The Yoghurt Plot

"Time travel, family, consequences and yoghurts. Oh, and gerbils."
The Yoghurt Plot by Fleur Hitchcock

Time travel, family, consequences and yoghurts. Oh, and gerbils.

‘I don’t want my life controlled by a fridge.’

Humming in the kitchen of Bugg and Dilan’s new home is a huge, mysterious fridge. Even when Bugg turns off the power, the light stays on. Plus, it’s full of strange-looking yoghurts in glass jars with wax-paper lids. Should they? Shouldn’t they? They do, but the yoghurts take them back to 1974.

What follows is a desperate scramble across time and space, in which the siblings discover a 40-year-old time crime and become painfully aware that small changes they make in the past can have huge consequences for their future. Aided and hindered by go-for-it gerbil-fancier Lorna, they try to put everything back in order before time – and the yoghurts – run out completely.

Another delightful, family-friendly adventure from the author of the Sunday Times Children’s Book of the Week, SHRUNK!

Publication Date:
ISBN Paperback: 9781471403248
ISBN Ebook: 9781471403255



Fleur Hitchcock

Born in Chobham, by an airfield, and raised in Winchester on the banks of the river Itchen, Fleur Hitchcock grew up as the youngest child of three. When she was eight, she wrote a story about an alien and a jelly. It was called THE ALIEN AND THE JELLY and filled four exercise books. She grew up a little, went away to school near Farnham, studied English in Wales, and, for the next twenty years, sold Applied Art in the city of Bath. When her younger child was seven, she embarked on the Writing for Young People MA at Bath Spa and graduated with a distinction. Now living outside Bath, between parenting and writing, Fleur Hitchcock works with her husband, a toy-maker, looks after other people's gardens and grows vegetables.

Fleur's debut novel SHRUNK! was THE SUNDAY TIMES 'Book of the Week', and you can follow her at: or on Twitter: @fleurhitchcock


I turn the yoghurt upright, hold my breath and peel back the corner of the foil. Nothing happens. It doesn't explode - nothing climbs out of the pot. We peer inside. 'It looks exactly like ordinary yoghurt,' says Dilan. 'There was no pft when you took off the top; it's fine.' He looks disappointed. 'It isn't even full of alien bacteria, unless alien bacteria don't act immediately and are in fact slow-release alien bacteria. Like one of those plug-in air fresheners.' I ignore Dilan and stare into the pot. 'Dare you,' he says. 'Dare you back,' I say. 'Double dare,' he says. So I take a spoon from the drawer and dip it into the yoghurt. A yellowy blob trembles on the bowl of the spoon. 'Double double triple dare,' he says, his eyes wide and fixed on my mouth. 'OK,' I say, and drop the yoghurt onto my tongue. Nothing happens. Nothing - except that, not to be outdone, Dilan rips the lid from his pot. His is a mild lilac colour. He plunges the spoon deep inside and takes almost half the contents in a single mouthful. 'That -' he says. 'That's delicious - best yoghurt I've ever tasted.' I dip the spoon deeper into my pot. I can't work out the taste. Is it peach - or pear? Or maybe apricot? I peer at the outside of the pot. The label really doesn't tell me anything. There isn't even a company name, and the picture is so indistinct it might as well be a fried egg. And then I see faint numbers on the side. A one, a nine, a seven and a four. '1974?' I say, pointing to the pot. 'It can't be that old.' Dilan tilts his yoghurt and examines it. He stares for a long time, long enough for me to scrape the last smears from the inside of my pot and then run my tongue around the inside, just to make sure. 'It might say 1-9-7-4 - but it can't be a sell-by date. They hadn't invented them then. We studied that in food tech. Perhaps it's some sort of inspection code. You know, like clothes have numbers on them, to say who checked them.' I shrug. I look towards the countertop, where the other six yoghurts are. Except they're not there. The countertop's not there either. 'Dilan,' I whisper. 'What?' he says, running his tongue around the inside of his yoghurt pot. 'Look.' 'What at?' I gaze around at what ought to be our kitchen. 'Everything.'