Meet The Piggles

So who are the happydesigner Guinea Pigs?

If you keep up with the happydesigner social media channels (Facebook, Instagram or Twitter) you’ll have seen the stars of the happydesigner show; George, Bungle and Zippy! They now have their own page on this site, and they’re working hard with Sarah (although let’s face it, it’s mostly the Piggles!) on the new Guinea Pig Detective story, The Case of the Missing Carrot.

children illustration

As it happens, The Case of the Missing Carrot, which is written by Joanne Livesey, is coming soon!

Gordon the Guinea Pig Detective

“Gordon the guinea pig was clever and kind; he had long, ginger fur and a big, round behind”

Gordon is a Guinea Pig with a talent for solving crimes. As it happens, there’s a crime taking place on his farm! The rabbit has lost her carrot, the donkey has mislaid some straw and someone has taken some wool from the sheep’s back! Who can have committed these crimes, and can Gordon find the criminal or will you guess them first? Don’t forget to keep an eye on on each page for Gordon’s favourite snack, his broccoli! He leaves a piece on every page especially for you to find. So, what are you waiting for? Time to crack this case!

This charming book contains a lovely, rhyming story that will delight children and have them scratching their heads as they search for clues! Can you solve the crime before Gordon does?

guineapig-illustration-childrens book

Norman Gorman’s Sanctuary

Two of our studio piggles came from a sanctuary called Norman Gorman’s Guinea Pig Sanctuary. Norman Gorman’s are based in Liskeard, Cornwall, and have some great advice and tips for anyone who wants a Guinea Pig as a pet. Whilst we love having George, Bungle and Zippy in our studio painting for us, some piggles don’t like a life of oils and paw-painting. Some piggles like all day long cuddles, and some prefer to squeak around telling you about their day.

children-book-illustration Even though they are small, they are still a lifestyle choice and it is great to know what having a piggle entails before you take one on, so that you don’t have to take it back to the (frankly awesome) people at Norman Gorman’s. If you do take your piggle there hopefully it is just to show off what a lovely piggle you have, and get cuddles from the volunteers! So, with this in mind, we’ve borrowed some info from the Norman Gorman’s website and put together a little fact checker about these lovely little fluffballs.

1. First up. What is  Guinea Pig?!

Guinea Pigs, or domestic Cavies, have their origins in South America. They are classed as small rodents and can make excellent pets for adults and children alike.

2. How do I look after my Guinea Pig?

Guinea Pigs require damp-free and weatherproof accommodation, which can be either inside or outdoors, and they will also appreciate an outdoor run on a grassy lawn during fine weather. Guinea Pigs love a suntan but you must ensure they have shade and fresh water or they’ll end up all frazzled and believe me, they’ll blame you for it! Their living areas should be kept clean, and the best way to do this is to remove their dirty bedding as often as possible. They don’t like sheets filled with biscuit crumbs any more than you do!

3. That’s all well and good but my piggle is hungry. Piggles don’t like being hungry, and he’s now gnawing on my sandwich. What do I feed him?

They eat a combination of hay, grasses, fruit and vegetables and, like humans, require a daily intake of vitamin C to keep them healthy. Pellet feed is also advisable to help with vitamin C supply and tooth health. Guinea Pigs’ teeth do grow very long if you don’t keep an eye – they may be growing older but you don’t want them to be too long in the tooth!childrens-book-illustrator

4. What about if my piggle gets a cold?

Guinea Pigs are relatively robust pets and do not require vaccinations. However, veterinary intervention may be required should your piggy become ill as they can be susceptible to abscess infections. It is also very important to keep teeth and nails healthy and in good condition. Your piggle is very fashion-conscious and loves a good manicure!

5. I appear to have rescued all of your piggles…I couldn’t resist. Are they going to be ok together?

They enjoy living in pairs or small groups.  A neutered male may live happily with females and two entire (not neutered) males can live happily together as long as they are not in the vicinity of females. You don’t want them twiddling their bow ties to out-do one another for the lady’s attention. Introductions should be carefully managed in all cases, because they aren’t rude creatures and prefer to shake paws first.children's illustration

6. So I’ve rescued my piggle. How many years do we have together?

The average lifespan of a Cavy is 7 years but can be considerably longer. It is important to consider having a Guinea Pig as a long-term commitment which may last a decade. You may wish to show your commitment with some kind of ring, or perhaps a nice potted plant.

Remember, if you ever get stuck or need any help at all, Norman Gorman’s Guinea Pig Sanctuary are delighted to offer advice on all aspects of care for the life of your guinea pig and will always accept the Guinea Pig back if it ever becomes necessary. Never take on more than you can handle and make sure that if you do start to struggle, always ask for help.


Hopefully you’ve learned something today, and maybe we’ve swung you in favour of getting the Guinea Pig of your dreams! If so (or even if not) but you love animal detective stories (who doesn’t?!) make sure you keep an eye out for clever Gordon and his detecting abilities!


Norman Gormans Guinea Pig Sanctuary

A few of my previous clients

happydesigner clients

  • “Sarah’s advice has been invaluable, she could have just illustrated my first attempt but knew there was more to be had from the story and pointed me towards the right help." – Darron Jon Love

  • "Sarah quickly understood what I wanted to achieve and the look I was after. Sarah kept me informed and brought me into the whole process” – Darron Jon Love

  • Sarah really understood the brief right from the beginning and has been able to translate my ideas and mental images, that at times were quite specific, into magical illustrations that are better than I’d ever hoped. She has absolutely nailed it!” – Gareth Edwards

  • "It's been great working with Sarah as our illustrator! She's been so great in taking all feedback on board and delivers work of the highest standard. Would 100% recommend :-)" - Michelle Gibbs, Doodle Dozen Series
  • Sarah has a great insight into how to best produce a children’s book and is really helpful in getting you there! I really cannot recommend Sarah enough – brilliant designer, friendly and professional. The experience has been a great one!“ – Jodie Jackson
  • “Sarah was lovely to work with and keen to make sure that the illustrations were a perfect match for the story. It’s obvious that she really cares about her work and wants you, the author, to be happy with the final results.” – Marion Adams

  • Sarah is professional, friendly and very knowledgeable, she delivered 100% with a new logo that was spot on! We can't recommend her enough!” - Lucy @ Get Active

  • "Outstanding illustrator with exceptional talent. You couldn’t wish for a better artist, as it would be impossible to find. Such a spectacular gifted designer who is always happy!" - Rachel Lake

  • “Books arrived safely today- I am absolutely delighted with how they look – I can’t thank you enough – you’ve made my dream come true :)” – Jane Collins

  • “I was so nervous ringing you as i've never done anything like this before, but you were so friendly and put me completely at ease.” - Donna Purvis

  • Sarah is an extremely talented designer and illustrator. She has that rare gift of being able to find something in your business or character that you never knew existed" Craig Green

  • "She has a keen eye for the quirky detail, she is punctual and a joy to work with. I simply cannot praise her enough.” - Clickety Books

  • "Thank you both so much for your hard work and dedication. Sarah is a fantastic illustrator! It is nice to know I have worked with someone who is so professional at her job, and will certainly remember her for the future if I need another book illustrating."
  • “Thank you, Sarah, for the amazing work you did on the illustrations for my book. Working with you has been so easy thanks to your enthusiasm, flexibility, support, professionalism and, of course, the amazing quality of your work." – Stuart Neath

  • "Sarah is amazing - very fast at understanding the requirements, great pictures and never too much trouble. I recommend her wholeheartedly" - Fernando Caldeira-Saraiva
  • "I hope my recommendation will persuade you to use Sarah! I cannot fault her, for her professionalism, enthusiasm and talent." - Michelle Hawkins, Director: The Flying DoDo

  • "I can’t speak highly enough of Sarah! She has brought Roopert Snoopert to life in a way I could never have imagined.
    The illustrations are fantastic! Sarah keeps you update with progress from the draft stage right through to sign off." - Paul Micklewright
  • "The logos are absolutely fantastic, they are spot on brief and are even better than we imagined!Paolo Pini, Step Up To Languages

  • "Sarah loves her work, her friendly ‘can do’ approach is reassuring whether you’re on your first or tenth book."  – Darron Jon Love
  • "WOW! Love it! I'm so happy with what you've produced- and with so little input from me. FANTASTIC!!! THANK YOU” - Darren Pascoe: 'Red Rabbit Book'

  • “Sarah’s re-branding of my business has given it a much needed fresh and quirky feel. She provided us with an extremely friendly courteous and efficient service and injected an energy into the project, that only Sarah could.” – Discovery Leisure

  • "These posters and flyers are perfect”
    - Julia G, Manager at the Truro branch of Pets at Home

  • "Sarah understood what I was looking for and produced a fantastic logo for me.  She is very approachable and friendly – I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her” Katie Jarvis, Fancy Prints

  • “When we first contacted Sarah, Dainty Dizzy was a concept;  an idea to be shaped into a brand.  Sarah took this idea and illustrated it perfectly….and our brand look and feel was born.” – Dainty Dizzy

  • “I am so happy that I found Sarah to bring my book to life. Sarah took the time to listen and really made the effort to make sure that I was happy and her brilliant designs translated the words of my book into a beautiful visual story." - Jodie Jackson

  • "I am absolutely thrilled with the colours and love the look and overall feel of the book, its so different and unique, thank you so much"