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september 2009

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Stories by You page 10

For Kids by Kids page 86

For You by You page 110

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Create some quality time with the children in your life with the new Build-A-Bear Workshop collection by Stampin’ Up!® With the large selection of exclusive Sizzix® dies, stamps, and Designer Series papers in the collection, your creative options are unlimited. Talk to your demonstrator today about hosting a Mommy

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The Build-A-Bear Workshop collection is an exclusive product offering of Stampin’ Up!, and is only available for purchase from a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator or through Stampin’ Up!’s online store. Contact your demonstrator today to place your order or to learn more! If you don’t have a demonstrator, locate one in your area at www.stampinup.com/Knowonder.


{ from the founder & publisher }

From the Founder and Publisher Welcome to knowonder! I can hardly believe it. Over a year of brainstorming, meetings, planning sessions, and hard work have all come together. Knowonder! is finally here for all the families out there who care about reading. I so grateful to all the people who have helped make knowonder! a reality, and I am so excited to be at this point. I am a father of three children under the age of eight and am under almost-constant pressure to come up with a new story every night. My kids love storytime, and honestly, so do I. One of my favorite parts is watching them close their eyes and try to see the pictures in their heads! (We call them “imagicnation stories”, at our house) But let’s face it - any parent, no matter how creative, is going to be hard-pressed to come up with a new story every single night! So I turned to the internet, looking for storytime resources, and found virtually nothing. That’s when I decided to create a free magazine that would be a high-quality, dependable source of daily stories. I can’t tell you how excited I am to start reading these stories to my children every night! This little magazine you are reading is proof that ideas are powerful. New ideas are constantly changing our reality. A few months ago, knowonder! magazine was still just an idea. Now, today, you are seeing the physical proof that reality has yet again been changed… by an idea. Like other children, I was told once to “stop living in a dream world.” When it comes to your children, I hope you foster, promote and encourage their imagination and creativity. Help them believe in their dreams! That’s what knowonder! is all about. The gifts of belief in the power of imagination and creativity, along with reading and literacy, are some of the most important gifts a parent can bestow on their child. The nice thing about these gifts is that they are enjoyable in and of themselves. There doesn’t have to be some glorious, world-changing destination. Just enjoy the journey as you come to “Know the Wonder” of your child’s imagination, spend time together, and have fun together. If we can help you and your child do just that much then knowonder! magazine will be a success.

Phillip J. Chipping // Founder & Publisher P.S. For a complete story on how knowonder! magazine started, visit us at www.knowonder.com/history

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{ from the editor }

From the Editor As a mother of two young children, I am so excited to be part of knowonder! This is such a unique magazine that covers all aspects of creativity for parent and child. Children’s stories are a staple in our home, and I don’t know about you, but I am always excited to read something new. knowonder! gives parents and children a new world of imagination. To read a new story every night will not only make your bedtime routine new and exciting, but also provide great bonding time for you and your child. Be sure not to miss the ‘For You, by You’ section (pg. 110). There are many days I am in need of an activity. This section will not only give your family something to do, but most importantly, will improve your child’s creativity. TV and video games are snatching our children’s attention more and more, but knowonder! gives them a positive outlet to show and enhance their imagination the good old-fashioned way. ‘For Kids, by Kids’ (pg. 86) is an exciting way for your children to see art work of their peers, and the possibility to have their own art work published. What better way to get them excited about art, than showing them artwork from other kids the world-over?! We at knowonder! are excited for you to see the potential and vision your child holds. Please join us at www.knowonder.com to vote for your favorite stories and art submissions, and maybe even think about submitting your own work! We look forward to hearing from you.

Sophie C. Bassett // Editor P.S. Thank you to all those who have already submitted work. We are already too busy to reply to every submission, but whether we used your story or not, please know that we are extremely grateful to you for your support of knowonder!

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10

86

One enchanting story after another–in fact there are enough stories to share one with your children every day of every month. Enjoy.

Stories, artwork, and other wonderful things all submitted by your children. Visit our website to find out how your kids can submit their amazing work.

Storytime by You

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For Kids by Kids


{ table of contents }

110

122

Of course we saved some pages for the Parents. Enjoy articles and projects for crafting, cooking, great literature, parenting & more.

More fun and games for the kids, including crossword puzzles, mazes, hang-man, word-find puzzles, and our favorite, the Story Game!

For You by You

Games & Fun

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Table of Contents Storytime by You 13 16 24 54 76

Storytime - How it Works Red Alert! Monster has Escaped The Very Small Fairy Snow and Teeth Granny Gertie’s Wish List

For Kids by Kids 88 93 96 102 108

Introduction Vase Lizard Space Aliens Butterfly

For Moms by Moms 112 Snack-Time Dilemma 114 Creative Activities for Little Ones 116 20 Minutes, Every Day

Games & Fun 122 122 124

Word Search Maze: Can you find your way back to school? The Story Game

Miscellaneous 120 Subscribe! 126 Store Directory 130 Credits

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HALF PAGE AD


Advertiser Directory 125 Boondocks 49

Braza Grill

99

Burg Pediatric

15

Children’s Miracle Network

129 Curves 08

Dogwood

09

Dogwood

129 Dream Dinners 63

Hoopes Vision Center

105 iFrogz

HALF PAGE AD

59

Imagination Place

75

Jordan Meadows

73

Layers

23

My Traveling Housekeeper

131 Pebbles in my Pocket 63

Pictureline

92

Reuel’s

121 Shelf Reliance 119 Signing Time 37

Simply Mac

02

Stampin’ Up!

132 Thanksgiving Point 97

That’s My Room

109 Trafalga Fun Center 79

Utah Symphony

29

Utah’s Mama

04

V Chocolates

123 Wu Ji Tao Martial Arts 121 Zach Jacob Photography

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Storytime by You


Storytime, day 1

The Anthill Written by Ron Hartley

My grandpa found an anthill And if I don’t make a peep I can sneak up like a Ninja And catch some while they sleep.

My grandpa found an anthill And he thought it would be fun If we flew some down to Cabo Let them lie out in the sun.

My grandpa found an anthill, He said he doesn’t mind If I get myself a jar And scoop up all the ants I find.

My grandpa found an anthill And if all of them were tame I could put them on a lawn chair Let them watch my soccer game.

My grandpa found an anthill And he said that it’s okay If I take some in to Nona “But don’t spill them on the way!”

My grandpa found an anthill And he said that it’s alright If they teamed up all together And I let them fly my kite.

My grandpa found an anthill And I think it would be neat If we made some tiny ant shoes and put them on their tiny ant-feet.

My grandpa found an anthill And I just now stopped to think If I put some on an ice cube It could be their skating rink.

My grandpa found an anthill I hope I have the chance To play my favorite music and see if they can dance.

My grandpa found an anthill And I’m lining up some sticks Then I’ll teach them how to limbo And some other funny tricks.

My Grandpa found an anthill And I think it would be weird If we painted on a mustache And a matching fuzzy beard.

My grandpa found an anthill And it shouldn’t take too long To form an anthill choir Teach them how to sing a song.

My grandpa found an anthill And he thought it might be cool To teach those ants the backstroke After throwing them in the pool.

My grandpa found an anthill And I thought I heard him say We should play like we’re the butler Serve them dinner on a tray.

My grandpa found an anthill And we’re going to find a way To teach them how to talk And hear the funny things they say. My grandpa found an anthill And he helped me build a maze I hope it’s not too hard, though or they’ll be lost in there for days.

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From Utah, USA

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My grandpa found an anthill And I’m begging grandpa please “Can we build a little circus And teach them the swinging trapeze?” My grandpa found an anthill And I hope nobody minds If I stick some in the fridge And chill their little behinds.


Storytime:

How it works... Storytime

My grandpa found an anthill And I knew right from the start That if ever I went shopping They could ride up on the cart. My grandpa found an anthill And I know it might seem odd But I’d like to see if any Could hold up my dad’s iPod. My grandpa found an anthill And my laughter’d never stop If we gave them each a hammer so they could help us in the shop. My grandpa found an anthill And I hope he will agree To let them live the high life Build a house up in a tree. My grandpa found an anthill he thinks I’m pretty smart ‘Cause I tried to be the doctor and hear their little beating hearts. My grandpa found an anthill And I know it won’t be long Till they have to go back home That’s where they really belong. My grandpa found an anthill Now it’s time go to sleep “If I make a little ant bed Is there one that I can keep?” My grandpa found an anthill Now I’m waiting for the day When he finds a den of lions And they come outside to play. The End

Read a story with your child every day of the month. You can read a story together after school, or use the stories for bedtime to help your child go to sleep. (Tell them to close their eyes and see the pictures in their heads!) “Rate This Story” When you are done reading a story, rate it by filling in the stars found at the end of each story. This will help you remember and see which stories you liked best. Vote Online At the end of each month, go online to www.knowonder.com/vote to vote for your favorite stories. Use the stars as a reference point so you can quickly see which stories you liked best. Remember, voting is important! By voting, you are helping support authors, many of whom would like to have their stories published! The top 3 stories receive cash prizes, but even more importantly, they now have proof that people like their stories, and that makes it even easier to get published. Submit Your Own Stories! If you are one of those parents who tells great stories, and your kids are always begging for more, please send us some of your work! Not only could you become a published author, but you could also win cash prizes! Most importantly, you’ll be giving a gift to thousands of other parents and children who, just like you, love to hear a great story.


Storytime, day 2

How Giraffes Were Made Written by William Thabiso

My Grandfather lived in South Africa, a place which is full of animals like lions, zebra, hyenas, rhinos, hippos and more! He told me that once upon a time, there weren’t any giraffes, but there was a family of hyenas. And on one particularly hot day they were all laying around in the shade like they normally do on very hot days. A family of beetles went crawling by them, so close they almost touched the hyenas noses. The hyenas were so tired that none of them really noticed when the beetles went running past them. A minute later, a family of field mice ran by. Only two of the youngest hyenas noticed. Pretty soon, though, a whole lot of different animals started running and flying past. There were parrots, snakes, monkeys, flamingos, hippos, and even some crocodiles! Finally the mom and dad hyena jumped up when they noticed a pride of lions run past them, and then all the hyenas jumped up. What was happening? they wondered. Soon they realized that the air smelled a little funny. They also thought it was getting a little hot. That’s when the hyenas finally realized that there was a fire - and it was headed right for them! So that’s why all the other animals were running! They started to run, too. First they tried to follow the path the elephants had made - but the fire got in their way. Then they tried to follow the lions. Again the fire blocked them. They only had one more path to follow, but it was a path they were not very familiar with. Still, they ran down it as fast as they could. That’s why none of them saw the big hole in front of them...

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From Utah, USA

None of the hyenas had time to stop. They all started to fall. It was a big hole, so they started to fall faster and faster. Finally some of the roots that were sticking out caught the hyenas by the neck - but only their heads stopped! This made their necks stretch and stretch while their bodies kept falling. Soon some more roots caught their bodies, but their feet were still falling fast. This made their legs stretch too! Finally, their feet, bodies, and heads all stopped falling and stretching, but they were all too stuck to get out on their own. After the fire, all of the animals realized that one of the hyena families was missing. They all went back to look for them but they never found them! For years they wondered where the hyena family had gone. But do you know what the animals did find? They were very surprised to find some strange new animals with long legs and long necks, stuck down in a deep hole! They helped the new animals out, and since no one knew what to call them, they decided on a new name for the new animal - giraffes!


Max had his first surgery when he was 3 days old. He’s had holes in his heart repaired and overcame a lung collapse. But you can see hope in Max’s eyes. He’s a

real miracle Children’s Miracle Network is a nonprofit organization that raises funds for more than 170 children’s hospitals. Countless individuals, organizations and media partners unite with Children’s Miracle Network to help sick and injured kids. Donations create miracles by funding medical care, research and education that save and improve the lives of 17 million children each year—children just like Max.

ChildrensMiracleNetwork.org


Storytime, day 3

! RED ALERT !

monster has escaped Written by Sandie Lee

Martin sat clutching a butterfly net. On his lap was an open book that his grandmother had given him. Inside it he wrote... Saturday 11:47 - Still no sightings. The traps are set and I have my bicycle helmet. Brain shield on. Idea monsters can’t get through bicycle helmets, I hope. He closed his secret journal and waited, watching over his handiwork. The traps were set, there would be no escaping, this time. His mother rap-tapped on the door and asked. “Martin, are you doing your homework?” He had to think fast. “Sort of.” “Remember this assignment counts for half your mark,” she chided. Martin sighed. He opened his journal and wrote... Saturday 11:52 - NEED to catch idea monster. Mom-zilla on rampage. Can’t fail another assignment. Just then the door opened. Martin sprang from his chair as his little sister bounced in. “Your room’s a mess,” Mandy said. “Get out!” he shouted and slammed the door. He glanced over the traps, then wrote... Saturday 12:26 - Sister opened door.

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From Ontario, Canada

He stopped and thought a moment, then groaned, “Uh oh!” Panicking, he ran into the hall. He heard his parents talking. “I had a great idea for our family vacation,” his father said. “Now I can’t remember what it was.” His mother said something similar. “Isn’t that strange? I can’t remember what I was going to make for dessert.” Martin opened his journal and wrote... Sat. 12:33 **RED ALERT — MONSTER HAS ESCAPED!!** Dad and mom have been idea sucked. Full search of house. He started in the kitchen. He looked everywhere, then wrote... 12:45 - Kitchen-ALL CLEAR. Next was the living room. When he finished, he wrote... 12:52 - Livingroom–ALL CLEAR He was about to move on, when he glimpsed something skitter under the long drapes. Martin crept toward the window. He grasped the fabric and slowly pulled it back. Like lightning the creature streaked across the floor and disappeared down the hall. Martin wrote quickly... Monster IS loose!


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He started to chase after it, when his mother saw him. “I thought you were working on that project,” she said. “And what’s with the helmet?”

‘The pen is mightier than the sword.’ Was this true? He took his pen and jabbed it towards the monster. It didn’t even flinch, but it did giggle. “This pen isn’t powerful,” Martin said.

“It..it’s an experiment,” he answered and quickly ran past her. Maybe if she was wearing a helmet, we’d be having dessert tonight. Martin stopped at Mandy’s room and peered inside. She sat at a table with a big piece of blank paper in front of her. All sorts of markers were scattered about, but Mandy was just staring out the window. He flipped open his journal and wrote... 1:06 - Possible monster attack? Check Mandy’s room. He hid around the corner until his sister left, then snuck in. He quickly scanned the room. Nothing. All that was left was the closet. He edged the door open. A flash of fuzz zipped past him and ran right into his parents bedroom. He bounded after it slamming their door behind him. He frantically scribbled...

Then he scribbled in his journal... Pens aren’t swords!! Suddenly, the monster growled and shrank back. Perhaps it was the answer. Martin tried again, writing... Idea monsters don’t like pens because... He paused. The monster stomped his furry feet and grumbled loudly. Martin had a hunch and continued writing... ...pens can be used to write my ideas down. He smiled widely. “That’s it, isn’t it? Then I’ll never lose my ideas again.” The monster stuck it’s tongue out at him and with a parting, pthzzz, disappeared. Martin wrote... Saturday 1:42 - Idea monster –ALL CLEAR

MONSTER -NEED AN IDEA QUICK!!! Just then the creature, no bigger than an apple, jumped onto the night stand. It stared at him with huge purple eyes and had ears shaped like question marks. Suddenly, Martin didn’t know what to do. His mind was blank! He wondered why he was wearing a helmet, and holding his journal. He opened it, but instead of a blank page, he saw the words his grandmother had written there for him. It said...

He then turned to a fresh page in his journal and wrote... THINGS TO REMEMBER: Always carry my pen. It’s better than a sword. Tell dad that riding roller coasters would be a fun family vacation. Tell mom that chocolate cake makes the best dessert.

Muncaster, Idea Monster 4

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Storytime, day 4

Snow Day Discovery Written by Liana M. Mahoney

Liam pressed his face against the window. A world this white could only mean one thing. The morning news confirmed it. “Snow day!” Liam shouted. He bundled up in winter clothes and bounded out the door. He made tracks in the snow, but the wind swirled the powdery snow smooth again. Liam’s face stung. His eyes watered from the bright white of the snow. Soon Liam came back inside. He got out his coloring books and crayons. He pressed shapes in clay. He painted pictures. Liam looked out the window and sighed. Just an hour ago, he was so excited about his snow day. But now it seemed there was nothing to do. I wish summer were here again, he thought. That gave him an idea. He looked through a bin of summer toys, and pulled out a kickball. Mom will never let me play with that in the house! He pulled out a jump rope, and a pail and shovel, then tossed them all back into the box. Was there anything to play with? Then he pulled out his bug catcher. He remembered the caterpillars that he had kept in it last summer. It was fun watching them grow, but when summer ended, he had set them all free. Great, he thought. What good is a bug catcher on a snow day? Liam looked at the bug catcher. There was a black leaf inside! He took off the cover. The leaf was beautiful with patches of yellow, orange and blue - and it was moving! Six wiry black legs clung to the screen walls. “Butterfly!” Liam yelled. Mom looked in the bug catcher. “A swallowtail!”

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From North Dakota, USA

“But I let all the caterpillars go,” Liam said. “All I left in there were some dead leaves.” Mom smiled at him. “One of your caterpillars must have made its chrysalis in there. It might have looked like a dead leaf. That’s why you didn’t notice it. ” “Butterflies don’t hatch in the winter,” Liam said. He thought for a moment. “She probably hatched early because it’s warm in our house.” He looked out the window and shivered. “The butterfly wouldn’t have a chance out there!” Liam emptied out a big box. He covered the top with a piece of clear plastic, and tipped the box on its side. He got his crayons out again. He drew pictures of flowers blooming in red and orange. He got out his clay, and pressed it onto the bottom of the box to make a blue pond with green hills. Then he got out his paints. He painted a summer sun and full green trees. He glued his pictures inside the walls of the box. Liam mixed up some sugar water. He soaked a cotton ball in the sweet drink, and set it on the clay. Finally, he placed the black butterfly in the box. “There,” he said to the butterfly. “Look at all those colors! It’s a summer day in there!” Mom looked at his butterfly house. “You’re lucky, Liam. Not many boys get to keep a box full of summer in the winter.” Liam placed the box near the window where the butterfly could see the winter white. “Yeah,” he said, grinning, “and not all butterflies get to see a snow day in summer!”


Storytime, day 5

Sebastian’s Walk to School Written by Sven Hensel

Sebastian’s dad got a new job, and everyone in his family was happy now because dad wasn’t gone every week, like he was with the old job. But Sebastian wasn’t happy. He was happy that dad was around more, but the thing that made him sad was that they had moved to a new home where Sebastian had to go to a new school, and he didn’t know anybody or have any friends. Sure, the neighbors had all said Hi, and some even helped them move in, but most of them didn’t have kids Sebastian’s age, and the only one that did had to go to a different school. To make matters worse, Sebastian’s older sister had to take the bus to her school. She was in 7th grade this year, so he was going to have to go to school all on his own this year. His mom drove him to school the first couple of days, to show him the way, but Sebastian didn’t like it when the other boys saw him with his mom. He decided to walk to school on his own. It was only a fifteen minute walk, and he knew it pretty well now. Down the drive to the main road, turn right and go up and over the hill by a small grove of trees, then there is a huge pasture on the right-hand side where there are always cows, and sometimes even deer. This particular morning, for the first time, Sebastian was lucky and saw a baby deer with white spots on its back. That morning, there were also a lot of cows on the pasture with their white and black or brown and white spotted fur. Sebastian tried

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From Dagebüll, Germany

to count them all, but there were just too many. The next day, everything was different though. As Sebastian came past the grove of trees he didn’t see any deer. When he got to the pasture, most of the cows were too far away to even try counting, but right in the front of the pasture, close to the fence, Sebastian saw a huge, mean-looking bull with a silver ring in his nose. The bull was so close to the fence that he was able to see the number on the bull’s ear. Sebastian tried to walk by quickly, hoping the bull wouldn’t notice him, but the bull stopped eating and looked up, directly in Sebastian’s eyes. Sebastian was frightened. He remembered his dad telling him that he should never look straight in the eyes of dogs or bulls. So he quickly looked at the number badge on the bull’s ear, but he was still very nervous. It was so quiet. Then, suddenly, the bull snorted loudly and Sebastian took off running toward the school as fast as he could. At dinner that night, Sebastian told his family about the bull and his dad suggested that he should talk to the bull. “Tell him a story,” said dad, “but remember, don’t look him in the eyes.” So the next morning Sebastian left home bravely, but when he passed the trees he slowed down. The bull was standing right by the fence again, as if he was waiting for him. The bull stopped chewing its food


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and Sebastian said, “Hello.” He wasn’t sure what else to say, so he quickly explained that he had to keep going, or he would be late for school. The bull snorted again, but then he went back to chewing the grass, and from that day on, Sebastian wasn’t so scared anymore. Every morning from that day on, Sebastian would tell the bull something new about his life like why they had to move, or about his latest argument with his sister, then he would continue on his way to school. Then one day, something new happened. Sebastian finished telling the bull about the fort he was building in their backyard, and when he started walking, the bull started walking too! Sebastian liked that very much. He told the boys at school about his new friend, the bull, and gave him the name “Chap” because that’s what his grandfather used to call his bulls. The boys didn’t believe him, so they walked home with Sebastian that day, and sure enough, the bull followed Sebastian the whole way home. The boys also liked that very much and they quickly became good friends with Sebastian.

with fresh food, clean air, and lots of room to move around. Sebastian looked around to find Chap, but couldn’t see him anywhere. Every day he looked for Chap, but he wasn’t there any more. Sebastian decided that Chap had had to move, just like Sebastian had to move. He hoped Chap would find new friends, and even though he missed Chap, he was grateful for the time they’d had together, and that Chap had helped him make friends too. The next school year came around and now there were two new boys walking the same way to school. Sebastian walked with them, and when they passed the pasture, Sebastian told them about Chap and how he used to follow Sebastian every day. That made the boys laugh, and they laughed all the way to school - friends.

Fall came, and then winter, and one day, as Sebastian was walking to school, he couldn’t see Chap or any of the other cows. Sebastian’s dad explained that they had to stay indoors, in a special barn, so that the farmer could keep feeding them during the cold time of the year when snow covered the grass. Finally spring came again and the pasture was full of green grass, beautiful field flowers, and lots of cows. Sebastian watched the cows munching on the grass and he had the feeling that the cows were very happy to be back on their pasture,

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Storytime, day 6

Little Isaac’ s BIG ADVENTURE Written by Tracy Helixon

Leaves rustled. Wind swirled through the back yard. “Belieeeeeve,” whispered the wind. “Belieeeeve.” Isaac looked up. “Did you hear that?”

From Wisconsin, USA

Isaac started to pump. He stretched his legs towards the sky, then pushed them down with a WHOOSH. 
 Dad gave a push. Isaac pumped. STRETCH, WHOOSH. STRETCH, WHOOSH.

“Hear what?” said Mike. Almost there. “Never mind,” sighed Isaac. “Hey! Are you playing baseball? Can I go?” “Stay with Dad,” said Mike. “You’re too little.”

Dad gave a giant push. For a little guy, one giant push goes a long way.

Isaac glared at the little shoes on his little feet.

The swing soared higher. And higher. And higher. Until. . .

Too little to play baseball. Too little to ride the spaceship at the fair. Too little, too little, too little.

With a soft thunk, Isaac landed directly in the middle of the cloud. Dad waved. “Be home by dinner!”

Isaac marched to the swing set, stood on his tiptoes, and pulled himself onto a swing. “Dad, when will I get big?” “Soon enough,” said Dad. “Want a push?” “I guess.” Isaac wondered when soon enough would be. Just then, the wind pushed a puffy white cloud above the swing set. Isaac stared. Could he reach it? “Belieeeeve,” whispered the wind. “Belieeeeve.”

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“Higher, Dad!”

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“O-o-okay,” shouted Isaac. The cloud drifted across the sky. An airplane passed. A girl waved to Isaac from the window. “Hello!” he called. The cloud floated on. Isaac passed a mountain climber atop a mountain. “Give me five!” she said. Isaac stretched out and gave her hand a smack. “Thanks!” she said. “Isn’t it a beautiful day?” The cloud floated on.


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A spaceship flew by on its way to the moon. “What a nice surprise!” said the astronaut.

Dad waited at the swing set. Isaac and the eagle landed. Isaac slid down the eagle’s wing.

“I hardly ever see anyone way up here.”

“Thanks for the ride!” And then. . .

“Nice to meet you,” replied Isaac. The cloud floated on.

Mike returned. “Hey!” he said. “Where did you find my balloon?”

Isaac passed a blue balloon. Hey! Mike lost that balloon yesterday. Isaac reached up and grabbed it. The cloud floated on.

“In the sky,” said Isaac. “I got there on the swing.”

Suddenly, Isaac heard a familiar voice.

“We could try,” said Dad, “but I’m not sure it would work. It takes an awfully big wind. . . ”

“Cool!” said Mike. “Can I go?”

“Isa-a-ac! Di-i-nnnn-er!” yelled Mom. Isaac looked around. He didn’t quite know how to get home. After all, he’d never ridden on a cloud before. And then. . .

“And a little guy,” said Isaac, and grinned.

“Looooook,” whispered the wind, “Loooooook.” “Hey!” said Isaac, pointing across the sky. “That cloud looks like an eagle.” “I am an eagle,” answered the cloud. “Good guess.” Isaac thought. “Could you give me a ride home, please?” he asked. “Sure! Hop on!” The eagle flew to Isaac. Holding Mike’s balloon, Isaac jumped from the puffy cloud onto the eagle cloud’s back. The puffy cloud drifted to another swing set, waiting for its next passenger. “Thank you!” Isaac waved. The eagle cloud flapped its great white wings. Isaac’s house grew bigger as they flew closer.

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Storytime, day 7

The Very Small Fairy Written by Ivy Walker

From Utah, USA

Once upon a time, there was a sweet little fairy named Glenna. She had little pink curls that framed her tiny face, little red rosebud lips, and two pointy little ears on either side of her head. Everything about Glenna was little. It was to be expected, of course. Fairies are naturally tiny. But not only was Glenna tiny, she was small even for a fairy. Oh how Glenna longed to be bigger. If she were bigger, she could play catch the snowball with the other fairies. When she tried to catch the snowball, the huge white flower almost knocked her out of the air. If she were bigger, she could do special assignments for the Fairy Queen. As it was, when she lined up to volunteer to serve the Queen, she was just passed over without being seen. Glenna knew that if she were bigger, she could make a difference. She could do something great for Fairy Kingdom. Maybe even for the whole world. So each morning, she would measure herself, hoping against hope that she had grown during the night. But every morning she was just the same size as she had always been. Small. But one day, as Glenna was standing in line to volunteer for special assignments from the Queen, her luck changed. The guard looked her over, and then looked again. A smile spread across his face. “You’re perfect!” he

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said, and before Glenna knew it, she was standing in front of the Fairy Queen awaiting her special instructions. The Fairy Queen saw Glenna and smiled. “What’s your name, little one?” “Glenna, Your Majesty.” “Glenna, I have a very important job for you. Are you willing to help me?” She was so happy it was hard to stand still. “Oh, yes, Your Majesty.” She had waited so long for this day. “Our people need something stronger to build their houses out of other than dirt, sticks, and flowers. When the rains come, many houses are ruined, and fairies have to rush to build new houses before the winter comes.” Glenna nodded. It was a great chore, and sometimes fairies didn’t get new homes built before the winter. It made for long, hard winters.


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“The good news is that we have found something new to use, but it is rather difficult to get. We need a very small fairy so she will not be seen. Will you help us?” Glenna nodded, and the Fairy Queen leaned forward to tell her their plans. That night, Glenna slowly tiptoed into a little boy’s bedroom and stared up at the giant bed. She was scared, but she knew the fairies were depending on her. She flew up to get a closer look, and sure enough, right inside the little boy’s mouth, right where the Fairy Queen had said it would be, was a loose tooth, just hanging on by a thread. She gathered up her courage, and flew close to the large mouth and yanked the tooth out. It gave a little pop and Glenna almost fell out of the air. But she held on to the tooth, and she held her breath. The little boy rubbed his face and rolled over, still sleeping. Glenna smiled. This was going to work! She gently lifted a shiny quarter out of her little knapsack and placed it under the boy’s pillow. Fairies weren’t thieves, after all. They would pay every child for every tooth they gathered. Glenna almost giggled with joy when she imagined the little boy’s delight in the morning as he found the hole where his tooth used to be and the shiny new quarter under his pillow. Glenna returned to the Fairy Palace, and the Fairy Queen was overjoyed at her success. The fairies would now have something stronger to build their homes out of…human teeth! They celebrated with a large feast, and Glenna herself was the guest of honor. Over time, word began to spread that loose teeth soon turned into quarters

while children slept. Children began to anticipate Glenna coming. They tried to wiggle their teeth out as soon as possible and place them under their pillows, so that they too would receive a shiny new quarter. Glenna was very good at her job. No child ever saw her. Some guessed that the mysterious quarters appearing could only be the work of fairies. They even went so far as to give her a name. They called her the Tooth Fairy. And Glenna was happy. She didn’t mind being so small anymore. She was doing something important, and she hadn’t had to grow bigger to do it after all.

Brush! Show your child how important brushing is. This quick lesson will give them something to remember! Soak one hard-boiled egg for each child in a glass of soda, preferrably some sort of cola. The next day, talk to your child about brushing and explain why it is so important. Next, take out the egg and let them see how dirty and stained it looks. This stained color is like the plaque on our teeth. Then let them brush away on the egg! Make sure you’re using toothpaste that has flouride. It helps make teeth stronger and prevent cavities.

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Storytime, day 8

The Blue Frog Written by Lance O. Redding

Bobby the Blue Frog was very different from all the other frogs because he was a blue frog, and the other frogs in the Pond were all green. Oh, Bobby had seen frogs that weren’t green before, but never a blue one. Some frogs were brown, or even black, but never blue! So ,naturally, all the other frogs in Tadschool teased him. They made fun of him almost every day at recess time. Pretty soon, Bobby decided that something had to change! He had to prove to the other frogs that he was just as good as they were! So he challenged the green frogs to a jumping contest. All frogs are good jumpers, but some can jump even farther than normal frogs, and Bobby was hoping that this was his day. If only he could jump farther than the other frogs, then they would see that he was just like them, and they would be his friends. When recess time came, all the frogs lined up on a line. Then Sally, a very pretty lime-green frog from the north end of the lake, said “On your mark, get set, JUMP!” Bobby closed his eyes, crouched down, tensed his muscles, and then sprang forward with all his might. When he opened his eyes, his heart fell. He was not the best jumper. In fact, he was at the very back. He was the worst jumper of all.

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So Bobby decided to practice. He practiced and practiced all day long. While most of the other frogs were relaxing in the nice, cool water of the pond, Bobby was on the ground, jumping and jumping and jumping. The other frogs thought it was so funny, that they sent one of the meaner frogs up on the land to give Bobby another challenge. His name was Hank the Bullyfrog, and he wasn’t nice to Bobby at all. “Bobby, how about we have a flyeating contest?!” Bobby gulped in fear. If he said no, Hank would just laugh and call him a coward. But if he said yes, and lost again, he didn’t think he could stand it! Still, he thought, I have to try. Maybe, just maybe, he could win the fly-eating contest, and then everyone would like him! So he agreed. They went to the south of the lake, where the flies liked to live. Sally said “go” and off they went, chasing and eating as many flies as the could. The flies went wild, flying every which way, over and under and around. Bobby was having a hard time seeing them because they flew so fast. Still, he was able to catch three flies before Sally said stop. When he looked over at Hank, though, he knew he had lost. Everyone was surrounding Hank and congratulating him on his


spectacular win. Bobby slipped into the water and began swimming away before anyone could see him leaving. Suddenly, Norman, a large brown and green frog who lived on the east side of the lake called out, “Hey, Bobby’s getting away! Everyone after him!” Bobby knew he was in trouble now. They were going to try catching him in the water, and if they did, he was sure they would tease him and push him and even dunk his head in the water.

never go. If he went back into the reeds, though, he was afraid the other frogs might get him. So he tried to relax in the clear blue water. Maybe if he waited long enough, they would all leave the reeds, go back to their homes, and he could swim home safely, without being bothered. A loud noise behind Bobby startled him and he looked around to see what had made it. What he saw frightened him more than anything he had ever seen before. Two humans stood above him, looking down into the

So he swam away as fast as he could. He heard the splish-splash of other frogs jumping in the water, and he knew they were all fast swimmers, but Bobby also loved swimming, and thought that maybe, just maybe, he could swim even faster. The other frogs were getting close, though. He could see them, just out of the corner of his eye. So he swam even harder. Then, he spotted the reeds. The reeds were very tall plants that grew out of the pond and made a forest. So he swam into the reeds and ducked and dived in and around the stalks as fast as he could. Even though some of the other frogs were faster swimmers, no one could keep up with Bobby through the reeds. He was just too fast! He cornered so fast around the reeds, and the other frogs just weren’t as nimble. All behind him, Bobby could hear the cries of anger and frustration as the other frogs crashed into the stalks or just couldn’t keep up. Finally, he was free of the stalks, on the far side of the pond, where his parents told him he should

pond. He froze in terror. Then he heard other noises, coming from the reeds. The other frogs had made it through, and had just spotted Bobby. “There he is!” shouted Hank the Bullyfrog. “Get him” Bobby tried to shout a warning, but the humans were too fast. As soon as all the frogs were swimming after Bobby, they started scooping into the water with their big nets. Every time they scooped down, they caught two or three frogs in their nets. Bobby swam frantically to help his classmates, and although he was scared of being caught as well, he still forged ahead. But the large humans never tried to scoop Bobby into their nets

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Storytime, day 8 continued

because they never even saw Bobby the blue frog. Bobby realized that in the blue water, the humans could only see the green frogs! The humans turned to leave and one said to the other, “Joe, we’re gonna eat good tonight!” Bobby knew he had to act fast if he was going to save his classmates. He swam back through the reeds, even faster than he had the first time, and told all the adult frogs what had happened, and then he told them his plan. Then he went off and found the snakes, the mosquitoes, the lizards, the owls, the deer, and any other animal who would listen, and told them his plan to free the green frogs. As soon as the sun set, all the animals circled around the humans’ campsite. They were nervous, because humans are the scariest creatures of all, but they knew that they had to free those frogs. They crept forward in the darkness of the night without making a sound. It was Bobby’s turn to begin the plan and even though he was very afraid, he hopped right into the middle of the campsite, where both the humans could see him. “Joe, looks like one o’ them frogs got loose! Let’s get him!” Bobby hopped away as fast as he could, and the humans ran after him. Then, suddenly, all the forest animals ran into the campsite as loudly as they could. The raccoons found the humans’ food and tore into the bags, the foxes stole the humans’ nets, and a big black bear poured water onto the fire.

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The humans shrieked in terror, because humans can’t see very well in the dark. They ran around and around in circles, bumping into trees and each other, until finally they found the trail and ran away from the pond as quickly as they could. The big bear came over to a large black pot of water near the firepit and looked inside where all the green frogs were crying to be freed. He put his big nose on the side of the pot and pushed it over. All the green frogs jumped away as quickly as they could and found their parents, who were very happy to have them back, safe and sound. Hank the Bullyfrog looked at his dad and said, “How did you know we were here? How did you save us?” His dad said, loud enough for everyone to hear, “Bobby the Blue Frog told us what happened. It was Bobby’s idea to save you from the humans. Bobby is a hero!” Everyone cheered. Hank the Bullyfrog came over and gave Bobby a high-five and said, “I’m sorry for treating you so badly, Bobby. You’re a great frog.” Even Sally came over and gave Bobby a kiss on the cheek. Bobby blushed, and learned for the first time, that even blue frogs can turn red. From then on, everyone was happy, and Bobby had more than enough friends. The End.


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Storytime, day 9

The Bird Race Written by Rachel Hale

As the sun came up, the little blackbirds started to wake. Billy slowly opened his eyes and ruffled his feathers. His sisters were already fighting over the breakfast worms, but he wasn’t hungry. It was race day and Billy had been practicing for weeks. Every day he had gone to the fields with his mouse friend Pip and flown from tree to tree as fast as he could. The first five birds to cross the finish line would become delivery birds and Billy really wanted to be one. But now, as he sat in his nest, Billy’s feathers didn’t feel right and he had lost a tail feather. Hopping out of his nest, Billy walked along to the end of the branch and jumped into the air. Flapping his wings slowly, he set off to find Pip. He would know why his wings didn’t feel right. Landing lightly on the path, Billy walked over to the bottom of a large oak tree, knocked three times with his beak and then waited. Shortly afterwards, the plants at the bottom of the tree started to move, and out rushed Pip. Billy told him all about his feathers feeling funny and how he wasn’t sure that he could race without his lost tail feather. Pip twitched his nose as he listened. “You’re just nervous,” he explained. “Your feathers are fine. Why don’t you give them a good shake?

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Billy spread out his wings, nearly knocking Pip over, and shook them hard. Folding them carefully again he had to admit that they did feel better. “Good. Now let me have a look at your tail.” Billy turned around, and wriggled his tail feathers for Pip. “They’re okay too. You’ve just lost that tatty old one.” Billy took off and flew around in front of Pip. “Much better,” he called out. “Can we go looking for worms now?” Pip squeaked happily. “Only one, we don’t want to be late.” “Come on slow poke,” said Billy. “I’ll race you to the field gate.” They got there just in time. As they crossed the field, the cockerel crowed loudly telling them that the races were about to start. Billy said goodbye to Pip and, collecting a twig from the pile, flew up to the join the other birds. Billy had never seen so many birds perched on the wire together. Far below groups of woodland animals gathered to watch. Billy looked towards the finishing line. He knew what he had to do. He had to carry his twig to the line and land safely without dropping it. A badger waiting nearby would check that he had landed properly and count in the first five birds to arrive.


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The cockerel flapped his wings importantly and stretched his beak high into the air. This was it. At the end of the next “Cock-a-doodledoo” the race would begin. Billy stretched his wings and waited. “COCK-A-DOODLE-DOOOO!” They were off. Flapping his wings as fast as he could, Billy headed toward the finish line. The long wings of a magpie flapped in front of him while a robin flew beside him. FLAP, FLAP, FLAP. He would do it. FLAP, FLAP, OH NO! The magpie was in front of him, blocking his way. Billy moved higher, determined to get to the line. Nearly there. FLAP, FLAP, FASTER, FASTER. He saw the robin reach the line; another blackbird was already there. FASTER, FASTER, the below cheered loudly.

animals

This was it. One last FLAP and HEWAS-THERE! Billy landed with a wobble, but held on tight. Had he been fast enough? Looking down he saw the badger give him a nod. HE HAD DONE IT! Billy gave a squawk of delight. He was now a very, very, happy little blackbird.

ACTIVITY: Kids love to run, and we love it when they do because it gets them tired and ready for bedtime. Here are a few classic race games you can teach your children. Gunny Sack: Have the kids put both feet into a gunny sack (or pillow case) and hop toward the finish line. Three-Legged: Tie a right leg of one teammember to the left leg of another. This one is very entertaining to watch. Egg & Spoon: Each team gets one spoon and the first person races with an egg (potatoes or rocks make for less mess) to a distant goal, then come back and hand-off the spoon and egg to the next teammember. The first team whose members complete the task is the winner. Catepillar: Each team lays down in a line behind the starting line in single file. Each member of the team reaches forward and holds onto the ankles of the person in front. On “go”, the line creeps forward and the team whose long line crosses the line first is the winner. Four-Legged Race: Two team-members stand back-to-back and must race the length of the field with one facing forward and the other facing behind. Once they pass the distant point, they run back to the start, with the one member now running forward and the other running backward. These races are great for big family gatherings, but can be modified for just a couple of kids too.

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Storytime, day 10

a pet for foley Written by Barbara Bockman

Foley was a springer spaniel puppy with white and brown 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. As he wandered, forlorn, among the oaks, he was hit on the head by an acorn. Foley looked up. A squirrel was zipping around the branches of an oak tree in spurts and stops. When the squirrel came down to get more acorns, Foley lopped over to him. “Will you be my pet?” “Okay,” said Chipper. “I’ll let you help me gather acorns.” At first, Foley enjoyed gathering acorns - it was fun. Then it was dull. Then it was boring. Then it was work. “When are we going to play?” Foley asked. Chipper couldn’t hear Foley because he was listening to himself chatter. Finally, Foley shouted, “Chipper, this doesn’t seem to be working out the way we had planned!” “You’re right, Foley,” said Chipper. “You keep getting in my way.” As he scampered back up the tree trunk, his mouth bulging with acorns, he called, “Wy’ll wisit oo, Wo’ly.” Foley sighed with relief. He swept the acorns out of his house and resumed his search for a pet.

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As Foley wandered around the big back yard, he heard a faint moaning sound under a bush loaded with white gardenia flowers. He tiptoed over. A little blue bird lay under the fragrant bush. “My wing is hurt,” Periwinkle said. Very gently, Foley picked the bird up in his mouth and carried her to his doghouse. He gave the bird some water and offered her some dog food. “No, I want a big, fat worm,” groaned Periwinkle. Foley found a worm. He picked the worm up in his mouth. He didn’t like doing that. He gave the worm to the bird and said, “Phew!” Then he drank some water. “That was delicious. Now I’ll have some grubs,” demanded Periwinkle. “Oh, no,” muttered Foley, but he went looking for grubs anyway. He turned over some rocks until he found several. He brought them to the bird. “I hope that’s enough grubs.” “I’m still hungry,” said Periwinkle, in a lively voice. “How about some beetles?” “You look well enough to get them yourself,” said Foley. “I do feel much better, thanks to you,” said Periwinkle, emerging from the doghouse. Now was Foley’s chance. “Will you be my pet, Periwinkle?” he asked. “We can play and have fun together.”


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“What a good idea,” said Periwinkle. “I’ll teach you to fly. Hop up on the garden bench.” Foley was ready for some fun. He climbed up on the garden bench. “Now stand on your hind legs and move your front paws very fast.” Foley did as he was instructed. That is, he tried. He tried and tried again. Soon he was exhausted from trying. “It’s no use, Periwinkle,” said Foley. “I’ll never learn to fly. Come to think of it,” he mused, “I don’t think I ever heard of a dog flying.” “But I must fly in the great, wonderful blue sky,” Periwinkle said sadly, “I ‘m sorry, but I can’t be your pet. I’ll visit you when I’m in the neighborhood, though.” And she soared into the great, wonderful blue sky to join her flock of blue birds. Foley was tired from his exertions. He went into his house and burrowed under the blanket that the nice lady had left for him. As he relaxed, he realized that he was not alone. A ripple of movement meandering in a zig-zaggy way told Foley that someone else was under the blanket. He lay still for a moment, until the mysterious visitor bumped into him. With a “yelp!” Foley scrambled out of the blanket and out of the doghouse. and waited for the intruder to appear. What do you think appeared? A little, gray, nearly-blind mole. “There’s too much light in here!” shouted the little mole. “There’s too much noise! . . . There’s too much movement! . . . There’s nothing to eat!” Something told Foley that this little critter would not make a good pet. He didn’t even ask him.

“Well, help me get back into the ground!” So Foley dug a little hole to get the bossy little mole started on a little tunnel. 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 bent 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.”

“Perhaps you are lost,” suggested Foley to the mole.

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Storytime, day 11

Princess Polywog’s

lovely wish Written by Sally Phillips

Princess Pollywog was a lovely shade of green, and very beautiful for a frog. She loved to stop and gaze at her reflection in the royal pond. “It’s true,” she said munching on a fly cake, “I am lovely and beautiful.” A fly cake crumb fell from her lips and plopped into the pond. One day, her mother, the frog queen said, “The time has come for you to be married. We can’t afford to keep you in fly cakes forever.” “Oh, Mother,” Princess Pollywog said, looking at her reflection, “What prince could ever admire me as much as I deserve?” The Queen stated firmly, “We will have a grand party to announce your engagement.” An emergency meeting of royal helpers was called at once. “We will search all ponds, near and far,” said the Queen. “A proper frog prince must be found who is willing to marry my Princess Pollywog.” It was difficult to find a frog prince who didn’t know Princess Pollywog. Finally, three princes were found at the far end of a faraway lily pond. The royal dressmakers set to work making a party dress for Princess Pollywog. Creamy white lily petals had been specially picked to make her engagement gown. Soon, the special day arrived. The Queen helped Princess Pollywog into

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her gown of petals. “This dress can’t begin to show off my true loveliness,” she grumbled. She snacked on a fly cake dripping with honeysuckle nectar. Crumbs were sticking to the petals. “Oh, Mother,” Princess Pollywog wailed, rolling her large round eyes. “How can I decide who will have the extreme honor of marrying me?” Princess Pollywog took another enormous bite of fly cake. Nectar dribbled down her chin. The Queen snorted, “Do you think you could stop eating for a while? We only ordered two dozen fly cakes.” “Yes, Mother,” Princess Pollywog said smiling. She crossed her fingers behind her back. The party was held under a magnificent Marsh Willow tree. It’s lacy leaves dipped gracefully into the water. All frogs, box turtles, and red-spotted newts from nearby ponds were invited. The toads and lizards ignored the party. They were more interested in the buzzing water bugs. The royal guests gathered beside an empty dessert table at the edge of the pond. “Greetings everyone,” the Queen announced. “Princess Pollywog and I thank you for attending our lovely celebration.” Princess Pollywog cleared her throat with a foghorn blast. “The prince who gives me the grandest gift of all will


be my royal husband.”

“We must help Princess Pollywog.”

Everyone was blown to the ground by her royal pronouncement. The frog princes quickly hopped up and gathered their grand presents. The first prince said, “I have made a daisy chain bracelet for your lovely flipper.” “What? How dare you call my precious hand a flipper. Be Gone!” Princess Pollywog’s cheeks turned a rosy-pink. The next prince presented her with a robin’s blue eggshell fashioned into a delicate trinket box. “A box to hold my flipper jewelry? How insulting. Be gone!” Princess Pollywog bellowed. The last prince trembled presented his special gift.

as

The fairies Flora, Fern and Little Sprite quickly arrived at the royal pond. “She’s a most beautiful pine tree,” said Flora. “What a lovely shade of green,” added Little Sprite. “But she can’t stay this way,” the Queen said hugging a pine branch. Fern explained, “Princess Pollywog did anything she wanted, and this made her selfish. When she changes her uncaring ways, the spell will be broken.” “But

how

can

Princess

Pollywog

he

“What’s this? An ugly gray stone?” Her eyes bulged. “What could I possibly want with an ugly gray stone?” she demanded. “My royal loveliness. The forest fairies gave it to me. Kiss it and it will grant you a special wish,” the frog prince said hopefully. Princess Pollywog held the smooth stone close to her face and stared at it. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “I wish to be the most lovely in all the land and have everyone bow before me!” She puckered her big, green lips and gave the fairy stone a large, wet kiss. POOF! Princess Pollywog instantly changed into a lovely pine tree with low hanging branches. Now everyone had to bend down to pass under her. “Find the forest fairies immediately!” the Queen called to her royal helpers.

do that? She’s a tree!” the Queen moaned. “She will have to discover that for herself,” said Fern. Every day the Queen would sit beside her daughter. She would read her stories about brave, caring heroes. The Queen had her meals served in the shadow of her daughter’s graceful limbs. Every night, she would sleep under her branches. The Queen waited and waited for her daughter to change back into Princess Pollywog. “I guess we’ll have to call her Princess Pine Tree from now on,” said the Queen sadly.

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Storytime, day 11 continued

One day, towering clouds turned black and menacing above the royal forest. Terrible winds threatened everyone on the pond. The water churned against the shoreline scaring the tadpoles and minnows. Tree branches broke and smacked the water. The limbs of the magnificent Marsh Willow were lashed about, leaving its leaves torn and battered. No one had ever seen such a storm. The Queen noticed her daughter was strong and straight against the storm. She called everyone to gather under her daughter’s branches. Princess Pine Tree tightly closed her branches around them. Her upper limbs became twisted and broken. Still, Princess Pine Tree sheltered the group under her branches and kept them safe. The strange storm stopped suddenly. The pond residents crawled out from under the bushy tree branches. CRAAACK! The sound echoed throughout the forest. The great Princess Pine Tree came crashing down.

“We will declare today ‘Princess Pollywog Day’,” proclaimed the Queen, “with all the fly cakes anyone could want to eat. It’ll be a happy celebration for all.” “Mother,” whispered Princess Pollywog, “I’d like to skip the fly cakes. I don’t know why, but I’d rather have pine nut cakes—with plenty of honeysuckle nectar.”

TALK TIME: Topic: Selfishness Before Princess Polywog turned into a tree, was she a very nice frog? Why didn’t all the other frogs like her?

“Oh, my poor daughter!” cried the Queen. She picked up a broken limb. A figure hopped from the shadows.

What is the opposite of being selfish? (selfless, giving to others, being concerned for other’s needs)

“Princess Pollywog?” the Queen croaked. The Queen and Princess Pollywog leaped into each other’s arms.

What are some ways that you can be selfless?

Wiping her eyes, the Queen asked, “How did the spell get broken?”

Do you know any friends or teachers who are good examples of selflessness?

“I had to save my family and friends,” said Princess Pollywog. The forest princess.

fairies

smiled

at

the

“You have shown that you care about others,” said Fern. “You broke the spell.”

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“What a tree-mendous day,” Little Sprite said laughing.

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Action: Decide on something you and your child can do to help someone else. Make a bed, bake some cookies, pull some weeds... and for best results, do it together!


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Storytime, day 12

Dusty Friends Written by Natalie Walls

Levi walked his brother’s red, paintchipped Mongoose bike to the starting gate. I’m not a BMX star like Bobby. I can’t do this. He wiped the sweat from his forehead and proceeded to the gate as cheers and laughter resonated around him. Racers zoomed around the outside of the track kicking up dust behind them. “Hey, Levi.” A blonde-haired yelled behind him.

boy

“Hey, Simon.” Levi called over his shoulder.

From Pennsylvania, USA

The announcer’s booming voice came over the crackling loud speaker. “Welcome to the ABA’s last race before the finals…” Explosive cheering rang through the crowd. “…Introducing the twelve year old novice boys’ finalists…” The announcer read off eight names. When Levi’s name was announced, he grabbed his handlebars so hard his knuckles were white through his mesh gloves. Three digital beeps sounded and the gate dropped. “And they’re off!”

“Are you excited? This race is going to be awesome!” Levi shrugged. “What’s up with you? You’re not scared, are you? You made it this far.” “Yea, I know,” Levi mumbled. Levi and Simon were making their way to the gate when a short, stocky boy rode up behind them. “Where’s your training wheels? Or, can’t you afford any?” The boy threw his head back and howled with laughter. “Why don’t you get lost, Jesse?” Simon said. “Let’s go, Levi.” Reaching the gate, Simon looked at Levi and said, “Good luck.” He reached out and shook Levi’s hand. Shouting was coming from all around the track. Levi looked at his brother, Bobby, in the stands, and Bobby gave him the thumbs-up symbol, grinning. I’m going to be sick.

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A boy named Eric on a red bike pulled away first. Levi pedaled as hard as he could. The announcers voice came over the speakers again - “Here comes the first turn. And look at number fifteen go! Josh Johnson. Behind fifteen we have nine -Troy Andover, and behind him we have number eight; Levi Ridgeway. Levi’s stomach gave another jolt of excitement. I can’t believe it! I’m actually in third place! A series of jumps came up and Levi slowed his pace. Out of his peripheral vision he saw a bright blue bike coming up on his right side. It was Jesse Hart. “What’s the matter? Couldn’t you find some butt pads that will cushion your landing when you wipe out?” he jeered. Levi leaned forward over his bike and pedaled to get his momentum going again as he raced up the serpentine mound.


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Jesse turned his head around to yell something else as Levi trailed behind him. The straightaway they were on quickly veered to a sharp left-hand turn. Levi saw the turn coming and as he braced himself he heard Bobby’s voice saying; “Bend your knees, lean into the turn and stop pedaling as you go into it. Start pedaling in the middle of the turn and you’ll pull right out of it.” Levi coasted and leaned all of his weight into the turn. He surpassed Jesse and then heard Jesse scream. A thunderous crash came from behind him and he looked back to see Jesse lying on his side with his bike on top of him. The knowledge that one of the best and cockiest racers had just wiped out in such an important race surged through him like fire. Levi didn’t look to see if Jesse had got back on his bike, and continued to pedal harder than ever. He came upon Troy, who was slowing as he came upon another turn. I can get him in this turn. He executed the turn just as he had previously done and started pulling away from Troy. Troy was so close to Levi that he could hear him breathing through his helmet. Another series of jumps came up and this time Levi rode over them with as much vigor as he could muster, even though his legs felt like lead. The finish line was visible just ahead and Josh Johnson was closing in. Levi tried as hard as he could to catch up but the announcer’s voice rang through the track. “Josh Johnson in first place! Behind him, finishing second is Levi Ridgeway! Troy Andover pulls in for third!” I can’t believe it! Levi’s family came running over to him embracing him in tight hugs. As he pulled off his helmet he heard a bike breaking behind him. Levi was expecting Simon’s congratulations but

instead a stuttering voice spoke. “Good job. I-I can’t believe you rode like that. You were awesome and I hope you win the States.” Jesse, looking down, held out his dusty hand. “Thanks Jesse.” Levi took his hand and shook it. Levi stared at Jesse at a loss for words. “I wanted to know if you’d like to ride sometime. We live so close…” Jesse trailed off and shrugged. “Yeah, okay,” Levi said. “I have to get going. My dad is going to be so angry at me.” Jesse turned and before Levi could say anything, a bald, middle-aged man was running toward them shouting, “How dare you fail! I had you practicing the whole month for this and you didn’t even place!” Jesse’s father grabbed his arm and forcibly dragged him towards their truck. “What was that all about?” Simon asked, walking his bike over red-faced. “Nothing really. He just wants to get together and ride.” “Like you’d want to.” “Yea, actually, I do. I think it would help him chill out if he actually just rode for the fun of it. You, me, Bobby, and Jesse could all go riding sometime. I think Jesse needs a friend.” Interrupting their conversation was the announcer - “Riders, please come onto the track for the medal ceremony.” “Good job, Levi,” Simon said and walked away. Levi hoped that he and Jesse could be friends, and maybe next time Jesse would place, too.

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39


Storytime, day 13

Trouble in the Pepper Tree Written by Anne C. Bromley

As the sun dipped into the ocean, Rosie ran down the apartment steps, swinging her watering can. Her pepper tree was thirsty because it hadn’t rained for months! Mario the mockingbird fluttered his wings in its high branches. Then he flew to the top of the telephone pole to sing his morning songs. “Say hello to Lupita for me,” Rosie said, figuring Mario was calling his mate. She just knew that the pepper tree would be perfect for their nest. The next morning, Rosie woke up to the bzzzzz of a chainsaw instead of Mario’s medley. She dashed to her bedroom window to see a man wearing an orange hardhat and goggles, straddling a limb as though he were riding a horse. His chainsaw cut away thick branches from Rosie’s favorite tree. “Mama!” Rosie cried. “A man is hurting our tree!” “Looks like our landlord finally called the tree trimmer,” Mama said, peeking through the blinds in Rosie’s bedroom. “Don’t worry, mi’ja, he’s not hurting the tree.” She laughed. But Rosie didn’t laugh. She yelled, “I’m going to make him stop!”

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Before Mama could stop her, Rosie raced down the apartment steps, still dressed in her l a v e n d e r- w i t h - y e l l o w - b u n n i e s pajamas. Mario twittered, cawed, hooted, and even bugled. “I know you’re mad,” said Rosie. “Me too.” Mario swooped down to buzz the tree trimmer. Rosie screamed, “Stop hurting my tree!” But the tree trimmer couldn’t hear her. He kept slicing away at the branches. Mario poked at his hardhat. Finally, the tree trimmer shut off his chainsaw and saw Rosie waving at him. He climbed down from the pepper tree as Mario returned to his perch on the telephone pole. “Good morning, miss,” he said, taking off his hardhat. “My name is Leo.” “And my name is Rosie!” She glared at him with her hands on her hips. “Why are you hurting my tree?” “I’m here to help your tree, Rosie.” “No you’re not!” Rosie’s face turned as red as her namesake. Leo pulled a small notepad from his back pocket and a pencil from his shirt pocket. He knelt down


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in the ivy among the fallen limbs. He quickly drew a picture of a little girl with shaggy hair down to her knees, claw-like fingernails, and toenails ripping through her socks. “Why are you making such a scary picture?” Rosie asked, leaning over Leo’s shoulder. He chuckled. “This is what happens when you don’t get a haircut or trim your nails. Same thing happens to a tree. I’m just giving your pepper tree a ‘haircut’ so it will grow better and be healthier.” He handed the piece of paper to Rosie.

Rosie, crumpling Leo’s drawing in her hand. She noticed the tall maple tree in Mr. Pirodsky’s yard. She waved to Mario, still flashing his wings and whooping like a crane. “Mario! Mr. Pirodsky’s maple tree is the perfect place for a nest of baby mockingbirds.” She was sure that Mr. Pirodsky wouldn’t mind. Rosie still felt sad about the pepper tree. It would never look the same, and her bedroom would be even hotter in the summer without its shade.

She took it and frowned. “Hmmph.” Rosie brushed hair away from her face. She looked around for Mario. He’d flown back to the porch and was imitating the chainsaw. “But what about my friends’ nest?”

Later that evening, just before the sun dipped into the ocean, Rosie skipped down the steps with her watering can. The pepper tree looked like a skeleton with a few leaves hanging on. She sprinkled its base.

Leo had already climbed back into the tree to ride another limb, slicing away at more branches. What could Rosie do?

She realized now that she saw things she’d never seen before: Mrs. Miller’s grapevine, the tall eucalyptus trees on the hill, Mr. Ogata’s sunflowers, and now Rosie could wave to her friend Amy who lived a block away. There was so much more to see!

Her neighbor, Mr. Pirodsky, called to her, “Hey, Rosie, I see your tree’s getting a trim.” He was pruning his rose bushes. “I’m calling our landlord,” said

As dusk turned to dark, she smiled as she watched the gentle, lavender clouds brushing the face of the full moon which cast a soft and tender glow on her favorite pepper tree. Rosie felt much happier now that she understood why the Pepper tree had to be trimmed, and she couldn’t help imagining that her tree was happier, too.

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41


Storytime, day 14

Written by William J. Joel

In his 7th grade English class, there was only one thing that Ralphie couldn’t stand. And that was everything. Pure and simple, Ralphie did not like English class because he did not like to read. He would rather be drawing, or doodling, than doing anything else. And that is precisely what he was doing as his English teacher started her next boring lesson. Ralphie’s notebook was open to a fresh page, but instead of taking lots of notes, he was drawing a rather a silly picture of his teacher. He had noticed that she was wearing a pair of disgusting black rimmed glasses. So in his drawing the glasses became twice as large, with spikes sticking out at the corners. Putting the final touches on this item, he looked up to see what else he could “improve” in his drawing. To his surprise, his teacher was now wearing the same glasses he had just drawn. But no one else in the classroom seemed to think this strange, except for Ralphie. Ralphie rubbed his head and then smiled, and proceeded to add smoke billowing out of the horns. When he looked up, sure enough there was smoke puffing out of the tips of the horns on his teacher’s glasses. Ralphie started to laugh, quietly. He wondered what else he could “create”. He sketched a long cat-

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like tail coming from the back of his teacher, with the tip of the tail writing on the board with a piece of chalk. Looking up, there was the tail, writing notes about today’s subject, while his teacher continued to drone on and on. Ralphie would have continued embellishing the drawing of his teacher, but the bell rang indicating it was time to change classes. Out in the hallway, Ralphie stared at the pencil, remembering it wasn’t the kind he usually used. Where had he gotten it from? Then he remembered he had seen a kid in front of him drop it while getting off the bus that morning. He had yelled to the kid, but the kid hadn’t heard him. So Ralphie kept the pencil. Next was Gym class. Ralphie switched into his gym clothes in the locker room, but also tucked the pencil and a small piece of paper into the pocket of his shorts. The class started with the kids sitting in the bleachers while his Gym teacher explained how to climb a rope. Ralphie pulled out the pencil and paper, and started to draw a sketch of him as if he were a gorilla in a gym suit. When Ralphie looked up, there was his Gym teacher, with long hairy arms, grunting his lesson and pounding his chest every so often for emphasis. When it came time to demonstrate how to


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climb a rope, Ralphie was amazed at how fast his Gym teacher could move. This was the best Gym class Ralphie ever had. In Math class, Ralphie turned their teacher into a robot, with antennae sticking out of his metal head. At lunch, he turned the people who worked behind the food counter into either ogres or fairies. He also turned the serving trays into iron cauldrons, with their contents bubbling and steaming. However, after awhile, Ralphie realized he’d have to change everybody back. So, in his study period, he pulled out his various drawings and prepared to change everything back to ordinary teachers and stuff. That’s when he noticed that his pencil did not have an eraser. No problem, he thought, as he reached into his backpack for a spare eraser. After erasing the tail from his English teacher, he heard a scream in the hallway. Running to the room’s door, he looked outside and saw his English teacher holding a severed tail in her hands. She was in pain. Ralphie ran back to his desk and redrew the tail in place with the pencil. When he went back to the door, he saw his English teacher chatting with a student as if nothing had happened. Obviously erasing would only make things worse, but Ralphie had no idea what else to do. For the rest of the school day, Ralphie walked around in a cloud, trying to think of how he could fix things, but nothing came to him. Later, as he was walking to the bus to go home, someone bumped into him and Ralphie dropped the pencil. Someone

else stepped on the pencil, breaking it into dozens of pieces. Ralphie froze, horrified at the state of the pencil. He bent over to pick up the pieces, thinking how this would definitely not be good. “Ralphie? Are you okay?” heard from behind him.

he

When Ralphie turned around, he saw his English teacher, but she no longer had a tail, and her glasses were back to normal. Ralphie looked around and saw his Gym teacher as hairless as he used to be. And his Math teacher was also back to his pink self. Ralphie smiled. “I’m okay,” he said, “it was only a pencil. I can always get another one,” and without another though, Ralphie got on the bus and went home.

kids art: Have you seen the knowonder! kids’ art section, yet? Check it out on page 86. You’ll find lots of fun pictures, all drawn by kids, ages 3 - 10. And if you haven’t submitted your own artwork yet, please do! Not only could you bepublished in the magazine, but you could also win lots of fun prizes, like art supplies, books and more! Hope to see you there soon!

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Storytime, day 15

Homework Written by Diane Smit

Hannah frowned and looked at the blank piece of paper in front of her. Her assignment was due tomorrow and she still couldn’t think of anything to write. She read the instructions at the top of the paper again. “Write of a time when you did something heroically and went out of your way to help someone. It could involve helping your parents, a brother or sister, a friend or neighbor. Describe how it made you feel.” “Oh why bother. I’m not a hero,” she muttered and flung another crumpled paper to the floor. “Hannah,” her mother called. “Please come downstairs. I need your help.” Trudging down the stairs, Hannah followed a delicious aroma to the kitchen. Her mother was stirring something in a large pot on the stove. “What are asked.

you

making?”

she

“I’m making chicken soup for the Clawson’s. I’ve just learned that they’ve both been ill for several days,” her mother answered. “I want you to come with me in case they might need some help.” Hannah frowned. The Clawson’s were not her favorite neighbors. Several years back she had crossed their property line and received a harsh scolding.

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With reluctance, Hannah got into the car. “I don’t know why you would help the Clawson’s,” she said. “They’ve caused a lot of trouble for you in the past over property boundaries.” Hannah’s mother’s nodded. “But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t help them if they need it.” Pulling into the neighbor’s driveway, a large dog ran towards the car, barking furiously. Hannah’s mother hesitated for a second. “I hope he’s friendly,” she said. “He won’t be if he’s anything like its owner,” Hannah said with a scowl. Hannah’s mother stepped out from the car. She carefully patted the excited dog and it soon calmed down and ran towards the house. Then she lifted the pot of soup from the floor of the back seat. “Why don’t you go to the barn and see what needs doing,” she said, carrying the pot of soup towards the house. “I’ll call you when I’m done inside.” “I guess I don’t have a choice,” Hannah muttered as she headed towards the barn. The barn was a solid looking building, but scattered all around it was a huge collection of old worn out tools and other rusty bits and pieces.


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“They sure like to collect stuff,” Hannah said to herself stepping over several tractor parts and an old school bell. The barn door was slightly open and Hannah could hear the anxious clucking of chickens before she even saw them. Mr. Clawson sold chicken eggs to people in town. Hannah squinted as she entered the dark barn. It took her a few seconds to see the long rows of cages. Inside each cage hungry chickens were waiting to be fed. After checking to see where the chicken feed was kept, she scooped corn into the feeding bins attached to the chicken’s cages. When she got to the second row, a loud scratching noise from nearby caused her to stop. She looked around to see where the noise came from. What she saw caused her to gasp. Several dead chickens were strewn on the ground. And nearby was a bright orange fox. Hannah stifled a scream. The fox seeing her backed nervously into the corner. Hannah thought desperately. She couldn’t chase the fox out the barn. If she yelled for help, no one at the house would hear her. Then she remembered seeing a large school bell just inside the barn door. Hannah moved slowly towards the door. When she found the bell she picked it up and began to ring it with all her might. Clang! Clang! Clang! The

startled

fox

crouched

the corner unable to escape. Suddenly he darted past her and out the barn. Just then Hannah’s mother came running out from the house. “What’s wrong?” she said. “A fox was in the barn!” Hannah cried. “It killed a few chickens. It must have gotten in through the open door.” Mr. Clawson shook his head when all the excitement was over. He counted three dead chickens. “Hannah you did the right thing. You saved my other chickens from getting killed,” he said. Hannah swallowed hard. “I’m sorry about what happened.” Though weak and pale, Mr. Clawson shrugged. “There’s no need. Chickens can be replaced. What you did was very special.” Hannah smiled shyly at Mr. Clawson, and Mr. Clawson returned her smile. “My worker was supposed to be here today,” he said, “but he never called to say he wouldn’t. You’re a good helper. I was wondering if you could help me organize my barn. I could use a dependable person like you.” Hannah gulped as she remembered the bad attitude she had had earlier. She nodded glad she was able to help Mr. Clawson. When they got back into the car Hannah gave her mother a big smile. “Thanks, Mom, for taking me along with you. I didn’t want to at first, but I guess now I can finish off my homework assignment.”

in

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45


Storytime, day 16

The Red-Head Thief Written by Carmen Vodislav

“Somebody stole my bike yesterday,” complained Katie at the bus stop.

her friends owned bikes – and besides, they were all in school yesterday.

“You’ve lost your bike?!” gasped her friend, Sara.

“Did you meet the new girl, Rita?” asked Sara. “She’s a redhead. She moved into the old school house across the ravine. She’s starting school on Monday.”

Katie shook her head. “I found it under the picnic table, but the pedals and wheels are covered in mud, and the chain is stuck.” “Who do you think it was?” asked Sara, climbing on the bus. “I don’t know, but I’m going to catch the thief,” said Katie, plopping down beside her best friend. “I’m going to smear glow-in-the-dark paint on the wheels and follow the tracks.” Sara laughed. “What if she doesn’t come back?” “She will,” said Katie. “If I clean the bike and leave it outside again, the temptation will be too great!” The bus hummed along. “I swear she’s going to pay for it!” scowled Katie. She showed her friend her bruised palms. “I slaved all summer in Mrs. Wilson’s garden so I could buy this bike!” “Poor you,” Sara said. “Couldn’t you find an easier job?” “I guess…. I could’ve walked my neighbor’s Doberman,” said Katie, then shrugged. “But it gives me the creeps and always growls at me.” Katie twirled a lock of curly, brown hair and wondered who the thief was. All

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Katie lifted her eyebrows. “I never met her. I wonder if she has a bike….” The next morning, Katie jumped out of bed and threw on a pink parka and jeans. “Isn’t it too early for you to be up on a Saturday, Katie?” asked mom as Katie rushed through the kitchen. Katie didn’t pause to listen, but rushed to the backyard. No bike! There was only a pale green line crossing the ‘crime scene’ and leading to the road behind the house. Katie followed the green trail through the ravine, tumbling down the side on the slippery grass, then grasping the grass blades to help her climb the ravine wall on the other side. The green trail ended in front of an old brick house with columns, hiding behind a ratty, wobbly fence. The gate was open, so Katie sneaked into the courtyard. A purple scooter with mucky wheels lay in front of the porch. She made out an ‘R.S.’ on the handlebar. “Who are you?” Two big brown eyes measured Katie from the porch. She glanced at the boy’s pajamas, then at


his two missing front teeth. “I’m Katie, Rita’s friend. Is she still here?” The boy shook his head. “She wouldn’t take me with her. And I wanted to see the new calf and pick some berries for daddy’s pie,” he blurted out. Katie’s brow furrowed. Calf? Berries? “Can I borrow Rita’s scooter for a few hours?” With a nod from the boy, Katie jumped on the scooter and headed north. Twenty minutes later she reached Windermere Park. She could see a small forest of maple trees spreading downhill to the pebbly shores of the river. Blackberry and raspberry bushes studded the park’s hills. A golden retriever ran past Katie, wagging his tail, and a young woman holding a leash followed not too far behind. In the distance, a woodpecker knocked on a tree, peck, peck, peck. But no bike.

startled Katie. She turned with wide eyes to find a huge bull, with a thick brown mane and black horns sticking out just above his eyes, munching on hay. Katie stepped on a carrot that had fallen from Rita’s basket as she tried to back off. Crack! She froze for a second, then quickly pushed the carrot past the electric fence. She beamed as the bull grabbed it with its tongue. The clatter of the bike basket alerted Katie to Rita’s sudden departure. She was off again, chasing the redhead thief. In her haste to cut Rita off, she took a shortcut down a slope, only to trip over a tree root. She rolled down hillside, while the scooter slipped into

IMAGE

Suddenly, a blur of purple sprung out from the bushes. “What do you know? If it isn’t the bike thief!” murmured Katie. She leapt on the scooter and dashed after the young girl with reddish curls in the purple parka. The chase was on! Rita kept ahead of Katie, dashing down the path, avoiding tree branches and rocks. The bike basket, loaded with salad and carrots, rattled and groused. Katie wheezed far behind. When she finally reached the end of the path, a fenced yard edged a large alley. Bison, read a metal plate screwed to the fence. She crept toward the stable in the corner of the yard. There sat Rita, in a straw filled stall, bottle-feeding a strange calf with humped shoulders and short legs.

a ditch. She rose and brushed the mud off of her clothes, only to land back in the dirt as she was struck from behind. Her bike went flying, knocking over a sign and landing in a blackberry bush, wheels spinning. A few feet away, Rita lay on her back in poison ivy with a lettuce leaf on her face. Katie crossed her arms and frowned. “That will teach you to steal my bike!” Rita waved her arms in the air. “Are you going to help me out or not?” “Not!” shrieked Katie. “Why didn’t you just ask nicely if you needed my bike?”

A rustle and a sneeze from behind

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Storytime, day 16 continued

“Would you lend your bike to the new girl? I wouldn’t!” Rita scratched her hands and neck. “If it weren’t for the accident, I wouldn’t have needed your bike anyway.”

up, just enough for Katie to grab her by the left wrist. Katie heaved Rita up, and the girls rolled over, hearing the bike tumble down the gorge. Katie whimpered and rushed back to look over the edge.

Katie rolled her eyes. “What accident?” Rita struggled up from where she lay sprawled. “Two days ago, my dad crashed our old truck when he pulled into the driveway. The brakes didn’t work. He smashed the truck into the gate, and he ruined my bike, too.” “Liar!” scolded Katie, examining a dent on the bike. “Honest,” said Rita, touching her chest. “Dad’s still in the hospital. He works here as a park keeper. I only needed your bike so I could fill in for him.” Katie lifted her eyes. Rita’s face was covered with reddish freckles from eyelids to chin. She looked penitent, but she still held on to the bike. Katie made a step forward and reached for her foe, and Rita took a step back. Whoosh! In the blink of an eye, the redhead disappeared behind the sign, and the bike went with her. There was a steep slope behind the bushes, and the protecting fence had been cut. Rita dangled from the rocky ledge, kicking her feet in the air. Beside her, the bike hung from the edge, caught in some tree roots. “Help!” shouted Katie, desperately searching for someone. No answer came. She knelt at the edge of the gorge, grabbed Rita’s right hand, and pulled. Rita pulled so hard on her hand that Katie almost went over herself, and she had to let go. “Climb up on the bike seat,” she told Rita. “I think it’s going to hold.” Rita swung her legs until her right foot touched the seat and pushed herself

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“Sorry about that,” Rita said. “I’ll find a way to pay for your bike.” “That would be nice,” Katie said, surprised at the redhead’s generosity. “Hey, what about walking my neighbor’s Doberman? I’m sure you’ll love it!” Katie scampered down the hill, rustling through the bed of dead leaves in search of something. She grinned triumphantly as she plucked a muddied handlebar from the leaves. “With the money you’ll make, you can even replace this ancient scooter of yours….”

Talk Time: Topics: Stealing and Forgiving Was it OK for Rita to steal Katie’s bicycle? What could Rita have done instead of stealing the bike? Could she have asked someone for help? Katie helped Rita in the end by saving her from falling, and giving her a good idea for earning money. Do you think Rita and Katie will be friends? Talk about why it is important to forgive people, especially when they really need help.


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Storytime, day 17

Harvest Time Written by Sven Hensel

Josh and Stacey are brother and sister, but Josh is a year older than Stacey, so he is the big brother and he is always looking out for Stacey to help keep her safe. They live on a farm, but they don’t work the land anymore because their mom had to go back to college, and Josh and Stacey had to start school after summer vacation ended, too. So their dad started working on another big farm down the road. He drives a John Deere 8030, which is a very big tractor engine. Whenever Josh sees his dad driving it, he gets very excited because it’s one of the biggest and best tractors there is. All his friends at school like it a lot, too. But Stacey doesn’t really care. To her, all tractors are the same. The only reason she likes the John Deere tractors are because they’re green! Harvest time is also holiday time, and so Josh and Stacey were out of school for a while. But their dad never gets to take holidays. He works from before sun-up until after sundown. He always comes home late because he is harvesting grain all day long. During the holidays, Josh and Stacey don’t even see their dad leave in the morning because they get to sleep in. So, after they wake up, they hurry and do their chores around the house. They have learned to get along and help each other out with their chores because it helps the work get done quicker. When they finally eat breakfast and get out of the house, they go

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straight down the road to the farm their dad works on so they can watch the harvest. At almost 100 degrees, it is boiling-hot outside, and it’s not even noon, yet. Momma always says, “It’s hot enough to boil an egg out there.” So they always make sure to take their hats, lots of water, and lots of sunscreen. One day, Josh and Stacey went to watch their dad working in the fields to harvest the grain and found a nice shady spot to relax in. They watched the big harvesting machines cut and thresh the grain to produce straw, which was then brought to the silos. The straw was very important because that’s what a lot of the farmers and people in the neighborhood used to feed their cows and pigs. Josh and Stacey always liked visiting the pigs and cows, too. Some were right next door, and they usually stopped to say hello before going back home again. Josh and Stacey saw their dad coming in his big John Deere 8030 and they stood up and waved to him with both arms way above their heads. He took off his hat and waved back. He had a big smile on his face, which meant the work was going well. Suddenly, another tractor in the field stopped and Stacey saw smoke coming out of the back. “Look,” she said to Josh. They both watched as Stan, the driver, jumped out of the tractor with a fire extinguisher in his hand. He ran to the back of the tractor and started


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spraying at the flames that were coming out of the straw slot. But Stan was too late. Even though he tried to put out the fire, the straw had already caught fire and the field was starting to burn.

and started opening the stalls, while Josh and Stacey stood out of the way, holding the gate open. Dad drove the animals out of the barn and out onto the safe pasture behind the farm.

Their dad jumped off his tractor, too, and brought a second fire extinguisher. They sprayed and sprayed and sprayed, but their extinguishers just weren’t big enough to put out all the fire. Dad yelled at Josh and Stacey to help him save the animals in the barns. Josh and Stacey ran as fast as possible toward the barns. They could hear the fire roaring in the field behind them. Even though it wasn’t close to the barns, yet, they knew the fire would travel through the dry fields very quickly, so they had to act fast to help the animals to safety.

As the animals all made it to safety, they saw the lights and heard the sirens of the fire engines who came to help stop the blaze. It was too late for the barn and the tractors, but fortunately, Stan and all the animals were saved. The doctor treated the cut on Stacey’s arm and Josh realized how brave his little sister was. She never even cried!

When they got to the barn, Josh looked behind them and saw that almost the whole field was already burning. Even the big harvesting tractors had disappeared in the flames and smoke. He was very afraid, but he knew he had to help protect his sister, and the animals. Their dad got to the barn right after they did. “Help me open the back gates,” he said. They could hear the animals inside. They were noisy and nervous and could sense the danger. Josh and Stacey grabbed ahold of the old gates and pushed with all their strength. The lock and hinges were old and rusty and didn’t want to open. They pushed and pushed and Stacey even slipped and fell. When she got up, she went right back to pushing, even though there was a gash on her arm that was bleeding. Finally, the gate opened up.

Later that night, they sat around the dinner table and told their mom all that had happened in the fields that day while she was away at college. “I’m very proud of you two,” she said. She was a bit worried when she saw the cut on Stacey’s arm, but Josh told her not to worry. Stacey is a tough little sister. A few days later, their dad’s boss, Mr. Hansen came to visit, along with the Fire Chief. They brought a big bouquet of flowers and a special certificate, honoring Josh and Stacey for their help. He even gave them each a free ticket to the carnival! After the holidays were over, Josh and Stacey were also honored in school for their help in saving the animals. Mom and dad were very proud of them, but most of all, Josh was proud of his little sister.

Dad ran inside the barn

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51


Storytime, day 18

Snow Time! Written by Sarah B. Robinson

Christy stood inside her living room and put her face up against the ice cold window. Her turned-up nose formed a patch of fog on the cold glass. She traced her initials into the moisture with her fingertip. Touching it made her shiver! She watched the sunset through the big white snowflakes that were falling again. “I hope we don’t get snowed in,” she said to herself. Christy looked up at the clock on the wall when she heard the cuckoo bird pop out of its gate. “Cuckoo! Cuckoo! Cuckoo! Cuckoo!” It was four o’clock. Christy’s older brother had promised to take her sled riding tonight, down the hillside at the edge of their yard. Christy was beginning to wonder if he’d keep his promise though, because she hadn’t seen him since breakfast, and sometimes he made other plans and forgot about her. After all, he was 16. She was 5. “I’ll go ahead and get my suit on, just in case he remembers,” she said to herself. Christy went to the closet and found her blue, one-piece snowsuit. She opened its long zipper. She slid her first foot down through the leg opening. Then she put in her other foot until both legs were covered. She began zipping up the warm suit from the bottom. Wait. She almost forgot about the arms. They’d have to go in first and

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the sleeves were tricky. She lowered her shoulders and slid her hands into the openings. She didn’t want to lose the mittens already inside. They were connected by a very long string of yarn. When her hands come through, each mitten was right beneath her fingers! Next were her red snow boots. Christy squeezed her stocking feet into them, tightening the clasps around her ankles. She placed the woolen cap on top of her head which her mom had knitted for her, along with a matching blue scarf. Christy’s mom came into the room and saw what she was doing. She came over to dab some slick Vaseline jelly on Christy’s cheeks, nose and lips. It tasted really ‘yuk’! “You must think you are going out in this blizzard, Christy. Has your brother told you for sure he is taking you on a sled ride tonight?” Mother asked as she checked Christy’s pockets. “Oh, look! Your ear muffs!” Christy’s mom pulled them out of her snow suit pocket. “You’ll be glad you have these to protect your ears tonight,” she said as she opened them up and stretched the two fuzzy coverings onto Christy’s ears. The only thing missing was brother. “I’ll go see Mother said.

what’s

keeping

him,”

Christy waited. All she heard was the sound of the clock ticking. She watched outside the window as the snow continued to fall, getting deeper and deeper on top of the cars.


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What if we have too much snow, she wondered. What if he forgets? Then she heard a sound. It was the sound of boots walking on hardwood floors. “Philip! Are you taking me?” Christy asked her brother as he walked into the room. “Am I taking you where?” he asked. Christy’s heart dropped. Had he forgotten? “I thought you were taking me sled riding tonight.” “In this blizzard? It might not be safe.” Christy felt tears coming to her eyes. Her snow suit was making her very warm and uncomfortable. She started to unzip it. “Wait. I was just teasing you. Sure, we can go. This is perfect weather for sled riding!” Philip reached down and lifted Christy into his arms. Christy’s tears turned to joy! Once outside, Christy’s face felt frozen. Up by the streetlights, the snowflakes danced in twirls. She inhaled the ice cold air. A strange taste of smoke got caught in her throat, making her cough. She looked in the distance and saw flames and ash shooting up into the night sky! She saw people standing around in a circle at the top of the sled riding hill..Christy marched with her brother through their snowfilled yard, making huge prints on their way to the gathering. Folks from the neighborhood were having a big bonfire!

turn, Philip straddled the toboggan, holding it steady until she was right behind him. “Let me know when you’re ready!” Philip shouted so Christy could hear him. “I want you to lay on top of my back the second before I take off,” he yelled to her over the wind and noise of the crackling fire. As he lay his stomach flat against the boards, Philip dug his boots into the snow, holding the sled in place. Christy lay atop his back and held onto his shoulders. “Hold on “Ready?”

tight!”

Philip

told

her.

“Let’s go!” she yelled, and down they flew. The toboggan sped down the hill, bringing a rush of cold wind and flying snow into Christy’s face. Every little bump and bounce was delightful! She giggled as they raced downhill. Once they reached the bottom, Philip jumped off and swiftly turned the sled. He pulled Christy all the way back up to the top of the hill. She felt as light as a snowflake! “Can we do it again?” she asked. “Sure!” said Philip. Christy could see the people standing around the blazing bonfire as they made their climb. Oh, how she wished the winter would never end!

When they reached the top of the hill, sleds and long wooden toboggans were being put in line by some tall boys. The deep snow had already been packed down. Christy got in line next to Philip. She felt her heart racing with excitement. When it was their

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Storytime, day 19

Snow & Teeth by Dulcinea Norton-Smith

George lay on his back staring at the white sky. It was bright white even though there was no sun in sight. George’s nose had started to run and felt so cold that he thought he was breathing in icicles instead of air. His back and legs had started to get wet as the snow he lay in melted underneath him and soaked into his jeans and coat. George and his little brother Alex had been playing in the garden for an hour. They had built a snowman that was as big as George. They had thrown snowballs at each other and built a fort out of snow. They had run around in circles to see who could go the fastest without slipping in the sludgy, muddy snow which had built up where Mum usually planted her summer flowers and strawberry plants. Then they had finally collapsed in a hot sweaty heap and made snow angels by lying on their back and moving their legs up and down in the snow. This is where they now rested, getting soggy and cold but not wanting to go inside for Mum to dump them in the bath and make them put their “good clothes” on for the trip to the dentist that was planned for that afternoon. George did not mind the dentist. He was 8 years old and had been to the dentist a lot of times. George had even lost 5 of his baby teeth. He had no teeth at all at the front and thought that he looked rather cool. He could stick his tongue through the gap, put a drinking straw in his mouth without even opening it and could do a super cool whistling noise. He had another wobbly tooth now and loved making

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his Mum feel sick by wobbling it with his tongue. Every time George went to the dentist he got a sticker for having good teeth and then got to watch a new movie and choose whatever he wanted for dinner that night. George was hoping that today the dentist would say that he could have braces like his best friend Eira. Eira’s braces weren’t just silver. They had little coloured elastic bands all the way along. George wouldn’t half mind a set of those. Alex was not looking forward to the dentist. Not at all. He was only 4 and this was his first trip to the dentist. Alex was terrified. So there the brothers lay, ignoring Mum as she shouted for the third time “Come in right now boys. It is time to get ready. We are going to be really late”. “What if he says my teeth are yellow and brown?” said Alex as he watched an aeroplane making a white trail in the sky. Probably off to somewhere really fun like the jungle. Or Mars. “Your teeth are as white as the snow. He won’t say that” said George “Well what if he says that my breath smells like stinky kippers and rotten eggs?” asked Alex as he looked into the branches of the garden tree, searching for any remaining leaves that had survived the snow. “He won’t” said George “You brushed your teeth after breakfast. They smell like peppermint” “So what if…… what if he pulls all of my


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teeth out with big dentist tools and I can’t eat crisps or apples or even pizza anymore?” said Alex as he felt by his side to see if there was enough snow next to him to make one last snowball. “Well then you will just have to live off jelly and ice cream” said George, laughing. “Anyway he won’t. Dentists don’t just go round pulling everyone’s teeth out. They just check that you are brushing them properly. They are nice. They aren’t baddies” “Soooooo…. What if he says my teeth are tooooo white and wants to make them black?” asked Alex as he started to enjoy their new game. “Well then you will get to eat as many sweets as you like until all of your teeth are black.” said George, rolling his eyes and wondering how angry Mum was going to be when they went in and she realized that all of their clean clothes were now slushy and wet (and they had turned her strawberry patch into a slush, mud, super, duper, whizzy slide). “You will never have black teeth anyway. You use your strawberry toothpaste and Power Ranger toothbrush way too much to get black teeth” “Well he is definitely going to poke his fingers in my mouth” said Alex as he closed his eyes and opened his mouth to try and catch some of the new snowflakes on his tongue as they fell out of the sky. “I think I will bite them. Then he will be sorry for poking around in mouths”. “Mum would not be happy if you did that” said George “She would ban you from watching TV for a whole month. Anyway if you bit the dentist’s fingers off you would end up swallowing them. If you had fingers for lunch you would have no appetite for pizza and ice cream afterwards. Then you would be sorry.” “Boys!”

shouted

Mum,

starting

sound a little bit annoyed “Come in RIGHT NOW!” George and Alex pulled their hats down over their ears and ignored Mum. She didn’t sound absolutely and completely bonkers yet so they figured they had another five minutes before she came searching for them. Just enough time for a game of kicking their legs into the air as hard as they could to try to get their wellington boots to fly off and land behind the snow fort wall that they had built earlier. They both managed to fling their boots far enough in the end, although George’s boot did fall on his head the first time and Alex’s boot had hit a branch of the tree and had showered them with snow. One boot flew over the garden wall and George could have sworn that he heard a “plop” as it hit the river at the other side. “So what if….. what if…. Oh! I can’t think of anything else” said Alex as he sat up and shook the snow off his face. “Well that’s that then” said George as he stood up and held his hand out to help Alex stand up. “Just enough time for one more run in the sludgy strawberry slide” said George as they raced to the big puddle of snow mud and jumped in, splashing the slushy mud right up to their knees. “BOYS!” bellowed Mum as she came into the garden just in time to see the splash. “And in just your socks too!” she shouted, as she threw her arms in the air. Later that day Alex and George enjoyed their after-dentist treat of pizza and ice cream. George’s wobbly tooth had fallen out, Alex had been given a sticker by the dentist and Mum? Well she never did find all of the boys’ wellington boots but her teeth were just fine, too.

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Storytime, day 20

The Catnapper Written by Christine Cassello

Cathy tiptoed up the porch steps. She picked up the bowl full of dry cat food, emptied it into her plastic bag and put the empty bowl back on the porch. She walked quietly down the stairs and ran to the gate. Cathy quickly opened it and closed it behind her as she left the yard. She rushed into the yard next door. Cathy went down the three cement stairs to the basement door and located the key her parents hid for emergencies. She unlocked the door. A golden yellow cat brushed against her legs as she entered the basement. Cathy blocked the doorway and closed the door. No, you don’t,” she said to the cat. “That’s probably how you got lost in the first place. But, I’m not letting you get away. You’re mine now and Dee can’t have you.” Cathy poured the cat food onto the cement floor. “I’ll get you a bowl son,” she promised. The cat ate, jumped up on the sink and drank from the drippy faucet. It jumped back down and climbed into a basket full of clothes to take a nap. Cathy went back outside. She put the key in it’s hiding place and saw Dee and her mother come onto their porch. “Look, Mom,” Deidre said. “Goldie ate the food. But why won’t he stay?”

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“It might not have been Goldie, Dee,” her mother answered. “Maybe a squirrel or some other animal ate it.” “I know it was Goldie,” Dee insisted. “Mom, what if he gets attacked by wild dogs or a coyote?” Cathy and Dee had heard about a pack of wild dogs that had killed large birds in a zoo and police had shot a coyote that had been roaming a neighborhood in Chicago. “I don’t think we have wild dogs or coyotes here,” Dees’ mother assured her. “I’m sure he’s safe.” I am too, Cathy because I’m taking care of him. But he deserves a better name. I’m going to call him Saffron. “Do you want to come over and play Barbies, Dee?” Cathy called out. “Oh, hi, Cathy. I’m sorry. I don’t feel like playing.” Dee hadn’t wanted to play with Cathy since her cat died a month ago. Now she wanted the one that Cathy found wandering in the alley. But, “finders, keepers.” Her grandpa had taught her. When Cathy’s mother got home from work, Cathy was in her room doing homework. A blue parakeet was sitting on her shoulder. “Hello. How are you?” the bird said.


“Hello, Tweeter. I’m fine, thank you,” her mother answered the bird. “Cathy, I thought you were going to ask Dee over.” “I did, but she didn’t want to come. She just keeps looking for that cat we saw two days ago. She puts food out for it and she’s even named it Goldie.” “It’s her cat, Cathy. Dee’s mother told me that they finally bought her a new cat, but it got away from them.” “She never told me she had a new cat..” “She was probably too embarrassed to let you know she lost it the day they brought it home,” Cathy’s mother said. Cathy remembered how she felt was Tweeter had flown away two years ago. She didn’t feel him on her shoulder and when she opened the back door he flew outside. He was gone for a week. Cathy and Dee didn’t play that week, they just sat together on the porch looking for Tweeter and trying to coax him back when they did see him. Dee was the one who thought of putting the cage on the porch with Tweeter’s favorite food in it. They tied a long string on the door so they could hold it open from their chairs and when Tweeter went into the cage to eat they let the door close. Dee had wanted a bird like Tweeter, but her mother was afraid of birds, so she bought her a tabby kitten instead. Dee had named her Tabitha. She’s not very creative, Cathy had thought. Tabitha was run over by a car. Cathy wouldn’t let Saffron go outside. He’d be safer with her

than with Dee, Cathy told herself and Dee would never know that she had him. The last part of the rhyme her grandpa taught her said, “losers, weepers.” That night Cathy tossed and squirmed in bed. She kept thinking about the 10 Commandments she had learned in Sunday school. If she kept her friend’s cat, she would be breaking two, “You shall not steal” and “You shall not covet”. She’d have to break another one “You shall not lie” to keep her friend from finding out. In the morning she went down to the basement after breakfast to talk to Goldie. The cat was curled up on the dirty clothes in the laundry basket. She began to stroke the cat and he purred. “I can’t keep you, Saffron, or Goldie,” Cathy told the cat. “I’m going to have to give you back to Dee after school, but I’ll miss you.” The doorbell rang and Cathy heard her mother tell Dee to come in and wait for Cathy. When Cathy came up the inside basement stairs, Goldie followed her and meowed when he got to the top and she closed the door on him. “That sounds like Goldie!” Dee shouted. She hurried to the basement door. Cathy opened it and Dee grabbed the cat. “Cathy, I’m never going to speak to you again, you catnapper!” she screamed and stomped out of the house to take Goldie home. “Cathy, what were you doing with Dee’s cat?” Cathy’s mother asked. “I didn’t catnap him, Mom. I thought he was a stray cat and I was hoping you’d let me keep him. I didn’t know he was Dee’s cat until you told me. I was

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Storytime, day 20 continued

going to give him back right after school, but I can’t explain that to Dee now because she’s so mad at me. What can I do?’ “I don’t know, Cathy. You may have to find a new friend.” Cathy wanted to make up with Dee. They had been friends since they were in pre-school. She tried to talk to Dee at school, but Dee ignored her. She would not play with her at recess or walk home with her. Cathy had no one but Tweeter to talk to when she got home. “You miss Dee too, don’t you Tweeter. I know she likes you.” Cathy smiled at the idea that came to her mind. She coaxed Tweeter back into his cage and locked him. Then she wrote a note and taped it to the cage. Cathy took Tweeter to Dee’s back porch, set the cage down, rang the bell and ran. She was already back in her yard when Dee came to the door. Dee saw the caged bird and the note on the cage. She took the note inside with her but left the bird on the porch. Cathy crossed her fingers and hoped Dee would read her note. Half an hour later Cathy’s bell rang and Dee stood there holding Tweeter’s cage. Cathy feared the Dee might have released him, but he was there sitting on his perch. Dee handed to cage to Cathy. “I can’t keep him, Cathy. It was really nice of you to offer him to me because I know he means a lot to you, but I’d have to keep him locked in his cage to keep him safe from Goldie and away from my mom and it wouldn’t be fair to him.”

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“And I’d have to keep Goldie in the basement to keep her away from Tweeter, and that wouldn’t be fair to him either.” Cathy told Dee. “I’m sorry I didn’t let you explain about what happened, Cathy,” Dee said. “I forgot that I hadn’t told you about getting Goldie. You can come over and play with him anytime you want.” “And you can keep coming over to play with Tweeter,” Cathy told her friend.

PET TIPS: Got a pet you love? Get him microchipped. Cost is minimal, especially if done through a local shelter. Spay and neuter your pets. Every year, thousands of animals are put down because people didn’t do this. Keep your dogs leashed so they don’t hurt others or get hit by a car. Dogs need lots of exercise, just like kids! Did you know that regular walks are the best way to make a dog easier to train?


Storytime, day 21

The Smallest Chipmunk Written by William Thabiso

It was springtime in the forest, and that means there were lots of new trees, new flowers, and new baby animals - especially chipmunks! Now, all of the new chipmunks had to go to chipmunk school and be taught about collecting nuts for the winter. They were told that they would need to find lots and lots of nuts all spring and summer and fall, because when the winter came the nuts would fall off of the trees, just like the leaves, and then there would be no nuts. So the chipmunks were taught to collect nuts and put them in a safe place until winter. They were told that soon they could find their very own trees for storing their nuts.

 Finally the day came that the chipmunks could choose a tree. They were very excited - many of them had already been looking around and had chosen some good trees. All of the chipmunks lined up early on this special day, and when the sun appeared above the mountain top they started their race to find a tree. All of the fastest chipmunks got to the biggest trees first, and soon only the smaller trees were left. But that was okay for the smallest chipmunk, because he actually wanted the littlest tree - a very funny, very small tree. He had hoped that no one else would choose it first, and now

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here he was, standing happily by his cute little tree. The other chipmunks didn’t understand why he could like it so much, and they even laughed at him! But he didn’t mind - he just loved his tree. In fact he loved her so much that he promised he would always take care of her for his whole life!

That’s why she decided to give him a gift. One day when the little chipmunk was taking care of his tree, some chocolate came out of her branches and made the chipmunk’s feet all sticky. He had never heard of a chocolate tree. In fact, he didn’t even know what chocolate was! But now he was dirty and he had to get clean. He started licking the chocolate off and WOW was he surprised! He had never tasted chocolate before and it was really, really good! He told his tree “thank you” that night and went to sleep knowing he really did have the best tree in the whole world!

 The next day though, some grown up chipmunks came and told the little chipmunk that his little tree had one BIG problem - it didn’t have any room for storing nuts! All of the other chipmunks had been gathering nuts for days now and he didn’t have any! How was he going to eat in the winter time? He couldn’t take nuts from the other chipmunks - that was


not allowed. They said he had better find a bigger tree and he had better start collecting nuts. He didn’t know how he was going to save any nuts, but he did know he couldn’t leave his tree. He had made a promise to his little tree and he was going to keep it! He sat down to think. He had to figure out a way to keep his little tree, and still be able to have nuts in the winter. Again the other chipmunks told him to stop wishing for something he couldn’t have – they told him he better find a new tree fast and get to work. But he stayed sitting under his tree, and kept thinking. He had to find a better answer.

he ran to the grown ups, and he even ran to the chipmunks that had laughed at him. He invited them all to meet together at his little tree. He told them that they each needed to bring one nut. Soon, all of the chipmunks in the whole forest had gathered around. Even some other animals were there – badgers, song birds, and deer. The little chipmunk ran to the middle of all the animals and began to talk. “You all know that my tree is too small to save any nuts for the winter.” All of the animals agreed. “But she is a very special tree, and I can’t leave her.” Many of the chipmunks grumbled and started to tell him how silly he was. He spoke faster, “But I have an answer that will help everyone here!” The animals listened again. “Mom, Dad, I want you to taste this nut,” and he handed them a nut, covered in chocolate.

As he was thinking, some chocolate dripped on his head. It kept dripping and soon it was running down his face. He was thinking so hard about how to fix his problem that he didn’t realize he was getting covered in chocolate! Soon his whole body was covered - and then he licked his lips. All of a sudden he realized he was covered, but before he could be very surprised, he knew the answer! Quickly the little chipmunk ran to his mom and dad’s tree. He told them to come to his little tree as fast as they could and ran off again. He ran to his friends,

It seemed as if all of the forest was watching to see what would happen. None of them knew why the nut looked different – they thought it must be yucky. Why would the silly little chipmunk try and get his parents to eat a bad nut? But his parents slowly lifted the nut and took a small nibble. “WOW!” they yelled. “That tastes great! What is it?” The little chipmunk hardly had time to try and explain because now all of the animals wanted a taste. They surrounded him and pushed to get closer. He shouted for everyone to get in line and told them he would dip each nut in the chocolate so they could taste it. Of course all of the animals wanted more. They asked him if they could bring all the nuts they

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Storytime, day 21 continued

gathered so that they could have chocolate nuts all winter long. This is where the chipmunk announced his solution, “I am happy to give each of you chocolate covered nuts, but it will take all of the time that I have. I will be very busy and can not look for nuts myself. But, if each of you would share some of your nuts with me then I can also have enough nuts for winter.” The forest was quiet again. The little chipmunk worried – would all of the others agree? Did they want the chocolate enough to share their nuts with him? He waited, and waited, and waited. It seemed like they would never answer. He hung his head down; he couldn’t bring himself to look at them if they said no. The little chipmunk didn’t know what sound he was hearing – at first it sounded a little like raindrops. And then it sounded like a rainstorm. But he wasn’t getting wet. He finally looked up and saw everyone cheering! They were clapping and smiling. He could see that they thought his idea was wonderful. All of the chipmunks wanted to share with him! He would have plenty of food to last through winter, and better than that, all of the chipmunks would have chocolate covered nuts! After all of the chipmunks had gone back home, the little chipmunk had one more visitor. It was the badger. He asked if he could have some of his food covered in chocolate as well. The chipmunk answered that he didn’t really like badger food and that he didn’t know what he should do. Then the chipmunk

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had a very good idea – he said the badger could dig a very big hole for the little chipmunk to hold all the nuts that the other chipmunks were going to share with him.This made the both of them very happy. Before the chipmunk went to sleep that night, he made sure to spend some extra time with his favorite tree. He also made sure to tell her thank you. He even sang her favorite lullaby three times!

TALK TIME: Topics: Helping others, Entrepreneurship Did the little Chipmunk need help? Why? Did the little Chipmunk help the other chipmunks? How? Point out to the child that every problem has a solution. What are some problems that others people have solved? If you feel up to it, talk to your child about how these principles apply in the business world, and how filling a need is the way succesful businesses are built.


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Storytime, day 22

Tubba-Time for Teddy Written by Carmen Vadislov

“Danny, your bath is ready!” “I’m coming, Mom. Can I bring Maurice too?” pleaded Danny. “No, honey, we don’t want him to get ruined. You can play with your ducky instead.” Danny put Maurice, a brown teddy bear with curly fur and bright eyes, back in the toy chest. Maurice sighed. How could he get ruined if Danny had nothing to fear from a bath? he wondered. The phone rang. Maurice pricked up his ears: “Dad… pick up… airport.” Rushed steps followed and the front door closed with a thump. Danny and his mom were gone. This was his chance! Maurice’s heart pounded. He hopped down from the toy chest and peeked around the corner. The bathroom door was ajar. Vapour sneaked out. Everyone was gone. The coast was clear. With quivering paws Maurice pushed open the door. On the crystalline water in the bathtub glided carefree Danny’s rubber ducky. “Come in, I can show you around,” quacked the duck. “Isn’t the water too deep or too hot for a little bear like me?” asked Maurice in a little voice. “Nonsense! Just hop in!” insisted the duck. Maurice stepped into the tub. The water warmly caressed his paws as he

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From Nova Scotia, Canada

was tiptoeing around. Slowly he sank into the tub and relaxed. “Why can’t I float on water, like you do?” wondered Maurice. “Ducks can float, boys and bears don’t; that’s just the way things are,” said the duck with importance. Then she pointed at the soap bar. “Now, in order to get clean, you have to lather.” Maurice looked clueless at the soap. He envied the duck. How wonderful to be wise and have special powers! Head in the clouds, Maurice knocked over a bottle of liquid soap. Soon the bathtub filled with bubbles. Wow! The bear chased the bubbles around and laughed. But when the soap bar dropped into the water Maurice slipped on it - whoosh! A big wave of water landed on the floor - splash! Up in the air, the soap bar knocked over the flower pot from the window sill thump! Just then Danny flung open the bathroom door. “Silly bear,” he mumbled. “How did you get in here? Wait till Mom sees this mess!” Maurice spent the next few days hanging from his ears on the laundry line. With his fur dripping wet and curls flattened, the bear shivered and sneezed. I’ve learned my lesson, sobbed Maurice. He vowed never to embark on another risky adventure. And he was surely never going to trust another duck.


Gardening

Bonus story, day 22

with mama

Written by Carley Lyon

Mama promised me as soon as it was warm and sunny out that we could plant a big garden in the backyard with all kinds of fresh, fun, plants to eat. “It will be a lot of work. We will have to weed, till the soil, plant the plants in the ground, water them, and take good care of them. Are you ready for that?” She asked. I would work my hardest to take care of the baby plants in our garden, I promised her. I waited and waited and waited. The snow fell and then melted away; it seemed like it was taking forever and ever! Just a few more weeks and we can plant the garden,” Mama said. I could hardly wait; it was going to be so much fun! Then one morning really early Mama came to wake me up. She said, “Hurry and get ready. Today is the day we will plant the garden.” I hurried as fast as I could to get dressed, eat breakfast, and brush my teeth. Finally, Mama and I went outside. We got a shovel, a rake, and a bucket, and headed to the spot that was going to be our beautiful backyard garden. It looked like a pile of mud and weeds. I was not sure how this was going to turn into a beautiful garden. We worked very hard for many hours to get the dirt ready. It seemed to take a long time, but I was so excited I just kept on working. I pulled weeds and tilled the soil. Finally, after waiting forever, it was time to put the plants in the ground.

From Washington, USA

Let’s go in for lunch first,” Mama said. I was very hungry so I agreed. When lunch was over we came back out to plant. First we planted a row of sunflowers. Mama said, “They will grow tall and look up towards the sun.” I couldn’t wait to watch them grow all summer long. Next we planted a row of corn. Mama said, “This will grow about nine feet tall and produce great corn on the cob to eat for dinner.” I couldn’t wait for it to grow so we can eat the corn. Then we planted a row of pumpkins. Mama said, “For Halloween we can carve these pumpkins and make pumpkin pie too.” I love pumpkin pie! The next row was strawberries. Mama said, “You can snack on these all summer when you are out playing in the yard.” I couldn’t wait for them to grow! Then we planted a row of carrots. Mama said, “These grow underground and they will be great to eat.” I thought, wow some plants grow underground! The last row was tomatoes. Mama said, “They will taste so good right off the vine. You are going to love it.” I was so excited. We watered all the plants to make sure they did not get thirsty that night while we slept. Then we got cleaned all up and went inside for dinner. After dinner I went to bed early because I was so tired from a big day of gardening. I dozed off to sleep thinking about how great gardening is. I sure had fun gardening with Mama.

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Storytime, day 23

Cat Room Chaos Written by Sandee B. Stark

From Washington, USA

“M O M!” Shaun raced through the house with his frog cage swinging back and forth. “Mom, Junior’s got white spots all over him.” A worried look filled his licorice black eyes. “Can we take him to the vet?... Right now?... Pleeeease.” “Oh dear. Let me see, Shaun.” Shaun lifted the cage higher and sure enough, his back was covered with little white dots. “He’s sick, Mom. He won’t even eat.” All the way to the vet’s office Shaun held the cage on his lap. The clinic was noisy and smelled like wet animal fur. They sat down to wait their turn.

Shaun grinned and held up the cage. “Sometimes I call him Mudd... for short.” He reached in and gently brought Mudd out of the cage. “He’s a little sick.”

“Mom,” Shaun whispered. “The kid from down the street is sitting over there. Can I go say hi and show him Junior?” “Alright, but listen for our name to be called.” Mom said. “And Shaun, please remember to be quiet.” I can show him how great my frog is – then we can be friends, Shaun thought. I really want a new friend. He carried his frog cage into the cat room. “Hi, I’m Shaun. I just moved into the house down the street from you... I think.” “Oh, yeah. I’ve seen you. I’m Josh. This is my cat, Samantha. Sam for short. She’s here for her shots” “This is Junior. He’s a tree frog.”

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Josh’s cat Sam laid back her tiger stripped ears. Her yellow eyes narrowed. She hissed and made a rumble sound in her throat Shaun’s eyes twinkled and he wiggled his eyebrows up and down. Whoa! I wonder if Sam wants to see Mudd a little closer. He pushed the frog right under Sam’s whiskers. Sam jumped out of Josh’s lap with a ‘Yeooow’ and headed full speed across the room. She flashed by a long-haired tabby cat that backed away and bumped into a purple lamp. It crashed to the floor. Sam clawed her way up the green curtains. Shaun gasped. “Phhhhtt!” went one cat, “Yowwwl” went another, and a third stuttered,


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“Me. . . me . . . mewwww.” People shouted and scurried to catch their pets. “Here Skeeter, here Skeeter,” Mrs. Mason called as she tapped her gold cane on the floor. Lucy, who was chasing her cat, tripped over the fancy cane. “Ouch!” She hit the floor, her blond pigtails flying. Shaun scrunched his eyes closed. Josh headed for the curtains to grab Sam. All of a sudden, he let out a big “YIKES!” as he fell over Lucy and went sprawling across the floor. A black-as-Halloween cat jumped in the middle of Josh’s stomach . . . “Ouffff!” The cat leaped again and landed on Mrs. Mason’s head. “Eeekkkk!” She wobbled and fell on top of Lucy. “Oh my gosh... oh my gosh,” Shaun said, closing his fingers gently around Junior. The vet came to see what was making such a racket. He helped Mrs. Mason to her feet and looked around. There definitely was chaos in the cat room. Lucy brushed her pigtails back and giggled. Josh lifted Sam off the curtains and laughed. Mrs. Mason let out a big “Ha, Ha.” The vet laughed too. Everyone laughed – except Shaun. Tears clouded his eyes. He hung his head and his thin shoulders drooped. He quietly slipped Junior back into the cage and handed it to the vet. I shouldn’t have pushed Junior into Sam’s face. Now I’ll never have a new friend, he thought. He looked at Josh who sat in a chair whispering to Sam. Shaun knew

what he had to do. “Josh, I’m really, really sorry. I didn’t know Sam was afraid of tree frogs.” Josh looked up. A smile spread slowly across his freckled face. “Hey Shaun, that’s okay. I didn’t know Sam was afraid of a little ol’ tree frog either. You know what? That was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. Why don’t you come over to my house later. I’ll tell you about Sam and you tell me about Junior... or is that Muuuudd?” A grin flashed across Shaun’s face. Wow, he thought. I think I have a new friend! Just then, the vet came over and put his hand on Shaun’s shoulder. “So this is our little problem-maker, huh?” he said. But Shaun knew he wasn’t in trouble because the vet was smiling when he said it. The vet reached down and picked up Junior. He looked on his back, his tummy, and every part of the frog. “Does his terarium have white spots in it, too?” asked the Vet. Shaun nodded. everywhere!”

“Yes sir.

They’re

“Well, you’re in luck, Shaun. Junior’s got mites, and those are easy to get rid of. Just spray him down with water every day, a couple of times a day. It might be easier if you have a friend who can help hold the top of the terrarium open. Do you have any new friends, yet?” Shaun looked over at his new friend, Josh. Josh was nodding his head and it was obvious he wanted to help with the frog. “Yes, sir. I sure do.”

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Storytime, day 24

Gullible Gertrude’s Garden Written by George Anthony Kulz

Hailey the Hen was tending her garden when Gertrude the Goose stopped by. “Come see my garden,” Gertrude said. “What did you grow?” Hailey asked. “Tulips? Carrots perhaps?” “No, light answered.

bulbs,”

Gertrude

Hailey laughed. “Light bulbs! That’s just silly!” “No really, come see.” The two friends entered Gertrude’s garden. Sure enough, Hailey saw rows of light bulbs of all different shapes, sizes, and colors sticking out of the ground. “See, told you,” Gertrude said. “What do you think?” Hailey’s eyes opened wide. “N-nice g-garden.” “Help me pick them,” Gertrude said. The two friends spent the morning picking light bulbs from the garden. Then Hailey headed home, scratching her head all the way. A few weeks later, as Hailey was tending her garden, Gertrude stopped by. “Come see my garden,” she said. “What did you grow?” Hailey asked. “Roses? Tomatoes perhaps?” “No, silverware,” Gertrude answered.

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From Rhode Island, USA

Hailey laughed. “Silverware! That’s just silly!” “No really, come see.” The two friends entered Gertrude’s garden. Sure enough, Hailey saw rows of forks, knives, and spoons sticking out of the ground. “See, told you,” Gertrude said. “What do you think?” Hailey’s eyes opened wide. “N-nice g-garden.” “Help me pick them,” Gertrude said. The two friends spent the morning picking silverware from the garden. As they worked, Hailey asked, “By the way, where did you get the idea to grow silverware?” “Why, Wally Weasel told me to how to do it,” Gertrude answered. “He’s going to show me how to grow shoes next.” Wily Wally Weasel? Hailey thought. I should have known! For the next week, Hailey kept watch over Gertrude’s garden. Finally, on Friday night, she spotted Wally Weasel, Freddy Fox, and Gary Goat sneaking through the garden. She jumped from the shadows. “Aha, I caught you! You should be ashamed of yourself playing tricks on Gertrude like that!” Wally hung his head. “We were just having fun.” “You know how gullible she can be,”


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Hailey explained. “Tomorrow you will set things right.” In the morning, Hailey, Wally, Freddy, and Gary knocked on Gertrude’s door. The three pranksters explained the tricks they had played. Gertrude was heartbroken. “I just wanted a nice garden like you, Hailey.” “We’ll help you plant one,” Hailey assured her, then stared at the others. “Won’t we?” They all nodded. The five friends spent the day planting seeds in Gertrude’s garden. Hailey showed Gertrude how to water and weed her garden. A few weeks later, Hailey was busy tending her garden when Gertrude stopped by. “Come see my garden,” she said. Hailey laughed. “I would delighted.”

be

The two friends entered Gertrude’s garden. Hailey stared at the rows of giant sunflowers. “What do you think?” Gertrude asked. “They’re beautiful, Gertrude,” Hailey answered. Gertrude plucked a sunflower from the dirt. Then she headed toward the house. “Where are you going with that one?” Hailey asked. “This one’s going in my basement,” Gertrude answered. “It’s pretty dark down there, and sunflowers give off sunlight you know.” Hailey laughed and shook her head.

ACTIVITY: Plant something with your child, inside or outside. Having a plant to care for gives your child a responsibility she can look forward to, especially as she sees the plant begin to grow and strengthen. A great way to promote healthy eating is by getting your kids to help plant a garden in the spring. As they work in the garden and feel ownership in their labors, they will also be more interested in eating the “fruits” (or vegetables) of those labors! Admittedly, it’s a bit late to be planting a garden, but there are many plants you can plant inside the house. One great, healthy plant you can plant inside is sprouts! Sprouts take just a few days to grow from a seed and are full of good nutrients. Sprout varieties you can plant inside include: lentil sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, broccoli sprouts, and more. Other easy plants to plant inside are: Green onions, garlic shoots, bush basil, and chives. Sprouts are full of vitamins, minerals and enzymes which make them a superfood. They are inexpensive to buy and easy to grow. They grow in short periods of time and need very little preparation. Talk about a good product to add to your food storage! source: http://www.organicconsumers.

org/articles/article_10529.cfm

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Storytime, day 25

WH4T WAS TH3 MATH TR1CK? Written by Lori Hulvey

Jacob sat at the breakfast table with his head down and pushed the eggs around on his plate with his fork. He was dreading going to school again and it was only his second week in his new school. His father was watching him from the counter while he waited for the toast. “What’s wrong son? Aren’t you hungry?” “I don’t really want to go to school today.” “Are you sick?” Jacob knew lying was wrong so he slowly answered, “No, not exactly.” “Well then, what’s the matter?” His dad grabbed the toast as it popped up from the toaster and then sat at the table across from Jacob. “Mrs. Stern is giving a math test today.” “You’re good at math. You shouldn’t be worried about a test.” His father buttered his toast and took a bite as he glanced at the clock. Jacob continued, “I can’t remember the trick she showed us for knowing the number of days in each month. I know it has something to do with counting by using our hands. Do you know what the trick is?” Jacob looked up hopefully. “I’m sorry, son. I don’t know it. It’s probably one of those new methods I didn’t learn when I was in school. Why don’t you look it up in your book?” “It’s not in our book. She read about it somewhere and just showed it to us. We practiced it a couple of times, but now I’ve

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From Illinois, USA

forgotten it.” “Why don’t you ask one of your friends when you get to school?” “Jacob shook his head and answered in a low voice, “I can’t. I don’t have any friends at this school.” Jacob’s father reached out and placed his hand on Jacob’s shoulder and answered softly, “I know you’re shy and it’s hard to make new friends. Give it time, and soon you’ll have a good friend.” “Why do we have to move all the time?” “Moving is hard for both of us. But for now, my job requires for us to move.” “I know, Dad. I just wish we could settle in one place for longer than a couple of years.” Jacob rose and took his plate to the sink . His dad glanced at his watch and stood, “We both better get going before we’re late.” Jacob grabbed his lunch out of the refrigerator and walked to the door to put on his shoes. His dad grabbed his suit coat and followed Jacob out the apartment door, locking it behind him. “Good luck on your test,” his dad called as Jacob trotted down the steps. As Jacob walked the two blocks to school, he worried about the math test. Even though it hadn’t been discussed, he knew if he didn’t pass the math test, his dad would not take him to see the baseball game on Saturday. He was really looking forward to seeing his first professional baseball game and he didn’t want to spend the day correcting his test and working


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problems out of his math book. Jacob worried through his morning classes. Sitting in the cafeteria by himself, he continued to worry and couldn’t eat. Math was right after lunch and he decided he would get up enough courage to ask someone what the math trick was. Sitting down in his chair, he knew he had to do it quickly before class began. Looking around the room, he saw Daniel. Jacob knew Daniel was a good student because he had seen some of Daniel’s graded papers. And yesterday Daniel had helped Kelsie with fractions. Daniel was sitting close enough too, so Jacob decided to pass him a note. It said: Daniel, could you show me the trick for figuring out the number of days in each month before the test starts? signed, Jacob. As Jacob leaned over to pass the note to Daniel, the bell rang and Mrs. Stern looked up from her desk. “What are you doing Jacob?” she asked sharply. Jacob softly answered, “Passing a note.” “Bring it to me, please.” Mrs. Stern pushed her glasses higher on her nose. Jacob’s feet felt like lead as he took the note to Mrs. Stern. He felt as if his face were on fire from embarrassment. This was the only note Jacob had ever written and passed in his life, and he had gotten caught. His note might be tacked up on the bulletin board, for everyone to read, which would be even more embarrassing because he was probably the only one in the room who couldn’t remember the trick for the number of days in each month. The embarrassment was bad enough, but now he would probably fail the math test and not get to go to the baseball game on Saturday. As Jacob sat down, he saw Mrs. Stern read the note to herself. She then stood, walked to the front

of the room and faced the class. “We’re going to begin our test now. Are there any questions before we start?” No one said a word. It was as if they were waiting to see what was going to happen with the confiscated note. Jacob wanted to raise his hand, but it felt like it weighed a ton. He also felt he’d been embarrassed enough for one day, so he just sat there like everyone else. Mrs. Stern said, “It has been brought to my attention that we need to review the trick for figuring out the days in each month.” Jacob let out a sigh of relief

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which seemed to circulate around the classroom. Everyone seemed to sit up straighter too. Mrs. Stern began, “First make a fist with either hand paying attention to the knuckles sticking up on the back of your hand; not your finger knuckles. Begin with the knuckle of your index or pointer finger. This knuckle sticks up high and represents thirty-one days for the month of January. Moving

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Storytime, day 25 continued

toward your little finger, there’s a low valley between the two tall knuckles. This low spot represents February with twenty-eight or twenty-nine days. Then up on a high knuckle for March with thirtyone days. Thirty days down in the valley in April. Up again on a tall knuckle for the month of May. June is down in the valley with thirty days. Now you’ve come to the knuckle of your pinkie finger. Does anyone remember what to do now?” Jacob saw a girl in the back row wave her arm wildly. “Yes, Marissa?” “It is a tall knuckle and stands for thirty-one days. You have to count it once for July and then count it again for August because they both have thirty-one days.” “Very good, Marissa. Now you’re ready to come back toward your thumb one knuckle at a time. The next stop is in a valley for thirty days in September. Up high for October with thirty-one days; then down low for thirty days in November. Finally, you end up on the knuckle of your middle finger. It is tall, and it represents December with thirty-one days. Just remember, tall knuckles stand for thirty-one days and low valleys in between represent thirty days (except for February).” As Mrs. Stern was explaining and demonstrating, Jacob noticed every student in the class was counting the days in each month on the knuckles of his or her hands. Mrs. Stern then handed out the tests and the class began working. Jacob decided to finish the section on the days and months first while it was fresh in his mind. After the bell rang to dismiss school, Jacob was walking down the hall when Kelsie stopped him, “Good job, Jacob.” “What are you talking about?” “Getting Mrs. Stern to show

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us the math trick right before the test. I know I aced the test and it’s because of you. Thanks!” Kelsie smiled and walked off. “Hey, Jacob, way to go,” said another boy as he met him in the hall giving him a “thumbs up” sign. Jacob was surprised so many of his classmates knew his name and felt even more surprised they hadn’t known the trick either. “Jacob, wait up.” called a voice from behind him. Jacob stopped and turned to see Daniel walking toward him. “I’m glad you got caught passing me that note.” Jacob must have gotten a funny expression on his face because Daniel laughed and continued, “I couldn’t remember the trick either. If you hadn’t gotten caught, no one would’ve asked and Mrs. Stern wouldn’t have shown us the trick again.” “I’m glad I’m not the only one who forgot it.” Jacob turned and pushed the door open. Daniel followed him and as Jacob turned left at the end of the sidewalk Daniel said,“I didn’t know you walked home this way. Mind if I walk with you?” “That would be great,” Jacob grinned, slinging his backpack over his shoulder. As he and Daniel walked and talked on their way home from school, Jacob thought about the day. He felt he had done well on the math test and would get to go to the baseball game with his dad on Saturday. He had talked to some of his classmates and found it wasn’t that difficult. Surprisingly, they even knew his name. And most important, Daniel just might turn out to be that good friend his dad was talking about that morning.


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Storytime, day 26

Pigs in the Mud Written by William Thabiso

One day, some baby pigs were playing in the mud. Just like all pigs, these baby pigs LOVED playing in the mud. But this time, everything changed. All of a sudden the ground started shaking! All of the animals ran to hide. The baby pigs ran to find their mother and hid with her. Soon the ground stopped shaking. All of the animals peeked their heads out from their hiding places and looked around. Almost everything still looked the same. The horses still had their barn. The cows still had their grass. The ducks still had their pond. But the little baby pigs DID NOT have their mud! Their mud had disappeared! The baby pigs went to their mother and told her they didn’t have any mud. What were they going to do? The mommy pig told her babies to ask the other farm animals if they had some mud for the baby pigs. First they went to the horses and asked “Do you have any mud we can play in?” The horses neighed “Of course not, we only have a barn.” Next they asked the cows “Do you have some mud? - ours disappeared.” “Moooo, we only have our pasture” said the cows. The pigs sadly left the cow and went to ask the chickens. But the chickens did not have any mud. Only seeds on the ground. They didn’t even ask the ducks; they knew the ducks would say they only had a pond.

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From Utah, USA

The little pigs sat down together and started to cry. They were so sad that they didn’t have any mud! After a few minutes the pigs heard another animal. It was a sheep. He said, “Baa, what is wrong little pigs? Why are you crying?” They answered, “We don’t have any mud - the shaking made our mud disappear!” “Baa ha ha ha,” laughed the sheep. “What are you talking about? You’re sitting in a big puddle of mud!” The little pigs looked up in surprise. They didn’t know what the sheep was talking about but they hoped he was right! As soon as they looked down they couldn’t believe it. They were sitting in a puddle of mud! “But how did that happen?” they asked...”where did it come from?” Their mommy pig walked up just then and said, “it must have been all of your tears falling in the dirt - that’s where the mud came from!” And from that day on, the little pigs were never without mud again!


Storytime, day 27

Granny Gertie’s wish list by Dulcinea Norton-Smith

Granny Gertie didn’t bake cakes or knit scarves. Granny Gertie was a world famous explorer. When Lucy was 3 years old Granny Gertie went swimming with sharks in the Solomon Sea. She wore a sequined swimsuit and swished through the slippery seaweed. When Lucy was 4 years old Granny Gertie went to round up reindeer in Russia. She wore red rollerblades and a rainbow raincoat. She roared and raced around the rumbling reindeer. When Lucy was 5 years old Granny Gertie gave Lucy a piece of pink paper. “When I was a little girl” said Granny Gertie “I was scared of many things. I wished I was brave. This is the wish list that I wrote of the things that I wished I was brave enough to do. If you can be brave enough to do all of these things I will give you a super special surprise” Then Granny Gertie leapt onto a llama in her lime green leggings and lavender leotard and left to look for lizards and lynx in Latvia. On Monday Lucy looked at wish number 1. “I wish I was brave enough to hold spiders and worms”. Even though they seemed scary and yucky Lucy found a spider and a worm and put them in her hand. They wiggled and tickled and squiggled. Lucy giggled.

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From Lancashire, UK

On Tuesday Lucy looked at wish number 2. “I wish I could wear twenty-two hats to school and not be afraid of people laughing at me”. Lucy went exploring in Mommy’s closet. She found as many hats as she could and piled them on top of her head. At school everyone laughed, but Lucy gave her friends a hat each and they all laughed together. After that every Tuesday at Lucy’s school was Silly Hat Day. On Wednesday Lucy looked at wish number 3. “I wish I was noisy, not quiet”. Lucy tied pan lids to her arms and legs. Lucy walked around the house making CLANG CLASH BANG BASH noises. Mommy got a headache and told Lucy that it was bedtime. On Thursday Lucy looked at wish number 4. “I wish I was brave enough to get dirty and messy”. Lucy went into the garden and poured a big jug of water on the flower bed. Lucy squelched and squirched and sludged through the slushy sloshy mud. She had mud in her ears and in her hair, mud between her toes and on her nose. Mommy was not happy. She made Lucy have a long bath. On Friday Lucy looked at wish


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number 5. “I wish I could eat sweets all day long”. That day Lucy would not touch her breakfast or lunch. Lucy sucked sugary sweets and chomped chewy chocolate all day long. By bedtime Lucy felt sick and sore in her stomach. “That was definitely NOT a good wish,” Lucy thought. On Saturday Lucy looked at wish number 6. “I wish I danced more”. Lucy and Mommy put loud music on the radio. They twizzled, turned, boogied, and bounced. The next day was Sunday and there were no wishes left. Lucy and Mommy wore their pajamas until lunchtime and watched movies in bed until they heard a shout from outside. When they got to the garden they saw Granny Gertie plunging and pirouetting from a parachute. As they feasted on cupcakes, Lucy told Granny Gertie about her week. About worms and spiders, hats and pans, mud and sweets, dancing and singing. “What a brave girl you are Lucy,” said Granny Gertie. “I think that you’re ready for your surprise. You are coming on my next adventure.” She pointed to a beautiful bright blue boat tied to a big bunch of bobbing balloons. “We are going boating in Barbados to bathe with barracuda.” As Lucy and Granny Gertie bounced beyond the beautiful clouds in their brilliant bright blue boat, Lucy was happy that she wasn’t scared of anything. Not one single thing.

ACTIVITY: Make a list with your child of all the things you are each afraid of. Are you afraid of bugs? What about heights? Worms? Spiders? Snakes? Explain to your child that it is natural to experience fear. Being afraid of things oftentimes helps us stay safe. If we weren’t afraid of scorpions, bees, spiders and snakes, for example, we’d probably get stung and bitten a lot more! Some fears, though, can be overcome. In overcoming them, or at least learning how to deal with them, your confidence and self-worth grow. Ask your child if there are any fears on their list that they would like to overcome.Talk about ways that you can overcome those fears and make plans to do it together. Worms is a great example of a safe fear to overcome. Afraid of heights and/or falling? Do a “Trust-Fall” where a big brother or dad catches the child as they close their eyes, fold their arms, and fall straight backward. Remember, don’t push your child to do something they’re not comfortable with. Keep it safe and fun. And don’t forget to overcome some of your fears... leading by example is always the most impactful way to teach.

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Storytime, day 28

HOW ZEBRAS WERE MADE Written by William Thabiso

One upon a time there was a beautiful white horse named Rachel. She lived in the snowy mountains far away from almost everyone. She was very happy because her home was so beautiful. There was just one problem, though, with living far away, and that is that she was all alone. So she decided to go on a journey to find the one horse that would be her best friend! She traveled for two days and two nights, and when she got out of the mountains, she saw a whole bunch of horses. They were brown and tan and some had spots of white and black, but none of them looked like her, so they ignored her and didn’t let her come play with them. So she set out again and she traveled and traveled and traveled. She was sure she would be able to find a friend somewhere in the great big world. There had to be someone that looked like her! She traveled very far and finally she came to a hot and dry land. It was quite different from her home in the snow. Soon she saw a horse that was also very different from her. He was as black as the night. His name was Zed. The two horses became best friends and also fell in love. One day while they were eating some grass, a lion jumped out from the bushes with a roar! Both horses were so frightened that their hair stood up straight! And, when they turned to run away, they ran straight into each other! The lion was very surprised to see the

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From Utah, USA

two horses all tangled up. Their legs, necks, and tails were twisted together so that it was hard to tell which horse was which! The lion thought it was so funny that he laughed and laughed, rolling on the dirt. He laughed so much that he wasn’t hungry anymore, so he left the horses alone. It took them a while, but finally the two horses got untangled. But when they looked at each other they were both very surprised. There wasn’t a white horse or a black horse any more. Instead, there was one white horse with black stripes, and one black horse with white stripes. Later, when they had a family, all of their babies had black and white stripes and short hair sticking straight up. The other animals in the jungle decided to call them Zebras instead of horses. The horses didn’t mind, they still loved each other and their family.


Storytime, day 29

The Search for Bucky Written by Karen Picardi

It finally stopped raining! The sun was shining its beams of light through the tall forest trees. We were happy that we could finally play out in the back yard. My brother Billy was playing with our dog Marley. They were playing fetch with a bright yellow ball. CJ was playing by the swing set and I was sitting under a tree reading a book about deep-sea adventures. “Mikey, Billy, CJ,” Mom called to us. She was standing near the back door of our cottage home. My mom caught CJ as he glided down the slide. “Okay guys it’s time to get cleaned up,” My mom said. “It’s tubba time?” little CJ asked. “Yes, and then we’re going to the aquarium,” My mom said as she walked us towards the house. I was happy because we were going to the aquarium. I love to learn about the ocean and the many life forms that live in it.

From Maryland, USA

looking all over the place for the yellow duck. “What’s going on?” I asked. “Mikey, have you seen Bucky?” CJ said with tears filling up in his eyes. “No,” I said. “Can you help me look for him?” Mom asked. Mom and I knew if we didn’t find Bucky, CJ would not want to take a bath. He also would not want to leave the house till we found the yellow duck. That would mean no trip to the aquarium. I decided to help by pretending to be a detective. From the many books I’ve read, I know all the good detectives come up with a plan. My plan would be retracing the steps where the duck was last seen and asking if any one else has seen this duck, then search the house for clues. I decided to talk to CJ and find out when he had last seen the duck.

“Bucky needs a bath too,” CJ said. Bucky is CJ’s bright yellow rubber duck, and my little brother won’t go in the tub without him. I was about to get dressed when I heard CJ cry out. “Where’s Bucky? Bucky.”

Mom, I can’t find

“Where did you last see Bucky?” CJ looked at me with a tear in his eye and blank face, he was too sad to answer my questions. My next step of the plan was to see when Billy had last seen Bucky. I walked into Billy’s bedroom. Billy was putting a cookie into his mouth. “Billy, did you know Bucky is missing?”

I walked into to the bathroom to see what was going on. My mom was

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Billy looked up at me chewing his cookie. He nodded yes.


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“Hhmm, that’s odd, Bucky is missing and you can still eat that cookie.” “I’m hungry,” Billy said. “Where did you last see Bucky?”

Detective:

How to play...

“I don’t know,” he said. I knew he was not going to be any help so I pulled a cookie out of my pocket. I held it up. He looked at me, then the cookie; his mouth started to water. “The last time I saw it was last night when CJ was in the tub,” Billy said jumping in the air trying to reach for the cookie. I knew he was telling the truth ,especially when there was a cookie being offered. I gave him the cookie and walked out of the room. I wondered to myself who would want this duck? I couldn’t think of anyone. My next step of the plan was to look for clues. I decided to search the bathroom first. CJ was sitting on the edge of a chair near the tub wiping away a tear. I looked all around. I checked in the tub. I checked in the closet. I checked under a towel on the floor. That’s when I noticed the muddy paw prints. I wondered what Marley was doing in the bathroom? This was Marley’s least favorite place to be in the house. Marley doesn’t like to take baths. I followed the muddy tracks out of the bathroom through the kitchen, past the water bowl around the counter and out towards the back door. That is where the tracks stopped and there was Marley. Marley was happy to see me. He was wiggling his tail and parading around with his head held high. Marley was showing off the bright yellow duck in his mouth. The search was over! I had found Bucky, CJ could now take his bath, and soon we would be going to the aquarium. It was a good day’s work.

Do your kids like to play hideand-seek? Then they’ll LOVE playing “Detective.” First, find an item to hide somewhere in the house. Second, Hide it. (you saw that

one coming, right?)

Third, make clues for how to find the item. For example, your first clue can be a picture of the piano, then hide the next clue somewhere around the piano. This clue can lead them to the TV, and the next one to the tree in the backyard... Clues can be puzzles or riddles, as well, depending on the age and intelligence of the child. Then let your children have a turn at hiding an object and drawing the clues, too! Help them a few times, and let Dad or a big sibling be the one who has to find the object. A fun variation is to play “Pirates” and draw a treasure map of your house or the yard.

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Storytime, day 30

the Bubble Bath bandit Written by Sandie Lee

We interrupt your regular programming to bring you this special report - - The once quiet town was popping with activity. A porky police officer named P. Piggles yanked yellow caution tape around a quaint house. The local television station had their best reporter on the scene. A willowy deer spoke seriously into a microphone. “This is Deery McDreary reporting live for Small-Town News. I’m on location outside the home of Ms Goldilocks, where the latest attack of the ‘Bubble Bath Bandit’ has occurred. This soapy-scoundrel likes to bathe in other people’s bathtubs. He sneaks in, suds, scrubs, then runs, leaving bathrooms in a mess and home owners in a tizzy. McDreary paused. Goldilocks sat, shivering by a waiting ambulance. This was her chance. “Ms. Locks,” she bellowed. “Do you think this was personal, perhaps payback for your breaking and entering the three bears house?” Goldilocks was startled. “N...n...not at all, that was just a misunderstanding.” “Then why you, why your bubble bath?” “I...I don’t know,” Goldilocks said, slowly shaking her head. “I was filling up my tub when the telephone rang. I was gone a while and when I returned, I found my bathroom had been...been, banditized.” She began to cry. “If only I had locked the window.” A medic jostled past

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From Ontario, Canada

McDreary. “This girl needs medical attention,” the muscular elk said. “Get your story somewhere else.” McDreary huffed loudly. She then spied a fidgety squirrel waiting on a stump and rushed over. “I’m with Miss Nutsie who rents the maple tree loft in the victim’s backyard. Tell me Nuts, did you see anything?” The squirrel wrung her tiny hands and answered without a single pause. “I was watching my very favorite story ‘The Young and the Careless’ and Filbert that scoundrel was just about to reveal-” McDreary interrupted. “Yes, yes, but was there anything unusual happening?” “Well Filbert is really Hazel’s long lost brother, that’s unusual.” She stabbed at the air with one finger. “Well it is, it is, it most certainly is!” Nutsie chattered on. “...then while I waited for the water to boil for my walnut tea I looked out my window and That stinky little fellow, the one with the strange name, he was by Goldilocks’ garbage cans...” Nutsie chattered on some more, “...then I saw those two darling cubs, you know the Bearster twins, they were playing in the mud and were all dirty but then my story was back on...” McDreary had enough. She spotted a distinguished looking fox and hurried over to him. “I’m here with Chief of Police, Sly Fox. Chief what can you tell us


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so far?” She thrust the microphone under his nose. “The situation is under control.” McDreary prodded, “Can you be more specific? Do you have any clues or suspects yet?” The Chief answered carefully. “The bathroom was a mess and the victim’s bubble bath had certainly been used. However, some soapy footprints and a plastic fish were left behind, so we’re hoping this may lead to an arrest.” “Do you think the break-ins have anything to do with the rainy, muddy weather?” The Chief scratched his head. “We’re not ruling that out. This individual obviously has the need to bathe and will stop at nothing to do so.” Detective Bulls, a husky moose, interrupted them with a raccoon in tow. “Chief we’re taking him in for questioning,” his deep voice resounded. “Well, well if it isn’t Rocko,” the Chief said smugly. The raccoon kicked at the ground. “You got nothin’ copster . Just cause I wear a mask you think you can pin this on me? You think you can frame me?” Detective Bulls pushed him into a waiting police car. “You’ll never prove anything. Nevvvveeeerrrrr.” Rocko’s voice faded as the car sped away.

Just then Officer Piggles came out of the house with a skunk in handcuffs. McDreary recognized him and pushed her way through the crowd. “Excuse me! Excuse me!” she insisted. “Mr. Odor, why are you being arrested? Are you the Bubble Bath Bandit?” The skunk became incensed. “My name is Monsieur O’deur and just because I am slightly musky does not mean I need to bathe. I was only behind her house taking a peek through her garbage, nothing else. I’m innocent I say, innocent.” The officer shoved him. “That’s enough out of you,” he said gruffly. “Save it for the judge.” Disappointed, McDreary glanced around, but there was no one else newsworthy. She then stared solemnly into the camera. “The Bubble Bath Bandit,” she said gravely, “Will he strike again? Only time will tell. This is Deery McDreary reporting for Small-Town News. If there’s news happening we’ll find it.” Just then a bear with her twin cubs walked by. “I’m so proud of you both,” mother bear exclaimed. “All this mud and not a speck of dirt on either one of you. Now if we could only find your plastic fish.”

- - - We now return you to your regular programming.

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83


Storytime, Bonus Story

Sister Soo Written by Bonita Pate Davis

“Where is my cereal?” asked Jill. Jill’s plate held something that looked like a Frisbee made out of tiny white peas stuck together. “We’re having rice cakes for breakfast,” said Mama. “I always eat cereal,” said Jill. “Soo Lin ate rice cakes for breakfast in Korea,” said Mama. “Joining our family is a big change for Soo Lin,” said Daddy. “Having familiar things will help her adjust.” A girl with long, black hair smiled shyly across the table at Jill. Soo Lin seemed to enjoy the crunchy rice cakes. Jill tasted hers, then gulped some milk to wash down the dry breakfast.

questions about Korea. Jill’s friends were amazed when Soo Lin told them about flying across the ocean. No one wanted to play Jill’s favorite recess games. Jill walked Soo Lin back to her class. She was glad when the afternoon bell rang. Nothing had been normal today. She wondered if anything would ever be the same as before. Jill’s teacher stopped her at the door and stuck a gold star on her backpack. “For being the best helper in school today,” he said. Jill sat with Soo Lin on the bus again. Cassie and Adam slid onto the seat behind them. “Your sister is cool,” said Cassie. “Yeah,” said Adam. “She’s more fun than a baby who can only make funny faces.”

When her parents decided to adopt a sister, Jill had wished for a baby that made funny faces like Adam’s little brother. Instead, Soo Lin was eight— two years older than Jill.

After dinner, Soo Lin got to pick the television programs. Jill usually got to choose.

Jill wondered what other changes Soo Lin might bring.

The wind howled and blew in a rainstorm, so Jill shared her afghan with Soo Lin. Jill’s feet stuck out and grew cold.

Mama and Daddy asked Jill to help Soo Lin at school. So she sat with Soo Lin on the bus and not next to Cassie, like usual. Instead of chatting with friends before the bell, Jill helped Soo Lin find her classroom. At recess, Jill’s friends all gathered around Soo Lin. They asked her many

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Then Mama brought Jill her favorite snack -- warm, gooey brownies. “For helping Soo Lin,” said Mama. Today had been very different with Soo Lin around. Bedtime brought the biggest change


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of all. Jill’s bedroom now held two beds. All of Jill’s things had been moved over to one side of the room. Jill’s fuzzy bear perched atop a messy stack of toys. After Mama and Daddy tucked them in, Jill and Soo Lin snuggled down into their own beds. But Jill couldn’t sleep. The wind howled louder. Jill pulled the covers up to her chin. Then she heard a noise from the next bed. When lightening flashed, Jill saw Soo Lin shivering and covering her eyes with her hands. “Soo Lin, storms scare me,” said Jill. “Could you come into my bed until it’s over?” Jill had never shared her bed with anyone but she scooched over and made room for her new sister. The girls huddled together while lightening crackled. The storm wasn’t so scary with Soo Lin close by. Just before she fell asleep, Jill whispered to Soo Lin. “I’m glad you came to be my sister.”

TALK TIME: Topic: Adoption Do you or your child know anyone who is adopted? How do you think Soo Lin felt? Do you think she was scared?

Time To Vote! Can you believe it? One whole month of storytelling has flown by. Vote for your faves here:

www.knowonder.com/vote The top 3 stories & artwork will win prizes worth hundreds of dollars. Even more important, you’ll be giving these authors the validation they’ve been looking for - that they really are talented writers & artists, and that you love what they are doing! Voting closes by the 10th of the month, so hurry and vote before it’s too late.

Time To Submit! If you’ve been looking for an opportunity to get your own stories published, you’ve found it at knowonder! magazine. Not only can you become a published author and earn cash prizes, you’ll also know that you are helping a cause that is literally empowering thousands of families across the world. Literacy, together-time, creativity and imagination... become a part of it today by submitting your own work at:

www.knowonder.com

Do you think she was worried that Jill wouldn’t like her? How can you be nice to kids who have been adopted?

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For Kids by Kids


This is the wonderful and whimsical section in which we proudly display the amazing artwork submitted by our very own little readers. Every month we will include all new submissions that we recieve through our online page at www.knowonder.com Inspire your child’s imagination™ and submit their artwork today! Also, don’t forget to vote for your favorite artwork! The top three winners will win prizes worth hundreds of dollars. Prizes may include art supplies, books and more, so go to www.knowonder.com/vote today to vote for your favorite artist. (Please only vote once for each member of the house.)

Title: “Horses Grazing in the Pasture” Name, Age: Natalie, 8 yrs. old From: West Jordan, UT, USA Favorite Foods: Waffles & Cookies Favorite Activities: Swimming & Crafts

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Title: “King Henry VIII” Name, Age: Amy, 9 yrs. old From: Chelmsford, England Favorite Hobby: making greeting cards Favorite Food & Color: Spaghetti & Purple

Title: “Captured Horse” Name, Age: Melinda, 7 yrs. old From: Niebull, Germany Favorite Animal: “Definitely Horses!” Favorite Food & Color: Chili & Blue

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Title: “Charlie’s Rockets” Name, Age: Charlie, 5 From: Bountiful, UT, USA Favorite Food & Color: Fruit & Green Favorite Subject: History

Title: “The Cave & The Castle” Name, Age: Chelsea, 6 yrs. old From: Salt Lake City, UT, USA Favorite Hobby: Reading & drawing Favorite Colors: Pink and red

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Title: “Eating Blueberries with my Dragon” Name, Age: Sarah, 5 yrs. old From: West Jordan, UT, USA Favorite Food: Watermelon Favorite Color: Blue & purple & pink

Title: “Paw Prints” Name, Age: Jacqueline, 3 yrs old From: Salt Lake City, UT, USA Favorite Food: Bacon Favorite Color: Spelling & reading

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Title: “Vase” Name, Age: Andrew, 8 yrs. old From: Riverton, UT., USA Favorite Food: Pizza Favorite Color: Orange

Title: “The Butterfly Fly” Name, Age: Baden, 6 yrs old From: Sandy, UT, USA Favorite Animal: Puppies & Jaguars Favorite Color: Dark colors but not white

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Title: “Sunflowers” Name, Age: Candice, 8 yrs. old From: Herriman, UT, USA Favorite Food: Ramen noodles Favorite Hobby: Ballet

Title: “My Pet Snake” Name, Age: Connor, 10 yrs. old From: Kaysville, UT, USA Favorite Food: Chicken enchiladas Favorite Hobby: Basketball

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Title: “Art from the Heart” Name, Age: Callie, 4 yrs. old From: Riverton, UT., USA Favorite Foods: Lasagna & Ice Cream Favorite Activities: Dance & swimming

Title: “Rainbow Flowers” Name, Age: Emmy, 6 yrs. old From: West Jordan, UT, UTSA Favorite Food: Chicken & rice Favorite Color: Yellow

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Title: “Self-Portrait” Name, Age: Belinda, 5 yrs. old From: Niebull, Germany Favorite Food: Bologna Favorite Animal: Killer Whale

Title: “Lizard” Name, Age: Brody, 9 yrs. old From: Kaysville, UT, USA Favorite Food: Jello and Pudding Favorite Color: Blue

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Title: “Rainbow Friend” Name, Age: Haley, 8 yrs. old From: West Jordan, UT, USA Favorite Animal: Horse Favorite Hobby: Monkey bars

Title: “Mommy” Name, Age: Chloe, 5 yrs. old From: Sandy, UT, USA Favorite Food: Mac & Cheese Favorite Activities: Draw & dance

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Title: “The Bird Chirping Tree” Name, Age: Eliah, 7 yrs. old From: SLC, UT, USA Favorite Food: Apples Favorite Hobby: Running on the beach with Dad

Title: “Pig Princess” Name, Age: Kennedy, 10 yrs. old From: West Valley, UT, USA Favorite Food: Twix candy bar Favorite Color: Blue & hot pink

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Title: “Ballerina” Name, Age: Isabella, 8 yrs. old From: West Valley, UT, USA Favorite Food: Grilled Cheese Favorite Color: Ballet & Hip hop

Title: “My House” Name, Age: Mckinley, 7 yrs. old From: Sandy, UT, USA Favorite Color: Light blue Favorite Hobby: Karate & Collect rocks

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Title: “Space Aliens” Name, Age: Brenton, 7 yrs. old From: Sandy, UT, USA Favorite Food: Steak & fish Favorite Activity: Playing outside

Title: “Pool in the Backyard” Name, Age: Jaylee, 10 yrs old. From: Salt Lake City, UT, USA Favorite Food: Soup Favorite Activity: Ballroom Dance

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Title: “Birthday Cake” Name, Age: Dalin, 5 yrs. old From: Lehi, UT, USA Favorite Food: Pepperoni Pizza Favorite Movie: Kung Fu Panda

Title: “Slide” Name: Brigham, 7 yrs. old From: Kaysville, UT, USA Favorite Food: Spaghetti Favorite Hobby: Sports of all kinds

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Title: “Summer Flowers” Name, Age: Kylie, 6 yrs. old From: American Fork, UT, USA Favorite Food: Chili Mac & Cheese Favorite Animal: Dolphins

Title: “Reading in my Room” Name, Age: Katherine, 9 yrs. old From: West Valley, UT, USA Favorite Food: Chicken Cordon Bleu Favorite Color: Pink & Blue

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Title: “I Love My Family” Name, Age: Brandon, 5 yrs. old From: Sandy, UT, USA Favorite Food: White cheddar shell noodles Favorite Color: Green

Title: “Watermelon” Name, Age: Ryan, 8 yrs. old From: West Valley, UT, USA Favorite Food: Gummy Bears Favorite Subject: Science

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Title: “Santa” Name, Age: Logan, 8 yrs. old From: Kaysville, UT, USA Favorite Food: Meatballs with sweetsauce Favorite Color: Blue

Title: “Ninja in Training” Name, Age: Levi, 9 yrs. old From: American Fork, UT, USA Favorite Animal: Snakes Favorite Hobby: Sports, Wii, & Basketball

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Title: “Butterfly” Name, Age: Kiyah, 5 yrs. old From: West Jordan, UT, USA Favorite Food: Watermelon Favorite Hobby: Dancing, drawing & swinging

Title: “Pirate Ship” Name, Age: Braxton, 5 yrs. old From: Salt Lake City, UT, USA Favorite Food: Chocolate milk Favorite Activity: Playing outside

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For You by You


The Snacktime Dilemma!

Written by Jennifer Decker RN, BSN, and mom of 3 children under the age of 8

With summer winding down and the kids back in school, parents everywhere are faced with a classic scenario. The kids come home from school in the mid-afternoon, ready for their after-school snack. Dinner is too far away and they are hungry now! Luckily, our kids should be snacking after school. Having a snack 2-3 hours after breakfast and lunch is the ideal method of eating for our bodies. Eating at regular intervals keeps blood sugar levels regulated and keeps our bodies safely out of “starvation mode,” which would prevent fat-burning. It also essentially increases metabolism and helps the body retain lean muscle mass, which is very important for burning calories. I know it sounds strange that eating more often actually enables us to burn more calories, but our bodies are much more willing to let go of their fat stores when they’re reassured that the food won’t run out. The fact is that people who eat 5-6 small meals or snacks each day at regular intervals don’t eat any more calories, on average, than those who eat only three square meals. The longer someone goes without food, the more prone he/she is to overeating when the mealtimes come. So, those who don’t eat as often actually end up consuming just as many calories (if not more) than their counterparts, simply by being hungrier at mealtimes. So, we know we should definitely let our kids eat when they get home from school, but do we tell them to go ahead and raid the cupboards for gummy bears and Cheetos? Do we ask them what they’d like to eat and then cater to their cravings? Well, if your kids are anything like mine, they’ll come home from school asking for chocolate chip cookies and milk--after all, the mom in that commercial they saw yesterday baked them for her kids. Now we’re in trouble. How do we convince them to go for the healthier snack options when they’ve already got chocolate chip cookies on their minds? Frankly, sometimes we won’t. Sometimes, we might be in the mood for cookies too, and that’s okay, but before we indulge, we should make sure that the craving won’t be satisfied with something a little healthier. When our kids ask for something sweet, it would serve them well to tell them that they can have something sweet, but we want them to drink a glass of water and have some apple slices or carrots first. Sometimes our bodies confuse thirst or the need for nutrients with cravings for foods we really don’t need. It won’t suffice to give our cookie-craving kids two sips of water and three carrot sticks before baking a batch of cookies. However, having them drink a whole cup of water and eat an entire cup of vegetable or fruit (ie. one medium sliced apple, 10 baby carrots, etc.) before offering the sweets may curb their cravings somewhat. That way, even if they still decide that they want the cookies, they will most likely eat less than they would have. In the end, occasionally indulging in the foods we love is much better than constantly depriving ourselves. Complete deprivation is rarely beneficial. It almost always leads to an all-out binge during which more calories are consumed than would have been if we’d just eaten

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what we wanted in the first place. However, although deprivation isn’t recommended, overeating is never a good idea either. We’ve all heard of eating in moderation, and that is exactly what we should do. Why? Unfortunately, no one is immune to the effects of calories. If we eat more than we burn, we are going to gain weight. Indulging in just two cookies every day could actually result in a weight gain of over 2 pounds a month or 30 pounds in a year! If you’re wondering how I arrived at that figure, it comes down to simple math. Every pound is the equivalent of 3500 calories. The average cookie of normal size is about 150-200 calories, so if those calories aren’t burned (through exercise), they are stored in our expanding fat cells. Since calories do matter, the best low-calorie snacks are usually fruits and vegetables. There are so many delectable options from which to choose. Help your kids learn to love apples, oranges, pears, bananas, nectarines, peaches, grapes, strawberries, raspberries, and cantaloupe, as well as carrots, broccoli, lettuce, cucumber, zucchini, celery and tomatoes. Research kid-friendly recipes that will make them taste good (which is great for the adults too). Other good snack choices include nuts and seeds, as well as sliced or string cheese, which are great sources of muscle-sustaining protein. Milk and yogurt are also healthy options which offer protein in addition to bone-building calcium. As a side note, although snacking is a healthy habit, snacking and grazing are completely different. Your kids’ snacks should be planned, consistent (about 2 ½-3 hours after breakfast and lunch) and last only as long as it takes them to eat it. Then they wait until the next meal. Ideally, there should be very little snacking after dinner. If your child is used to a bedtime snack, give them a very small treat (the size of about 2-3 bites) or some warm milk before bed. Too much food at night inhibits deep sleep in the first few hours of the night because the body is forced to focus on digestion first. Eating sugar at bedtime is also counterproductive since it acts as a stimulant in our bodies. A snack of no more than 50-100 calories at night is optimal. So, start small, think healthy, and don’t be too hard on yourself (or your kids). It takes a few months to build a habit, so give it some time and effort. Soon, you’ll all benefit from not only healthier snack-times, but also a healthier lifestyle.

Start Eating Healthy...the easy way! • substitute with healthy crackers • include bits of fruit with yogurt • introduce bite-size veggies w/ dip • roasted nuts offer great taste and are great for protein

Be patient. Start small. Make changes incrementally to give you and your kids time to adjust. The results will be worth the time and effort!

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Creative Activities for little ones

Written by S.M. Ford Mother of 2 girls, Grandmother of 3 Boys and an avid scrapbooker

Want to creatively keep your young children busy? Try these ideas, and not only will your children be entertained, but they’ll have the opportunity to expand their own creativity.

Action Songs and Poems: Sing action songs. “The Wheels on the Bus” or “Head and Shoulders Knees and Toes” have great appeal even to babies, especially when you involve them in the action. Toddlers quickly learn to imitate the motions you show them. Many ages enjoy listening to silly songs. If you don’t know many songs, discover the variety of good DVDs, CDs, and CD/tape book combinations at your local library or bookstore. Many books include ideas for the motions. Recite action poetry. Rhymed poems are easy to remember, i.e.“Pat-a-cake,” and sometimes even teach a simple lesson: “Five Little Monkeys” teaches children not to jump on the bed. If you don’t remember nursery rhymes from your childhood, children’s books and magazines are a good source. Don’t forget the classic Mother Goose rhymes!

Creative Materials and Art: Have creative toys available. Blocks that fit together or stack, connecting beads and rings, and puzzles give your child the chance to make and build. Toys where only her imagination is the limit are especially important and can keep a child occupied by herself. Let them sew. Start with sewing cards where he can weave “thread” through holes in cardboard or wood. Create your own cards with cardboard and a hole-punch. Use shoelaces or yarn with taped ends for the thread. Fabric scraps, felt, buttons, and yarn can be glued to make a fun creation, as well. As your children get older, allow real needles (large size) and thread. Supply more than the basics of crayons and paper. Coloring books, marker books, washable markers, sticker books, and paint-with-water books are great starters. Water paints or finger-paints take more of your supervision time, but all of these materials can give kids wonderful outlets for creating. Also offer colored or construction paper, safety scissors, tape, glue sticks, stencils, etc.

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Don’t forget modeling clay or dough. You can even make it at home. Let those small hands shape, squish and form. Provide simple tools from your kitchen: cookie cutters, plastic silverware, rolling pins, molds, and straws. You may even have more unusual tools such as a garlic press to make strings, or a meat mallet to make patterns. An egg slicer is fun too. Consider using a plastic table cloth on and under the table to protect the furniture and floor. Supervise at first to make sure children use the dough appropriately.

Theatrical Opportunities: Make a dress-up box or basket. Scout your closet or garage sales for shirts, hats, dresses, scarves, vests, gloves, purses, bags, and more. Let your child combine these items to make fun costumes for hours of pretend play. Make or purchase puppets. Stuffed animals may get to play roles in your child’s productions, too. The stage can simply be a blanket strung between two chairs, the back of the couch, or a large box with an opening cut out. Be prepared to be the audience.

Books: Read to your children. From board books to novels, the more you read to them, the more likely they’ll become readers later. At the library, encourage them to pick out their own books. Readers can entertain themselves anywhere, anytime.

Traditional Play Dough! 1 cup flour 2 tsp. cream of tartar 1/4 cup salt

1 cup warm water 1 tsp. oil food coloring

Mix all ingredients, adding food coloring last. Stir over medium heat until smooth. Remove from pan and knead until blended smooth. Place in plastic bag or airtight container when cooled. Will last for a long time.

www.teachnet.com/lesson/art/playdough061699.html

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20

minutes

EVERY DAY

Written by Phillip Chipping Founder of knowonder! and Father of 3 children under the age of 8

OK, I’ll be the first to admit - I am not some high-credentialed, Harvard-educated professor who can impress you with the importance of his words just by how many letters come after his name. The only letters that come after my name are “DAD”, but I figure those are the most important (second only to MOM). I also figure they give me just enough real-life experience to qualify me to write down some of my thoughts on a topic that I feel extremely passionate about: Reading and Literacy. Did you know that the single-most important thing you can do for your children is to read to them (and with them) for twenty minutes, every day? That’s a bold statement, but as I’ve been researching the topic, I have found amazing statistics and research that convince me it is true. Consider just a few of the benefits, especially when you start your children at an early age (the recommendation is to start at birth): Listening skillls are built; children learn to sit still and focus; comprehension and understanding of events (cause and effect relationships) is enhanced; 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 becuase they can express their thoughts and needs; imagination and creativity are encouraged and fed; 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; and family bonds are strengthened and reinforced, creating an atmosphere of love, trust and communication in the home (which you will be very grateful for when your kids are teenagers!). If you stop to think about it, it’s pretty obvious that all those things would come as a result of reading with your children every day. What I failed to realize, though, was the sum-total of adding all those pieces together. What is that sum-total? A child who is better-prepared for the world. A child who will excel in almost anything he chooses to do. A child who will earn more in her profession because she read more when she was young and still enjoys reading today. If you want your child to succeed in life, both socially and economically, commit to giving your children twenty minutes of undivided attention, every day. By reading to your children every day, you empower them with the tools, skills and confidence to not only succeed in life, but to enjoy life. Here are some of the key statistics and findings I’ve discovered.

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“Forty percent of American children enter kindergarten lacking at least some of the skills needed for a successful learning experience. For too many children, the preschool years have left them without the language skills necessary for literacy acquisition.” (Reading Across the Nation: A Chartbook, a study published in Nov. 2007) “For every year you read with your child, average lifetime earnings increase by $50,000. You make a $250,000 gift to your child from birth to age five by reading aloud, just 20 minutes a day!” (http://www.readingfoundation.org/parents.jsp) “A kindergarten student who has not been read aloud to could enter school with less than 60 hours of literacy nutrition. No teacher, no matter how talented, can make up for those lost hours of mental nourishment.” ((Source: U.S. Dept. of Education, America Reads Challenge. (1999) “Start Early, Finish Strong: How to Help Every Child Become a Reader.” Washington, D.C.) “We have learned that for 90% to 95% of poor readers, prevention and early intervention programs...can increase reading skills to average reading levels. We have also learned that if we delay intervention until nine years of age, approximately 75% of the children will continue to have difficulties learning to read throughout high school.” (G. Reid Lyon, Director, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) “The effort to teach children to read should begin at birth, and every available resource should be focused on achieving this goal, that at least 90% of all children will read at grade level by the time they enter fourth grade. Right now, in the average school, only about 55% do so. If we fail to achieve this goal, the cost in later scholastic intervention, in social welfare costs, in crime and incarceration, and in lost economic production is a thousand times greater. And that ignores the loss of self-esteem, the loss of happiness, and the loss of personal potential in the individual lives of literally millions of children.” (http://virtualinstitute.us/90%25.htm) Even the President of the United States recently stressed the importance of this issue when he said, “In the end, there is no program or policy that can substitute for a parent – for a mother or father who will […turn off the TV, put away the video games,] read to their child. I speak to you not just as a President, but as a father, when I say that responsibility for our children’s education must begin at home. That is not a Democratic issue or a Republican issue. That’s an American issue.” (Speech by President Barack Obama to the Joint Session of Congress, Feb. 24, 2009.) I strongly encourage you to learn more by going to www.readingfoundation.org, or simply typing “read 20 minutes every day” into your favorite search engine. The attention this issue is receiving from various organizationst - from your local PTA to the national government - is more than enough to convince me. There is a wealth of knowledge and are many resources available on the subject. I admit, I have not read to my children as much as I should have, but thankfully, they are still young and I have committed to change my behavior and share with them the wonderful world of words that I love. I invite you to join the cause, not for the sake of the US economy in some far-off future, but for your own child’s well-being. Do it for your children so they can enjoy life to the fullest, so the world can be theirs to explore, and so that learning will be a joy and lifelong pursuit. Then one day, when you see them sitting on the couch with a young child on their lap with a book in-hand, you will know you taught the lesson well.

“For every year you read

with your child, average lifetime earnings increase by $50,000.”

submit your work today!

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“WHY CAN’T I SKIP MY 20 MINUTES OF READING TODAY?” LET’S FIGURE IT OUT --- MATHEMATICALLY! Student A reads 20 minutes five nights of every week; Student B reads only 4 minutes a night...or not at all! Step 1: Multiply minutes a night x 5 times each week. Student A reads 20 min. x 5 times a week = 100 mins./week Student B reads 4 minutes x 5 times a week = 20 minutes Step 2: Multiply minutes a week x 4 weeks each month. Student A reads 400 minutes a month. Student B reads 80 minutes a month. Step 3: Multiply minutes a month x 9 months/school year Student A reads 3600 min. in a school year. Student B reads 720 min. in a school year. Student A practices reading the equivalent of ten whole school days a year. Student B gets the equivalent of only two school days of reading practice. By the end of 6th grade if Student A and Student B maintain these same reading habits, Student A will have read the equivalent of 60 whole school days Student B will have read the equivalent of only 12 school days. One would expect the gap of information retained will have widened considerably and so, undoubtedly, will school performance. How do you think Student B will feel about him/herself as a student? Some questions to ponder: Which student would you expect to read better? Which student would you expect to know more? Which student would you expect to write better? Which student would you expect to have a better vocabulary? Which student would you expect to be more successful in school....and in life?

“WHY READ 30 MINUTES A DAY?” *If daily reading begins in infancy, by the time the child is five years old, he or she has been fed roughly 900 hours of brain food! *Reduce that experience to just 30 minutes a week, and the child’s hungry mind lose 770 hours of nursery rhymes, fairy tales, and stories. *A kindergarten student who has not been read aloud to could enter school with less than 60 hours of literacy nutrition. No teacher, no matter how talented, can make up for those lost hours of mental nourishment. *Therefore...30 minutes daily = 900 hours 30 minutes weekly = 130 hours Less than 30 minutes weekly = 60 hours Source: U.S. Dept. of Education, America Reads Challenge. (1999) “Start Early, Finish Strong: How to Help Every Child Become a Reader.” Washington, D.C.

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Games & Fun WORD SEARCH: Back to School ALPHABET BACKPACK CALCULATOR COLOR DESK FRIENDS HOMEWORK HOT LUNCH LEARN LETTERS MATH MUSIC NUMBERS PENCIL PRINCIPAL RECESS SCIENCE TEACHER

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Games & Fun The Story Game:

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Go to www.knowonder.com/storygame to learn about this fun and creative game! Collect all the cards from each knowonder!™ issue. Make your own too! (laminate and/or mount on stiff cardstock backing to prolong life of card). Submit your new stories on our website and read stories that others have made up using the Story Game collectors’ cards.

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Distributor Directory Here is a list of all the places you can go to pick up your monthly FREE COPY of knowonder!™ magazine. If you live outside of Utah, we encourage you to view our magazine online each month or subscribe to receive a mailed, physical copy. For a complete list of distributors, visit www.knowonder.com/distributors Want your store listed here? Email us at editor@knowonder.com

LIBRARIES

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Bingham Library 4834 W 9000 S W Jordan, UT 84081

Kearns 5350 S 4220 W Kearns, UT 84118

Taylorsville 4870 S 2700 W Taylorsville, UT 84118

Calvin S. Smith 810 E 3300 S SLC, UT 84106

Magna 8339 W 3500 S Magna, UT 84044

West Jordan 1970 W 7800 S W Jordan, UT 84084

Columbus 2530 S 500 E SLC, UT 84106

Murray 166 E 5300 S Murray, UT 84107

West Valley 2880 W 3650 S W Valley City, UT 84119

Draper 1136 E Pioneer Rd Draper, UT 84020

Orem 166 E 5300 S Murray, UT 84107

Whitmore 2197 E Fort Union Blvd. SLC, UT 84121

East Milcreek 2266 Evergreen Ave SLC, UT 84109

Riverton 12877 S 1830 W Riverton, UT 84065

Magna 8339 W 3500 S Magna, UT 84044

Herriman 13198 S 5600 W Herriman, UT 84096

Ruth Vine Tyler 8041 S Wood Street Midvale, UT 84047

Holladay 2150 E Murray Hlldy Rd Holladay, UT 84117

Sandy 10100 S Petunia Way Sandy, UT 84092

Hunter 4740 W 4100 S W Valley City, UT 84120

South Jordan 10673 S Redwood Rd S Jordan, UT 84095

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COME VISIT US AT The Timpanogas Storytelling Festival Pick up your free copy of knowonder! magazine and listen to some great stories at the same time. September 3rd - 5th www.timpfest.org

STORES & SCHOOLS Barnes & Noble 7119 S 1300 E Midvale, UT 84047

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Dream Dinners 1140 E Brickyard Rd #28 SLC, UT 84106

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submit your work today! 127


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Production Credits Founder, Editor in Chief

Contributors:

Phillip J. Chipping phillip@knowonder.com

Amie Rose Colin Kelly

Editor Sophie Bassett sophie@knowonder.com

Lynden Troskie Chris Hedgewick Nicholaus Chipping Jennie Dillier

Assistant Editor Curt Bentley Nathan S. Nelson nate@knowonder.com

Art Director, Designer Nick George nick@george-design.com

Becks Fagg And, of course, a big thanks goes out to all our readers who have supported knowonder! magazine by sending us your own work, or by reading the magazine with your children.

Contributing Editor Shana Galbraith shana@knowonder.com

Contributing Editor Jessica Mathes jessica@knowonder.com

Printed in the US by The Imaging Bureau, www.imagingbureau.com Stock photography & artwork from iStock Photo, www.istockphoto.com For a complete listing of image credits visit: www.knowonder.com/imagecredits Š 2008 - 2009 KNOWONDER!™, LLC // ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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knowonder! September 2009  

September issue of knowonder! magazine. This FREE magazine that features a new story for every day of the month to help promote a love of r...

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