When ‘The Secret Society of Dragon Protectors’ writing partnership has run its course, I felt inspired to write a new series of adventure stories that include an element of history for primary school children.
Since adopting Rolo the rescued Jack Russell I began blogging on his behalf and friends suggested this would make interesting reading in book format for all ages.
Tapping into my enthusiasm for history facilitated by the poetic licence of time travelling adventure, coupled with the desire to invite children to move away from their electronic devices, step outside and open their eyes to discover the wonders of nature, I hatched the idea for combining all three strands in a new and original series of adventure books.
The idea for ‘The Secret Adventures of Rolo’ was born when I brought Rolo home from Dog's Trust and he took a while to settle at night. In the first book entitled ‘Athelstan and the Time Tunnel’, readers learn through Rolo's own narration, what discovery the little pup made, unbeknown to his owners, the smiley lady and the floppy haired boy.
A meeting with Athelstan the tree dragon facilitates his ability to embark upon a whole series of time travelling adventures in history. He also learns all about nature from some tiny woodland folk along the way. Being a very talented Jack Russell, Rolo also blogs about his everyday life and these intersperse the adventure chapters and handwritten nature notes.
Much of the first book explores history and events in Rolo's native Wiltshire, as well as further afield; Haxey, London, Norfolk, Halifax, Reading, Versailles and Pompeii.
The series is beautifully illustrated by Chantal Bourgonje.
Rolo’s adventures in these books spark enthusiastic questions from primary school children and prompt classroom projects as well as prompting a family outing or the keeping of a nature diary.
The second book is entitled 'The Chilvester Passage' and when a disaster strikes the forest, Rolo's time travelling adventures are in jeopardy. He will eventually encounter Shakespeare, Ancient Egyptians, plague-carrying rats, a Bronze Age man, 'Moonrakers' and space-travelling rodents in this sequel to 'Athelstan and the Time Tunnel'.
I hope you agree; the illustrations for these books are just perfect. Let me take a minute to introduce Rolo's fans to the very talented person who was able to literally put him "in the picture" - Thank you Chantal! Have a look at her website: www.cfordesign.co.uk
The books are enjoyed by 7-12 year olds and their pets if they are lucky enough to be read to; and also by adults with a sense of humour - especially those who love dogs. Everyone can learn from Rolo!
Book 3 is called 'The Dragon's Pram' and Rolo is given a very important task for which he needs an airing cupboard and a dolls pram. He time travels to the Iron Age, Magna Carta, Henry Vlll amongst other historic adventures...And yes, there are DRAGONS in this adventure!
Book 4 'Jewel Dog and the Dragons' sees Rolo encountering other mythical creatures and having adventures in the Bronze Age, WW1 trenches, the Founding of the UAE in 1971, Greek mythology and King Alfred's Saxon Wessex.