Once upon a time, in a tiny kingdom hidden so high in the mountains that clouds kept bumping into the castle walls, lived a stable boy.
Nothing ever changes in the tiny kingdom, and it feels like nothing ever happens. Until one day something did happen and everything changed.
That was the day the raiders came, the day our mucker had to be a hero!
The King turned to the leader.
"May we know the name of the man who is treating a princess with so little respect?" he said in a deep voice.
"You don't know who I am?" The leader of the ruffians seemed astonished, and his henchmen pulled shocked faces. "Well, what can you expect from a bunch of hill-fools? Allow me to educate you. I am Prince Franck."
"Indeed?" said the King, making it clear that he was not much impressed by this. "And what is it you want with my daughter?"
Prince Franck laughed, but he turned an angry red too.
"What, this little no-nothing two-a-penny mountain princess? I don't want her at all, except as a hostage!" he sneered. He began to strut up and down as he talked. I couldn't help noticing how skinny his legs were. He looked a lot like a chicken parading around like that, but somehow it didn't seem very funny just then.
"No, I'm here for something much more valuable. Something that is going to change the future of a proper kingdom - mine!"
... that when I was young I used to have dreams in which I had my own herd of flying horses? They also preferred to take off from high places like cliffs.
... that horse's legs are very complicated to draw? Scoular Anderson, the illustrator, told me this. He said people write him letters if he gets it wrong!
... that the pile of horse poo in the front of The Mucker's Tale looks suspiciously like the midden from Wag and the King? Check and see if you think they are the same picture!
Flying horses, bungling thieves and heroic children are bound to keep young readers enthralled in this story about a tiny kingdom high in the mountains.
This story has adventure, charm and humour by the bucket-full (and yes, plenty of horse poo too), and children will love the feisty central boy and girl characters.
Fun Kids - the children's radio station. 2010
Written for newly-confident readers, or for sharing with younger children, this story provides just the right amount of adventure, charm and humour to keep readers involved. Children will also easily identify with the feisty central boy and girl characters.
In a market that is flooded with series, it’s good to see strong stand-alone books like this are still around.
Reading Zone: Heard it in the Playground, 2010
The artist for Tales from the Turrets is