The witch’s spell and how to break it

Wicked Witch

The Wicked Witch’s Plan To Get Rid Of Everyone, a new version of the fairy tale The Wicked Wicked Witch and the Ruinous Manipulation by Maud Earnshaw, illustrated by Beatrice Wilberforce, includes instructions about how to break the witch’s spell at the back 😉

Available from Amazon in the UK, Europe, USA and Canada

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vegan children’s book, vegan fairy tale, vegan children’s story

Panic and retreat

For the stories so far click here 🙂

Chapter 11 continued from yesterday:

Luke stood still, his face flushed hot.

“They know!” he thought with horror.

It got worse.  He watched as two police officers walked up to the organisers’ table.  After a few moments a man there pointed in Luke’s direction.  The police officers started to walk towards him.  He ran.  All he could think was that he needed to get out of there.  They might know his name but would they know his address?  He didn’t look behind, that would be suspicious, he just ran as fast as he could.  The wheelbarrow was slowing him down.  He had to leave it.

He climbed the low post and rail fence and jumped down into the car park.  His first instinct was to find Grandad’s car, but then he thought that if they knew his name, they might know who his grandparents were, they might be waiting for him there.  He hesitated, crouched between a Mini and a Fiesta, and tried to see Grandad’s car without being seen.  Yes, that was it, and there was Grandad.  With another policeman.

There was nothing for it, he had to go back into the market, he had to try to be invisible in the crowd.  But he was scared and wanted an ally.  He made a beeline for the black-haired lady’s stall.

The lady, who was just beginning to pack up her stall, putting leaflets back in their boxes, was surprised to see Luke racing towards her, all red in the face and out of breath, looking like he feared for his life.

“Hide me!” said Luke desperately, and sunk to the floor behind the biggest box.

The lady was alarmed.

“What’s wrong? What are you …?”

“Shhh!” said Luke in a vehement whisper, “don’t talk to me!  Don’t look at me!  They might be watching!”

“But …”

“Excuse me Miss,” another woman’s voice interrupted her.  She turned to face a policewoman.

“Is this your stall?” she asked.

“Yes it is.”

“And your name is?”

“Jessica Rabbit.  Would you like a leaflet?”

“I would like to have a look, yes, thank you,” and the policewoman began to paw the various piles.  “Is this all you’ve got?”

The black-haired lady casually dropped her jacket on top of Luke as another officer stepped around the stall to look in the boxes.

“I’ve got these as well,” she answered, “as you can see,” and she lifted the boxes onto the table so that they wouldn’t need to rummage around the other side.

The policewoman found what she was looking for – three different anti-dairy leaflets.

“Is there any reason you were hiding these?” she asked.

The lady laughed.

“I wasn’t hiding them, I was just in the process of packing up,” she explained.

The police officers exchanged cynical glances and while the male picked up the box of leaflets, the female addressed the stall-holder.

“I am arresting you on suspicion of offences under section 1 of the Criminal Damage Act 1971.  You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something you later rely on in court.  Anything you do say may be given in evidence.  Do you understand?”

“Not remotely,” the lady replied, “what am I supposed to have done?”

Luke stayed motionless under the lady’s jacket.  He felt bad that she was getting blamed for what he’d done, but was somehow unable to move or speak.  He just sat still until he couldn’t hear them any more. He waited till they’d gone.

When he stood up and watched them retreat past the other stalls, seemingly diminished in size, his courage returned.  He donned the khaki jacket, pulled the hood over his head and cautiously followed. The officers and their captive approached a police car and the policewoman opened a rear door, put her hand on the black-haired lady’s head and assisted her into the back seat.

Luke was worried they would drive away before he could get to them but luck was on his side again. Another policeman with a camera called to his colleagues and they walked a few steps away from the car to talk to him.  That was Luke’s chance.

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Story concludes tomorrow, or read the whole of chapter 11 now 🙂

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vegan, vegetarian, vegan children’s story, vegan children’s book, books, children’s books, juvenile fiction, veggie kids, vegan children, animals, cows, animal farming, animal rights

Strong and determined

For the stories so far click here 🙂

Chapter 11 continued from Friday:

With a wheelbarrow full of three different leaflets which told the truth about the dairy industry, Luke headed for the car park.  The wheelbarrow was heavy and the cars were parked quite close together on uneven ground, so it was rather difficult to stop the barrow from tipping.  But Luke was strong and determined so he only lost control of it a couple of times, and on those occasions the cars he grazed were already scratched anyway.  He put one leaflet under a wiper blade, on the windscreen of each car.  He’d seen it done before with car-wash flyers in the supermarket car park.

Some wipers were easy to lift, some of them required a bit of force, a couple of them came off, but when that happened he was luckily able to find a window or a sunroof open so he tossed the leaflet inside. Considerate as always, he tossed the wiper blade in with it.

After some time – he had no idea how much – Luke had leafleted most of the cars in the car park.  He had intended not to miss a single one but when he saw an angry man, waving a wiper blade, fast approaching his position, he decided that discretion was the better part of valour and retreated behind the long queues for the portaloos.  He had almost half a box of leaflets left and wanted to use them.  It wasn’t long before he found an opportunity.

The ice cream van was parked close to the line of trees which skirted the market.  It was doing a roaring trade.  Luke felt that it wouldn’t do any trade at all if there was any justice in the world.  He was sure it wouldn’t if everyone knew the truth.  That thought gave him an idea.  This idea, he was well aware, was not, strictly speaking, legal.  But it was moral and that meant he was right to do it.  He would do what Robin Hood would have done, whatever the consequences.  He was an outlaw after all.

He left his wheelbarrow in the shadows behind the trees and ran back to a craft stall he’d seen earlier. The lady on the craft stall was demonstrating how to make paper maché models.  She was doing the ‘here’s one I made earlier’ bit, revealing a stiff, hollow, paper pig ready for a coat of paint. The tub of wallpaper paste that she’d been using in an earlier part of her demonstration was tucked away under her stall.

“I jus’ need to borra a bit,” Luke told himself, “I’ll bring it back before she misses it.”

Within minutes he was pasting leaflets all over one side of the ice cream van, unseen by the ice cream seller or his treat-seeking customers who stood in line on the other side.  He worked fast, knowing he might be spotted and stopped at any moment.  At the same time he was encouraged by a feeling that some great spirit was watching over him, enabling him to complete his mission unhindered.  The spirit of Robin Hood?  It couldn’t just have been luck that he’d been able to get his hands on exactly what he needed for this job.  The label on the side of the tub of paste read:

MELROSE WHEATPASTE

suitable for paper maché, scrapbooking

wallpaper application & billboard posters

NON TOXIC * STRONG * DRIES TRANSPARENT

WARNING: WHEATPASTE POSTERS, ONCE APPLIED, ARE DIFFICULT TO REMOVE.

It couldn’t have been more perfect.  Luke fearlessly pasted over colourful illustrations of lollipops, ice cream cones, and a happy cartoon cow who bore no resemblance to her real-life counterparts.  The van’s lies were soon obliterated by pages of facts and figures about the cruel reality of dairy farming, including miserable photographic proof.  When the side of the van was completely covered in leaflets, as high as Luke could reach, he stepped back to see the full effect.  It was good.

Unable to believe how well this was going, Luke slipped unseen, back the way he’d come.  He re-emerged from behind the line of trees when he reached the craft stall and returned the paste.  Then he tucked the remaining four leaflets in his back pocket and pushed his empty wheelbarrow from stall to stall, looking for Nan and Grandad.  He looked for ages until eventually he came close to the organisers’ table and heard his own name over the Tannoy.

“Would Luke Walker please go to the ice cream van.  Would Luke Walker please go to the ice cream van, near the car park and the toilets.”

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Story continues tomorrow 🙂

To read the whole of Chapter 11 now, click here 🙂

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vegan, vegetarian, vegan children’s story, vegan children’s book, books, children’s books, juvenile fiction, veggie kids, vegan children, animals, cows, animal farming, animal rights

Way of the world

For chapters 1 to 10 click here 🙂

Chapter 11 continued from yesterday:

He smiled broadly as he considered how fortuitous this outing had turned out to be; how lucky it was that this week of all weeks he’d needed a wheelbarrow.

***

Nan and Grandad loved to go to car boot sales, antique fairs and flea markets.  They would drive for miles to get to them and rarely a Sunday went by without Nan acquiring a ‘new’ old plant pot, or handbag, or garden bench, or record or book or who knows what.  So, when Luke decided he needed a few tools for his allotment – a rake, a bucket or two, and a wheelbarrow – he asked Mum to ask Nan if he could go with them that weekend.  She said yes, as long as he behaved himself and didn’t eat or drink anything in Grandad’s car, or put his feet on the seats.

“Will she ever get over the chocolate biscuit/chewing gum incident?” he thought. “It wasn’t even my gum – it had got stuck on my shoe because of a dropper and the chocolate crumbs … ”

Anyway, he promised to be good, and it was arranged.

Six days later, Luke was sitting in the back of Grandad’s car; seatbelt on; feet on the floor; no food or drink whatsoever.  They turned into a farm lane and drove past a field of grazing cows, one of whom had a baby with her.  They waited in a long queue of cars approaching the flea market and Luke was able to watch mother and baby for a few minutes.

He could see how attentive the mother was to her baby and how the baby followed his mother wherever she went.  It was nice to watch.  Then he saw two farmers with a wheelbarrow walk over to them and lift the baby into it.  The baby cried out for his mum and the mum tried to get to her baby but one of the farmers obstructed her so that the other one could wheel the barrow away.  He walked briskly, almost breaking into a run to get to the gate as quickly as possible and the mother cow hurried after them, calling all the time to her baby and him calling back to her.  The farmer with the wheelbarrow got through the gate and closed it and the other one climbed the fence.  They put the calf into a trailer and drove away in the Land Rover that towed it, along the track that bordered the field, until they got to the road and were soon out of sight.  The whole time the mother cow was running along the edge of the field, trying to keep up with them, calling for her baby.  When the trailer was out of sight she just stood at the fence and called and called, a most miserable, pining sound, as she watched the direction in which they’d fled, pleading for her baby’s return.

“Where are they takin’ ‘im?  Are they gonna bring ‘im back?” Luke desperately asked his grandparents.

“What love?” said Nan.  She hadn’t been watching.

“The baby cow!  They took ‘im away from ‘is mum!  Why did they do that?  When will they bring ‘im back?”

“They won’t,” said Grandad, matter-of-factly.

“What?! Why not?” Luke demanded.

“The farmer keeps cows for their milk.  He needs to sell as much milk as possible so he can’t have the calves drinking his profits can he?  He’s got to make a living.  Way of the world Luke, you might as well get used to it.”

Luke was outraged.  He’d known instinctively that it wasn’t right to steal a cow’s milk and was certain it couldn’t be natural to drink it if you weren’t a baby cow, but he’d had no idea that farmers actually kidnapped babies away from their mothers; that a mother who’d done nothing wrong, who was giving him her milk, was not even allowed to keep the baby who made the milk possible.  And the baby – what would happen to the baby?

“Does everybody know this?  Does everybody know what the horrible farmer is doin’?” Luke felt that surely people wouldn’t buy the milk if they knew.

“He’s not horrible Luke,” Nan tried to explain, “cows are not people, they don’t have the same feelings and emotional attachments that we have.”

“Yes they do!  Din’t you see?  Din’t you see ’em together?  They love each other!”

“Luke,” Nan answered quietly, “the farmer’s got to earn …”

“I could earn a livin’ stealin’ other people’s jewel’ry and sellin’ it to someone else, but if I did that you’d tell me off!”

“It’s not the same …”

“Too right it’s not the same coz I wun’t be kidnappin’ someone’s baby!”

While Luke fumed Grandad reached the car park and they all got out of the car.  Luke couldn’t stop thinking about the cow baby and the cow mum crying for each other.  He trailed slowly behind his grandparents, very unhappy in the realisation that this was the way of the world and there was nothing he could do about it, not really, not for that baby or that mum.

“Grown ups always say ‘you must be good’, ‘you must be kind’ and then they do things what they know is unkind,” Luke mumbled frustratedly to himself, “they don’t follow their own rules, so they can’t expect me to follow ’em.  They should follow my rules – mine make more sense, mine do what they say instead of just say and not do!”

And so, as he railed against the world, he wandered away from his grandparents and browsed the stalls alone.  He wasn’t worried.  He’d find them later.

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Story continues on Monday 🙂

To read the whole of Chapter 11 now, click here 🙂

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vegan, vegetarian, vegan children’s story, vegan children’s book, books, children’s books, juvenile fiction, veggie kids, vegan children, animals, cows, animal farming, animal rights

And here begins chapter 11: Luke Walker and the ice cream van

For chapters 1 to 10 click here 🙂

Luke Walker and the ice cream van

Set apart from the rest of the flea market was a stall that was of great interest to Luke.  Standing behind it was a lady wearing black eye shadow and black nail varnish.  She had long, straight, jet black hair and her khaki jacket had lots of badges on it which said things like “MEAT IS MURDER” and “A FISH IS NOT A VEGETABLE” and “NOT YOUR MUM” written above a picture of a man suckling from a cow.

“Where’d you get those?” Luke asked the lady.

“These?  Oh, different places.  This one I ordered from a website,” she said, indicating the one with the suckling business man, “and these I got from VegFest.”

“What’s VegFest?”

“It’s a weekend event with lots of stalls and talks by veggies and veggie companies.  They have them a couple of times a year in different cities like London and Brighton.”

Luke had never met another vegetarian before, apart from Joe, and he’d had no idea there were enough of them to warrant weekend events like that.  He was impressed.

“Are you interested in becoming vegan?” the lady asked as Luke browsed the leaflets on display.

“Vegan?” said Luke, “That’s not a real word!  I’m a veggietareun and I wun’t be nothin’ else!”

“Well that’s good, but why are you a vegetarian?  Is it because you don’t want animals to be killed?”

“Of course,” said Luke.

“Well then, it might interest you to know that animals are also killed to supply you with milk and eggs,” the lady explained, with patience.

“I know that, that’s why I don’t eat ’em because I’m a veggie-tareun!” said Luke, slowly, with emphasis.  Not patience.  “Veggie (that’s short for vegetables) tareun (that means someone what eats ’em).  I on’y eat vegetables, which means things what grow after bein’ planted in the ground.”  It must be acknowledged that Luke was good at explaining things.

The lady looked as though she now understood and was very pleased about it.

“That means you’re a vegan young man, well done!”

Luke was unswayed.

“I’ll stick with words what make sense, thanks.”

The stall-holder smiled again.  The word didn’t matter.  Then she realised the boy had been browsing for a good few minutes and no responsible adult had materialised.

“Who did you come here with?” she asked, “is your mum or dad or somebody around here somewhere?”

Luke nodded.

“Mmm, somewhere.”

He continued browsing.  There was a lot of interesting stuff.  People needed to know this stuff.

“Where do you get these leaflets from?” he asked the lady.

“Why?  Do you want some?  You can take what you want,” she replied generously.

Luke couldn’t believe his luck.

“Just take ’em?  As many as I want?”

“Yes,” the lady assured him, “they need to get out to the public; people need to know this stuff.”

“Yes they do!” said Luke, gratified to have found a kindred spirit, “have you got a box?”

“You want that many?” the lady raised her eyebrows, “it’ll be quite heavy if you fill a box. How will you carry it?  How will you get it home?”

“I’ve got a wheelbarra,” said Luke, proudly pointing to a rusty old one he’d bought for 50p ten minutes earlier, “an’ I’m not takin’ ’em home.”

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Chapter 11 continues tomorrow 🙂

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vegan, vegetarian, vegan children’s story, vegan children’s book, books, children’s books, juvenile fiction, veggie kids, vegan children

Back to the drawing board

For the whole of Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er, Chapter Ten click here 🙂

Chapter 10 continued from yesterday:

“But what will I eat today?” he asked, disheartened.

Luke was busy thinking.

“What?  Oh, you can share mine,” he said generously, and they continued on to school.

As luck would have it they wouldn’t be short of food that day because class 4 was having a cookery lesson and that meant they’d all brought ingredients with them.  They were making scones.  Mrs Tebbut never allowed the boys to work together on these things and insisted on choosing their partners for them.  As a result, Luke found himself sharing a table with Penelope Bittern.  Penelope was very particular about doing things properly.

“Don’t put any of your stuff on my half of the table,” she instructed, “I can’t let it contaminate my stuff.”

Luke was affronted.

“There’s nothing wrong with my stuff,” he told her, “it’s clean.  It’s new packets – haven’t even bin opened – look!”

She lifted her arm to shield her side of the table from the sealed bag of flour he thrust towards her.

“You can’t put that near my stuff!” she sounded panicked.  “I might be allergic!”

“Allergic to what?”

“I’m allergic to raisins and kiwi fruit so …”

“I ‘aven’t got no raisins or kiwis!”

“Sooo, my mum said we’re playing it safe ’til they know for sure what else I’m allergic to.  I’m having tests.”

“Well, you’ve got the same stuff as me,” Luke couldn’t abide hypochondriac drama queens, “flour, sugar, margarine – so if you’re allergic to mine you’re allergic to yours.”

“But my ingredients have been specially kept separate from things that might give me allergies – like milk, eggs, peanuts – and …”

“You can be allergic to milk?”

“Yes, lots of people are, which is why…”

“And what happens to you if you eat it, if you’re allergic?”

“Well, that depends,” she was gratified he was finally listening to her. “I think it’s different for different people.  It depends how serious their allergy is.”

“It can be serious?”

“Yes.  Some people die if they eat something they’re allergic to.  Even just a tiny bit of it.  Even if it’s so tiny you can’t hardly see it.”

“Okay, now I know you’re makin’ it up.  No one’s dyin’ from a tiny bit of peanut!  You’re just a ‘ttention seekin’ hypochondrian who’s makin’ stuff up to get the whole table to ‘erself!”  That was disappointing. Luke went mentally back to the drawing board.

But Penelope wasn’t finished.

“They do!  Their throat swells up so they can’t breathe!  My mum told me and I think she should know ’cause her brother’s allergic to nuts and he has to carry a life-saver injection with him all the time in case he accidentally eats one.”

“Really?” That sounded real.  Penelope didn’t have enough imagination to make up something as cool as that.  “What other things might happen to someone who ate somethin’ they were allergic to?”

Penelope patiently answered Luke’s endless questions and he, in return, took great care to keep his ingredients away from her half of the table.  By the end of the lesson Luke knew how to make Joe’s mum listen.  The hard part, however, would be persuading Joe to do it.

***

Joe swallowed his last bite of overdone scone and made a face that suggested he wasn’t enjoying it.

“Not good?” asked Luke.  His had been delicious.

“What?  Oh, yeah, the scone’s good, it’s your idea I don’t like.”

“Drastic times, drastic scissors,” Luke reminded him, “I know it’s not very nice but it’ll be worth it won’t it?  You need to make it look real or it won’t work.”

Joe was still reluctant.

“But I don’t see why I can’t just do the lentil hotpot thing.  I could do that.  And the not breathin’ thing – I can hold my breath longer ‘n most people.”

“You have to show you’re allergic to all three things – milk, eggs and meat – so you have to have three different allergic reactions to be convincin’.  Jus’ think yourself lucky you’ve never liked fish, otherwise we’d have to come up with four reactions.”

Joe nodded and took the bag Luke handed him.  Luke patted him on the back.  It was important to give moral support to your soldiers.

“You can do it,” he said encouragingly.

Joe walked home from Luke’s house, dreading what he had to do, but determined to do it.  Luke was right.  It would be worth it.

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Story concludes tomorrow 😀

Click here for all ten chapters of Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er

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vegan, vegetarian, veggie kids, vegan children, vegan children’s story, vegan children’s book, juvenile fiction

Feigning self-sacrifice

Chapter ten continues 🙂

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Dinner was almost over and Jared was helping Mum clear the table.

“Hurry up Luke,” Jared was impatient to get to Youth Club and wasn’t allowed to go until he’d done the washing up.

“You want me to get indigestion I suppose!” said Luke, not really surprised that his brother would be so blasé about the dangers of rushing one’s food. He’d learned about them from the Rennie advert. “You want me to get acid an’ a burnin’ heart from eatin’ too fast do you?”

Truth be told, Luke was just full up. He really wanted that last roast potato but knew he couldn’t swallow another mouthful. He pushed his plate away.

“Go on then – take it,” he said, feigning self-sacrifice.

Mum ignored them both and went upstairs to run a bath. Luke followed her.

“Do you want your lavender bubble bath Mum?” he asked helpfully, “the one I got you for your birthday?”

Mrs Walker smiled.

“Yes please, it’s on my dressing table.”

Luke brought it to her.

“D’you want me to get your KT Tunstall CD? The one I gave you for Mother’s Day?”

“Wasn’t that from both of you?”

“Yeah, but it was me what chose it. Jared wanted to get you a set of tea towels but I said that wasn’t a relaxin’ present. I told ‘im Mother’s Day is for mothers to relax so it had to be a relaxin’ present.”

Mum nodded slowly.

“Is there something you want Luke?” she asked.

“No, you just have a nice bath. I’ll get the CD for you,” he volunteered.

“Wait,” said Mum, quiet but firm. “What do you want?”

“Oh nothin’ really,”

“Luke.”

“Well it’s nothin’ much, jus’ thought I’d better mention that I’ve bin feelin’ hungrier at lunch times and I could really do with a bigger lunch.”

“Really?” She raised her eyebrows and tilted her head, “since when?”

“Well, jus’ this week really, but I think I’ll be hungrier from now on coz I’m growin’ fast.”

“Are you?”

“Yes.”

“So, just how much extra food do you think you’ll need?”

“Prob’ly about twice as much I should think,” he said nonchalantly.

“Twice as much?” she exclaimed with exaggerated surprise, “So that would be two sandwiches, two bags of crisps, four pieces of fruit and two cakes?”

Luke nodded.

Mum shook her head.

“I’m sorry Luke, we just don’t have enough money in the budget to give you two lunches every day. I’m sorry if that means you’ll stop growing but we should be thankful that you’ve had a good spurt recently.”

Luke had a sneaking suspicion she was being facetious.  He frowned.  As he turned to leave she called him back.

“Don’t forget my CD,” she reminded him, smiling, “and tell Jared not to give the potato you didn’t have room for to Dudley or he’ll get the runs.”

****

The following morning Joe called for Luke and they walked to school together.  When they reached the bins outside the Memorial Hall, Joe stopped and took out his sandwich.  Egg mayonnaise.  Before Luke could stop him he tossed the whole thing into the bin.

“So, what have we got for lunch today?” Joe smiled, enjoying the quiet rebellion.  Luke felt awkward.

“Well, erm, …”

Joe’s smile faded.

“Couldn’t you get it?” he asked, disappointed.

“Well, it’s not that I couldn’t get it,” Luke didn’t want to admit defeat, “it’s just that I was thinkin’ a lot about it and I decided that actchally it’s not a good idea.”

“Why not?” said Joe, feeling hungry already.

“Well, if your mum still gives you meat and eggs and cheese and stuff, even though you don’t eat it, then it’s still bein’ bought for you, which means animals are still bein’ killed for you.”

“Oh. Yeah,” Joe agreed. He didn’t want that.

“So we’ve got to find a way to make your mum listen,” said Luke decisively.

Joe was not hopeful.

“She won’t listen.”

“She hasn’t listened yet,” Luke corrected him.  He liked a challenge. “We’ve just got to tell ‘er in a way she can’t ignore.”

Joe sighed.  He preferred to do things quietly.  Secretly.

******

Chapter ten continues tomorrow 🙂

For chapters 1 to 9 click here 🙂

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vegan, vegetarian, vegan children’s story, vegan children’s book, books, children’s books, juvenile fiction