Ruby Nettleship and the Ice Lolly Adventure

Ruby_Full to burstingBy the time they got into the centre of town, the playground was full to bursting. Even the grown-ups had climbed out of their cars, put down their shopping, forgotten about work and joined in the fun.

Soon, the whole city had ground to a halt.

“NOW WHAT?” wondered Ruby.


What will happen when Ruby plants a magic ice lolly stick in her local playground? For Ruby Nettleship and her friends, nothing will ever be the same again…

Ruby Nettleship and the Ice Lolly Adventure  was co-written by Helen Docherty and Thomas Docherty, and illustrated by Thomas Docherty. It was published in the UK in 2010 by Templar, and has since been published in China and Australia.

It has recently been read on CBeebies Bedtime Stories by UK space scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock!

Buy Ruby Nettleship and the Ice Lolly Adventure here through

Scroll down to find a fantastic KS1 Learning Resource pack based on Ruby Nettleship and the Ice Lolly Adventure !


“This is a magical adventure in which a drab landscape is transformed into a place of beauty and delight. Ruby’s playground is rundown; nothing works except for one swing for which there is always a long queue. One day, Ruby is given a magic ice lolly. When she plants its stick, a multi-coloured shoot appears and grows and grows and grows…Soon Ruby is off and away sweeping up her friends on a roller coaster adventure. Luckily, the magic lasts and her playground is transformed for good!”

- Julia Eccleshare, Love Reading 4 Kids


“Ruby Nettleship and the Ice Lolly Adventure is a beautiful picture book that’s full of optimism. Its eponymous central character provides a wonderful role model and the detailed illustrations, which demand repeat viewings, reflect the rich cultural and social mix of British cities. The story emphasises the importance of free play and imagination, as well as the power of children to influence change, which opens up plenty of creative pathways to be explored in the classroom.”

- Teach Primary magazine


“The story is charming and perfectly mixes fairytale magic with the reality of a little girl wanting her rundown playground restored. It takes us on an adventure with Ruby where she gets to make a real difference in her neighbourhood, and it’s lovely to think that children’s dreams are like this and that they can influence change.

The cover is lovely – sparkly and eye catching. The pages are beautifully illustrated, with bright colours and really fun pictures. As the lollipop stick’s magic takes hold, the pictures become more detailed and enchanting on every page.

I do find myself drawn to this book at story time, as I love to look at the pictures as much as my daughter, and I’m still finding new details in each page that make me smile. Ruby Nettleship is a pleasure to read.”

- Bookbabblers


“We really enjoyed the quirkiness of the story and loved the artwork which I find vibrant. Docherty’s use of colours is perfect to illustrate the fantasy and magical side of the story. And of course, there is the glitter on the front cover which very much pleased my girly girl! This book oozes happy vibes. Ruby is a such a smiley girl when she is on the swing and her positivity seems to be contagious both with humans and animals. But we see another side of Ruby at the beginning of the book, staring at the run-down playground in her estate. Many of the young audience who will have this read to will have little or no experience of similar places and therefore this story is a perfect opportunity to introduce children to differing surroundings and social backgrounds. I always welcome picture books with inner-city settings. After all, we don’t all live in the beautiful countryside, à la Princess Poppy. Ruby is a gorgeous little girl who knows what she wants and is not afraid to do something about it. She is a great little role model.

I really enjoyed the positivity of this book; I mean, most picture books are “happy” books, but this is more edgy because of its realism.  Definitely one to recommend for those who want a bit of “more” than just a happy story!”

- Mélanie McGilloway, Library Mice


Click on the image below to link to a fantastic teaching resource produced by Teach Primary :

Ruby_Teach Primary

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