Once Upon A Week by David A. Wardle
Unique and imaginative twist on traditional storytelling.
Once Upon a Week by talented author, David A. Wardle, is a creative children’s book with seven stories representing seven days of the week and a complimentary life lesson per chapter.
In this engaging book for little ones, the author’s seven original stories have a familiar fairy tale format and are based on popular proverbs, with meaningful morals that make the perfect ending to each one. The captivating collection features characters enjoyed by children everywhere, from wicked witches, fearsome dragons and pretty princesses to terrible trolls, talking owls and feisty ducks.
In Dragon Be Gone, the well-known proverb there is ‘nothing to fear but fear itself’ is artfully addressed when Duffy the Dragon Fire Slayer fights to save a village from two dragons but a little girl helps save the baby one. The Owl, the Pussycat and the Dog has an unexpected twist when three children are transformed into animals by a witch and must drink from a magic pool to turn back but because there is ‘no time like the present’ they nearly all don’t make it. Which Witch is Which? tackles ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’ when four people try to foil an evil witch from her wicked scheming.
The Careful Prince is a creative version of the saying it is ‘better to be safe than sorry’, while The Woodcutter’s Son saves the kingdom from a curse as ‘everything comes to him that waits.’ Meanwhile, in Quacker Jack, there is ‘no use crying over spilt milk’ when Jack and Jilly turn into ducks and Rumpsteakenstilton makes an appearance in One Wish Too Many as the story recalls how ‘a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.’
Each delightful story is a new tale spun on traditional lines. With easy-to-read sentences and entertaining punchlines, this magical storybook will keep youngsters and parents amused for hours and teach them all about these popular proverbs.
Once Upon a Week proves that while the old adages are often the best, when they are adapted with a new and imaginative twists, the result is brilliant.
Review Copies of Once Upon a Week and interviews with the author are available on request. Contact us here for details.
This title is now available to order from Amazon
Price: £3.99 (Paperback); £1.77 (Kindle Edition)
Scroll down for an excerpt from One Wish Too Many
About the Author
Born in Manchester, David moved to London in 1996 and currently lives in Caterham, Surrey. An insurance broker by profession, he had been writing as a hobby from the age of 18 and still aims to fulfil his dream of becoming a full-time author in the future. David’s first attempt at story writing won him a prize at school, with “It was midnight and all was quiet in the school library” as the starting line. His other publications are adult novels and include: Trouble Cross, Doctor! Oh No! and Rewind.
Excerpt from One Wish Too Many
Not a day later, Leopold was out riding, thinking about things. One thing was his mother who was now at death’s door and not expected to last long. The other thing was how quickly he could grow the kingdom when he was true king. “If only I had three wishes,” he said to himself aloud.
“I can help with that,” came a croak.
Leopold stopped his horse and saw a wizened old man in the road.
“What is your name old man?” asked Leopold. “And what was that you said again?”
“Ah. As far as my name is concerned, if you can guess it I will spin your straw into gold,” said the man. Then after a second he changed his mind. “Nah! Been there and done that. You can call me Rumpsteakenstilton. And I said that I can help you get your wishes.”
“Well, that name is a bit of a mouthful,” observed Leopold. “However, Mr Rumpsteakenstilton, tell me how you can help me.”
“Simple. You do something for me and I will grant your wishes,” said the man.
“How do I know you can do that?” Leopold asked suspiciously.
“Thirsty, Your Majesty?” And a goblet of wine appeared in Leopold’s hand.
“Ah. Right then,” agreed Leopold eagerly on seeing that magic. “What can I do for you?”
“Well, you want three wishes and I need three things. Bring them to me and I will not only grant you three wishes but make it so you can have as many as you like.”
“What do you need?”
The man came nearer. “Listen closely then, Your Majesty.” And he explained what he wanted Leopold to do.
Back at the castle Leopold was in a bit of a tricky situation. Of course, he wanted to start out straight away to find the first of the old man’s objects but he had a kingdom to run. He only had his brother to call upon and he was still a boy of fifteen. He had no choice though and he told Jacob the first thing he had to collect to ensure that their mother was made well again. The next day Jacob eagerly set off on an adventure to bring their mother back to health. Nothing would stop him.
The first item Rumpsteakenstilton had asked for was a stick. A knobbly walking stick to be precise owned by a woman reputed to have been the most powerful witch in the land but who had not been known to practice witchcraft for years. She ran an inn now called The Cackling Cauldron and that was where Jacob found himself the next evening. Now that he had reached his destination, he was starting to worry how he could get this stick off a powerful witch. To make matters worse, he could see that the inn was very busy. A banner around a nearby tree told him why. It was the yearly Hex Factor final where all the best witches in the land came to see who had cast the best hex over the year. The place would be full of witches. Jacob though was spurred on though by the plight of his mother. He pulled his cloak hood up over his head, screwed up his courage and entered the inn.
He kept his head down and shuffled over to the bar. All he knew was that the witch he was after was never seen. Her cloak and hood covered her whole body and nothing could be seen but her gnarled hands. She was known as Simone the Cowl. Judging by the person stood behind the bar serving Jacob felt this was she. He could not see the stick. She was serving and using both hands so it must be propped up behind the bar.
Before she got to serving Jack, there was a fanfare and someone announced the competition was to start. Everyone turned and moved towards the stage except Jacob who stayed where he was. Simone the Cowl came out from behind the bar and sure enough she was leaning on the stick. She stayed at the end of the bar watching.
“How to get the stick?” thought Jacob.
“First a song to get us going,” said the Hex host. He opened his mouth and about a dozen bolts of lightning zoomed in his direction from various wands. “Youchee! Ok no singing,” for which announcement there was a great cheer.
That gave Jacob an idea. He was between those at the stage and Simone the Cowl. He started singing.
“Who likes a witch? No one that I know. Dirty as a ditch. And ugly as a crow.”
For a few seconds there was amazed silence, then everyone raised their hands and sent hexes flying at him. He had been waiting for this and dived out of the way at the last moment so that all the hexes hit Simone the Cowl at the same time.
What a mess that was as all types of hexes fought each other and she kept changing shape from toad to rabbit to mole and so on and so on. Jacob did not hang around but grabbed the fallen stick and ran out of the inn. He tripped over a giant ant grown by a ricochet hex and hit the deck briefly but he was up instantly. He vaulted onto his horse and rode away through the night before anyone had got over what they had done to the Hex Factor Supreme Being.
Jacob raced home, the stick clutched in hand, and when he got there he handed it to his brother. Jacob knew nothing of Rumpsteakenstilton. All he knew was that his brother left the castle straight away, telling him to get some rest because tomorrow a new quest dawned.