Silly Sidekicks


Hi Summer Reading Clubbers,

‘Shiver me sunburn, it’s hot!’

If you are in a cold part of the country, please ignore the above comment. It’s just something Hook Hand Horace would say.

I’m often asked who my favourite character is. It’s hard to choose. It’s like trying to pick my favourite ice cream flavour from a shop with 100 varieties!

I’ll answer this question instead: Which character do you write about the most? The answer is simple – Hook Hand Horace. Horace features in two of my Stroogle picture books, six Pie Rats novels, two drawing books and four Scallywags books (and there are more Scallywags books on the way)!

‘He sounds like a popular guy,’ I hear you say.

Truth be told, Horace is a bit of a nuisance. He’s the silly side kick who gets all the dodgy lines. He’s the pint-sized Pie Rat with an enormous appetite and absolutely no common sense. He’s the comic relief. And that’s what makes him so great. If a scene is too serious, or a conversation needs a change in direction, I introduce Horace. If I think something could confuse the reader, I get Horace to ask what it means. He’s my go-to guy!

Here are some of Horace’s favourite things to say. The underlined words can be replaced with almost anything:

‘Rotten pies to homework!’

‘Putrid pastries to detention!’

‘Shiver me britches!’

‘What the flaming rat’s tail is going on?’

‘What in Blacktail’s name were you thinking?’

The other cool thing about Horace is that he has a golden hook hand. It is a wonderful visual prop. Horace doesn’t just say things. He says things as he is sweeping his hook dramatically through the air, or poking himself in the nose!

In homage to Horace, I thought we could have a competition.

For your chance to win a signed copy of Scallywags and the Troublesome Treasure (featuring the very silly Hook Hand Horace), come up with something clever and catchy a curious creature would say. Hint: try to think up a new character. What makes them interesting? You can type your entry in the comments section below. You have until Jan 31 to enter.

  • Curious Creature Profile: Hook Hand Horace
  • Animal: Rat.
  • Future Pirate Crew: Pie Rats.
  • Strengths: Funny in a dorky kind of way. A great shot with a cannon.
  • Weaknesses: Obsessed with pies. Speaks without thinking. Talks non-stop!
  • Likes: Pies, pies and more pies!
  • Distinguishing features: Is extremely short (even for a rat). Has a shiny hook hand. Has scars on each cheek.
  • Favourite saying: ‘Rotten pies to …’

You can learn to draw Horace in his superhero outfit below.

I’ll catch you later, Summer Reading Clubbers,

91 responses

    Hi Lana,
    We will pick the winner based on their ideas, rather than drawing a name out of a hat.Hopefully there will be some really funny entries!
    Dr Cameron

    Dear Cameron
    My curious creature is called Platy Platypus. His silly saying is this: “Is it a duck? Is it a bear? No, it’s Platy Platypus!”
    I hope you like it!
    Lana Goodall
    Platy says that because he looks like a mix between a duck and a bear. (He tries to sound like a superhero too.) The Platypus really is a curious creature, don’t you think?

    Hi Cameron
    I hope it’s ok if my characters silly saying is a joke if not I will do another entry. Also I’m going to add it into a story.
    My characters called Lydia Leopard, her silly saying ( or joke in this case ) ,
    Owwwww! My tooth hurts again. Says Lydia leopards friend Percy pigeon. Hey Percy wanna hear a joke. Said Lydia. Not the tooth joke. Groaned Percy. ( silly joke ) , At what time every day does my tooth hurt? Asked Lydia. I don’t know what time does your tooth hurt everyday? Asked Percy sighing already knowing the answer. TOOTH HURTY!!!!! Hahahahahah. Laughed Lydia. Hey Lydia don’t ever do that joke again. Said Percy. Sorry Percy good old friend but that’s my trademark. Said Lydia. Oh No! Said Percy.
    The End
    I hope you liked it!
    so My silly joke is, at what time everyday does my tooth hurt? TOOTH HURTY!

    Hope you like it!

    Hi Madi,
    Yes, the joke will be fine for your silly saying. I was at the dentist with my daughter today (just after tooth hurty). The joke was well timed!
    Please do add it to a story.
    I’ve just finished a page of hot chip jokes for my latest Scallywags adventure (I can’t reveal anything just yet). They are being told by Hector the Hyena. He is not particularly funny.
    Best of luck.
    Dr Cameron.

    Hi Dr Cameron

    My curious creature is a little Echidna.

    Scotty the Echidna is a cheeky little chap who thinks he is Scottish even though he was born just outside Canberra.

    He wears a bright red and green tartan kilt and carries a set of bagpipes wherever he goes. The only problem is that he can’t play them and when he does all the other animals run away from the terrifying noise!

    When he is with the other animals he acts strong and tough even though he can’t go to bed without his Mum giving him a hug.

    Scotty the Echidna loves Haggis and Irn Bru, but unfortunately they both make him burp and belch really loudly.

    Scotty the Echidna’s catchphrase is, “Aye yummy Haggis, mmm!”



    Hi Lyle,
    Thanks for your entry.
    I love the Scottish theme!
    I have a very Scottish animal in my next book to be released. Can you guess what it is? There is a clue in the book title: Scallywags and the Hungry Hairy Sea Monster …
    I’ll give you two guesses.
    Dr Cameron

    Hi Lyle,
    Nessie would be the obvious answer, but no, it’s not the Loch Ness monster but a real Scottish animal.
    You still have a second guess. Think of another word in the title …
    Dr Cameron


    Flamlamhopper is my characters name.
    I am part flamingo; part lamb; and part grasshopper

    my creature catchcry goes

    whoo whoo whoo

    I’m Flamlamhopper…
    I drive a chopper…
    I drink a poppa…
    My hamburgers a whoppa

    Hi Jack,
    I love the animal combination. Great to see all the words that rhyme with hopper. Keep it up and don’t stopper!
    Dr Cameron

    Hi dr Cameron i’ts Kelsea
    I have been thinking about a cool character

    Eyedolphplankwalker it’s pronounced
    (I dolf plank walker )

    So you know who Adolf Hilter is he is a leader who made war and rotten things happen in the world

    He is still rotten and making pirates and eels who protest against his rule walk the plank to drown in the ocean waters, once inside the icy cold water the mermaids rescue the victims of Eyedolphplankwalker and they live happily ever after in King Neptunes underwater castle

    the plankwalking march goes like this

    Eyedolphplankwalker is ruthless
    Eyedolphplankwalker is rough
    One pirate gone he says
    Is never ever enough

    Hi Kelsea,
    Very clever! Your character sounds like a nasty kind of guy. It’s good those helpful mermaids are around to save the day!
    Dr Cameron


    a creature made together of a tiger a giraffe and a rhinocerus.

    Tirafffenoncerus is extremely tall with lots of spots he is orange and he has a big horn at the front of his head a really big big horn.

    come to me
    and you will see
    it’s meant to be
    our friendship of three
    above all loyalty

    He is a very scary creature so it is the best to do what you have been asked to do. Tirafffeonocerus is not really loyal he doesn’t go out much his name uses 3 letter ‘f’s he says the reason for 3’f’s is so you can stretch out his name for a long time also 3 is his lucky number

    Hi Vienna,
    It sounds like you have discovered a new species of dinosaur. Your creatures sounds terrifffic! 3 is a great number to use in writing. Can you think of how many famous stories have 3 in the title?
    Dr Cameron

    Dear Dr Cameron,
    My character’s name is Franchesca. She is a flamingo. Her saying is: Flamingoes are ballerinas dressed and prepared to dance. Pink stockings, pink skirt and a graceful poise. You never know when you feel the urge be to dance.
    I hope you like it.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

    Hi Sahansa,
    Merry Christmas to you, too!
    I have had some requests recently to include a flamingo in my stories. The dancing, pink-wearing flamingo is a great idea.
    Dr Cameron

    Dear Dr Cameron,
    What are you working on n at the moment? What are you tips for writing a good story? What is the structure a good story should follow?

    Hi Sahansa,
    I am working on a story called Scallywags and the Wham Bam Gran. It’s a Grandparents Day/ wrestling extravaganza!
    I don’t have one set structure for writing stories. Some have a major action climax and a smaller climax or a twist to follow. The tension needs to build to keep the reader interested, regardless of genre of story.
    Dr Cameron

    I am amazed you can see him because on my phone the photo hasn’t been posted. Do you think I should make him a pirate hat?

    Hi Lana,
    Hmm … maybe I was looking at another image on the gallery? There is a green creature there by ‘Lana’ with a nose a bit like a platypus bill. I think it is a drawing. What colour is your Platy?
    Hopefully it appears on the gallery soon.
    The pirate hat sounds like a great idea.
    Dr Cameron

    Oh, my platy is a soft toy, which has dark brown fur and a light brown feet and bill. Hopefully the picture will load up soon!

    Hi Lana,
    Same closing date of 31 Jan so we don’t confuse people. A lot of kids and teens won’t register with the Summer Reading Club until after Christmas.
    Sometimes waiting can be a good thing, right?
    Dr Cameron

    Hi Dr. Cameron,

    My name is Lily McCormick and my curious creature would be a chameleon.

    My chameleon would be called Ranger Danger because he is afraid of almost everything, but he will step up to the problem and help in times of need.

    I chose a chameleon as my curious creature because chameleons are super inquisitive and love to blend in if they are unsure or put in positions that may endanger them.
    His saying would be ‘I just blend in to jump out!’

    Chameleons have been found to jump out at something that was putting themselves in danger to try and stun the other creature, whilst making a hasty escape for freedom.

    Hope you like my character and idea!

    Lily McCormick.

    Hi Dr Cameron,

    My name is Lily McCormick and my curious creature would be a monkey.

    I chose a monkey as they are extremely curious and a great creature for an interesting story line. My monkey would be called Curioso because in Italian that translates into curious.

    My monkey would have spikey fur but would dislike the taste of bananas, yet he would love pasta and pizza.
    Not only would his love for Italian things would not only reach out for food but he would love to dress in the latest fashions!

    His catchphrase would be ‘Mamma Mia, perfect pasta, where have they gone?’
    I hope you like my creature and his catchphrase.

    Ciao, Lily McCormick.

    Buon giorno Lily,
    Thanks for your entry. It sounds like you have one cool character there! I’m having flashbacks to my time spent in Florence (plenty of fashion and pizza, though I didn’t spot any monkeys)!
    Ciao! Ciao!
    Dr Cameron

    Hello Mr Stelzer!
    My Curious Creature is:
    Evil Echidna! He is a very evil little Echidna! And he says, ‘G’day! What’s next!? Enemy’s or Friends?!’

    Hi Charlie,
    Evil Echidna sounds like a prickly little devil. I’d choose the friend option and avoid accidentally sitting on him!
    Dr Cameron

    Sounds good Dr Cameron,
    Please don’t sit on Evil Echidna,
    I don’t think that would be to pleasant,
    Bye, thanks for the time,

    Hey Dr Cameron,
    My curious creature is Cammy Chameleon. Her line is “Can you find me? You can? Oh, never mind.” She’s meant to be a clumsy, careless and forgetful character.

    Hi Abby,
    Thanks for your entry.
    I like all the C’s in your character’s name and description. I had a friend who used to call me Cammy! He shortened it to Cam, when I grew up!
    Dr Cammy … I mean Dr Cam … I mean Dr Cameron … oh whatever!

    Thanks for your entry, Luke.
    Sammy Shark sounds like a swimming, eating, pooping kind of guy … which is not good if you happen to be the food!
    Dr Cameron

    Thanks for your entry, Anna.
    Most humans are civilised. Some are just really silly!
    I wonder what the most civilised animal would be?
    Dr Cameron

    Hi Doctor Cameron!
    My Curious Creature is a Fennec Fox named Lilo. She lives in an underground burrow in the Sahara with her friends, Sandy and Nova, and her dad, Inferno. She lives an ordinary life, except when her and her friends are called into a mission. (Shh, it’s a secret! They’re crime-fighting, mystery-solving secret agents!) Their enemies are Jinx the Jackal and Chase the Cheetah, who are always trying to stop them from doing their job.
    Lilo is funny and smart, and she uses her cuteness as a weapon. Her weaknesses are she always thinks too hard about things, and is too smart for her own good.
    She likes cool gadgets, which her job supplies, and she loves books, which is a strange hobby for a fox, and she is the only fox in her skulk who can read! (A skulk is a group of foxes.)
    Her favourite sayings are ‘That’s what you call a cuteness overload!’ (when she uses her cuteness against her enemies), and ‘Come on, gang! There’s the desert to explore and mysteries to solve!’

    Hi Sarah,
    You have put a lot of thought into your entry. Well done! I loved learning about the collective name for a group of foxes – a skulk. Did you know a group of rats is called a mischief of rats?
    Dr Cameron.

    I have 2 stuffed foxes called lilo and inferno, and a beanie boo that I named nova, which is where the names came from. Sahara is my nickname, which is why I chose that desert to be their home, as well as the fact that they often live there!

    Dear Cameron
    I just thought that I would write another entry. Is that ok? Anyway, my curious creature is called Sergio the teddy bear and he loves to sleep with his owner. His silly saying is, “I can’t BEAR to live without my owner!”
    I hope you like him!
    Lana Goodall
    P.S Sergio is actually MY teddy bear. I have been looking after him for five years!

    Thanks Lana,
    No limit on entries. It’s good to see your mind at work. I once had a neighbour called Sergio. He was a certainly an interesting character. I illustrated a few books for him. He had many sayings – and twice as many jokes to share …
    Dr Cameron.

    I had a teddy bear named Daniel B. Bear. He was old and I bought him from an op shop and dressed him in a purple superhero cape.
    Dr Cameron

    My curious creature is the skunk. It’s black and white and furry. As you may (and almost certainly know) he sprays a stinky smell. I decided to do a fact file like you did.
    Name: Simon Skunk.
    Animal: Skunk
    Future Pirate Crew: The Stinky Skunks
    Strengths: Can ward of bullies with a stinky spray. Is friendly and kind.
    Weaknesses: Being lonely. Feeling left out. Being teased.
    Likes: Pizza, Ice cream, friends and jokes.
    Distinguishing features: A scar on his left cheek (From a bully), A loud chattering voice and and a stinky smell…
    Favourite Saying: Stay away or you will stink…
    I hope you like him.

    My curious creature is the Aardvark. I chose it because it is quite a queer creature, don’t you think? Again, a fact file…
    Name:Aaron Aardvark
    Animal: Aardvark
    Future Pirate Ship: The Atrocious Aardvarks
    Strengths: Can cheer people up, good eye and good nose.
    Weaknesses:Being teased, Climbing and the Dark.
    Likes: Sleeping, eating and being safe at home in his bed.
    Distinguishing Features: An eye patch, a gloomy face and always wearing a winter jumper, scarf and boots.
    Favourite Saying: I’m not scared of anything except for everything.
    I hope you like him! He’s meant to be a scared, easily frightened character.

    Dear Cameron
    My curious creature is called Andy the axolotl. (Axolotls are weird and interesting creatures. They are amphibians!). Andy’s silly saying is: Amphibians are amazing animals, and axolotls are awesome!
    Lana Goodall
    Notice how his saying is an allliteration!

    Dear Cameron,

    My curious creature is Veronica Vulture. You can recognise her by her ginormous beak covered in lion’s liver and buffalo blood. Her catchphrase is ‘If you don’t eat it, I’LL eat it!’

    My curious creature is the giraffe. Unlike most animals (Which are plain), giraffes have spots and tall necks. Another fact file…
    Name: Geraldine Giraffe.
    Animal: Giraffe.
    Strengths: Big.
    Weaknesses: The dark, Heights (Most Unfortunate), Adventures and Strangers.
    Likes: Books, Parents and leaves.
    Distinguishing Features: Worried face, tall neck, orange spots stands near parents.
    Favourite Saying: I’m so tall, you can’t see me at all! (Sigh)
    This is fun! She’s meant to be a book-loving, scaredy-cat! Sorry, giraffe.☺

    Dear Cameron,

    My curious creature is Tammy Tarantula. She is a friendly, furry, arachnid who loves to play. But she has no friends. Her saying is ‘I may look scary, but I’m just hairy! There’s no need to run, let’s have some fun!’

    My curious creature is the Fly. Fact file time!
    Name: Freddy Fly.
    Animal: Fly.
    Future Pirate Crew: The Phony Flies.
    Strengths: Bigger than other fly’s, proud and excellent sense of smell.
    Weaknesses: Not being the best, Being challenged, flying, fighting and temper.
    Likes: ,, and servants.
    Distinguishing Features: Always being carried by other flies and always near .

    Hi, my curious creature is Annie Armidillo. Once again, Fact File…
    Name: Annie Armidillo.
    Animal: Armidillo.
    Future Pirate Crew: The Anxious Armidillos.
    Strengths: Hiding, rolling and jumping.
    Weaknesses: Being Scared.
    Likes: Jokes and Friends.
    Distinguishing Features: A scar on his cheek.
    Favourite Saying: Hide and Roll, Roll and Hide.

    Dear Cameron,

    My curious creature is Morris Meerkat. He is distinctive because of his black eye- it got punched in a fight and has never been the same. Yet Morris is still the hansomest of all of the meerkats. His motto is ‘Beauty is better than your wellbeing.’
    (Did you know meerkats do this thing that looks like they’re kissing? And if they have an audience they kiss longer?).

    Hi Anna,
    Thanks for your entries.
    I like the kissing fact about the meerkats, very interesting. I have a meerkat in the book I’m currently working on. His name is Klaus Creepingsvick and he’s a spy who loves pizza. He’s not handsome like Morris and he speaks with a silly accent. ‘Zhose voeful vile vretches are ze vorst in ze vorld!’
    Dr Cameron

    Hey Cameron,
    My curious creature is a threatening jumping spider named Gobble. She is a centimetre long and her favourite meal is flies. She has eight beady black eyes and has seven legs (as one got ripped off in an unfortunate accident.) Her catchphrase is ‘my eyes are as round as pies’ because they are!

    My creature is Fiero thé Flaming Phoenix the high sky dweller. Her catchy phrase is “You do not want to see the bright side of me”.She is a mystical creature created when two black holes collided with a star three hundred times bigger than the sun.She has only one relative whos name is tsunami the water Phoenix.Tsunami was created when dark matter collapsed into a space warp.

    Hi Aditya,
    I live the mythical/ science fiction combination of your Phoenix entry. Clever catch phrase, too!
    Dr Cameron

    Dear Cameron
    My curious creature is called the Tryantiwontigongolope. He is a little like a bee and a little like a fly. His curious saying is: my mother was a bee and my father was a beeintiwhopeesulo!
    Lana Goodall

    My curious Creature is Ruben Raccoon. Fact File.
    Name: Ruben Raccoon.
    Animal: Raccoon
    Future Pirate Crew: The Robber Raccoons
    Strengths: Theft, being nimble, sneaking around and surprising people.
    Weaknesses: Getting caught in the act of theft and getting stuck in garbage cans.
    Likes: Garbage.
    Distinguishing Features: Wearing a black mask like a Bandit.
    Favorite Saying: Nothing can stop me on my hunt for garbage!!!

    My curious creature is Scruffy the Puppy.
    Name: Scruffy
    Animal: Puppy
    Future Pirate Crew: The Scruffy Puppies
    Strengths: Jumping and chasing his tail.
    Weaknesses: Fleas.
    Likes: Dog food and squeaky chew toys.
    Distinguishing Features: No tail – it got burned off in a fire.
    Favourite Saying: Don’t judge me by my looks!

    Hi Abby,
    Well done for coming up with so many entries and for putting together all the fact files. The alliteration works well and there are some funny details in your entries. A giraffe who is afraid of heights could lead to some interesting problems in a story …
    I wonder what flavour of ice cream a stinky skunk would order?
    Dr Cameron

    Hey Cameron
    My creature is karate kangaroo her catch phrase is when karate kangaroo is here there is no need to fear. Anyway he learned karate from a master when she pas only two tests ils.

    Dear Cameron
    I have come up with yet another character! Her name is Glenda Gazelle and you might have heard of her before in the Cool Creatures blog. Yes, she is based on me. Here is her profile:

    • Curious Creature Profile: Glenda Gazelle

    • Animal: Sleek gazelle

    • Future pirate crew: The graceful gazelles

    • Strengths: Comprehension, science, running, swimming, sewing up buttons

    • Weaknesses: Fear of missing out (FOMO), annoying siblings, angry dads

    • Likes: Avocados, cute soft toys, reading, writing in her diary

    • Dislikes: Durians, bittermelon, playing recorder

    • Special abilities: Can run like the wind, can swim for 1500 metres (that’s actually true!), can write a two page story in fifteen minutes

    • Distinguishing features: Slender Gazelle with a white stripe down her back

    • Favourite saying: “I run like the wind and swim like the sea, I’m super fast, you can’t catch me!” (Notice how it RHYMES!!!!)

    I hope you like her!
    Lana Goodall

    Vienna the Veiled Vampierat Villian

    My character is
    Vienna the Veiled Vampierat a villianeous second cousin to Captain Black Rat.

    She wears a black veil the length of her back and short over her eyes down to her chin in the front. The veil is made of tule and easily crushes into the pockets of the black leather scarecrows coat she stole from the farm.

    Vienna Vampierat likes to eat french fries and hash brownies and drinks violet vases of slushies

    she sits at the front strapped in an old baby car seat attached to the Catains Black Rats p with a seatbelt and gets excited when pilot whales and gigantic octopuses swim underneath the hull of the Apple Pie.

    Hi Vienna,
    Great use of the letter V in your character profile. Does she like Vegemite on her chips? Or maybe vinegar?
    Dr Cameron

    Thanks to everyone for entering my two competitions. There were lots of fantastic entries.
    The winner of the Cool Character competition is Kelsea with her character Mint Mayhemian.
    The winner of the Silly Sidekick competition is Sarah with her Fennec Fox named Lilo.
    You will both receive signed copies of my Scallywags books.
    Well done creative writers!
    Dr Cameron

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *