WORDYSOD : Michael Lawrence                                    www.wordysod.com

A Writer's Website                                                                                                

Young Doogie father disappeared when Doogie was four and he has very little memory of him. His actual name is Doogie Dander, but he's acquired the nickname Doogie Stamp because he collects stamps and always asks for more on his birthday and at Christmas.

On Doogie's tenth birthday a mysterious package covered in foreign stamps arrives with no clue as to who it's from. Inside the package he finds a stamp album full of stamps and an unusual magnifying glass with a cryptic inscription on the side. When he looks at his stamps through this glass, even the dullest ones seem more vivid and alive - some so real that he's drawn into them, literally.


Within the stamp-worlds, Doogie has the kind of adventures children dream about. He can't get into any stamp he chooses, though. The stamps seem to select him. For instance he might fancy taking a look at the Sahara shown in one stamp, but it's the one next to it, the one with the inventor of the cuckoo clock, that pulls him in. In this way he might be unexpectedly lost in a Brazilian rainforest, fighting side by side with Jim Hawkins on Treasure island, on a 19th century Rocket to the Moon, chased by dinosaurs, helping refugees escape the Romans at Hadrian's Wall, or ducking bullets with Wyatt Earp in Tombstone. Any thing, place, time, situation or individual represented on a postage stamp is candidate material for these books.

Eventually Doogie realises that his lost father is trapped in one of the stamp worlds and he has to discover which. Mr Dander made the special magnifying glass and sent it to Doogie (like a note in a bottle at sea) and it's taken years to reach him, accumulating stamps as it travelled the world.

Thus, with book after book, we build…



Doogie Stamp and the Cave of Yelling

His real name was Douglas Dander, but most people called him Doogie Stamp. Why? Well, it started when he was four, a month or so after his father disappeared. Missing his dad, Doogie had opened the stamp album he'd often seen him fiddling with. Turning those sturdy black pages for the first time on his own, Doogie was fascinated by the hundreds of tiny images attached to them. Each stamp looked like a frame containing a different world.

From that day on he couldn't get enough of stamps, even the most ordinary ones. Every morning he would watch for the postman and be out in the hall to catch the letters that came through the broad brass flap. He was disappointed when there weren't any and would sometimes wait at the door for ages, or keep returning to it, in case some post turned up after all. He was often quite grumpy on Sundays.

His mother gave him his own first album on his sixth birthday, to contain the stamps he'd collected from envelopes that had come through the door or been given by relatives. It was just a scrapbook really, with soft pages of different colours, and a pair of staring kittens on the cover, but Doogie was very proud of it.     

For his seventh birthday his mum had the bright idea of actually buying him stamps, and oh, you should have seen the birthday boy's face! It was as if he'd been given the jewels from a king's crown or a hatful of cream cakes. After that, Mum regularly bought him little packets of assorted stamps from the newsagent's; franked stamps from all over the world which showed the most amazing scenes and places, people and things. It wasn't long before the scrapbook-album was full and a second had to be bought – a proper one this time, with little corner stickers to hold the stamps in place.

Now most young children have fads and fancies, racing breathlessly from one interest to the next (and the next and the next), but not Doogie. Doogie was interested in lots of things but nothing ever took the place of stamps. He could talk of little else, which bored other children, so that his friendships were never very close. It might be said that his only real friends were his stamps.

But then came his tenth birthday, when everything changed. It started with the mysterious package that arrived with his birthday cards; a package covered with stamps, back and front, stamps from every corner of the globe, so that it was impossible to tell which country it had come from. And there was no indication as to who had sent it. No sender's address, no signed note or card, just - on the front of the package, above the address - two words: For Doogie.

Listen now while I tell you what Doogie found inside the odd package, and of the first of his amazing adventures, and the unexpected friends (and one very powerful enemy) that he made during it and all the adventures that followed.