to smile about.

“The wild ones live in massive places, prob’ly bigger ‘n Bournemouth, and this cage is smaller ‘n my back garden.  No wonder they look fed up,” he thought.

They moved on.  Luke lagged behind with diminishing enthusiasm.  Mrs Tebbut drew everyone’s attention to another enclosure.

“Can anyone tell me what these guys are?”

“They’re penguins,” said Anna.

“That’s right. Does anyone know what type?”

“They’re bored penguins.”  He knew the moment he said it that he’d said it too loud.

“Luke Walker!  I am tired of your attitude!  If you can’t enter into the spirit of things with a smile on your face and some genuine effort then kindly do not participate at all.”

That was fine by Luke.

“Why do teachers ask you what you think if all they really want you to tell ’em is what they think?” he grumbled to himself.

When Mrs Tebbut was distracted by Katia getting a splinter, Luke decided to take her at her word and ‘not participate at all’.  He was better off on his own anyway.  He wandered around the zoo, looking at the animals and feeling sorry for them.

“Don’t seem right to lock animals up when they ‘aven’t done nothin’.  It’s like the Sheriff of Nottin’am all over again.”

He noticed an empty bench in front of a line of trees, away from the busier zoo paths, and decided to have a sit down.

“It’s a shame about zoos,” he thought, disappointed.

While he sat there he looked around.  Over his left shoulder, behind the trees, he saw another enclosure.  It was off the beaten track and smaller than the others.  It was concrete and contained nothing of beauty or interest except its occupant.  There stood the biggest, most breath-taking, awe-inspiring individual Luke had ever encountered.  An elephant.  All on her own. 

“All on your own,” Luke sympathised, as he made his way to her, “another damson in distress.”

He climbed up on the fence so that he could talk to her over the top of it and she walked towards him to get a closer look.

“I’m on me own too,” he continued, “not stayin’ with the group if I’m not wanted!”

Then he had an idea.

“Would you like to come out an’ play with me?”

The elephant seemed interested so he went on.

“Ok, listen, we’ll have to be a bit sneaky.  You wait here while I find a key; then I’ll open this gate and you can slip out before anyone sees.”

It was a brilliant plan!

*******

Continues tomorrow, but if you can’t wait you can read the whole story here now 😀

and the first eight chapters are also available in paperback 🙂

vegan book for children

Experimenting on animals is a Wild Goose Chase

vegan book

New from Honestly Books is Wild Goose Chase by Lavender Laine which is perfect for the teens to adults section of our Vegan Children’s Books page.

Lavender Laine, author of What’s good for the goose is not good for the panda, a rhyming story for little children, is a collage artist with a passionate opposition to vivisection.  Her latest title, the non-fiction Wild Goose Chase, is not only a feast for the eyes but also choc full of information that every anti-vivisectionist should know.  She has mined the brilliant Sacred Cows and Golden Geese by Ray and Jean Greek for all the text, which she has torn from its pages and pasted onto a backdrop of colourful images from many and various books and magazines.  The result is a stunning visual treat designed to make the historical scientific facts easier to remember.

On the first page is the classic quote from Dr Werner Hartinger: “There are, in fact, only two categories of doctors and scientist who are not opposed to vivisection: those who don’t know enough about it, and those who make money from it.”

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The acknowledgement pages follow:

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And then it begins with a statement that it will go on to prove: Trying to cure human ills by experimenting on animals is a wild goose chase.

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From thereon each page is full of information which was meticulously researched by the Greeks for Sacred Cows.  Laine has chosen excerpts from the Greeks’ book which she feels are the most important to commit to memory.  I’ve read Sacred Cows and Golden Geese several times from cover to cover and it teems with information explained in a way that is easy to make sense of for a non-scientific mind such as mine.  However, there is just so much information in there that, even after reading and re-reading, I find it hard to bring the facts to mind in conversation with others and therefore am unconvincing in my arguments.  That’s why Wild Goose Chase is so important.  Laine has included only a fraction of the text from Sacred Cows – giving us less to memorize – but those well chosen excerpts explain clearly and concisely why vivisection is scientifically flawed and why it continues in spite of that.

It’s a kind of CliffsNotes for Sacred Cows, but much more eye-catching.

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It begins with the history, showing that “True advances in medical knowledge has not come from animals.”  It reveals that Nobel Prizes were awarded to the wrong people – those who ‘validated’ things in animals decades after they had been discovered by other scientists in human observations.

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It explains how animal experiments have mislead scientists into thinking dangerous drugs were safe, and safe drugs were dangerous.

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It explains that animal tests continue in spite of this because they provide a legal ‘safe harbor’ for the government and drug companies who can claim due diligence when things go horribly wrong.

vegan book

It explains that, in the education system, original thinking is neither required nor welcomed; that editors and reviewers perpetuate the mass delusion; that money drives education and money drives research.

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It explains that what is needed is a ‘voluble public outcry’ to stop this scientific fraud which is killing so many humans and animals.  What is needed is for everyone to be aware of these facts so that they can no longer be deceived by the vivisectors’ PR machines.

vegan book

And then it goes on to explain what we should be doing instead of animal experiments: the scandalously underfunded human-based research methods which really could make a difference. Look – there’s Elvis! ↑

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Eg epidemiology, human autopsies, in vitro research, clinical observation, genetic research, computer modeling, diagnostic imaging, post-marketing drug surveillance.  It’s amazing what they can do now (and Sacred Cows was written sixteen years ago so think of the even more amazing advances that must have occurred since then).

“To insist that animal experiments are necessary is ludicrous.”

“Why wait in the dark ages when the Star Trek sick bay is at hand?”

vegan book

The book concludes with a call to action, inviting everyone to educate themselves and speak out against the mass delusion which is costing so many lives.

vegan book

There is nothing in this book but scientific and historical facts which are easily verified by referring to the indicated pages in Sacred Cows.  There are no disturbing images or descriptions of animal experiments – what would be the point?  If vivisection could be stopped on grounds of cruelty to animals it would have been banned a century ago.  Exposing the scientific fraud is the only way to end it.  Educating ourselves is where we start.  Buy this book and give it rave reviews!  Enable every teenager to understand that animal experiments are not necessary and never have been; that they are actually harmful to medical progress and will not save human lives.

Introducing Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er

Ow! That was a thistle.  Luke poked and scratched at it with a stick until it broke away from its roots and could be pushed aside.  He then rubbed his grazed wrist and forged ahead, emerging moments later on the other side of the hedge.  Simon Butler’s back garden.

It wasn’t the first time Luke had gained illegal entry to Simon Butler’s garden but if all went well it might be the last.  He’d been eleven times before, to visit the rabbit.  Simon kept his rabbit in a small wooden hutch at the end of the garden, near the dustbins.  He used to let her out to play when he first got her but after a couple of months, when the novelty had worn off, he only visited his pet for five minutes once a day to refill her food and water.  Luke felt sorry for her.  He could see the hutch from his bedroom window next door.  When he borrowed his dad’s binoculars he could even see the rabbit.

vegan children's story

“She must be so sad and fed up.  And bored,” he said to the Robin Hood poster on his wardrobe door, “I’m going to visit her.”

A couple of times a week for the last month and a half, Luke had endured scratches and scuffs, and the hedge had endured bends and breaks, so that the rabbit could have a bit of company.  He always took her something from Dad’s vegetable patch – a bit of lettuce, or a carrot maybe – and after the first few times she seemed pleased to see him.  She put her face close to the wire and eagerly tugged at the treats he pushed through to her.  But he had to be careful not to get caught.

Simon was a smarty-pants who always did his homework and always got good marks.  He was good at sports and he was good at maths.  He was always the first to put up his hand in class and his shoes were always clean.  Irritating though all of that was, Luke could have let it go if Simon hadn’t done something unforgivable.

Luke’s best friend, Joe, was not very fast and he was not very clever.  He was last to be picked for every team game and first to be told off in every lesson for not knowing the answer.  But he always took it on the chin.  He shrugged it off.  Sports weren’t his thing.  Maths wasn’t his thing.  He wasn’t especially enamoured with science or history either but that didn’t worry him.  He was the best friend Luke had ever had and was totally reliable.  He had kept his mouth shut when Luke tripped over his shoe laces and knocked Mrs Tebbut’s mug of tea all over her desk;  he had kept it to himself when Luke accidentally cracked Mrs Tebbut’s windscreen with a cricket ball.  He was the kind of friend who could always be depended on.

So when Smarty-Pants told Mrs Tebbut that Joe had copied his test and Joe got sent to the Head Master for cheating, Luke was very cross.  Simon Smarty-Pants Butler was a tell-tale and a liar.  He could never be trusted.  And he didn’t like Luke any more than Luke liked him.  It was vital that Luke didn’t get caught.

****

to be continued …

Click here for the whole chapter.

And we have a winner!

vegan books for children

It was tense and silent as we drew a name from the hat, and with hard-to-contain excitement we unfolded the paper.  And the winner is ….

vegan books for children

Congratulations Lira, you have won a copy of “Why are you a vegan?” and other wacky verse for kids.  We hope you enjoy it 😀

vegan children's book

Thank you to everyone who entered, and for those who weren’t lucky this time don’t be disheartened, it’s available on Amazon 🙂

Plus, there are going to be plenty more opportunities to win as there are many more giveaways to come.

Watch this space!

YRUA Vegan? Giveaway Countdown: Day 7

vegan children's book

Day 7: you’ve got ONE day left to enter the prize draw for a chance to win a copy of “Why are you a vegan?” and other wacky verse for kids.

The winner will be drawn on Wednesday, the 11th of May: TOMORROW!

Comment on this post to put your name in the hat😀

Funny rhymes with messages on vegan lifestyle, sounds difficult to combine but the authors have put a brilliant effort in creating this work. This is a book consisting of poems and picture stories. What is interesting about this book is,the drawings are hand drawn which makes this book a special one because children can actually connect to the drawings and the simple poems and learn in more than one way. Very beautiful illustrations and amazing writing.

A very sweet read. Would recommend it for every kid.

 Goodreads review

For more vegan books for children, go home:-)

YRUA Vegan? Giveaway Countdown: Day 6

vegan children's book

Day 6: you’ve got two days left to enter the prize draw for a chance to win a copy of “Why are you a vegan?” and other wacky verse for kids.

The winner will be drawn on Wednesday, the 11th of May.

Comment on this post to put your name in the hat😀

Funny rhymes with messages on vegan lifestyle,sounds difficult to combine but the authors have put a brilliant effort in creating this work. This is a book consisting of poems and picture stories. What is interesting about this book is,the drawings are hand drawn which makes this book a special one because children can actually connect to the drawings and the simple poems and learn in more than one way. Very beautiful illustrations and amazing writing.

A very sweet read. Would recommend it for every kid.

 Goodreads review

For more vegan books for children, go home:-)

Y R U A Vegan? Giveaway Countdown: Day 3

vegan children's book

Day 3: you’ve got five days left to enter the prize draw for a chance to win a copy of “Why are you a vegan?” and other wacky verse for kids.

The winner will be drawn next Wednesday, the 11th of May.

Comment on this post to put your name in the hat😀

Funny rhymes with messages on vegan lifestyle,sounds difficult to combine but the authors have put a brilliant effort in creating this work. This is a book consisting of poems and picture stories. What is interesting about this book is,the drawings are hand drawn which makes this book a special one because children can actually connect to the drawings and the simple poems and learn in more than one way. Very beautiful illustrations and amazing writing.

A very sweet read. Would recommend it for every kid.

 Goodreads review

For more vegan books for children, go home 🙂

The Giveaway Countdown Starts Here

vegan children's book

To celebrate the launch of our new Vegan Books For Children page we are going to have some giveaways of some of the lovely books on it.

First up is “Why are you a vegan?” and other wacky verse for kids

It’s been over a year since this one came out in January 2015 – unbelievable!

You can read more about it here in the post about the earlier giveaway, when it was published, and if you’re still not sure you’re interested, look at this lovely review we just found on Goodreads:

Funny rhymes with messages on vegan lifestyle,sounds difficult to combine but the authors have put a brilliant effort in creating this work. This is a book consisting of poems and picture stories. What is interesting about this book is,the drawings are hand drawn which makes this book a special one because children can actually connect to the drawings and the simple poems and learn in more than one way. Very beautiful illustrations and amazing writing.

A very sweet read. Would recommend it for every kid.

So, if you would like to win a copy of this colourful, happy vegan children’s book, just comment on this post and let us know.  You’ve got seven days to do so – next Wednesday, the 11th of May 2016, we will draw a name from our ‘hat’ to select the winner.  Open to everyone, worldwide.

Look forward to hearing from you 😀

Recommended Reading: FRUITS – A Caribbean counting poem

Fruits - a Caribbean counting poem

We love this book!

Fruits - a Caribbean counting poem

It’s so perfect!  Full of vibrant colour and light.

Fruits - a Caribbean counting poem

Valerie Bloom’s happy, funny poem is gorgeously illustrated by David Axtell.

Fruits - a Caribbean counting poem

Every page is full of delicious mischief and tasty, sweet, juicy fruit.

Fruits - a Caribbean counting poem

The rhyming story is told in the first person from the point of view of a delightfully naughty little girl who loves fruit and eats as much as she can get her hands on while teaching little sis how to get it without getting caught.

Fruits - a Caribbean counting poem

The written-in Caribbean accent naturally adds sunshine to the words and you really feel like you’re inside the head of big sis; which makes you as eager as she to taste all those juicy fruits.

Fruits - a Caribbean counting poem

I probably shouldn’t show any more, wouldn’t want to spoil the ending 😉 You really should get down to the library and borrow this wonderful book (or get your own copy) – especially if you’ve got a little one who’s learning to count.

Highly highly recommended 😀