PRIMARY school pupils are writing and illustrating an adventure story with a popular children’s author from Rodborough.

Students at Minchinhampton CoE Primary Academy will concoct the novel alongside John Dougherty, who is best known for his Stinkbomb & Ketchup-Face series.

The book will follow the protagonist, a pig on a motorbike and side car who is actually a fairy in disguise, on a quest to bring back children who have been kidnapped by a vampire and scattered through time.

The fairy pig and his four friends travel through magic portals into different historical time periods in order to retrieve the victims.

John has already written the first chapter which he read out at an assembly to a rapt audience.

Based in the chocolate box village of Minchinhampton, the book opens with: “The fog came crawling over the common like a living thing, all tendrils and tentacles.”

Children had clubbed together to come up with name of characters for the novel, Smithy, Coco, Hobbs and Piper, which John then incorporated into the story.

Once each class has contributed their individual chapters set in different time periods, John will pull the story together to compose a happy ever after ending with all the children rescued and the vampire vanquished.

John, who is patron of reading at the primary school, said he was "immensely pleased" to be working with a school that already has such a culture of reading for pleasure.

He added: "The children have been amazing to work with - bright, sparky, and full of ideas - and I can't wait to see the finished story."

Each year group will take a different historical period to write about with ideas including going back to meet a Hayward from the past guarding the cows in the common, an old man in Minchinhampton Market House, meeting the highwayman that Tom Long’s Post is named after or bumping into Second World War officers.

To prepare students for the creative task ahead each class will first have the time to immerse themselves into their time period, to learn about the history.

Each chapter will then be written independently of other classes so that they can all be working on their storylines simultaneously.

Organisers hope that the writing will all take place in the autumn term to be edited and published by The History Press based in Brimscombe by the summer next year.

Sophie Bradshaw, general history publisher at The History Press and a mother of pupils at the school, was responsible for putting the idea to the company.

“We are pleased to be supporting this project for several reasons,” she told the SNJ.

“The process of writing and editing their own work is invaluable for the pupils as is the sense of accomplishment they will have from seeing their work in print.

“In addition the book will take place in various historical time periods, so pupils will be learning about their local history as well as the writing and publishing process.

“As a local business The History Press is happy to be supporting both a local author and a local school, and we know that similar projects have proven to be successful fundraisers.”