Wheathampstead author looks to encourage children to eat their greens with new book

Author Chris Boyle with his childrens book "The Root Troops"

Author Chris Boyle with his childrens book "The Root Troops" - Credit: Archant

Getting children to eat their vegetables has been a problem for parents since time began; the two just do not mix.

But one Wheathampstead author thinks he may have the answer with his new self-published children’s book, The Root Troops.

Chris Boyle, 27, is hoping his cast of colourful legumes and their battle against the evil Candy Cane will be enough to inspire children to eat their greens.

He said: “Five years ago I did a festival in Peterborough and one of the ladies there was trying to get children to grow vegetables.

“Well, I thought ‘you need kids eating them, not growing them’. It all started from there really.”

Chris then spent years fine-tuning the plot details and characterisation in his head before committing them to paper.

“I drew up the characters, but they were terrible so I got illustrators involved with the project.”

An illustrator known only as Spiers, who also illustrated the hugely-successful Cartoon Network character Ben 10, was selected for the role.

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Chris said: “I liked that Spiers’s style had the right balance between detailed and simplistic; his images seemed to look computer-generated and had a modern, colorful appearance.

“I was extremely happy with Spiers’s work as well as his creative input.”

Chris, who has so far invested more than £13,000 of his own money on the books, says he is hopeful his cast of cartoon veg takes off.

He said: “It was quite difficult to get a publisher involved and because I was paying for it all myself, it took about eight months to get the illustrations finished.

“I would work 14-hour days to pay for a couple of drawings and then I’d have to wait until I’d saved enough to buy the next ones.”

Root Troops tells the story of Queen Corley Flower, who is abducted by the Evil Candy Cane and his sidekick Lollichop.

An “army of superhero vegetables” - comprised of Captain Carroter, Medic Mushroom, Shock Tato, Brucolee Broccoli and Russell Sprout - is then assembled to rescue the queen from her sugary cell.

“I’ve got loads of ideas for a followup. I’m hoping to do a series if this one takes off.”

For more information, visit TheRootTroops.com.