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A Hovercraft Elephant goes to Mars


I met Carrie Mortleman – and suddenly became acquainted with a flying pink elephant!

Well, it was actually a hover-crafting elephant…

I met Carrie Mortleman at her storytelling event in the centre of Barcelona.

It was a lovely December morning in 2017. I arrived early so that I could get a chance to speak to her.

She was preparing to read a Christmassy storybook to a group of young children who would be arriving for her storytelling event in ‘Come In’ book shop in Barcelona, Spain. (It’s a lovely book shop that stocks a wide range of English books and games, mainly for children – such a thing is hard to find in Barcelona)

Carrie Mortleman at a storytelling event in Barcelona

Australian’s tend to have such a big, warming personality, and Carrie definitely lives up to this friendly stereotype. She now lives in Barcelona and seems to be heavily involved in writing children’s books and storytelling.

We had a lovely chat. Carrie generously donated her time to me even though her audience were now due to arrive at any moment.

She kindly gave me a copy of her new glow-in-the-dark book – it’s an amazing book that is full of blank pages! – and then you use a special pen that has a torch built into it that you point at the book, and the words appear like magic on the pages as the torch brings the invisible ink to life! It’s a book that will definitely get children engaged in reading for hours on end. But more about Carrie’s glow-in-the-dark book in a later post!

‘Hellie the Hovercraft Elephant’ and ‘Queek’s Race in Outer Space’…

…were the books that Carrie also presented to me as a gift – Not only did the highly interesting titles catch my eye, but also the literally ‘out of this world’ illustrations – when I curiously leafed through the pages I got totally engrossed in these colourful ‘spacey’ pictures. It’s definitely something different – and being different is a often a good thing – it sets you apart from the rest.


Carrie Mortleman Hellie and Queek


‘Hellie the Hovercraft Elephant’ and ‘Queek’s Race in Outer Space’ have an appealing quirky look to them that kids will love…

Your children will turn into adults and look back on these books with a smile as the quirky imagery revokes fond childhood memories and sensations – like when you suddenly see an episode of ‘Chorlton and the Wheelies’* on Youtube and it instantly sucks you in to another time from yesterday-year.

Let your children be introduced to Hellie the Hovercraft Elephant’!

Give them fond memories of yester-year filled with this cute, fluffy, pink hovercraft elephant

In the first book, Hellie makes friend’s with a little grey mouse called Queek.

Hellie is a pink, furry elephant who can fly/hover. Queek is a sugar mouse and nearly gets flattened by Hellie when she has a sneezing fit.

It’s a book about gaining confidence and making friends. The sentences rhyme, and although there are a few words that small children might not understand, it creates room for learning and expanding on their vocabulary.

Be warned that some of the illustrations look very yummy indeed!

Carrie Mortleman Hellie and Queek


In the second book, the two friends go on an adventure to Mars!

Hellie the Hovercraft Elephant and Queek the Sugar Mouse meet some green aliens from Mars.

Straightaway you are given a fun language lesson on the alien’s vocab! – The first page consists of a 10 sentence glossary so that you can understand the little lime green Martians – with words like…

  • Ig blawPlease come in
  • Bok blawLook here
  • Bok yoOK
  • Og, Boonk, Pooowwwww!Ready, set, go!

…your child will get a bonus novelty from this book as they learn these alien words that are highlighted in green.

Carrie Mortleman Hellie and Queek

 On page 4 there is a witty knock knock joke that has been placed in the story, guaranteed to get kids off to an enjoyable start.

The Milky Way is made up of yummy looking multi-coloured chocolate stars, while Mars is depicted as a gooey, chocolatey planet.

Hellie and Queek meet friendly green aliens and are invited to a feast of green food. Afterwards they decide to have a race – will Hellie’s trunk power be enough to make her win the green treasure snacks!?

A lovely story about hospitality and getting along with fellow beings.

Both these books have rhyming verses on each page, and if you read it too quick, you may have some difficulty with the rhyme flow, but once you read it a few times, you realise that this actually aids your storytelling style, adding more creativity to your reading and delivery of the sentences.

If you’re looking for storybooks that are not filled with your typical mainstream characters, try introducing your children to Hellie and Queek!

‘Unique, interesting, wonderful children – that’s who we want to raise, not generic robots’ Carrie Mortleman

UPDATE – April 2020:

Hellie and Queek’ books are no longer available on Amazon. Please contact us if you would like to be put in contact with the author Carrie Mortleman

To keep you in good spirits, the best kid’s programme theme tune in history is below!…

*’Chorlton and the Wheelies’

Opening theme tune on Youtube…

What Children Really Want

What Children Really Want©

This ‘HELLIE and QUEEK’ Blog Post is brought to you by…


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