Another World for Book Day

20-logo-right-downNothing makes world book day better than discovering a new fantasy world to live in for a while. As part of World Book Day’s 20th year, we are introducing you into a captivating world of adventure and fantasy.

The Woodland Realm Comes Alive

Heirs to the Kingdom (HTTK) is described by author, Robin John Morgan, was one of those ideas that grew into an obsession. What started as a side project to occupy the author as a mixture of hobby and simply something to help pass the time in his quiet hours as a single parent, raising his daughter alone, grew over a period of twenty years into a filing cabinet stuffed to the brim with notes, sketches and diagrams, of the many ideas he connected to what we now know as his central characters of Robbie and Runestone. In 2006 during a spring clean, he made the decision to sort through all of his material and rather than have a cabinet stuffed with paper, he thought it would make more sense to sort it out and transfer it all on to his computer.

bowmanfrontWhat followed was a year of copying down all his notes of what had become a fantasy existence for his two central characters who lived in the year of 2038 and beyond. Having completed the task of getting everything on the computer in a rough sequence, Robin decided to use his free time to slowly put it all into an order than would create a timeline, and show an alternative way of life in his make believe world, and Heirs to the Kingdom, the fantasy series of books was born.

What began back in 2007 as the writing of one continuous story, should find its completion this year with the final book of the series, after ten years of constant writing back to back books. His series of stories all based around his two characters and their friends and family is based around two central ideas. The first being his love of old tales from the past, which always state the hero will rise up again to return and save the day, and his second idea of what would happen if the world was struck with a catastrophic disaster that wiped out the larger percentage of the population? With nature back in charge and small groups rebuilding their communities the basic premise of the story is set, and into the mix his two teenage lead characters are placed.

HTTK begins on New Year’s Day 2038 in the snow, and as Robbie one of the central characters rises to his daily duties on the farm, he faced with the monotony of his dull life. What he thinks is a boring isolated town in the middle of nowhere is far from the truth, and as the story starts to unfold, we start to learn of sinister figure in the south, Mason Knox, who claims to be a descendant to the line of the one true King Arthur.  The country is recovering from the deadly virus that killed most of the population, and the survivors are slowly trying to rebuild from scratch a life based on what surrounds them in the wild natural world that has swept over the destroyed remains of the once era of Modern Man. But it appears our sinister figure in the south has the idea that he alone has the duty to rebuild the world back to his view of things, and so begins the separation of the people and a struggle to fight to protect the lives they have built.

carnacfrontThis is a series that develops into a full and fascinating struggle between two ideas of how the world should be, mixed with a blend of fantastic characters. When our lead hero’s companions reveal that they have some odd and mysterious powers, the story starts to twist and turn into an adventure of fantasy, built on the foundation of a very realistic way of living away from modern life as we know it, and what is seen as the Woodland realm really does come to life with some fantastic and very well thought out and insightful writing. This is without doubt a gripping adventure fantasy series that has all of the everyday aspects of life mixed with fantasy in a way that really does draw the reader into Robin’s make believe world. It feels very real and timeless, and has many moments that have you caught within pages unable to put the books down. It is thought provoking and emotional, as well as action packed with a thread of humour throughout its core that draws you deeper and deeper into this wonderfully written tale. 2017 should see the final part of this slice of life fantasy adventure story reach its final conclusion, and so now is the perfect time to get the first book and walk into a superb fantasy adventure and enjoy a year of thrills, tears, and laughter whilst fighting for survival.

These are all good reads with a high word count that makes for an immersive reading experience, they are written in an easy to follow style, which will draw you quickly into the story and captivate your imagination. The books are available now and entitled:

dunnottarfrontBook One – The Bowman of Loxley

Book Two – The Lost Sword of Carnac

Book Three – The Darkness of Dunnottar

Book Four – Queen of the Violet Isle

Book Five – Crystals of the Mirrored Waters

Book Six – Last Arrow of the Woodland Realm

Book Seven – The Bridge of Sequana.

Book Eight the final book in the series should be out later this year and will be entitled, The Ravens of Berengar.


Start Book Day with a Play

20-logo-right-upIts World Book Day, which means it’s time to lift a book and enjoy yourself. Today VCP are featuring some of its best reads, and so why not do something a little different and choose a great and enjoyable play to read?

Heaven Knows.

Plays have become a fashionable read in recent times, none more so than the release of JK Rowling’s The Cursed Child, which has seen great success. When we were first asked if we would consider producing a play formatted book, it was new territory, but something we felt would be a good experience for us.

Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now, by Colin Smith, has seen a lot of local success around the Manchester/Liverpool area of the UK as a stage play, and so with a recognisable title for play goers, we started work with Colin to produce the book version.

To set the scene, this is comedy, which has darker threads woven into the humour. The scenario follows the story of Andy, whom having had three marriages and has been widowed three times, after a long life dies in bed without realising it. He wakes up in a strange place not really understanding what has happened, and at first is not aware he is dead, and his soul has passed into limbo, before being assessed for entrance to heaven.

Heaven knows I'm Miserable Now by Colin Smith ISBN 978-1-910299-16-6

Heaven knows I’m Miserable Now by Colin Smith ISBN 978-1-910299-16-6

The story line is a chuckle fest from the first page, as he encounters his guide into the afterlife with his trainee reaper, Eva. Much to his surprise, his reaper is an attractive young female dressed in rather sexy night attire, something she feels is more welcoming. Eva is to be honest very absent minded and forgets to instruct Andy in the ways of his reaping, which just leads to yet more comedic confusion as he arrives at the reception to Heaven and enters the selection process.

Whilst editing and formatting this book there was many moments where there were outbreaks of giggles and chuckles, as the humour intensified, and we must confess it made working on this book delightfully entertaining. The selection process for Andy, which is a very entertaining and hilarious process not un-similar to the bureaucratic process of a human resources interview, reveals that his three passed wives are all in Heaven and he will be given the option to meet them, and decided which one to spend eternity with.

Whilst making his decision he is taken to a safe house until he can adjust to his new circumstances of being dead, and reflect on the choice for a partner for eternity. Much to his surprise he finds his house sharing comrades to be none other than Adolf Hitler and Jesus. What follows is a wonderful mix of great one liners and side splitting hilarity, as his new house friends help him to decide who his ideal partner for eternity is. This though provides what turns out to the funniest twist of all, because unbeknown to Andy, in heaven you can choose the life you want to be for eternity, and so all of the three women he had been married to in his living life, are very different in their afterlife.

This is a very tongue in cheek look at life and what follows, and is very funny indeed, but not only does it make you have a really good chuckle and belly laugh, surprisingly it also provides you with the chance to think about your own ideas of an afterlife. We had a few discussions amongst ourselves as we worked on the formatting of the book, and it is surprising how it does make you sit up and think about your own life and also your beliefs, in a somewhat light hearted way.

The one dilemma our author Colin had was that in the early stages of developing this play for the stage, he had two very different endings, and during the process he was torn as to which one he could use. We suggested he add both, and so this copy of the play in print form, has the added extra bonus of two ending from which you can choose your favourite, either way we think you will laugh at both.

Colin Smith Playwright

Colin Smith Playwright

This really is a very entertaining play and we feel a book you should definitely pick up when you need a break and a space to chuckle. Having worked on the book and followed it through the whole process, we are really hoping a new stage production is put on in our local area soon, so we can actually see it performed on the stage. A wonderful, light and entertaining tale, beautifully written and presented in a play format by Colin Smith.


Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Again by Colin Smith is available now on all online book retailer sites including Amazon.

Crumble for World Book Day.

20-logo-left-downIt’s World Book Day, and it’s a special one as today is the 20th, and so we are featuring some of our best reads to get you all turning the pages. This one is especially for the children.

Crumble’s Adventures by Mike Beale.

When we first considered putting out a children’s book, and we started the process of working with Mike, it was important to us that the book met certain expectations. Firstly it had to be an engaging story that children would enjoy, and we also felt a story that would delight any parent equally as much, when reading it to their child.

We also believe that books should contain positive advice or messages, which would aid the reader in not only understanding the story, but also understanding themselves and the life they live. To answer this we posed the question, would children take a positive message into their own life, having read this story?

Finally we looked at how the story could be enhanced; this question was answered when author Mike Beale presented us with a selection of drawings for the book, done by Illustrator Maureen Fayle.

The ultimate test of the book came when we gave it to our six year old daughter, and asked her to read it and then give us feedback on her own experience of the book.

Crumble’s Adventures, we are pleased to say passed all our criteria with flying colours. The story which evolves around Crumble, is a charming tale of a small dog who at the start of the book is homeless and alone. Wandering the streets and living off scraps, it is very clear how her existence is one of loneliness and sadness. I think every child has a point in their life where they experience this, especially at that early age where they enter a new school and have to leave their parents at the door, so the start of book struck a deep chord with all children. It can be frightening to enter the start of the real world, and here Crumble reflected all those tiny feelings that many children face.

As the story moves forward, Crumble stumbles by accident on another dog named Alex, and at this point Crumble’s fortunes take a turn for the better. Alex takes the homeless Crumble home, where she is welcomed in and given a good meal, and this is the starting point of a strong friendship, and a sense of belonging. From here on in the books takes up a positive stance as the two dogs develop their friendship and go on many adventures. From our point of view, this shows the importance of family and strong friendship, something that is a very valuable asset to all children in the early stages of their development.

Crumble's Adventures by Mike Beale. Illustrated by Maureen Fayle ISBN 978-1-910299-06-7

Crumble’s Adventures by Mike Beale. Illustrated by Maureen Fayle ISBN 978-1-910299-06-7

What follows is an engaging tale of the dogs, with very positive messages and a few tense moments that do indeed captivate the imaginations of children. The story is adult enough for parents to comprehend the story and its meaning, yet written is such a delightfully easy to understand way that all children can relate every quickly and easily to the two dogs, and the friendship that strengthens between them. Our main test was our daughter and her understanding of this story, and it passed with flying colours as she really loved the story and became very excited as she followed it through the publishing process.

The story is enhanced by the simply wonderful artwork that is woven throughout the book. The hand sketched illustrations provided by Maureen, contain such wonderful detail that the pictures themselves jump from the page, and it brings a real sense of identity to the characters for the children to relate to and follow. 

The book has been formatted in a way that moves away from the large pictured and low print types of books that children start reading with, and carries a similar format to that of a novel for older children, but with larger print and slightly wider spacing. This we felt was an ideal way to bridge the gap between books for younger children, and serves as a way into gaining an insight into the formatting of books for older children. Spliced together with the illustrations, it forms a package that gives of a sense of a step up into a more older approach to reading, and we feel is an ideal way to help children adjust to what will come as they progress into older and more print driven books at a later stage.

In conclusion, Crumble’s Adventures by Mike Beale, is a simple to follow, well written story that serves as a very positive reading experience for children aged six and above. The story which is fun and exciting, is ideal for either reading to children by an adult, or as a good start for young readers who want to progress into a more print driven type of story. It is beautifully illustrated, with easy to read formatting and larger print, and we feel is an ideal first serious book for young readers.



Poetry and Me, Ted Morgan

20-logo-right-down It’s World Book Day and not only that, it’s the 20th one so it is a little more special than normal. Today the VCP blog is going to feature the work of its author’s, and felt it would be nice to learn a little more about one of our author’s, so we asked Ted if he would supply us a little history on how he started to write his poetry.


Poetry and Me, by Ted Morgan

My first recollections of hearing poetry was sitting on my elder sister’s knee at about the age of five and having the poem, The Elf and the Dormouse by Oliver Hereford read to me. It was from the Silver Book of Children’s Verse book 1 and that poem and many others from it have stayed with me all my life. The book disappeared from my home during my military service and I spent nearly 40 years looking for a copy of it until my late wife tracked one down with the help of a radio programme. It now has pride of place on my bookshelf.

Like all children I also had to both recite and read poetry as part of English lessons I do remember some which excited me but many others did not fire my imagination at all. Poetry was not top of the pops amongst the majority of my classmates.

I did find that I had a talent for writing funny doggerel this was appreciated by some of my fellow classmates, but not my teachers who were the butt of some of this verse, my posterior bore witness to this on a few occasions

Poetry took a back seat for many years through my military service and professional training as a general and psychiatric nurse. I would pick up the odd book of verse but did not write due to a host of other commitments.

I contracted Pulmonary Tuberculosis whilst nursing; this is classed as an industrial disease for nurses and involved a prolonged spell in hospital as a not so patient, patient!

It was during this time that my muse returned and I wrote a poem called Flowers which was published in my Wordsmiths Wanderings book,

The majority of the verse that I wrote in hospital has been consigned to the dustbin and the only person who ever saw it was me. I was a secret poet and remained so for the next twenty five years.

My interest in poetry was rekindled when I started reading the war poets of the first and second war, then going on to Kipling,   the great romantic poets and finally Lancashire dialect verse. 

I was singing and playing in a folk group then started to write song lyrics which were performed in public. This was when my secret was out and I came to be recognised as a poet and lyricist. I had a poem about the taking down of a local Power-stations chimneys printed in a church l magazine it was then that some members of my family and friends saw my work

I first recognised the importance of poetry as a therapeutic tool when I was doing a residential psychotherapy workshop. A psychologist gave an example of a girl who he was treating who was so upset when he moved to another hospital, with the consequent referral of her to another therapist that she articulated her sorrow in verse to him. I will always remember the first line of her poem “he has cut a shape in my air by his gentleness.”  Here we have the expression of her emotion in such a simple and beautiful way. I have used poetry with patients who found it hard to define their feelings, but writing how they feel in verse does seem to aid concentration and allows them to use metaphors and simile’s when talking about traumatic emotions and events.

I retired from nursing 23 years ago at the age of 55 and did lots of traveling Woodwork, Gardening, walking and all the physical things that one now had the time and energy to do.

I purchased a computer and that was the real start of my serious writing, I felt that I had to set down just how I felt about the world around me and the joy and enjoyment that I had got from my love of the countryside. Poetry was the answer.  My wife had many relatives in Canada and I became very close to a big hearted ex Toronto cop with a warped sense of humour. I suppose nurses and cops do see life in the raw, sad at times but also hilarious. My gift for comic doggerel was given lots of practice and I lampooned him unmercifully. My verse then drew in the rest of this large and extended family.

I think the turning point in my journey into writing was when my wife contracted breast cancer in 2000 the emotional shock was severe to both of us  and I had to support her through  her operation, radiotherapy and prolonged drug treatment. I used writing poetry as a help for me to express my innermost feelings so that I would not “bottle things up”. To see how you feel written on paper at a stressful period of your life is therapeutic, as some of my patients found many years before, I was now using the same treatment on myself and it helped. After 2 years my wife was pronounced free from cancer and life returned to normal.


Wordsmith's Wanderings by Ted Morgan.  ISBN9781910299043

Wordsmith’s Wanderings by Ted Morgan. ISBN9781910299043

IN 2010 my wife’s cancer returned and I became her full time carer My life changed and I spent long periods of time running the house looking after my wife and because I could not go out, writing my feelings down.

It was during this period I wrote my poem The Carer this has resonated with so many people in that position, it has been published in a MS magazine and it does describe just what you do.

I can remember sitting with my wife reading it to her for the first time with tears streaming down both our faces. All she said was “it’s so true but beautiful”

My writing became more prolific and I feel that through practice my use of words improved so much that I allowed my son’s to read my efforts.

In 2013 my wife passed away, She was in a hospice for the last week of her life I was a physical and emotional wreck, but I still wrote verse.

Some of my emotionally charged poems were written at this time and when they were eventually published in my book these poems have elicited the biggest response. Only last week I had a lady say I could not read all your book last night because the ones about your wife made me cry. I just said” then I have succeeded in what I set out to do”. If you can write verse that touches people deeply and gives them the emotional response which you felt when you wrote it, your own joy at this success is indeed a bonus.

I have had lots of conversations with my readers about many themes that I have written about; my works has provided a bridge of communication and allowed them to reveal how they feel about a multitude of both sad and humorous events. I think that if you write honestly and make yourself venerable though your verse, your readers recognise this and most react in a positive way.

 I have had my work published in a number of magazines and journals but my greatest pleasure was to hold my first published book in my hand. . My only regret was that my dear wife Pat never lived to see it.

MY Poetry Blog


Teds has two poetry books in print: Both are available on Amazon or any online books retailer.

Wordsmiths Wanderings.

Peregrinations of the Wordsmith.


World Book Day, Children’s Writing.

WBD2016_blue_rightdownThe creative industry is often a much forgotten part of the economy, finance, banking and investments have become the preoccupation of the world, so it is more important than ever that on World Book Day we shine a spotlight on reading as a fun way of relaxing and of course learning.

It is easy to focus on the famous, names like Lee Childs, JK Rowling, and Dan brown are a few we could consider household names, but when you think about it carefully, in recent times we have lost the likes of David Eddings, Ann McCaffery and just recently Harper Lee, all of whom were household names in my youth, but with libraries closing and the large publishers promoting celebrity names rather than mid list or new talent, one must ask is there enough talent to work its way up for the future of writing?

This year we decided to move our focus away from adults, and take a look at what is going on at grass roots level. Having published a children’s book last year, we thought it would be a change to look at children, and what effects them in the literary world. World Book Day we feel is a huge date in the school calendar, children dress up as their favourite character and all round school there are book related events. It made sense for us to look at the school and get a good idea of what exactly is being done to encourage the writers of the future, and the vehicle we used was a competition.

We joined forces with one of our local schools, Leigh Primary School in Tameside, Greater Manchester and supplied them with a copy of Crumble’s Adventures written by debut author Mike Beale. The competition was based on drawing a picture, after all Mike’s book is beautifully illustrated by Maureen Fayle an Artist based in Devon, and we also asked for a short story that would create an adventure for a dog like Crumble.

The competition was open to all the pupils from Year 1 to year 4, which is roughly ages 5 to 9 years old. VCP are a fantasy adventure fiction publisher, but we have

Leigh Primary School, Tameside, Greater Manchester,

Leigh Primary School, Tameside, Greater Manchester,

quite strict guidelines as to what we would and would not publish. We look for originality, creativity, a well thought out intelligent story, and also especially with a children’s book we look for a strong and positive message that helps teach values and understanding of the world around the reader. It was decided that we would expect something similar of the winner, even though this was at the primary level. (although we are not completely ruthless, we were ready to be open to everything given us)

On Friday 4th of March the stories were collected, with the winner being announced on Friday 11th (Today). The two best were to be awarded a certificate, a new pen and a signed copy of Crumble’s Adventures by Mike Beale.

The following are 21 submissions we received from Leigh Primary. We have done a small amount of editing, but we wanted to keep the work exactly as it was presented to us, so not all the spellings have been changed and corrected, and the punctuation is exactly as it was given to us, just remember this is the work of children aged five to nine years old.


Amber Year 2

First Winner of a signed copy of Crumble’s Adventures By Mike Beale.

Amber Yr 2

One day there lived a brown dog called Crumble. Crumble didn’t have an owner. Every day Crumble would walk up and down the street to see if anybody would like to adopt him. One night Crumble went to the police station he barked loud at the door and soon a big policeman opened the door. The big, giant policeman said, “have you got no owner?” Crumble barked, “Well it doesn’t look like it” he said. “Come on in.” The policeman put Crumble in a cage but forgot to lock the door and Crumble thought to himself, “I don’t want to be in this cage.” Crumble quickly hopped out and ran as fast as he could.

When he stopped he was at a farm, “that’s strange I’ve never been to a place like this before.” Crumble walked a bit closer and he saw four horses galloping around a field. Then Crumble walked towards the farm and into the big wooden barn. In the barn were three big, woolly sheep, a horse saw him and told the other horses about Crumble. They all came over and one horse said, “what are you doing here?”

“I have no owner.” Said crumble, “so I decided to see if you would want me.”

“Well we would have to ask the boss.”  Said the horses.  “okay” replied Crumble. And the horses galloped off to see if the boss would want him. The boss came out and took Crumble in. The boss already had a sheep dog but that sheep dog was really old, he was 72 years old.  The boss said, “you can be my new sheep dog if you like.” Crumble was very happy and jumped onto the bosses lap. This is what Crumble had always dreamed of, to have his own family.

Crumble loved it at the farm and every day he played with his friends. The boss looked after Crumble and he enjoyed looking after Crumble.



Amie Year 1

Second Winner of a signed copy of Crumble’s Adventures By Mike Beale.

Amie Yr 1

Crumble the dog lived with a nice family, but he wished he could visit lots of exciting places. One day he decided he would go travelling and jumped on a bus stopped outside his house. The bus took him to the jungle.

Crumble looked around and saw a furry brown monkey! The monkey said “You don’t belong here in the jungle. Get out!”

Crumble was sad and walked away. Suddenly he saw a tall tree walking by! Crumble was scared and looked again. It wasn’t a tree, it was a giraffe with a long neck. The giraffe said “You don’t belong in the jungle. Get out!”

Crumble was sad and walked away. Then he saw a big elephant. The elephant said “Help!” he was being chased by a hunter.

Crumble barked very loudly and bit the hunter on bottom. The hunter got scared and ran away. The elephant, monkey and giraffe all saw how brave Crumble was. “You can come here any time. Thank you for helping us.” They said.

Crumble decided that he missed his home and family. He said goodbye to the animals and went home.

The End!


We were so impressed with the intelligence, creativity, and imagination that we decided to give every child an award of a certificate and a free mechanical pencil, which we hope will help them to write more stories. From the point of VCP, we feel this shows how important reading is to children, as it allows them to explore their own surroundings, and beyond.

Ameera Year 3

Ameera Yr 3

There was once a dog called Crumble, he was an adventurer dog. He had a giant liquorish tale, he dreamed of going in to an alien ship. His life depended on it. One night he couldn’t sleep. It was the witching hour apparently, everyone said, “if you ever wake in the witching hour you will turn into an alien.” Crumble wanted to see an alien, but he couldn’t get to sleep because he really wanted to see a real life alien. So Crumble got up and looked out of the window, an alien saw him and took Crumble away… He ran… in the blink of an eye he had hairy hairs covering his body. He reached a plate that had labels saying ‘gorges marvellous medicine’  “His name is probably Gorge.” She said.

Soon they were both asking questions like, ‘what’s your name?’ and ‘do they eat you?’ and ‘what’s your job?’ The alien looked at Crumble and said, “out there every single night there are wolfs that eat any boy and girl they see for lunch. My job is to make potions for them.” One night the alien took Crumble out to collect some ingredients, and showed him things a dog had never seen before. The alien showed Crumble how to make potions, and they watched the stars that were like fireworks firing off in the dark sky. Crumble ate this strange food that tasted like an old disgusting sock.

After a while the alien decided to put Crumble back where he came from, his home. Crumble still couldn’t sleep for so long, he wanted to be with his friend Gorgie, and Gorgie felt the same, but the bone catcher said, “dogs are the only tasty thing to eat, and British dogs are the best of all.” Crumble didn’t want to get eaten.

Later on Crumble watched an astronaut movie and always wondered what it would be like to meet a real life Astronaut. Well I wonder what Crumble will do next…


Daanya C Year 1

Daanya Yr1

One day Crumble and his owner Julie went to the airport to go on holiday. Crumble wondered off and got on the wrong plane. The plane took off to the sky, and Crumble went looking for Julie but couldn’t find her.

The plane landed and Crumble walked out of the plane and kept on walking till he reached the exit. Crumble was worried and terrified that he couldn’t find Julie.

Crumble was walking hopelessly looking for Julie when he spotted a pretty dog. He followed the pretty dog onto the bus. The bus driver was cross and shouted, “NO DOGS ALLOWED!” So Crumble and the pretty dog got off.

The pretty dog said to Crumble, “are you following me?” Crumble replied, “I’m lost.” The pretty dog said, “I am Daisy, what’s your name?”

“I am Crumble and I am hungry.” Then Crumble woke up and it was all a dream.


Ikram Year 1

Ikram Yr 1

There was once upon a time a dog called Crumble, who went for a walk, and found a big, fluffy, furry cat. He seemed it was time for him to have a good clean walk so he decided to chase it, and it lead him to a rocket. As the door opened Crumble hopped onto the rocket and suddenly fell onto a button that had them zooming into the sky.

Crumble set off into space and landed on the moon. First of all he met an alien called Zorg. Crumble seemed that the alien was nice so he introduced himself by saying, “woof woof.” Which meant, “Hello my name is Crumble.” Then the dog, Crumble, asked the alien. “How do I get home?” The alien understood what he said and showed Crumble the way home.

Soon as Crumble stepped out of the rocket he felt upset because he was going to miss the rocket and Zorg. As he waved bye-bye a tear fell from his cheek, but he couldn’t wait to go inside and relax. As Crumble was going to step foot in his house he saw the cat again, he didn’t chase it because it might lead him somewhere else and he needs some rest. Crumble wondered how the rocket got there in the first place, but thought he should figure it out next time


Iona Year 2

Iona Yr 2


Mrs. Round had taken Crumble and Alex to Scotland for Christmas. It was a very long journey on the train, but they had been given lots of treats for being very good. They were staying with Mrs. Round’s friend Malcolm McDuff, he ran a farm in the Highlands.

They had been at Old Glenn Farm for four days and all it did was snow for three whole days. Finally the snow had stopped and the dog door was unlocked, and Alex could introduce Crumble to a new friend.

They dashed out of the door and ran across the yard, flicking fresh snow into the air as they made their way to the big, red barn, they both shouted “hello” as they walked into the barn. “This is Angus the long haired highland cow. Angus this is Crumble.” Alex Said. “hello Crumble” Angus said as he walked outside. “this snow is pretty deep would you like a lift?” Alex and Crumble replied together, “yes please.” Angus crouched a little and said, “hop on my back.”  So Alex and Crumble jumped up. Angus took them far away to the forest, and when they got to the middle of the forest they were lost.

Mrs. Round came out to call the dogs in for dinner, she was very shocked when she couldn’t see them. Alex and Crumble were scared, “we don’t know how to get back to the farm.” They said. Angus told them not to worry, “luckily I have these four hooves and they leave deep tracks.” He told them.  So they followed Angus’s footprints all the way home. When they got home it was already tea time, and they had to eat there dinner and tea together. “Wow,” said Angus, “that lot will fill you up.”

“yes it will.” Said Crumble and Alex together. Soon it was bed time for the tired dogs. They were read a bedtime story and they fell fast asleep.


Luke Year 2

Luke Yr 2

One day Crumble who was a dog, he walked he didn’t have a family and was alone and he walked everywhere. He was very sad another dog came he was happy he went on some adventures like hunting and treasure hunting. Then they went treasure hunting an they gone went the wrong way. They meted the wolf they hated but asked witch way should they go and they found it from wolfs directions. Then they knows that they went the rite way and they saw some treasure then they was in tunnels. They went this rite way and they walked home.


Nadeem Year 3

Nadeem Yr3

One day, Crumbles was out for a walk. While Crumbles was walking, he saw a biscuit shaped as a bone but it wasn’t an ordinary biscuit it was a magical bone, but Crumbles didn’t know he just ate it all up but then he felt weird and he turned into Crumble Dog. It was the 31st of April 1972.

On the strike of 12 O clock his super sense was tingling and he said “Hulk’s in trouble” So he went “It seems he is on Mars, not the sweet Mars the planet. “OH NO HE’S FIGHTING King Zig Zig” So I threw crumbs at him so he couldn’t see and he could take him to safety so he could fight him since King Zig Zig hates crumbs. He threw some at him and he went away for good.

He went back to Earth with Hulk who wasn’t really hard to pick up, he didn’t even need one paw he needed one piece of hair to pick him up and he took him to his lab.

Crumbles returned home, he found lots of people see him they were holding pictures of him so he became famous. But one day Crumbles wanted some privacy so there was only one thing to do, to take off all his gear and disguise to have peace and quiet but who knows he might come back to save you one day.


Nadira Yr 3

Nadira Yr3

One day, Crumble and his brothers were sleeping. It was morning and Crumble woke up early. After a while Crumble’s brother came out. “Let’s play catch” Explained Crumble Okay. Then Crumble threw the ball too high, so Crumble went and got it. But Crumble didn’t know where he was going.

Soon Crumble went further and further in the forest. After a while Crumble got lost and really got scared. Then he got used to it, also he saw some wild animals and started liking them. 1 hour later Crumbles brothers got worried about Crumble.

Later Crumble went deeper in the forest. When went, he found 3 dogs. Since Crumble was alone he decided to hang out with the three dogs. Later that day Crumble got lost because he smelt his brother. Just then Crumble found his two brothers he felt safer with his family. Crumbles mum was so happy to have Crumble back. Later on they decided to watch a film called Black Beauty, then they set up a surprise for Crumble.

It was Crumbles birthday today. Then they laid out the table for Crumbles birthday. Happy Birthday to you! Crumble was so excited. Then it was 10:30 pm, so Crumble and the brothers and mum went upstairs to bed. Good night said the dogs, good night said Mum. Then everyone was fast asleep ZZZZ!


Nakib year 3

nakib yr 3


One spooky night, Crumble was in Spooky Hollow it was so dark that he could barely see a thing. The wasn’t happy so tried to find his way out. The problem was that Spooky Hollow was a MAZE!

His only way was to jump out of the maze with his extremely jump! He jumped over the wall but he was where he was before, so he jumped so far that he almost landed on the tree, but he was safe. Then he came in hot Africa, then he went to the rocket station and almost went up in space. Then he landed in Happy Hollow.

The End.

Naseema Year 1

Naseema Yr1

Once upon a time there was a dog called Crumble. He had a boring life. One day Crumble had an idea, he wanted to go to the moon. So he packed his stuff and he made a rocket in his garden. He got his bag and went in the rocket. Then he pressed the buttons.

5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0… BLAST OFF!! Crumble was flying to the moon, Hooray!!  While Crumble was waiting to get to the moon he ate some dog food and played video games and had a nap. While he was sleeping Crumble dreamt about how he was on the moon.

After his nap Crumble saw that he landed on the moon. So he got out of the spaceship, he started walking on the moon. It was FANTASTIC! He saw an alien and they became very good friends. Crumble and his alien friend got the flag out of Crumble’s bag and stuck it on the moon

This was the most exciting day of crumble’s life. He couldn’t wait to tell his family all about his adventure.



No Name Supplied 01

No Name 01

Once upon a time, there was a dog called Crumble, and he lived all by himself near a farm. Crumble wanted to go on another adventure, but he didn’t know where to go. One day he asked his friend Tom to go to a haunted house with him because it was Halloween.

When they went in, he saw a door that said ‘Candy Land’ and Crumble wanted to go in. He asked his friend Tom to go with him, and Tom said Okay. They went in and there was so much candy, even there was a chocolate waterfall. Tom and Crumble went to eat some candy, so they went to the Candyfloss area. Next they went to the boats and went in the chocolate fall and ridded till they had chocolate all over them.

It was time to go home and go to sleep, so they did. The End.


No Name Supplied 02

No Name 02

A dog eat’s a lot of food and his mum was sad and he stops and a other dog eats a lot of foods and his mum shouts.

One day there was a little dog who eats a lot of foods and he never sleep or play, so he eats some apples and some oranges. He was full, his mum was sad, the dog said sorry, he still eating he couldn’t stop, and he did, and sleeps and play, now she was happy.

He went to eat again, she was mad! But finally he eats only one, she was happy.

Now another dog eats a lot then that. The end.


Nusaybah Year 2

Nusaybah Yr 2

Once upon a time there lived a dog called Crumble. Crumble said to his dad that “can I play outside with my friends?” and his dad said “yes” so Crumble went out and played with his friends outside, there names were Croc, Sid, Rebecca and Tim. Tim is black and white and Tim has white ears. Croc had a spiky body and Croc had weird ears. They played tig! This is how you play, so you have to put a bone in the middle of the garden and if the dog catches the bone they get to be the catcher. They played the game for a while then they went on a magic adventure they went in a jungle.

They had monkeys, snakes and crocodiles there at the jungle. It was soo creepy. But suddenly the dogs disappeared in the jungle far far away some explorers in the jungle and they heard some dogs. The explorers were very kind to the dogs the explorers was the boss of the jungle.

It was time for the dogs to go we had so much fun, when they got back from the magic adventure everyone had to go home. Crumble said bye-bye to all his friends and said “night night and have a good sleep dogs.” They all went home with there mums and dads and they all went home at the same time.


Nusrah Year 2

Nusrah Yr2

A long time ago Crumble was alone. She went to the forest and saw a man. “what’s your name?” Crumble asked

“My name’s Alex what’s your name?”

“Crumble,” he sniffed, “let’s go over there.” Crumble smelled food. Crumble and Alex ate the food and when they finished they heard a noise. They went out and saw kidnappers. “GO!” Went Crumble and Alex went to get ice-cream, it was so much fun. But on the way to get it Crumble got stuck then Alex got stuck and Crumble kindly helped Alex out and then they eats the ice-cream. She was tired and so they went home. The end.


Shaynie Year 1

Shaynie Yr 1

Once upon a time a little dog called Crumble. He was having a wait. He stopped and stared at a creepy house. Who lives there?

A vampire jumped over the creepy house. Poor Crumble, but Super Spot saves the day.

You’re my hero said Crumble. Don’t say that I do my job.

This is my story about Crumble and his adventures. Crumble and the Spooky House and other tales meet Crumble.


Suha Year 1

Suha yr 1

Early one morning a dog named Crumble lived in a house and he didn’t like the look. So late that night Crumble packed his things up and got out of the house, then set off.

He swam in the river, climbed a mountain and road in a car, and finally arrived at a big city with big houses. He couldn’t find a home but he did find a big forest, it was very spooky, scary and cold. He found himself in a very spooky cave. Crumble was cold and hungry and had no food, he needed food and help. Crumble then found himself in an empty place with lots of food, so he ate some of the food.

Then he was in Africa, but it was very hot. Then Crumble was at a special place but it was too big for Crumble. When he thought about not having a home of his own, he found himself back at his old house. Now he liked it very much and never wanted to leave it again.


Sumayyah Year 3

Sumayyah Yr3

Once upon a time there lived a dog called Crumble. Crumble asked his mum if he could play in the garden. When Crumble went out to the garden, he wanted to go in the woods, but when Crumble went in the woods magically dinosaur came to life. Crumble got petrified, Crumble tried to go back but there was a dead end. Crumble saw a Terodactor. The Terodactor landed near Crumble. Crumble climbed up the Terodactor. The Terodactor flew up and down and went very fast and Crumble held on tight.

When the Terodactor landed Crumble climbed down, Crumble saw a Diplodocos too, When crumble climbed climbed up the dinosaur, he didn’t have a fun ride. The Diplodocos was very slow, so Crumble climbed back down.

Thirdly, Crumble saw a Triseratops. Now Crumble can ride on all of the dinosaurs. Crumble had a much better ride than the ride from the Diplodocos. The Triserotops is really fast at walking.

Fourthly Crumble saw a Teranasoarus Rex. Crumble climbed up the Teranasoarus Rex . After he climbed up the Teranasoarus Rex he couldn’t find any more dinosaurs. Crumble found a green and magical gate, he went back and it lead him back to his garden, he went home and fell asleep

The End.


Tilly Year 1-2

Tilly Yr 1-2

Crumble the spotty dog is my best friend. One day, last summer, I took him on an adventure to the seaside. When we got there we went for a run on the beach, built some sand castles, rode on a donkey and ate ice-cream.

I decided to go for a paddle in the sea but when I came back Crumble had disappeared. I ran up and down the beach looking for him and shouting out his name. Nobody had seen him.  Just as I went to tell the policeman, I saw Crumble swimming to the rocks with a little girl on his back. When I ran over to them the little girl was crying. She told me that her mum and dad had brought her and her little brother for a picnic in the cave but the tide had trapped them in the cave. Crumble had heard them shouting for help and gone to the rescue.

As Crumble swam back to the cave he saw a whale, the whale had swallowed the family and was heading to the shore. As he got there he took a deep breath and blew the whole family out of his blow hole onto the beach. At last they were all safe. Crumble and I went home happy after our great adventure by the sea.


Zainab Year 4

Zainab Yr4

Once there was a dog called Crumbles who went on an incredible adventure.

First he went to Sweet Land. There was lots of candy cane trees and people were just biting the branches! There was a chocolate lake and Crumbles was swimming in it and licking the chocolate.

Then he saw another dog and his name was Ben. They played on the chocolate slide, climbed up candy trees and swam in the banana milkshake river.

Next Crumbles the dog went to the chocolate factory. And guess who he saw there… Willy Wonka!!! Crumbles had lots of fun there, and he won a whole basket of CHOCOLATE! He also saw his friend who he had met at Sweet Land, Ben, Crumbles liked the chocolate factory because there were games to play and puzzles to solve.

After that Crumbles went to the beach with his two friends, Ben and Alex. There he made lots of sandcastles and Crumbles made the tallest sandcastles anyone could ever make! He swam in the sea and reached an island where no one could ever reach. Then he said goodbye to his friends, Ben and Alex, and then went home and dreamed about having another adventure.

The End.


Zeinab Year 4

Zeinab Y4

One day, Crumble woke up and wanted to go on an adventure to have some fun. One day his friend Sammy came and visited, he said “I’m going to Disneyland tomorrow mate!”

“Can I come with you Sammy?” Asked Crumble. So they went to Disneyland Paris. After they got there, there was a door that said Legoland and they went in to have a look.

There was Lego everywhere and lots of children jumping in the Lego pool. It was so fun and some children kept on stroking them a lot and they loved it but Crumble had an idea and wanted to do it.

He scared everyone away so he can play with Sammy in the Lego pool, so he did. Everyone ran away with frightment. Sammy was upset that he frightened them away and wanted to go. After that Crumble went to apologise but first he had to bring them all in. “What should I do?” thought Crumble. So he asked Sammy and said sorry and even wanted him back to help fix the problem, so he did.

They got them then persuaded them to come in and they did. Time to go home in the hotel and that’s what they did. The End.


On Monday night we took the pencil written stories and typed them up to email to the Author Mike Beale. I really have to say at this point, it is probably the most fun job I have had since launching VCP. I think what amazed me the most was how intelligent the stories are, and how imaginative and creative the children of Leigh Primary truly are. I laughed and smiled, and I completely was captivated by how the children saw Crumble and the values they attributed to Him/Her and the friendships that were forged. I really had no need to worry about our criteria being met, as these children aged between Five and Nine years rose to the challenge with style. In a way I am glad I did not have to judge them, because even now, I am not sure I could honestly pick a winner, I loved King Zig Zig, and the vampire house, Amie one of the winners with her story of the jungle, and how what at first appeared like enemies, became friends as they helped each other enthralled me. The dinosaur riding Crumble, and the friendly horses showed how easily children relate to their surroundings and look for friends, it all felt like a thoroughly heart warming experience.

Mike Beale made the tough decision, but we felt all the children should be rewarded, and they will all receive a certificate of merit and a mechanical pen to continue writing. I feel these children give me great hope for the future of writing, and they are a credit to their school and the staff who work so hard to teach them. I must admit I really am hoping we get another invite to work creatively with the children again.

I shall leave the last comments to Mike Beale who wrote to us:

What wonderful stories. We were moved by all of them and will long cherish them as part of our own Crumble’s Adventure story.

We were delighted by the imagination of the children and the wonderful story lines – Angus the long haired cow; King Zig Zig; and the Diplodocus; just to mention a few.

All of them offered interest and excitement and we cannot praise them enough for their efforts.

Every story merited a gold star, but we felt that Amie and Amber stood out.

We liked Amie’s story line and what seemed to be a very sad visit to the jungle turned into hope and happiness.

Amber followed a similar approach. We liked the 72 year old sheep dog and Crumble being part of a family with friends he(she) could play with.


Crumble's Adventures by Mike Beale. Illustrated by Maureen Fayle ISBN 978-1-910299-06-7

Crumble’s Adventures by Mike Beale. Illustrated by Maureen Fayle ISBN 978-1-910299-06-7

Crumble’s Adventure by Mike Beale

Illustrated by Maureen Fayle

ISBN 978-1-910299-06-7

Published by Violet Circle Publishing.

Available from Amazon and all online book retailers, and from your Local Bookshop to Order.


Thank you to Leigh Primary School, Tameside, Greater Manchester, UK for all your help, especially Mrs Khan who did a lot of organising for us. More importantly, thank you to the 21 children who gave such a wonderful amount of effort, to really make this competition such a wonderful experience, all of you are little stars.

Robin and Corinne at VCP.