Over the next couple of weeks I am going to share some of the Tingle Dingle chapters. These books are aimed at the age five to seven year olds. I loved writing these and have so many fun little ideas for this series. Anyway I hope you will enjoy them as much as I loved writing them.
The World’s Biggest Vegetables
‘There it is!’ Tingle’s mum called when she noticed a thatched cottage surrounded by giant vegetables.
Auntie Joanna glanced in the camper van’s mirror to see both Tingle and Josh with their mouth’s wide open. Outside the quaint little farm there were all types of giant vegetables lined up. The thatched straw roof and the white painted walls of the cottage were so pretty, but looked small next to the giant vegetables.
Rows of huge red tomatoes, cabbages and carrots were arranged in pretty piles. Some of the carrot piles were easily as tall as Tingle’s dad, maybe even higher.
‘Dad…’ said Josh. ‘Those are really big vegetables. They are as big as dinosaurs. Rooooar!!!’
‘Yep Josh… This farm must win all the village fair prizes for the most giant vegetables,’ his dad replied.
‘Look!’ said Tingle. She had just seen a whole row of giant pumpkins. They weren’t just big they were also as tall as her dad. ‘How can you carry one of those?’ she asked.
‘We will have to go for slightly smaller ones if we are going to put them on the roof of the camper van,’ he said thinking about the practicality of vegetable transportation.
‘I have just remembered…’ said Dianne. ‘We need a giant onion too. I remember now why we have to say something to make them laugh…’
Tingle looked at her mum with a confused expression. ‘Mum I don’t understand.’
‘Well you remember when we cut onions they make us cry… Well imagine what happens with a giant onion. It will make everyone cry. So we have to say a rhyme to make the giants laugh because when a giant gets sad they wail so loudly. Their tears fill the river then the river flows faster and it becomes dangerous.’
Tingle had never thought that a giant onion would make a giant cry. Why had nobody ever told her such things?
‘Look,’ said Josh pointing.
A nice plump couple emerged from the farm house wearing wellies and tweed jackets. They strolled over to the camper van and John wound the window down.
‘Arrrh ‘ello how can we ‘elp yer?’ asked the farmer’s wife with a friendly smile.
‘Tingle…’ said Auntie Joanna.
‘Erm we need to buy a giant pumpkin, a giant parsnip and a giant mushroom…’ Tingle became shy and grabbed her mum’s hand.
‘And…’ said her dad.
‘A giant onion,’ said Josh quickly. He then rubbed his eyes.
‘Arrhhhh,’ said the farmer opening the camper van door. ‘Well yer best get out of yer camper and come and pick those veggies.’ The farmer studied the family thoughtfully. ‘So you taking these neeps to Tarr Bridge then?’ he asked.
‘Yes,’ replied Auntie Joanna climbing from the camper van. ‘Tingle here did not believe in the treasure tree so we thought we would take her there to see it in person.’
Tingle, Josh and their mum and dad climbed from the van and stood gazing at the walls of giant vegetables piled up beside the cottage.
‘Well you make sure she walks the full circle and at the end finds the real treasure. Not just the normal treasure,’ he said with a wink.
‘What is the real treasure?’ asked Tingle curiously. Why did everyone keep saying there was a different kind of treasure?
‘You meet the giants first, then the treasure tree, and then you’ll find out what real treasure is,’ the farmer said with a mysterious smile.
‘I want treasure!’ shrilled Josh excitedly. It seemed his dinosaur wanted treasure too. ‘Roaaarrrr!’
‘Well let’s pick the pumpkins and parsnips for the giants as the first part of the treasure then. So follow us,’ he said gesturing.
Tingle and Josh closed the camper van door and held their parent’s hands as they made their way over to the giant vegetables. Some of the pumpkins were higher than their parents.
‘Those are huge vegetables!’ said John glancing up at a giant parsnip. Josh stood beside a giant pumpkin which towered over him. ‘You could make a small den out of that,’ said Auntie Joanna imagining carving a small play house for him.
‘Now my young neeps, yer need to pick a pumpkin that can be carried. So only pick ones that you can cuddle.’ The farmer gestured for Tingle and Josh to cuddle their chosen vegetables. Each picked a pumpkin, a parsnip, a mushroom and an onion.
‘Josh the mushroom is as big as an umbrella.’ Tingle pretended to walk along with the umbrella mushroom.
Josh giggled and then roared.
All the while Auntie Joanna and the parents loaded the humongous vegetables into a wheelbarrow and took them to the camper van.’
‘Can we buy the wheelbarrow too?’ asked Auntie Joanna thinking realistically.
‘Of course,’ said the farmer. ‘We always ‘ave spares – just in case.’
While Tingle’s parent’s paid for the vegetables Auntie Joanna, the farmer and his wife strapped the huge vegetables to the roof rack to make sure none of them came off. A pumpkin falling at speed onto the car behind could be rather dangerous.
The group stood back to admire the vegetable-clad camper van. It wasn’t often you saw an arrangement of huge vegetables strapped to the roof of a camper van. That day was a special day.
‘Right kids, back in the van. We have giants to meet!’