knowonder, the literacy magazine


Scheherazade has nothing on knowonder! magazine. You can entertain your children every night with a new story from this magazine that contains 30 new stories each month.

Mommy and child reading

Child and Mommy reading

About knowonder!

Knowonder is a leading publisher of engaging, daily content that drives literacy, the most important factor in a child’s success.

Ultimately, knowonder’s mission is to eradicate illiteracy and improve education success through content that is affordable, accessible, and effective.

Learn more at






Preface: from the featured Author, Holly Stacey

People always ask me how I come up with my stories. The problem has never been what to write next, but which one to write next. With a background in archaeology (digging up ancient stuff is great inspiration) and museums (galleries filled with items; each one a wealth of tales), it’s not difficult to find inspiration. Okay, okay, and BOOKS. Lots and lots of books. It’s what got me interested in history and folklore, dragons, adventure, travel…

Books from my childhood mostly came from the library; a small, ramshackle place called Ruth Bach Library. It was located (kid you not) in a park. Getting there meant walking a bit past a grove of trees, over a bridge, a small field (well, baseball field), up a path and then into those glistening glass doors to where a whole world of adventure awaited. Small booklets, heavy tomes, cooking books, cuddly toy books, archaeology books (my personal favourite), fairytales…

So if, like me, you long for adventure, just sit back, relax, grab your favourite cuddly toy and a warm cocoa. Then pick up your latest knowonder! anthology and step into a portal of magical fun.


Holly Stacey // Staff Writer

knowonder! publishing

Here is a thumbnail sketch of each of the 30 stories in Volume 3:


p. 6. Nerissa’s Celebration, by Holly Stacey (featured author).

Mermaid Nerissa wants pearls for a new gown to wear to the festival. But in her impatience, she encounters an adventure. She rescues the oysters from bad men and the Red Tide. And though the oysters give her their pearls, she finds that it is better to have friends than a new dress.

p. 13. Just Plain Sarah Jane, by Nancy Julien Kopp.

Sarah Jane saves to buy a pretty dish for Ma. But a boy gets it and gives it to Annabelle, who doesn’t really appreciate it. Sarah Jane may be plain, but she plainly deserves the dish. Do you think she gets it?

p. 22. I Want My Own Monster, By Susan Sundwall.

Teena makes a list of qualifications and gets her own monster, Trevor.

p.27. To Be or No To Be a Princess, by Kathy Stattem Rygg.

Jetta Rose is a different princess every day: Like Cinderella she walks with one shoe; like Rapunzel she wears a yellow hair ribbon for hair; like Sleeping Beauty she sleeps all day. But if she were really a princess what are her specialties? Twirling, gliding, bowing.

p. 32. Kabungo and the Pumpkin, Part One, by Rolli.

Quote: “ I actually hadn’t seen too much of Kabungo since she’d fallen in love with Bun, her new kitten. … I’ve noticed that when people are in love they act like they’re in a snow globe. You can shake it as hard as you want and they just go on floating and smiling. Well, it’s the same with cavegirls and kittens….”  Beverly and friend, cave girl Kabungo, go to Miss VeDore’s for pumpkins; both Miss VeDore and Kabungo disappear, so Beverly goes into the house, nervous … to be continued.

p. 39. Dance Walking, by Kevin J. Doyle.

Ella finds she can do something new because her friend Marley stands by her.

p. 46. Roly-Poly Fat Cat, by Rolli.

This Very Funny take on the Gingerbread Boy story is hilarious.

p. 51. Ellie the Zoo, by Tracy Helixon.

Ellie pretends to be different animals, but her brother doesn’t want to play along. Will honey with biscuits lure him into becoming a bear?

p. 55. Bot-in-a-box, by David Welsh.

Alva throws away the directions for Box-E, so what kind of robot will emerge from his impromptu workings?

p. 63. Blackbird and Owl, by Tracey Glasspool.

This is a sweet soft story. Two opposites become friends and find a way to be together.

p. 67. Princess Piggy, by Holly Stacey.

A spoiled princess gets taught a lesson by her fairy godmother. A MOST unexpected ending. Beautifully written.

p. 72. Zora Zooms from Planet Zot, by Teresa DiNicola.

In her anger (that Mumby spends so much time with baby Nog), Zora flies away in her mini-rocket pod, but returns home to Mumby’s loving arms.

p. 75. The Small World, by Rolli.

Life is tough in the Tall World. But the secret is that there’s a Small World, too. And it’s even better.

p. 77. The Boy With the Lead Boots, by David Turnbull.

Finally Mike lets his new friends Marco, Kaz, and Emma, join in the fun of the secret of his lead boots.

p. 86. Mirinda’s Gift, by Holly Stacey.

With only three shells in her mer-purse, Princess Merinda, a mermaid, has to get a job to make her father a new robe.

p. 92. Where are the Ducklings? By Adelaide B. Shaw.

Eleven baby ducklings fall into the story drain. How will frantic Molly Duck get her babies back?

p. 96. A Damselfly in Distress, by Erin Fanning.

(Pretend )Knight Ian rescues a damselfly that got sloshed by water churned by his kayak.

p. 100. The First Snowflake, by Elliot Anderson.

Buford Bear is the slowest animal in the forest. Does he have a chance to catch the first snowflake with so many fast friends competing in the annual contest?

p. 109. A Puzzling Surprise, by Kathy Stattem Rygg.

When Lucy and Alex put their giant floor puzzle together,  Pirate Captain Buzzard, and his parrot, Pickles, step out of it.

p. 114. Martian Cookies, by Tina Holt.

Schoolgirl, Maddie, goes to her sitter’s house after school because her mother has a new job. The day goes nicely for her when she pretends Miss Becky is a Martian and serves her Martian cookies.

p. 118. Dr. Franklin’s Staticy Cat, by Rolli.

Here is a fanciful way of telling how Dr. Benjamin Franklin discovered electricity. And all because he needed to cure his cat from being staticy.

p. 126. A Dark and Stormy Night, by Christine Collier.

Calla visits her grandmother, and on a dark and stormy night, she solves an old mystery and makes her grandmother very happy.

p. 131. Robert’s Shirt is Gone, by Laurel T. Sheridan.

It’s hard for Robert to admit that his favorite green t-shirt—the one he wears all day, to eat in, to play in, to sleep in—has stretched WAAAY to big.

p. 134. Beware of the Dragon! by Teresa DiNicola.

A LITTLE lizard causes a BIG commotion, but friendships are made in the end.

p. 137. Polly Porcupine’s Prickly Problem, by Max Elliot Anderson.

Polly wants to eat clover, climb trees, and shoot quills like the “other” porcupines. But she eats bugs, cannot climb and her quills are stuck tight. But wait … she’s a —–!

p. 144. Kabungo & the Pumpkin, Part Two, by Rolli.

Remember, we left Beverly as she was just entering Miss VeDore’s house. Once inside, she finds Kabungo having tea with Miss VeDore. After tea, Beverly and Kabungo take their pumpkins home (well, Kabungo’s goes to her cave).

p. 152. Harry, A Prince of a Dog, by Suzanne Purvis.

If one kiss can break one spell what can two kisses do? Read this highly original and heartwarming story to find out.

p. 161. Ellie’s Art Rocks! by Kai Strand.

Check this story out for a fun craft for your kids.

Don’t have enough money to buy a pass to the pool? Ellie paints rocks to sell to earn the money and has fun doing it. Ellie’s art, rocks.

p. 166. Sapphire and Weld, by Holly Stacey.

Another of Holly’s enchanting and enchanted mermaid stories. The good girl is rewarded with pearls and the selfish girl punished by having a frog attached to her head.

p. 174. The Grasshoppers Who Learned to Sings, by Lisa Barrass.

Lots of adventure when Cup Cake Sally sprinkles fairy dust on Polly, Lucas, and Ella when they visit Tickle Belly Alley Cottage.


What is a Read-Aloud story?

knowonder! stories are Read-Aloud stories.

In fact, the whole knowonder! Literacy Program is built up around this core difference.

Read-aloud stories and picture books are very different from each other. Both are needed, but they provide very different benefits. Picture books are a wonderful literacy tool, but consider for a moment how reading stories out loud to your children from a young age can provide these key benefits:

Key Benefits

Consider these key benefits of read-aloud stories:

– Listening skills are built

– Concentration improves as children learn to sit still and focus

– Comprehension and understanding of events (cause and effect relationships) is


– Imagination is actively exercised as children imagine the scenes, characters and

worlds the words create

– Vocabulary is increased as children discover new words

– A child’s ability to guess meanings of new words grows

– Children become more confident because they know they are cared for and loved

and because they can express their thoughts and needs

– Children are better-enabled to make friends and good relationships because their

communication skills are increased

– Learning in all subjects becomes much easier because the brain is literally being

wired to learn and take in new information

– Family bonds are strengthened and reinforced, creating an atmosphere of love, trust

and communication in the home which will last a lifetime

While it can be said that many of these benefits come from picture books, most of them are developed much better, faster, and deeper with read-aloud stories. When you consider the sum-total of all these benefits, it’s easy to see why reading to your child every day from birth is the single-most important thing a parent can do to ensure a child’s success in life, socially, mentally and financially.

to learn more, visit:

Monday Metaphor: Paradox; It Is, and It Isn’t, or Is It?

A paradox is a statement or event that seems to contradict itself, though it is still true, or at least makes sense.

In A dictionary of Literary Terms, (3rd ed. Blackwell, 1991), J. A. Cuddon explains the origin: “Originally a paradox was merely a view which contradicted accepted opinion. By round about the middle of the 16th c. the word has acquired the commonly accepted meaning it now has: an apparently self-contradictory (even absurd) statement which, on closer inspection, is found to contain a truth reconciling the conflicting opposites. . . .”                                                    

Paradox occurs often in children’s literature, even that for the very young, as is seen in Betty Ann Schwartz’s What makes a Rainbow? In this board book, a little rabbit’s mother suggests he ask his friends to answer his question. Each animal replies with a color—the color that is associated with the particular animal, “green” for the grasshopper, for instance. By the end of the book, Little Rabbit learns that besides colors it also takes both rain and sunshine to make a rainbow.

The child in Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Bed in Summer” (found in A Child’s Garden of Verses) finds the long summer days and the long winter nights to be a paradox:


In winter I get up at night

And dress by yellow candlelight.

In summer, quite the other way,

I have to go to bed by day.


I have to go to bed and see

The birds still hopping on the tree,

Or hear the grown-up people’s feet

Still going past me in the street.


And does it not seem hard to you,

When all the sky is clear and blue,

And I should like so much to play,

To have to go to bed by day?


The paradox of Jessica Aday Kennedy’s Marta’s Garguantian Wings (Guardian Angel Publishing) is that the wings that Marta thinks are a liability are really an asset.

The antics of Artemis Fowl (paradoxical name: does this mean he hunts for foul people?) keep the Middle Grade Reader hopping among alien robots, fairies and dwarfs and imps, multiple personalities, and real stuff like global warming. In Eoin Cofler’s “Time Paradox,” Artemis (now fifteen years of age) and his friends  journey to the past to correct a mistake Artemis made about eight years earlier in his eventful life. His mother has contracted a rare disease that can only be cured by an extract from the brain of an extinct lemur, and ironically, that extinction was hastened by none other than Artemis himself. It will be interesting to see how Artemis battles with himself.

Paradox abounds in adult poetry and fiction, also.

We find in the Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson many examples.


On the bleakness of my lot

            Bloom I strove to raise.

Late, my acre of a rock

            Yielded grape and maize.


Soil of flint if steadfast tilled

            Will reward the hand;

Seed of palm by Lybian sun

            Fructified in sand.



I many times thought peace had come,

When peace was far away;

As wrecked men deem they sight the land

At centre of the sea,


And struggle slacker, but to prove,

As hopelessly as I,

How many the fictitious shores

Before the harbor lie.


There’s the “rule” painted on the barn in George Orwell’s Animal Farm: “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.” The idea of being “more equal” is paradoxical, but Napoleon oppresses the other farm animals; he must think he’s more equal than they.

Consider also the paradox of Captain Beatty in Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. Books have been banned, and Beatty’s job is to destroy any books he finds, but he is obviously well-read because he surrounds himself with quotations from great literature that he uses to convince people that destroying books is the right thing to do.

Shakespeare was the master of paradox.

In Romeo and Juliet, Benvolio speaks,

“One fire burns out another’s burning, 
One pain is lessen’d by another’s anguish.”

And Juliet: “Parting is such sweet sorrow. . .”

This brings up a sub-genre of paradox, the oxymoron, a figure of speech wherein contradictory statements reside side by side.

In Macbeth, the witches say, “Fair is foul, and foul is fair.”

The Paradox of Catch-22
“There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that concern for one’s own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn’t have to; but if he didn’t want to he was sane and had to.”
(Joseph Heller, Catch-22, 1961)

“Catch – 22” has become an almost every day term.

My story, “A Pet for Foley,” (knowonder magazine, Sept. 2009) turns on a paradox. Here is the beginning and end of that story.

Foley was a Springer spaniel puppy with white and brown and while fur. He lived on a farm until a nice lady came and took him home in her car, his floppy ears streaming like feathers in the wind. The lady gave him food and water and a doghouse in the fenced back yard.

After he explored his yard, Foley felt lonely. “What I need is a pet,” he said.

            (Foley meets three animals he asks to be his pet. The squirrel and the blue

            bird agree, but things go wrong; it just doesn’t work out. The mole is not

            acceptable, so Foley doesn’t   even ask him. Now he’s alone again).

Foley lay down with his head on his front paws and thought about his problem. Who could he ask to be his pet? Just then an orange tabby strolled into the back yard. Foley jumped up and ran over to greet the cat. He smiled and said, “Will you be my pet? We can play and have fun together.”

“Sorry,” said Nutmeg, licking his back with dignity and not sounding very sorry at all. “I already belong to Jessica and here she comes now.”

A yellow school bus came down the street. By the screeching sound of the bus’s brakes, it must have stopped in front of Foley’s house. In a few minutes a pretty little girl opened the back door and ran down the steps. The cat purred and arched his back up against her legs. She bend down and scratched him behind the ears. “Hi, Nutmeg,” she said. Then she ran over to Foley. She sat down on the grass and hugged him. “Foley, I am so glad that you have come to live with us and be my pet.”

Foley’s ears stood up in surprise.

He and Jessica were soon having fun. They played Frisbee, fetch, tug-o-war, and tumble-in-the-grass. The treat Jessica gave Foley tasted delicious—much better than worms and grubs!

Life in Foley’s new home was going to be wonderful. He knew he would never be lonely again.

“I guess I don’t need a pet. . .” Foley told himself. I AM a pet.”


What’s your favorite paradox in literature?



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