For 12 year old Arthur King. TV celebrity chef Miss Le Fay is a recipe for disaster – not least because each night for tea, he’s forced to endure her food whilst watching with his parents, her twice-nightly show ‘Cooking Magic!’ But there is worse (if that were possible), for unbeknown to him and Miss Le Fay’s adoring fans right across the globe (including Arthur’s half-crazed parents), she is in fact the witch Morgan Le Fay – erstwhile enemy of the legendary King Arthur – who, disguising her spells as recipes, is cooking up a plot to take over the world.
Under her evil spell, thousands of men and women – among them, Arthur’s dad – have suddenly taken to growing giant fruit and veg, which, at fetes across the country, will hatch an army of dragons. All that will come to stand in Morgan’s way is Arthur, and all that will stand in his – although he means to help – is the hapless wizard of equally mythical yore, Merlin, whose own magic powers, on account of having been a pig for 1500 years, are a little rusty.
With Morgana’s killer spells – like ‘cheese and chutney melts’ – to contend with, Arthur and Merlin stumble through time in a bid to thwart the witch’s wicked scheme; forward to the court of King Frank I in his over extended, stone-clad semi-detached palace, and back to the time of Camelot and the knights of the Round table. Here, in Merlin’s kitchen, in an ancient tome of three thousand pages, they discover the spell to reverse Morgan’s powers, the most powerful spell known to man; Bubble and Squeak. With three of the four sacred ingredients already in their possession – cabbage, butter and onions – Arthur dispatches the knights on a quest to find the fourth, hitherto unknown in this part of the world – potatoes.
Will the knights succeed? Will Arthur and Merlin make Bubble and Squeak and thwart Morgan Le Fay at the local village fete? Or will the taste of her spells prove too good and an army of dragons hatch to help her take over the world!
In the wake of his diagnosis, just shy of his 50th birthday, Tom tries to help his son come to terms with this cancer, turning his battle into a game of Dungeons and Dragons. In an imagined world, his cancer is an army of gargoyles with which, every night, they fight around a map they’ve drawn together.
Three years later, on the beach of their favourite seaside town, 13 year old Jack reluctantly scatters his ashes. His mum, Jane, has since remarried and hopes that in fulfilling Tom’s last request, Jack will start to come to terms with his loss and the move to a new house. But a violent storm that night serves only to reflect her son’s increasing anguish.
After the storm, Jack returns to the beach and along with the remains of a shipwreck, finds a few of his dad’s possessions scattered on the sand. This, he discovers, is their imagined world made real; a place in which his dad still lives – a prisoner of the gargoyles. Only by freeing him can Jack come to terms with his death in the real world. But will he be able to find him, while evading the gargoyles and others who wish him harm? And if he does, will he, at last, be able to say goodbye?
The Abominable Doughman
Being bullied was new to Iris, but then, everything was new: new town, new house, new school, not to mention her dad’s new job and the reason for the move from London to the coast. Never could she have imagined that his dream of owning a bakery would lead her, her family and the country into a nightmare.
Amongst other things, the bully, Natasha, makes Iris steal from her dad’s new shop and sensing his daughter’s growing unhappiness, Gordon gets Iris to make a ‘worry loaf’ – a dough which she can pummel and knead and thereby release some of her anger. Almost at once the pounded dough begins to rise unnaturally, growing to become a living creature – an Abominable Doughman. Every night it comes to the house to feed on flour and water and every day it grows, before taking revenge on Natasha; first covering her with dough at school and then her entire house.
When Natasha disappears along with the creature, fingers point at Gordon – who else around there makes sourdough of the kind with which she was covered? His customers leave and, like Natasha, his dream vanishes. Under mounting pressure, he too makes a ‘worry loaf’ which like his daughter’s, grows to become another creature.
After huge drifts of dough are discovered around the county, heading in the direction of London, videos of the enormous Doughman are shown across the world. Now this second creature is hot on his trail and nothing it seems can stop them.
Gordon is arrested, but Iris thinks she knows where Natasha is hiding. Will the police find her? Can the creatures be stopped? Or will the family’s new beginning lead to a sticky end?
The Grown Up Children's Home
When Jenny receives a key in the post from her elderly aunt Doris, labelled with the address of Doris’ childhood home, little can she imagine what it will open and what, in the end, it will lead to. The same can be said of Mr Fletcher when he receives the keys for his new home; a near-derelict house which, 70 years before, was that same childhood home of Doris, her family and a large group of trolls. Doris has dementia and lives in a care home where evil Pipistrella Clout works as a nurse. Pipistrella’s mother was friends with Doris at school and, throughout her life, told Pipistrella about the trolls and a box of treasure hidden in her house. When Pipistrella thinks she sees a troll, she starts to believe the story is true and when Mr Fletcher finds a troll living beneath the bathroom floor, the whole world begins to share in the magic of Doris’ childhood. But what does it all mean and what will happen when the magic comes to an end?
Time Added On
Eliot’s next door neighbour, Mr Lewis, is an old man who often stands at the window watching the world go by. Eliot and his family have recently moved and the first time Eliot meets Mr Lewis is to ask for his ball back. The old man’s house is empty. Dust marks on the shelves and patches on the wall show where things have once been but aren’t anymore. But something else is missing. Something which, Eliot can tell, makes the old man sad.
Moving house means moving school and trying to make new friends. But most of the kids – and some of the teachers – at Eliot’s new school are anything but friendly. When the school striker is injured, Eliot is told by Mr Wallop – the shouting P.E. teacher – that he must replace him in an important, upcoming match. The injured striker, who happens to be the school bully, warns Eliot against being good and tells him not to even touch the ball.
When a mysterious parcel is left on Eliot’s doorstep, he finds a football inside. Minutes later, while playing in the garden, he kicks the ball next door and, climbing through a hole in the fence to retrieve it, finds himself in a strange world. Searching for the ball in what appears to be a forest, he hears a growling and is soon being chased by a sabre-tooth tiger! Finding the ball, Eliot runs and dribbles away, but up ahead sees the tiger standing over a boy lying on the ground. The only thing Eliot can do is use his skills to save him. Will he succeed and save the boy? Or will the boy become the tiger’s dinner?
One thing is for sure.
If Eliot can beat a sabre-tooth tiger, he can take on a bully.