Twelve-year-old twins Ozzie and Fee and nine-year-old Pete moved from the city to their granny’s farm, the Pumpkin Patch. The children couldn’t believe the ridiculous name of the nearby village – Frogsville. Thrust into a new and totally strange way of life, how were they ever to fit in?
Ozzie’s career as a singer was ruined. Fee, so proud to be the top student at her old school finds her new principal telling her that she will never amount to anything. And poor little Pete, such an angel but so lacking in confidence, becomes a laughing stock after disgracing himself at the Frogsville Show.
First the children badly misbehave in the hope that Granny will send then back to the city, but no way that was going to work. Bored, lonely and miserable what could they do next? The answer came in a most unexpected way.
‘As soon as the rain clears I will take you searching for pobblebonk frogs,’ Granny said one night. The children thought she was bonkers but it turned out such a creature did exist.
During the frog-spotting in Granny’s magic rainforest, the kids became fascinated with nature. Hey, this was a whole new world, even better than TV! As a result they set up the Pobblebonk Earth Detective Club. It gave them something to do.
Having received an inheritance, Granny supported the children’s venture. An old artists’ studio behind the house was converted into the beautiful Pobblebonk Detective Office. That will keep them out of my hair for a while, she thought.
One night soon after, a satchel landed on the wide wooden veranda. It contained a message from the Sherlock Holmes International Detective School. The children were not allowed to set up their precious Pobblebonk Earth Detective Club without proper training from the school, it said. And their behaviour must be excellent at all times. They must set a glowing example for other want-to-be detectives. Well that was one hard ask!
Meanwhile the detectives’ work led to a number of somewhat bizarre cases and adventures. Taught by Granny, a world expert on animal tracking, they became experts in the field of animal tracks and scats. (Scat is the word scientists use for animal you-know-what!)
Two cases, PooDunnit? and Poo Dun the Break-In?, had the people of Frogsville gasping in horror. Playing with animal poo, they thought? It did lead however to an award for Young Scientists of the Year.
Granny was going to work on a cruise boat on the remote north-western Australian coast. The detectives went with her and solved the case of a rogue crocodile that was terrorising boats in the area. In so doing they saved the life of an innocent croc that hung around their boat and which everyone on board came to love.
As part of their preparation for the case, the Pobblebonk Earth Detectives went to meet some crocodiles in the Northern Territory first. Here they met Sweetheart (or rather his stuffed remains), Australia’s most famous crocodile.
The people of Frogsville however, were rapt in the animals the children discovered in the course of their work. They begged the detectives to give a series of talks on Australian animals. Most didn’t even know that animals like the tree-kangaroo in this picture even existed.
For sure the detectives solved some tough cases, everyone agreed. The one thing they were really expert at, however, was getting into strife. Trouble was attracted to them like flies to a cow pat! Would their club that was now the most important thing in their lives survive or would the detective school shut it down?