VISITING Windsor for the first time can be overwhelming - especially for a toddler.

But Karen Appleton, of Clewer Avenue, Windsor, has come up with the answer - a unique guide book for small children.

Her book follows the adventures of five 'garden friends' - a robin, a worm, a spider, a frog and a mollusc - who get into humorous scrapes, while discovering the sites and attractions of the town.

Their trip round Windsor is informative, funny and also contains subtle lessons about how people with different backgrounds can work together.

Mrs Appleton, 56, said: "Without each other my five characters would not have nearly as much fun. At one point the worm gets stuck in a tuba and blown out into a soldier's busby during the changing of the guard.

"Roberta the robin has to hook him out. She carries him round Windsor in her mouth. They all help each other."

Mrs Appleton used to be a nurse and was the project manager responsible for the setting up of the Parapet breast clinic at King Edward VII Hospital - working as its clinical co-ordinator for nine years.

She went on to work as office manager for Slough's former long serving MP Fiona Mactaggart.

She is married to Paul Appleton, an engineer at Siemens and is mum to daughters Jessica, 23 and Beth, 20. Jessica is a graphic designer who worked on the book with her mother, while Beth is training to be a nurse.

Mrs Appleton decided to set up her own company after finding she had time on her hands when Fiona Mactaggart retired.

The result was the company Tot Map and Tales Ltd which is publishing her toddlers' travel guide - entitled The Changing of the Guard.

She has already received orders for the book from Windsor Tourist Information Office, the Farm Shop at Windsor Castle and several shops.

You can meet Mrs Appleton at Foggs - the Daniel department store's travel themed family restaurant in Peascod Street on Saturday from 10am to noon.

For more information about the characters and where to buy the book please visit