The book is set in an average kind of nursery. The main characters are all 4 years old so are in the room for children aged 3-5 years old. There are staff who are sometimes seen: They are stressed out wrecks with wild hair and dizzy eyes that have seen many many terrible things.
Alice was playing busily in Happy Bunnies Nursery when her friends Greg and Chuck rushed up to her.
Alice is tinkering with an extremely complicated machine.
“It's terrible! It's a disaster!” Said Chuck. Chuck said that about most things.
“Or it might all be fine!” Suggested Greg.
“Have you heard the news?” asked Chuck. “Next week We're getting a new Manager to run the nursery!”
“The old one wasn't well.” Added Greg. “Lots of little pains in the neck apparently.”
Alice looked annoyed.
“How come none of the grown ups have told us about it yet?” She said. “Just like that lot.”
“And we've just got the teachers trained” Said Alice.
We see the staff behind Alice. 3 staff huddled together in the corner of the room, clutching mugs of coffee and looking stressed out.
“I've heard she's got some funny ideas” Said Chuck.
“Princess used to go to her old place.” Said Greg. “Said it was too weird for her.”
“Hmm...” Replied Alice. “I suppose we'll just have to wait until Monday and see if we want to keep her.”
We see the 3 children talking and Princess in the background. Princess is a girl in the frilliest pink princess outfit, with heeled play shoes and tiara.
A double page spread of the new look nursery. Captioned: Monday. The room is divided into 2 halves: A pink half for girls and a non-pink half for boys, with the toys on their stereotypical sides and pink or non-pink whenever possible. The children are in the foreground looking at their new Head Teacher.
Mrs Marigold Monkey-Fright Looks very stern and old fashioned. She wears rather large glasses and gives the appearance of somebody who once smiled, but didn't like it much so sees no point in doing it again.
The new Head Teacher spoke loudly: “My name is Mrs Marigold Monkey-Fright. From now on the girls will play with proper girls toys made for little ladies. Girls things must be pink, and ideally fluffy with bows and pictures of fairies or princesses on. Boys can play with everything else.”
“Any child playing on the wrong side of the room will be punished! You children have to know your place!!!!”
Alice wanders through the pink half of the room looking at the equipment.
Alice looked around the girls side of the room and didn't like what she saw.
“A pink chair I can understand, but a pink house with pink walls and roof and doors?”
“A pink elephant?!”
“There's even a pink globe with pink sea! That's ridiculous!”
Alice stands on the edge of the pink area and looks at the boy's toys. Tiny, a small girl is crying.
Then Alice looked at the boy's side of the room and started getting angry.
“Girls get pink with maybe a bit of purple and white, while the boys get blue, green, red, yellow, brown, black, orange... They've even got elephants that are elephant coloured!”
“And she took Mr Wubbles away because I touched something blue!” Said Tiny, crying.
Alice, Greg and chuck meet at the join of the 2 sides. Alice is red with anger.
“I'm not having this.” said Alice turning red, meaning she was technically on the wrong side of the room.
“Agreed” Said Greg. “The new Head Teacher will have to go.”
“But why did she think it was a good idea?” Asked Alice.
“You could try asking the Wise One. He's on the climbing frame.” Suggested Chuck.
“Good idea.” Said Alice, and off she went.
Alice is going to see the Wise One in the garden when she meets Princess. Behind them we can see the climbing frame with the Wise One just visible at the top.
“Hello Princess.” Said Alice as they met in the garden, which was still unchanged by the new Head Teacher. “You must be pretty happy now everything's turned pink.”
“Not really.” Said Princess. “I wear pink because I like pink. I don't want to be made to have just pink stuff. I was going to be a Princess tyrannosaurs today and everybody knows that Princess tyrannosauruses are green.”
Princess thought for a second and added “Maybe I should sneak into the boy's bit and wear the tyrannosaurus outfit so I can eat Mrs Monkey-Fright?”
“I'm going to see the Wise One about her.” Said Alice. “Maybe keep that idea as Plan B.”
Pages 11 & 12.
Alice has just climbed up the climbing frame to see the Wise One. The climbing frame has become slightly mountain-like with wisps of cloud passing underneath them both. The wise one sits cross-legged and looks serene as he answers Alice's question.
After many hours of hard climbing, Alice reached the top of the Wise One's mountain.
“Have you heard what's going on?” She asked.
“Yes. I hear everything.” Replied the Wise One.
“So why” asked Alice, “Does Mrs Monkey-Fright think all girls should only have pink stuff?”
“Grown ups are fascinating things.” Began the Wise One. “They can drive cars, work computers, build rockets, get things out of high cupboards, but there's one thing you need to remember about grown ups.”
“What?!” Asked Alice.
“No matter how clever and sensible they are normally, they can still sometime behave like complete twits!” Said the Wise One. “Pink is just a colour, and toys are just toys. Anybody can play with anything.”
“Hmmm...” Said Alice. “I think we should have a meeting. Usual place.”
Lots of the children gather for the secret meeting in the play house, though it looks a bit like an board room. There is Chuck, Alice, Greg, Princess, the Wise One, Puddles, and a few others. There are plans and diagrams all around.
“So she has to go.” said Alice. “That's been decided. The suggestions so far are: Scare her away, get her eaten by dinosaurs, or my plan.”
“Your plan!” Agreed everyone.
“We'll need a distraction to let me get into the office. ” Said Alice.
“Leave that to me.” Volunteered Puddles.
Most Head Teachers like to sleep in their office all day, between tea breaks, and Mrs Marigold Monkey-Fright was no exception. When she was spotted through the office window the plan was put into action.
Alice tiptoed past the guards as Puddles did her thing.
Puddles makes a puddle under herself. The 3 members of staff crowd round her as Alice sneaks past their backs. We can see the door of the office area behind them all.
In the hallway outside the office there were boxes of children's things that were confiscated after their owners had been caught breaking the rules. Mr Wubbles the bear, Quack the duck, Lumpy the...whatever Lumpy was, a box of blankets, and a whole pile of dummies.
Alice was as quiet as a mouse in slippers when she crept up to the sleeping Head Teacher, who had taken off her glasses while she slept.
The plan was put into action...
Alice reaches out towards the sleeping teacher's glasses.
A little later on all the children were playing in the nursery room, waiting for the fun to begin.
“I think eaten by dinosaurs would have been better.” Said Princess. “And they're endangered now so they need all the teachers they can eat.”
Mrs Monkey-Fright's glasses are coated in see-through green paint.
Mrs Marigold Monkey-Fright came rushing out of her office.
“Everything's gone green! I can only see green!!!!” She screamed. “Green furniture, green children, green toys! Aaaaaarghhh!!!!”
Tiny held on to Mr Wubbles tightly and smiled.
Page 19 & 20
A double page spread of the nursery room as seen through Mrs Monkey-Fright's glasses.
“Green, GREEN, GREEN!” Shouted the head teacher. “If I can't see whether things are pink or not how will I be able tell what things boys and girls can use?! There'll be girls playing with brown things! BROWN! And boys with PINK toys!
She then screamed at the top of her voice and ran around panicking for ages until she tired herself out.
Alice takes Mrs Monkey-Fright by the hand.
“Never mind Mrs Monkey-Fright” Said Alice calmly. “Does it really matter if boys and girls play with whatever colour they want?”
“But how will they know if they're a boy or a girl?” Said the Head Teacher meekly.
Alice smiled and told her “They'll know themselves. And when everybody is able to play with anything that they want to, it doesn't really matter if they're boys or girls! Now go have a cup of tea and everything will be alright.
Captioned “Next Week.” The nursery has bee changed back to normal. Greg, Chuck, Princess and Alice are talking and playing. Princess has another pink princess dress on, but also a monster mask and tiara.
“I'm glad everything is back to normal.” Said Greg.
“And that new Head Teacher Mrs Bumslide seems nice enough.” Said Chuck.
“Muph-gmuff-bram-buff?” Asked Princess Monster.
“Mrs Monkey-Fright? She's settled in nicely as one of our regular teachers.” Alice replied, “Grown ups are useful...”
Pages 23 & 24
“...they just have to know their place.”
We see the 3 staff once again huddled shambolically at the side of the room. Mrs Monkey-Fright has joined them looking as stressed out as them and tightly hugging a teddy bear that looks a bit like Mr Wubbles.