E Is For Eva The Energetic Egg Timer
Eva – being an egg timer – found she had a lot of time on her hands so after exasperating her friends with excessive counting, she ventured outside to count how long it took for a hen to lay an egg.
There are children who don’t really know where eggs come from, or the dangers hens are faced with, and they’ll find this story ‘Eva the Energetic Egg Timer’ is enlightening in more ways than one.
Eva is a female given name. Derived from a Hebrew name meaning “life” or “living one.” It can also mean full of life or mother of life Eva’s name meaning on Wikipedia
Story Appearances: Eva the Energetic Egg Timer / Zac The Zealous Zucchini / Xavier the Xenophobic Xylophone
Other Appearances: Jump Song / Turkey Song
Elsie The Elephant
Elsie is laid back and can usually be found swinging in the apple tree. She loves it when others join in. Elsie is very philosophical.
For example, Q. ‘Have you lived here all of your life?’ A. ‘Not yet…’
Elsie is wise beyond her years (and her ears) and she’s already lived a very long time. Being so old, she has amassed an enormous amount of information so bear this in mind when you become impatient with an older person who perhaps has taken a little longer to provide an answer. Remember they have far more amassed information to search through than someone younger.
Elsie is an Indian elephant and her height in the real world is between 2 and 3.5 meters. Her weight (again, in the real world) is typical of Indian elephants between 4,000 kg. Fact Indian Elephants have 19 pairs of ribs.
Elsie name meaning: Elsie / ‘God promise/oath’ The name Elsie stems from Elspeth, a Scottish variant of Elizabeth. Elsie name on Wikipedia
Ernie The Easal
Ernie appears in ‘Andre the Artistic Apron’ and is the first one to recognise that perhaps Andre is a great artist. “Zey are fantastique!” said Ernie trying his best to sound French. It is an ‘honneur’ to meet such a great artist!”
Ernie would like to have a more French-sounding name and would himself like to be a great painter but all he can do is support – support the masterpieces while Andre paints them!
Ernie name meaning: Serious, warrior. Ernie is short for Ernest which is derived from the Germanic word ‘Ernst’, meaning “serious”. Ernie name on Wikipedia
Engle The Egg
Engle is one of the original characters from ‘Samuel The Sliding Sausage’ published by Thurman publishing.
He doesn’t really have a role to play other than being just an egg on the plate with his claim to fame being he does nothing other than to ‘egg’ Samuel the sliding sausage on.
Engle isn’t a real name although it’s probably short for Engelbert as in Engelbert Humperdinck who was a good composer.
This name was also taken by the popular ballad singer (obviously) of the same name.
F Is For Frank The Forgetful Frisbee
Frank was a Frisbee that was ALWAYS forgetting who and what he was? All he could remember was he had no fear of flying… He often felt dizzy…. And was always very forgetful.
Frisbee Fact On January 23, 1957, machines at the Wham-O toy company roll out the first batch of their aerodynamic plastic discs—now known to millions of fans all over the world as Frisbees. The story of the Frisbee began in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where William Frisbie opened the Frisbie Pie Company in 1871. Frisbee on history.com
Frank name meaning. Frank—Ultimately from the Germanic tribal name of the Franks, in the early medieval period the status of being “a Frank” meant that of a free man. More on Frank on Wikipedia
Story Appearances: Frank the Forgetful Frisbee
Fedora the (pink) Flamingo
Fedora was originally created as a soft toy (and still sits on author Jo Kemp’s desk). Using this soft toy, we experimented with photo-capture i.e. we photographed her from umpteen angles then implemented a basic type of animation.
Fedora first appeared in ‘Raj the Rambling Radiator’ when she lost her blue egg and makes several appearances in other stories. Fedora remains one of Jo’s favourite characters.
A Fedora is the name of a hat usually worn by men. Some men like to wear a pink Fedora but we won’t talk about that here. Fedora Hat on Wikipedia
Fedora name meaning: A girl’s name meaning origin and popularity.
Flora the Baby (pink) Flamingo
Flora is Fedora’s much-loved egg who gets taken by Ratty for his breakfast.
No need for alarm since she gets rescued. With the help of Raj the rambling radiator and Timmy the tea towel (who sits on Raj’s head making a turban), she hatches out and bonds with her assumed parents.
Chicks always bond with the first thing they see – she finds she has a surprisingly deep voice.
Her animated puppet was adapted to use as all three of the ‘Hungry Chicks’. We just made a few minor changes.
Flora name meaning: Flora was the Roman goddess of flowers and the season of spring. Flora was also the wife of Zephyr the west wind. Flora namee on Wikipedia
Ferdinand the Fox
Ferdinand the fox only makes one appearance in the whole series but once is enough as he sneaks into the henhouse in the story ‘Eva the Energetic Egg Timer’ where his sole purpose is to carry out a massacre.
It’s a good job brave Eva is there to foil his attempt and send him scurrying out of the door.
You can tell Ferdinand is a baddie by the colour of his eyes. Yellow. Any creature that has yellow eyes – or eyes that suddenly turn yellow – is evil at heart and one needs to be wary. Crankworth the cat (in several of the other stories) has yellow eyes and takes any excuse to be a bad pussy cat. He’d going to be great fun to animate.
Ferdinand sees himself as someone who is cunning and has the ability to achieve his goals in a clever way.
Name meaning: Protection / Peace. Ferdinand is a Germanic name composed of the elements frith meaning protection or peace. Do you see the irony here? Ferdinand name on Wikipedia
Fred the Fried Bread
Fred is one of the original characters from the ‘Samuel The Sliding Sausage’ story published by Thurman publishing.
He doesn’t do much but you’d miss him if you asked for a Full English Breakfast and he wasn’t there!
Fred name meaning: Short for Frederick which is a male name meaning “peaceful ruler”. Frederick name on Wikipedia
Freddie the Fly
Freddie is a housefly (Musca Domestica is how you say it in Latin). Unlike other houseflies that have red eyes, Freddie’s eyes are white, and he wears glasses.
Like other houseflies, Freddie has a slightly hairy body and a single pair of membranous wings.
He is 6-7mm long with a wingspan of 13-15mm. Freddie (who used to identify as Felix the Fly) is stronger than his size would imply.
Flies are everywhere so he and his duplicated friends are very useful when we need crowd scenes.
Freddie name meaning. The name stems from Federick which originated as a Germanic name from the elements ‘frid’ meaning ‘peace’ and ‘rīc meaning ruler/power’. Freddie name on Wikipedia
Little balls of love and fluffiness, the Fluffies sit along the shelf or on the pillow or under the bed being nothing more than cute and fluffy.
But they can get into mischief too. Each little ball of fluff has arms and legs, feet and hands as well as eyes, nose ears and mouth most of which fall or get pulled off when they have the best pillow fight ever!
Lucy is on hand to help get themselves back together after Barry the bin has swept away all their bits and they all have one thing to say “We love Lucy!”
The Scorpion and the Frog is a story with a moral that seems to have first emerged in Russia. On account of its dark morality, there have since been many references to it in popular culture including films, television shows, and books. Scorpion and the Frog
Interesting facts about frogs:
- Frogs absorb water through their skin so they don’t need to drink.
- Frogs lay as many as 4,000 eggs in frogspawn.
- The eyes and nose of a frog are on top of its head so it can breathe and see when most of its body is under the water.
- Certain frogs can jump up to 20 times their own body length in a single leap.
- Frogs usually eat meat (insects and worms) and swallow their food whole.
- The world’s biggest frog is the goliath frog from Cameroon in West Africa. Their body can be one-foot long.
- The smallest frogs in the world are less than half-an-inch long.
- In Seychelles, there is a male frog that carries its young around on its back until they become adults.
- People who study frogs and toads are called herpetologists. Herpetology is the study of amphibians and reptiles.
- Frog bones form a new ring every year when the frog is hibernating, just like trees do. Scientists can count these rings to discover the age of the frog.
- Because frogs come out in the rain, people used to think that they fell to earth in the rain.
- One type of desert frog can wait as long as seven years for water by surrounding itself in a type of transparent bag that becomes its first meal once the rain comes.
- Amphibians don’t see colour, they only see in black or white.
- The golden dart frog is the most poisonous frog on earth and the skin of one frog could kill up to 1,000 people.
- In recent years, a painkiller with 200 times the power of morphine has been found in the skin of a frog.
- The male Darwins Frog takes its mate’s eggs into its mouth as soon as they show signs of life and they stay there until they emerge as fully grown froglets.
- Frogs cannot live in the sea (or saltwater).
- There are more than 4,000 types of amphibians in the world.
- Many of the most brightly coloured tropical frogs are coloured in this way to warn predators that they are poisonous.
G Is For Glenda The Gregarious Gherkin
Being fun and highly sociable, Glenda could only be described as GREGARIOUS. Also, it’s a great word to use.
Fed up with standing up in bed all day (she lives with her sisters in a jar with standing room only) she likes to get out and about and what better way to enjoy exercise than a friendly game of football.
However, it isn’t that easy with an eclectic mix of characters so it all comes down to a leg count to make it fair. All is going well until Glenda gets locked in the shed…
Name Meaning: Glenda – from Welsh word, glân, meaning ‘pure, clean, holy’, and da, meaning ‘good’) Glenda’s name on Wikipedia
Greta – a little glass figurine
Greta’s character makes reference to Greta Garbo and Jo’s delivery when reading this line is confirms this.
Greta features in ‘Zac the Zealous Zucchini’ as one of the characters on stage. Being glass, it was amusing to have Freddie the fly passing behind her in the closing scene and seeing him distorted and magnified (these little details make all the difference).
Name meaning: Greta is a girl’s name of German origin meaning ‘pearl’.
Fact: Greta Garbo never said, “I want to be alone.” she only said, “I want to be let alone!” If she meant this, why didn’t she just shout, ‘Leave me alone!!” as any normal person would.
As the Russian ballerina Grusinskaya in Grand Hotel (1932), she had said: “I want to be/let alone.” These words had become associated with Garbo herself in the public imagination.Greta Garbo on Wikipedia
H Is For Harry the Higgledy-Piggledy Hosepipe
It’s not easy being a hosepipe. Most of the time you’re under a lot of pressure and when you’re not, you feel all floppy and listless. You’re also tied – fixed to a tap – so you can’t just go wandering off on your own. If you reach the end of your tether, then that’s where you’ll be. At the end of your tether.
Harry is always getting himself tied up in knots because he’s VERY higgledy-piggledy but this comes in useful when Crankworth – that very naughty pussy cat – falls down the well. You know the song “Ding dong dell…..pussy’s down the well.”
It’s a good job Queenie is quick thinking and a good job too that Harry can’t wait to prove he’s brave and strong and handsome… handsome? How brave, strong and gullible more like!
Name Meaning: Harry (short for Henry). The meaning of this name comes from Germany Haima – ‘home’ and ‘Rīk – ‘ruler’). So Harry’s name means home ruler. Harry on Wikipedia
Who invented the hose? In the 8th Century, the Greeks used solid & flexible hoses as flame throwers at sea. It wasn’t until the 1600s that Dutch inventor/painter Jan van der Heyden used leather stitched together to make the very 1st manufactured flexible hose.
Story Appearances: Harry The Higgledy-Piggledy Hosepipe / Andre The Artistic Apron / Una the Upturned Umbrella
Henrietta the Hen
Eva is an egg timer who has been encouraged by her exasperated friends to venture out to find out how long it might take to lay an egg. She learns about hens.
‘She arrived at the henhouse where she found two lovely soft hens were chattering about what hens always chatter about…eggs. They laughed when they saw Eva. “Oh, my word and glory be! Now’s there’s a funny thing to see in a henhouse!” “Can I time how long it takes you to lay an egg?” asked Eva. “Yes, but we can’t be hurried,” they clucked. “You can’t hurry an egg, Oh dearie me no!”
This excerpt from the story ‘Eva the Energetic Egg Timer’ more or less encapsulates Eva’s relationship with the hens as well as defining the rural characters of the hens themselves.
Chicken drumsticks: We decided it would be both funny and appropriate for Henrietta (as the lead hen) to be in the Boodlebobs Band playing the drums.
Henrietta name meaning – Henrietta / Home ruler – Henrietta the female form of the name Henry, derived from Germanic names for ‘home’ and ‘ruler’. Henrietta name on Wikipedia
Hilary the Hairdryer
Hilary is a hairdryer and one of the original 1980’s characters to be redesigned. She only has a small part to play but she’s important nevertheless.
Her greatest call to fame is when she sets to work to ‘coiffure’ (A fancy French word for a hairdresser) Percy the Pot Plant and make him beautiful.
Percy doesn’t like the experience – or the result – but it works out for the best in the end.
Name meaning: Hilary or Hillary is a given and family name, derived from Latin ‘hilarius‘ meaning ”cheerful or merry” Hillary name on Wikipedia
‘To the seaside!” sang all the House-mites, “Hello sea… with you and me we make eighty-three!’ This chant is fairly typical of the House Mites who, like their brothers the Bed-bugs, operate as a collective.
All are girls and all are identical in their tutu’s (ballerina skirt) and their shoes. The House-mites live about the house and form the basis of the crowd scenes.
Following being squashed, bashed, bruised or broken by Dorothy’s dreadful dancing, they enjoy happier times in other stories including going to the seaside!
House-mites Facts: In the real world, a house mite isn’t cute. A typical house dust mite measures 0.2–0.3 mm and feeds on skin flakes from animals, including humans and on some moulds. House-mites on Wikipedia
Stories From The Ultimate Alphabet Book
Granny Annie’s ‘Ultimate Alphabet Book’ is a different approach to alphabet books insofar as it’s written to expand children’s vocabulary and their imagination. Every letter of the alphabet is catered for with characters that are engaging and lasting; in situations that young people can relate to in their everyday lives.