Read any good children’s books recently? Stuck for ideas?  Well, this week is your big chance to hop around the world in search of good reads for kids.  You may even win copies, too!   Children’s Book Week is a celebration of the best books for children. 

Every day this week I’ll be posting here, talking about my books, my characters and other books that inspired me.   There will also be some extra activities and on every post there will be a link to my Giveaway.  You can enter some of the options every day you visit.

Guinea pigs and eating

All the characters in my books, The Princelings of the East and the rest of the series, are guinea pigs.  They have a complex world, live in castles and other communities and have work, school and all the usual things ‘people’ do. They are based on my real guinea pigs, the first of whom were Fred and George.

Fred sometimes found it hard to resist the vegetables next to the run!

Real guinea pigs are very interested in their food, and Fred and George (the real ones) enjoyed all sorts of different vegetables,  herbs and wildplants too.  I grew a lot of different things in my garden for them. I was careful not to let them try things known to be poisonous, but a lot just isn’t known, and I felt I could trust Fred, in particular, to know what was good to eat and what was not.  I can’t do that with my latest additions, Dylan and Dougall!

In the books, though, there are all sorts of interesting concoctions that a gourmet guinea pig might enjoy.  Real guinea pigs don’t eat ice-cream, but Fred gets an inspiration watching the lights reflecting in a lavender sorbet (a lavender-flavoured water-ice).  My Fred adored lavender! They do get lots of opportunities for mixed dishes of salad food or vegetables, and one type of dish is called a melange , which is French for mixture.

When I write about drinks, I used the terms that you might understand for a type of drink.  Guinea pigs would not drink cola, or any type of soda, or beer, or wine, or tea or coffee.  But I like to think of them enjoying a few luxuries, and so Hugo (Lord Mariusz) has a business brewing and selling Wozna cola.  The inn serves ale, soft drinks, and sometimes something a little stronger.  I imagine all these drinks made from fruits and herbs and vegetables, much like a country person might make wine from the hedgerows – elderflower champagne, anyone?  I also invented a coffee drink subsitute called an espressimenta – it’s a mint drink made like an espresso!

Do you remember what Ratty brought out of his picnic basket when he took Moley out in his boat? It’s much the same in my guinea pig world.

In tomorrow’s post I’ll talk about George and his interest in engineering and flying machines!

Things to do

Did you print out yesterday’s picture to colour in?  How many different types of fruit and vegetables could you see? The answers are below the Linky List.

Enter my Giveaway

KL Giveaway

Thanks to Mother Daughter Book Reviews and Youth Literature Reviews I’m taking part in a worldwide promotion, the Kid Lit Giveaway Hop. My Giveaway is part of that.

The prizes are:

  • one copy of the Princelings Trilogy (paperback) to a winner in the EU (plus Norway and Switzerland)
  • a bundle of the first three ebooks (as pictured) for a winner elsewhere in the world.
  • one copy of my latest ebook The Talent Seekers (or another of the series if preferred) to a winner (worldwide)

It’s open now and it will close at midnight 19th May (New York time). Click the Kid Lit Giveaway button above to enter – and you can enter every day!

Even more – you can go to other blogs with more books and competitions! Let’s go hopping…

Click here to find more participants and view this Linky Tools list.

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Answers: You should have seen carrot, bell pepper, melon (it could be interpreted as a banana), apple, cucumber and the leaves and flower at the front are dandelion. Six items in all.

Children’s Book Week Day 2
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