Wednesday, 18 July 2012

#2 PRINCESS PETUNIA'S PET (children's picture book)

Dear Agents,

 Princess Petunia's Pet is not a story for the faint-hearted. Princess Petunia, a strong-willed young girl, has chosen a new pet. But is an ogre really the best creature to keep at the castle? Inevitably he wreaks havoc, and the princess's poor parents demand that he leaves at once. Petunia, however, thinks she can reform him by finding him something gentle to do. At first gardening doesn't appear to be working - the ogre starts feeding his wildflowers raw dragon meat on the sly. But eventually the air of the garden works its magic on him, and he becomes a changed beast. But is it too late? Those daisies he's grown seem a little, well, peculiar...
Please note that I have indicated spread breaks (as opposed to page breaks) by the spacing in the text. The total word count is 634, of which the first 500 words, approximately, are given below.

 I have written a number of picture book manuscripts; my first is due to be published by Maverick Arts Publishing in September 2013. A social anthropology graduate (from Cambridge and SOAS), I live in London with my husband, four children and two guinea pigs.

Thank you so much for your consideration.


Elli Woollard


‘I want a new pet!’ cried Princess Petunia.
Her choice though was …
…well, just a little…

‘Aaargh’ yelled the Queen, and ‘Gadzooks!’ cried the King.
‘Whatever that is it’s the scariest thing!’
 ‘I’ve named him Sir Cuddles, he’s still very small,
And taming an ogre’s no problem at all’.
But just to confirm all her parents’ worst fears,
The ogre, it seemed, had quite other ideas.

He bit the old butler, he mauled the poor maid.
Even the knights and the guards were afraid.
 He slurped up a solider, and then, in a rage
He peppered and pickled a poor little page.
 ‘Stop!’ cried the Queen, as the King wept with woe.
‘We’ve had quite enough now – that pet has to go!'

‘You horrible brutes! You cold-hearted slugs!
My poor little plumpling – he just wants some hugs!
He probably needed some food in his tummy,
And dear darling dumpling, he misses his mummy.
 My poor precious baby, come here, cootchie-coo.
I must find you something that’s gentle to do’.

The ogre tried sewing
and knitting
and drawing
‘Bleeurrgh!’ he said crossly, ‘these things are too boring’.
 Then Petunia spotted some wildflower seeds.
‘Gardening!’ she shouted, ‘that’s just what he needs’.
 ‘Seeds?’ thought the ogre. ‘Seeds which are wild?
‘I’m going to have fun’, thought the beast as he smiled.

With a scowl and a growl and a horrible howl
The ogre made holes in the soil with a trowel.
He dug and he dug, seven feet deep,
Then he scattered the seeds in a big sort of heap.
 Petunia, prancing around in the sun,
Cried: ‘Sweetie, how marvellous! How brilliant! Well done!’  

Soon all the wildflowers sprouted and grew.
What was the secret? Nobody knew.
Nobody guessed, and nobody saw
That the ogre was feeding them dragon meat – raw,
And frogspawn, and snail slime, and wasps’ wispy wings,
And all sorts of nasty and horrible things.

But the flower-fragranced air of a garden is strange,
And the ogre
                Though slowly
                                                To change.
He stopped munching maids and nibbling knights’ knees.
He even said ‘thank you’ and ‘sorry’ and ‘please’.
He fed his plants milkshakes (much more delicious);
He no longer wanted them savage and vicious.
And Petunia, dancing around in the dew,
Cried: ‘Precious! You’ve done it! I’m so proud of you!’ 

And she looked at his wildflowers, tall in the breeze
(As the ogre blushed pink and went weak at the knees).
‘I’ll just take a sniff of these wildflowers, so…’
But as she bent over the ogre yelled
‘The cornflowers and poppies, they’re all alright,
But don’t touch the daisies they’re liable to…


 The ogre stood trembling, his heart filled with dread.
There was the Princess, but where was her head?
He wished now he’d never been horrid and bad,
And his eyes filled with tears, all salty and sad.
But then, goodness gracious! By heavens! He knew!
The daisies should have something gentle to do.

He ran to the castle, and soon he was ready.
He had it! The answer! A big fluffy teddy!
But was he too late? He trembled and wobbled.
What if the Princess has simply been gobbled? 
What if the daisies had started to chew?
He turned round the corner, and there he saw… 



  1. Oh my! I was so engaged with this right until the last word! You made rhyming look easy, seamless! Well done! Try Pippin when you query!
    Holly's lovely! : )

  2. Thanks so much for your kind words Linda! Pippin looks like a great agency, but as I live in the UK it's probably best if I try agents this side of the Pond first.


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