Children's Stories

27 entries in this archive

Ethan and the Giant Crabs


This is a wee tale prompted by a Writers’ Circus challenge - ‘the light switch’.

As I wrote I thought of it as a tale to be told to children, that is, as a ‘read to’ story. And, as usual, I wondered how to find a willing and affordable illustrator.

My writer friend Peter soon pointed out that this is in fact a story for adults, an archive story to remind us all what our wee ones are/were like at Ethan’s stage when questions come relentlessly.

Kareth Paterson my editor suggested that if it was to become a story for kids then it would need a lot of work to dramatise the language etc.

So, here it is, nearly as written. Many years from now Ethan as a bigger boy might read and enjoy it.

Perhaps one day, when Santa brings or sends me an willing and industrious illustrator, I will re-vamp it as a children’s story. Pigs might fly.

As you read you may detect that Ethan is keen on ice-cream and sweets, items he gets only very infrequently. Think healthy eating, think fruit!

Click to download PDF Click here to download the PDF.

MuriPueriTrium (The Three Boys of the Wall)


This story was written for Euan, our neighbours’ son, then 9 years old.

It is a story about three boys who live at the Antonine Wall, near Bearsden.

The boys live on the safe side which is controlled by the Romans.

They have been told repeatedly never to go north of the wall to the lands where the savage Pictish people live.

However, the best fishing is in the Pictish lands, and the lure of Trottus Enormos proves too great.

Click to download PDF Click here to download the PDF.

The Indian Hill Adventure


This story was written for a girl called Olivia Angelica who lives in Connecticut, USA.

Olivia always looks for opportunities to help people.

This is self-reader for children aged 8 to 11 or a “read to” for younger children.

Click to download PDF Click here to download the PDF.

Theo’s Big Secret


This is a story about a little donkey called Theo who lives in Italy.

Theo liked to run, even in his dreams.

One night he was taken on a long, long journey.

His friend Sheila wanted to know where he had been, what his “Big Secret” was.

This is a “read to” story for younger children or for 6 and 7 year-olds as a self-reader.

If you would like a print copy, get in touch through the website contact form.

Click to download PDF Click here to download the PDF.

Korban the Krokka

This is a story for children aged around six to eight years old or as a read to for younger children.

It is about a group of special Frogs who lived a log time ago, long before Dinosaurs.

The Frogs had many fearsome enemies who wished to eat them.

The Leader of the Frogs was called Korban the Krokka, (Krokka means Leader).

Because of the Artwork, the file size is large (nearly 14 MB) and may take a little while to download.

This story also exists in booklet format. Let me know if you wish a copy.

Click to download PDF Click here to download the PDF.

The Terror of Braemar


This story was written for a boy called Fraser Stuart. We met him with his grandparents in the summer of 2012 (?) at a caravan site in Braemar.

When he rode his bike around the caravan site he would usually stop outside or ‘van an wait until I went out for a chat. He told me of the previous year when he had been at the Braemar site and it had been visited by “a monster stag which ran at people”.

Fraser Stuart and I agreed that this would make a great story. After a discussion with his grandparents he agreed names for the stag and the title.

It was July and the weather was mixed. The day before we left the wind got up and howled all night long. As we breakfasted the next morning we saw several fellow campers taking photographs of a group of stags who were sheltering from the wind in a copse of fir trees which bounded the site. Just beyond the trees was a fast flowing river which hurtled past to join the main river about a mile away.

If you enjoy this one you might like “The Fox of Bannockburn”.

This was my first effort at publishing a printed booklet. Susan at Purple Edge Graphics did most of the work and I thank her for her patience and skill. It was the start of a friendship which continues to this day.

Click to download PDF Click here to download the PDF.

The Fox of Bannockburn


This story was written for Ruaridh who lives next door to us.

One day, then aged 8 years, he asked me, “Mr Bonthron, do you ever write anything about the medieval period?

“Do you mean knights with horses?”

“Yes. Have you heard of The Battle of Bannockburn?”

“Right, Ruaridh, you’re on! I’ll write you a story. “

His siter Anja, then aged 6 years, piped, “Can I be in it too, please?”

A few days later his Gran said, “John, do you know that we are related to William Wallace on our Kenneth’s side of the family?”

These conversations took place in March 2014, a few months before the 700 year anniversary of the great battle. From my researches this little tale complements this great event.

Perhaps what you read actually happened?

This is a read to story for younger children and a self-reader for P3 and upward.

If you like this one, try “The Terror of Braemar”.

Both stories are available in A5 booklet hardcopy. Let me know if you want copies.

Click to download PDF Click here to download the PDF.

Harry and Jonny the Spider (Self-Reader ages 5 to 6. Or read to takes 10 minutes)

Each summer we meet with our friends Paul and Judy at Rosemarkie Caravan Park, on the peninsular known as The Black Isle, just beyond Inverness.

We park our caravans right on the beach.We watch Dolphins cavort.

Last year their grandson Harry then nearly four years old was with us.

Harry and me have fun, playing on the beach. Harry is the Big Boss, I am his Servant.

We build sandcastles, talk to the seagulls. You get the picture.

Reads well on iPad or tablet in portrait mode.

Click to download PDF Click here to download the PDF.

Matthew and the Cake Pirates (Age 6 to 8 self-reader. Or read to in 10 minutes)

Our grandson Matthew shares a vivid fantasy life with me.

We visited Durham in August 2105, hen he was almost five years old.

This is just one of the stories he told me.

Many, many thanks to our friend Les Adams for his superb illustrations.

They are much better than my words!

This reads well on an iPad or tablet.

Click to download PDF Click here to download the PDF.

Harry Tallboy and Fairy Swish (3,800 words, 17 minutes)

This is a fantasy story about about a boy called Harry who loves trains.

Harry has a some very special friends who go everywhere with him.

This is a ‘read too story’, suitable for three and four-year-olds.

If you would like a hard copy version, (free of charge), let me know using the Contact Form.

Click to download PDF Click here to download the PDF.

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