(Chosen by Richard and Judy for the launch of their Children’s Book Club)
Long ago, when wolves and bears roamed the land and underpants hadn’t been invented, the Romans invaded Britain. They built fine houses and straight roads. But not everyone liked the Romans. Some people fought back. No one more stubbornly than Queen Goodica’s youngest daughter, Roodica the Rude.
When the tax collector, Fatius Guttus, and his snivelling son, Copius Mucus steal a chair specially carved by her clever sister, Woodica, Roodica is determined by fair means or foul, (mostly foul!) to get it back.
Roodica hates spying, sneaky snot, Copius Mucus, so, when he challenges her to enter the children’s chariot race, she just has to beat him. Trouble is, Copius is driving a lightweight Roman chariot and his horse is a pure bred Arab stallion, while Roodica’s chariot is a heap of junk and Plodette is a pure bred cart horse.
How will she manage to win the race?
Fatius Guttus has dammed Roodica’s river and diverted the water to his new bath house. This means no swimming for Roodica and her friends.
But Roodica has thought up a brilliant plan to get the river back. With the help of Old Mother Silverlocks and some woad, she sets out to get her revenge.
It's Roodica's birthday but her plans are ruined when everyone is invited to a party for the birthday of Magnus Maximus instead.