Yes, that’s right, Thimble 2 has been released! Thimble Holiday Havoc, the sequel to Thimble Monkey Superstar, (for more details on this book, see my article titled Thimble Monkey Superstar which is also on the homepage) is all about a home swap holiday in France, which sounds normal until you hear this – there’s a monkey coming too! The main characters, just to remind you, are:
Douglas Dawson: Failed writer.
Nora: Hardworking mother and Douglas’ partner.
Jams Cogan: Enthusiastic, disabled narrator of the story (and loosely based on me). Son of Nora and Douglas.
Thimble: Mischievous monkey and Jams’ best friend.
Le Boucher (or The Butcher in English)
We first hear of Le Boucher when Nora meets him in his butcher’s shop. She takes an immense liking to him and returns many times (despite the fact she is a vegetarian). Dad, however, dislikes the butcher because he keeps winking at Nora, although Nora says he has a tic. Dad finds this explanation dubious, though, and his rivalry with Le Boucher continues to boil.
Watch this space…
Here’s an extract of Thimble Holiday Havoc, all about the time when Thimble got hold of the superglue…
This extract DOES NOT contain spoilers.
(apologies for the lack of speech marks as this was an early draft)
What Happened when Thimble Got Hold of the Superglue.
It was a rare day in Dawson Castle, our little bungalow home. Rare because Dad was happy. As you may know, Dad is the great children’s author Douglas Dawson, except not many people seem to have noticed how great he is. As a result he does not sell many books, or visit many schools, or do anything much, except moan about the fact that Mum has much more money. So you can imagine how delighted he was when a letter arrived, asking him to be the guest speaker at the Lower Pugley Retired Ladies Embroidery Club annual dinner. I was a little suspicious about this, as there is a man on telly called Douglas Lawson who makes tapestries out of pasta and was voted Silver Fox of the Year. But I said nothing. How could I spoil it when Dad was marching round the house with his fist raised high, crying “They want me! They want me!”?
As the day approached Dad grew more and more nervous. He couldn’t decide whether to wear his green corduroy suit or his paisley shirt and cravat. He couldn’t decide whether to get a haircut or wear a Terry Pratchett hat. He stopped eating tea and started collecting pens, always a bad sign with Dad. Then, when the day arrived, he decided that fourteen pens simply weren’t enough.
“Jams” he said. “Where is my lucky pen?”
“In the Useful Drawer?” I suggested.
“Of course” he replied. “That’s where it’ll be”
The Useful Drawer was in the castle refectory (kitchen), just under the Utensils We Don’t Understand Drawer. We hurried there with all possible speed, only to find the drawer suspiciously open and Thimble lurking even-more-suspiciously nearby. To Thimble, the Useful Drawer was a place of endless fascination, perhaps because I had once unwisely hidden a banana there.
Thimble, said Dad, have you just taken something from that drawer?
Thimble’s only answer was to back further away.
“He’s got something behind his back,” Dad, I said.
What have you got behind your back, Thimble? asked Dad.
Thimble let out a stream of meaningless monkey chatter.
You’re making him feel threatened, Dad, I said.
He is being threatened, said Dad.
What is it, Thimble? I asked. Is it drawing pins? Is it sellotape? Is it corn-on-the-cob holders?
The corn-on-the-cob holders are in the cutlery drawer, said Dad.
Not any more, Dad, I replied. Mum moved them.
What in heaven’s name for? asked Dad.
It was when she was de-cluttering, I replied.
That is not an answer, replied Dad.
The discussion had only lasted half a minute, but as we all know, you can’t take your eyes off Thimble for two seconds. He was gone.
Get the pen, Jams, said Dad. I’m more nervous than ever now. You’ll find me in the latrine.
The dungeon is Dad’s name for the toilet in Dawson Castle. Mum sometimes spends half a day in there, possibly to get away from Dad, but Dad prides himself in taking as little time as possible, so it was a surprise when he did not reappear for several minutes. Anxiously I knocked on the dungeon door.
Are you alright, Dad? I asked.
No, replied Dad. Something is very wrong.
In what sense, Dad? I asked.
In the sense, replied Dad, that I cannot get off the toilet.
Intrigued? Get the book to read on…