Published by Penguin Random House in 2016 and currently in its second print run
One night, Mr Doodle, the rooster, is woken up by the sounds of car hooters. When he discovers that the city is expanding rapidly – right up against the fence of the peaceful farm that is his home – he is very upset. He decides to leave the farm and look for another, quieter one. But Mr Doodle finds that he can’t simply fly off and leave behind the life that he knows. Year after year, it’s been his duty to wake all the animals and people on the farm, and it’s his responsibility to find someone to take over his job. So, after many amusing and frustrating auditions, Mr Doodle finally finds the perfect replacement.
To Dominic and Siya, on holiday with Dominic’s family in Mpumalanga, the temptation of finding the mysterious Kruger Millions - hundreds of caskets of gold bars buried across South Africa over a century ago - is irresistible, despite the dangers involved. When Dom’s uncle, an amateur treasure hunter, refuses to allow them to accompany him on his mission to find the gold, the boys decide to do it on their own. Journeying through the harsh, but beautiful African landscape, drawn in by ancient folklore and visited by a weird witchdoctor they find themselves becoming more and more embroiled in the search. Guided and misled by strange stories, odd characters who intercept them and warnings from friends and family, the boys eventually find themselves not only on a mission to find the elusive gold, but to save their family from financial ruin.
Meet the Families is the first book of a series that children (and grownups!) everywhere will adore. Freddy and Frieda, the lovable field mice, travel the world, meeting different kinds of people, teaching tolerance, and introducing the reader to many different kinds of families that Freddy and Frieda have come to know on their travels. Written in an easy-to-read rhythmic style, Meet the Families celebrates the differences in family structures, while showing us that we all share one thing in common: Love. Each family is special in its own way, and as Freddy and Frieda will tell you, “One of these families will be just like yours. They might just be living on faraway shores.”
Freddy and Frieda’s Travelling Tales, Meet the Families is published by Dodi Press, a division of My Family Products (www.myfamilyproducts.net). The book is aimed at families of all kinds and is set to fill a gap in the market which has previously been sadly neglected. The story relies on its simplicity to normalise all families, thereby addressing the need for children (and, indeed, adults) to learn that it’s normal to be different! Thebook is an ‘everyone is special’ story with a difference, that difference being that it does not shy away from previously unmentioned and ‘unmentionable’ family structures. The story embraces everyone and the author’s intention was to make readers feel that “their hearts have had a hug”.
Sometimes it takes an unexpected act of kindness from an unlikely source to make someone realise that true beauty comes from within. This is what happens when Morty, a not-very mean monster, meets a very pretty, but very selfish elf. By saving her from a dreadful beastie, Morty teaches the elf that all pretty creatures aren’t necessarily good and all ugly ones aren’t bad.
Morty and the Selfish Elf is a tale of friendship, forgiveness and inner beauty. The story aims to teach children that, in a day and age where outer beauty has almost become an obsession, it is inner beauty that really matters. The book also has an underlying anti-bullying message.