Surprise Guest at the Halloween Party

 

turkey

 

SURPRISE GUEST AT THE HALLOWEEN PARTY

by

Barbara Bockman

 

 

Tom Turkey looked through the chicken wire fence at the farmhouse. “Wish I could be at the Halloween Party.”

Tom pecked at the lock on the gate. Too hard

He fluttered up against the fence. Too high.

He scratched at the dirt, but the ground was hard as cement.

His wings might be weak, but he had gotten as fat as a pumpkin and he was strong. He pushed a box against the fence. He leaned the broomstick up against the creaky box and climbed up. Over he flew.

Tom was a hit at the party.

“See you at Thanksgiving.”

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Halloween Surprises, two stories by Barbara Bockman

Scarecrow

SURPRISE AT THE HALLOWEEN PARTY

by

Barbara Bockman

Scarecrow stood still and silent on his pole in the corn field. A witch glided in front of the big yellow moon on her broomstick.

                The farmhouse rang with loud laughter as the Halloween party got into full swing. Scarecrow saw kids bobbing for apples, roasting marshmallows, and carving pumpkins.  “I wish I could join in the fun,” muttered Scarecrow.

“Why don’t you?” asked the Thanksgiving Turkey. “I’m going.”

“Me, too,” said the Easter Bunny.

“I’m stuck here.”

The pole creaked as the Easter Bunny and Thanksgiving Turkey helped Scarecrow down.

They sure surprised everyone at the party.

 

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This is my entry to Susanne Leonard Hill’s Halloween story contest of 100 words or less.

These words are required to be in the stories: pumpkin, broomstick, creaky.

http://susannahill.blogspot.com/2014/10/the-4th-annual-halloweensie-writing.html
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This is another story for the contest. I will submit this one.
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turkey

SURPRISE GUEST AT THE HALLOWEEN PARTY

by

Barbara Bockman

Tom Turkey looked through the chicken wire fence at the farmhouse. “Wish I could be at the Halloween Party.”

Tom pecked at the lock on the gate. Too hard

He fluttered up against the fence. Too high.

He scratched at the dirt, but the ground was hard as cement.

His wings might be weak, but he had gotten as fat as a pumpkin and he was strong. He pushed a box against the fence. He leaned the broomstick up against the creaky box and climbed up. Over he flew.

Tom was a hit at the party.

“See you at Thanksgiving.”

 

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Words With Wings, my website

logo for website, Elexis King

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is to introduce you to my website, Words With Wings.

It has these pages: Home, About Me, My Stories, and My Books, which is the buy page.

You will find links to this blog, Stories a la Mode, and Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Coming soon: a link to the Pens and Brushes critique group blog.

My thanks go to Elexis King for the Logo as well as the banners on the Home Page and the Books page. Thanks to Mike Boehlein, of Alta Systems, the printer of WOUNDS. And thanks and hugs to my granddaughter, Jessica, for all kinds of input and assistance.

The address is:  www.barbarabockman.com

 

Review of Laura Sassi’s GOODNIGHT, ARK

Goodnight, Ark

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you like surprise endings, you will LOVE  Laura Sassi’s picture book, GOODNIGHT, ARK.

This new take on the story of Noah’s ark is written in short, pithy rhymes, beginning with:

Bed are ready.

Food is stored.

Noah hollers,

“All aboard!”

The storm bringing the rain that floats the boat is a bit scary. Some of the animals find it hard to sleep. Now for the surprise: But I’m not telling.

Eventually everyone gets back to bed and

Noah smiles

In the dark.

“Goodnight, friends.”

“Goodnight, Ark.”

Sometimes kids need to know that other people (and critters) have a hard time sleeping, but going to sleep can be fun. This is a special bedtime book.

The illustrations by Jane Chapman add a whimsical aspect to the story with pairs of some of the usual—and some unusual—animals on the ark. The double-spread outside view of the ark in the storm is quite beautiful.

I am happy to share with you that Laura and I are in a critique group together, Pens and Brushes. She is an excellent critiquer and has a beautiful blog, Laura Sassi Tales,   http://laurasassitales.wordpress.com/

Laura Sassi

 

 

Laura lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children, and a black Cockapoo named Sophie. She has a facility for telling humorous stories in rhyme. Her work has appeared in Highlights for Children, Cricket, Ladybug, Spider and Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse and Clubhouse Jr.

I recommend GOODNIGHT, ARK for people aged 3 and up.

It’s published by Zonderkidz and is available at your local bookstore and Amazon.

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sunshineaward

Lift Off to Literacy

kids reading

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s not too late for us to participate in the International Literacy Day, which was yesterday.

Not too late, you say?

No, because part of the program calls for a 60 day extension. It’s called “60 for 60.” The program organizers are asking teachers (and why not parents, grandparents, and kids?) to expand classroom literacy routines and further the mastery of language and literature by pledging to add an extra 60 seconds a day to engaging literacy activities for 60 days. And I’m saying it can be done at home, too.

I must thank Nancy Stewart, a fellow Guardian Angel Publishing colleague, for calling my attention to this program. (And I must apologize for being a few days late in looking at Nancy’s blog, Nancy Stewart Books: http://www.nancystewartbooks.blogspot.com/

For the “Lift off to Literacy,” the International Reading Association has partnered with NASA and Story Time From Space to make this year’s International Literacy Day fun and challenging. You can download the many suggestions made by different people at this site:

http://www.reading.org/Libraries/international-literacy-day/ild-activity-kit.pdf

Here is one of the ideas: For a 60-Day Story, the teacher can set a timer for 60 seconds and ask students to write without stopping. The next day, have them continue where they left off. At the end of 60 days, invite students to share their stories. –SW

Other ideas include magnetic letters, images, and poems.

11655623-doodle-sketch-rocket-vector-illustration, rocket

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kjell Lindgren, an astronaut, who will be lifting off to the International Space Station in a few months, is the spokesman for this year’s Literacy Day. He is very enthusiastic and has this to say, “Reading is like rocket fuel. It energizes the mind; it has the ability to propel us to our goals.”

I’ll bet the youngsters who participate in the “60 for 60” activities will come away just as enthusiastic as an astronaut and will make literacy “a lifelong habit.”

As Kjell Lindgren says, “Sixty seconds could change your life.”

 

Review of Penelope Anne Cole’s picture book, Ten Little Tricksters

 

You might have to scroll down to see my review.

Ten Little Tricksters by Penny Cole

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This cute counting book will delight little kids with its colorful illustrations and its rhythm and repetition.

But parents beware: Once the child has mastered its rhythmic chants, you will be hearing them over and over. The Tricksters are pictured by Kevin Scott Collier

to look like kids dressed up for trick or treating. They are more funny looking than scary. Penny says on her blog that Kevin’s artwork is a “special effect” for nighttime.

You can see how well it works in the cover illustration.

Penny has given over a complete page for each of the ten various creatures, starting with ten ghosties and counting down—not up—to  a lone pumpkin.

Let me give you a taste of the book:

Eight little monsters out on Halloween.

Run monsters!

Run monsters!

Shriek!

Shriek!

Shriek!

(The monsters have a family resemblance to Frankenstein). Another fun treat from Kevin is seeing an owl who lives in one of the houses, and of course, there is a spider web.

 

Penelope Anne Cole has taught and tutored at every grade level. She enjoys writing children’s stories for read aloud time. “Reading to children is the best way to help them love literature.” She has a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and an M.A. in Education.

When not writing stories or reviewing children’s books, Ms. Cole enjoys dog walking, reading, gardening, church and choir activities. Ms. Cole is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, the Fremont Area Writers of the CA Writers Club, and is a Certified Reading Therapist with Read America. Ms. Cole reviews books on her blog at

http://penelopeannecole.blogspot.com

 

TEN LITTLE TRICKSTERS is recommended for readers ages 4-7. It is available at Amazon.

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Stories a la Mode

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gold Seal

 

 

Review of Jayne Moraski’s pb How Alligator Got His Smile Back

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First I want to welcome Jayne Moraski to the the Guardian Angel Publishing Family.

Congratulations, Jayne, on publishing your first picture book.

 

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000444_00047]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What made alligator lose his smile in the first place? For the answer, we must take a look at this “just so” story made up by Jayne Moraski and illustrated by Carl Kocich.

HOW ALLIGATOR GOT HIS SMILE BACK begins in the murky past when Tadpole Frog and Alligator had no feet, only flippers. They lived in the water and Alligator smiled a lot. These two were friends and loved to play together until the Tadpole Frog became too boastful. He thought so highly of himself he didn’t realize Alligator let him win the race. Then eventually, Frog developed legs and hopped onto land, and his pride really took off. He sang, “Frogs are special. We are grand. We live in water and on land.”

This hurt Alligator’s feelings and Alligator cried and cried salty tears. He cried so much he turned the fresh-water swamp salty. The cypress trees had to pull away from the salty water.

Alligator’s friends, the little plover birds, asked the Great Spirit for help. The Great Spirit granted Alligator one wish. Alligator simply wanted to have legs. The wish was granted.

Now Alligator walks on land the same as Frog. And he SMILES! Frog wonders about that smile. And when he sees Alligator smiling that mysterious smile, he stops his loud croaking. There’s no boasting in Alligator’s presence.

The pictures by illustrator Carl Kocich are too pleasant to scare a little child. The early ones of the distant past give a dreamy cast to the atmosphere. And when Alligator cries, the reader feels sympathy for him. The bordering around each page is a bonus that adds to the beauty of the book.

Some of this story is made up, but the book also has interesting facts that make learning about swamps and amphibians (that’s what Frog is) and reptiles (Alligator is one) lots of fun. There are also suggestions for activities in which kids compare and contrast the two species in the book using textual clues. Some students in classrooms have already enjoyed doing the activities.

(A note about “just so” stories. That is the term Rudyard Kipling used when he made up pretend ways that animals changed from some original form to the one we know today. “The Elephant’s Child” or “How the Elephant Got its Trunk” is one of the best. I love this kind of story). Jayne calls her story a modern myth with a science twist.

HOW ALLIGATOR GOT HIS SMILE BACK is published by Guardian Angel Publishing and is available here: http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/alligator.htm

go ANGELS           and       go GATORS!

 

 

Gatsby’s Grand Adventure, 2, by Barbara Cairns

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We enjoyed Gatsby’s first grand adventure so much, I think we should take a look at his second.

If you remember, Gatsby is the cat that lives with Miss Annabelle. He just can’t resist jumping into the paintings in Miss Annabelle’s art gallery. His first adventure was with the boys playing snap the whip in Winslow Homer’s “Snap the Whip.” The second adventure, by Barbara Cairns, is titled Gatsby’s Grand Adventure, 2: August Renoir’s “The Apple Seller.”

Everything would be fine if Gatsby remembered to leave the paintings before daybreak. But sometimes, time gets away from him.

That’s what happened when Gatsby is chased up a tree by the little black dog in Pierre August Renoir’s “The Apple Seller.” The apple seller with her basket of apples, two little girls, and the mother of the two girls, run after the animals, and finally, one of the little girls scoops up the dog. He escapes from her, but in the meantime, Gatsby gets away and returns to the art gallery. UT OH! He left behind a mess!

It takes Gatsby two more nights of jumping into the painting to set things straight.

Eugene Ruble’s illustrations again show Gatsby as the enthusiastic, bouncy ball of grey and white fur. The line drawings filled with watercolor depict the scenery and characters of the story in pleasant pastels with lots of movement and activity. In contrast, the apple seller is dressed in dark colors and the little dog is black. The apples are a delicious red.

It’s a treat to see a small reproduction of Renoir’s “The Apple Seller,” rendered in the artist’s soft, feathery style. The biography of Renoir at the end of the book is an excellent introduction to this great artist.

Mrs. Cairns has promised us more adventures starring the inquisitive cat, Gatsby.

Gatsby Grand Adventures series can be found at Guardian Angel Publishing bookstore, as well as other bookstores.

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The Booker Award

Review of The Caterpillar and the Stone by Erec Stebbins

What sadness could be so great that it could wring tears from a stone?

Erec Stebbins has written a “love storybook for not-quite grown-ups” that delves into love, separation, and change. Yes, even deep love sometimes goes through devastating changes. And this applies not only to stones and caterpillars but to people as well.

The stone in question here was deeply in love with a caterpillar. She returned his love. The stone and the caterpillar lived a harmonious life in a beautiful garden. “. . . the stone loved the times when she (the caterpillar) rested on his back, because he liked to hold her high, and thought sometimes that she was the Queen of all the Garden.” The relationship was frowned on by the other stones and caterpillars; it just did not seem right to them.  But it felt right to the caterpillar and the stone.

Then trouble came into their paradise.

The stone had to go to work, filling a hole in the fence which the dog next door was digging bigger so he could come into the garden. When the stone was at work, the caterpillar visited with other caterpillars.

Gradually the caterpillar grew cold toward the stone. When she built a cocoon in a pine tree he asked to come with her. But she refused to allow him to go with her on her mysterious journey. She knew what she was doing was right for her. Even so, the stone was sad and promised to wait for her. But when she returned, she had changed. She was a butterfly and no longer desired the ways of before.

The butterfly flew with the others butterflies and for many years the stone mourned. Despair wrung tears from the stone.

He went to the Old Stone with questions. His old friend had no answers. He said, “On some, a great burden is placed, that they may grow wise, if they bear the weight.”

“For how long? Can I bear the weight, and not crack into lesser stones?”

“Who can tell? Have courage, young Stone, and seek to carry it to the end.”

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There is a lot of truth in this “fairy tale for not-quite adults”  and even, we must add, adults .

About the author/illustrator:

Erec Stebbins was born in the Midwest, spent his adolescence in the Deep South, and was educated in the Northeast. He received a degree in physics from Oberlin College in 1992, and a Ph. D in biochemistry from Cornell University in 1999. Presently, he lives and works in New York City as a scientist and professor in biomedical research at the Rockefeller University.

The beautiful illustrations in this book give the appearance of out-of-focus watery water colors. They do not follow the story line as in a picture book for young children, but give impressions of the garden that even the other gardens agreed was “the most beautiful of them all.”

THE CATERPILLAR AND THE STONE  is Available:

Kindle or paperback: Amazon.com

Hard back:

Twice Pi Press

contact information: TwicePiPress@gmail.com

 

Narrated iBook from Apple

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Guardian Angel Publishing New Releases

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Here is a great selection of books for young children coming from Guardian Angel Publishing. And You Parents will enjoy reading along side your kids, as well. You can count on GAP books to be exciting, wholesome, fun, and informative–with lots of heart.

Guardian Angel August 2013 Releases
Andy & Spirit in Search & Rescue Academic Wings hardcover edition
by Mary Jean Kelso, art KC Snider
Great Gobs of Gustation: The Sum of Our Parts  Book 8 Academic Wings
by Bill Kirk, art by Eugene Ruble
A rhyme which describes the sense of taste and how it works to help you tell what you like to eat and what you don’t. Book 8 of the Sum of our Parts anatomical educational series
Just Too Little  Littlest Angel
by Judith J. Miller, art Sonal Panse
At her grandparents farm Pam is too little to help with the chores.
Michael’s Safari Littlest Angel
by JennaKay Francis art by Craig Howarth
Michael takes an imaginary journey.
The New Puppy Animals & Pets
by Raelene Hall art by Kevin Collier, Gisele LaBlanc
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