The Luchador and the Pea

Hola! Buenos Dias!

So, today I am doing something different. This month’s story (yes, there will only be one story a month from now on) is called The Luchador and the Pea, featuring: Spanish! I thought I’d mix things up by adding some Spanish words to the story. I know, I’m borderline cray cray (It’s 3 am. I am not responsible for my word choice). Regardless, I have included the English equivalents of the Spanish words within the text so you know what’s going on.

To make things even cray-cray-er (it is a word. Look it up), this month I have made a video of me reading the story out loud. Yowza.

Be kind. I’ve never done a Vlog before. And yes, you will hear the phone ring twice in the background and maybe a plane (or a UFO). Hopefully, your child may have some fun listening to the story and following along while possibly learning a Spanish word or two.

Arriba!

Well, let’s get on with it. Here is the free printable PDF aqui (here): The Luchador and the Pea

Now, hold your rotten tomatoes until the end (If possible, I’d restrain yourself because you’ll only be destroying your electronic of choice) and enjoy the video!

 

 

 

 

10 Handpicked Biographies

Come one, come all! Witness the parade of historical figures! We have here a biographical fun-house! Learn what they did and why. Glean their perseverance and faith and look deep inside yourself and ask: what do I want to do with my life? What good will I do in the world? These people asked themselves the same question and these books tell us their answers:

1. Brave Girl, written by Michelle Markel and illustrated by Melissa Sweet. This story is about Clara who started a strike in 1909. The illustrations are inventive (using the theme of sewing) and I enjoyed the fiery personality of Clara. Clara’s story is sure to inspire your little girl.

brave-girl

2. On a Beam of Light, written by Jennifer Berne and illustrated by Vladimir Radunksy. This is the story of Einstein, the eccentric genius. It is simple, easy to grasp, and the illustrations are fun and jovial, much like Einstein himself.

onabeamoflight

3. Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and his Orchestra, written by Andrea Davis Pinkney and illustrated by Brian Pinkney. I love jazz, so it is only fitting that I include the Duke. Very well written with vivid illustrations, your child is sure to be interested in who this man is (if they don’t know already). I suggest a listening party when your finished.

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4. Eleanor: Quiet No More, written by Doreen Rappaport and illustrated by Gary Kelley. This book is about Eleanor Roosevelt, a woman with passion. I loved reading this story. I felt invigorated and inspired to be the best person I could be. Your children will love learning about this tough and intelligent lady who changed our history.

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5. Words Set Me Free: The Story of Young Fredrick Douglas, written by Lesa Cline-Ransome and illustrated by James E. Ransome. Speaking of inspiring, wait until you read about the life story of Fredrick Douglas, an advocate for reading and all things letters (and, you know, freedom). I would encourage you to read this story about his life and how he used reading to set himself free. The essence of fortitude, this man did great things.

Fredrick Douglas

6. Jim Henson: The Guy Who Played with Puppets, written by Kathleen Krull and illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher. Who wouldn’t want to read about Jim Henson? I loved watching Sesame street as a child and this story is sure to bring warmth into your heart, especially the ending. This world is and was truly populated by wonderful people.

JIm Henson

7. Helen’s Big World, written by Doreen Rappaport and illustrated by Matt Tavares. I loved this story about Helen Keller. What an amazing woman! I can’t believe all that she achieved. And this book will introduce this strong woman to your child. Maybe they will be inspired to triumph over difficult circumstances like Helen. Who knows.

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8. Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman, written by Marc Tyler Nobleman and illustrated by Ty Templeton. This book was one of my favorites. It tells about the story of the unsung genius behind Batman. So you thought Bob Kane created Batman? Think again. I’ve got a thing for underdogs and comics, so this is a treasure. Your boys will surely enjoy learning about the true origin story of one of their favorite superheroes.

Bill the Boy Wonder - cover - 9-6-11

9. Manfish: a Story of Jacques Cousteau, written by Jennifer Berne and illustrated by Eric Puybaret. I had not even heard of Cousteau (I know, shame on me) but now I am glad that I read this book. Soothing pictures, simple story, and a person who let their passion bring joy to the world, this book is a treasure. (Get it? Like sunken treasure?)

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10. The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdos, written by Deborah Heiligmam and illustrated by LeUyen Pham. I was attracted to this book right away because of the title. Who in the world loves math????  Well, apparently Paul did. A lot. And good thing too because he did some pretty cool stuff in the math world. I had no idea who he was before this book and, again, I am glad I read about this strange boy who loved math. (If you love math, I’m sorry and in a strange way I am jealous).

 Boy who loved math

Printable List: 10 Handpicked biographies

Well, that’s it for today folks! I hope you enjoy reading these fabulous books! Either check them out at the library or support your local bookstores. And, of course, there is no shame in going to Amazon. It’s a cheap way to get books. I go there often. Please don’t stone me.

Real quick, before you go do something much more important than read this blog, I am contemplating taking one week off each week instead of posting every week. Would you care? I don’t mean would your world suddenly crumble into the abyss of nothingness. I mean, would it matter to you? Let me know because I am contemplating…yesssss….contemplating….(doing creepy finger thing as villains do).

Well, shoot, stop listening to me gab on and get out there and read some books for heavens sakes!

But remember to: Keep climbing the Story Tree!

pssst! The Story Tree is on Instagram,Twitter, and Facebook. I like to post all things book on those nifty little apps. Follow me and I will lead you to the wonders of the universe! (no, not really. But it’ll be fun!)

Snow Beard

I would like to apologize for missing last week.

 

The reason? Well, this story was difficult to write and I just couldn’t bring myself to finish. I was kind of a mess. You might read it think I am nuts, but I am sure you already think that. Who am I to disappoint you?

 

I felt that this would be a very good quote to share with you before we begin:

  “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” Lao Tzu.

Lastly, I dedicate this to Papa. Here’s to your many more adventures.

Snow Beard

 

Bobby clutched his mother’s hand very tight. His little hand had become sweaty but he dare not let go of his mother. He did not want to admit to his mother just how much he needed her hand.

White, sterile walls and gleaming tiles, the hospital reminded Bobby of a bad dream. Not any one dream in particular, but it was as if the very walls had bad dreams painted over them. White paint and bad dreams.

“Don’t squeeze so tight, sweetheart.” His mother said.

They reached room 89. The room was empty except for a bed and a clump of beeping machines. A muted TV was perched in the corner of the small room. It cast strange colors about the dark room. His mother turned on the light and Bobby could see an old man lying in bed. The old man had a thick, white beard just like his grandpa, but this old man was so very skinny. His eyes took up most of his thin face. The hair on his head swayed like cobwebs from stale air blowing from the air conditioner underneath the window.

“Hi, daddy.” His mother said as she bent and kissed the old man on the forehead. The old man did not open his eyes but continued to breathe, his small chest rising and falling, rising and falling. “Come say ‘Hello’ to your grandpa.” She said to Bobby.

Bobby took one step closer to the bed, then stopped. This old man was not his grandpa. His grandpa smelled like caramel candy. Grandpa had a huge, mischievous smile which made his eyes sparkle. Grandpa told him stories about sailors and pirates. Grandpa’s sharp eyes never missed a thing. This old man was not Grandpa.

A nurse came into the room with an official looking clipboard. “Are you the daughter?” she asked in a voice as crisp as cleaned bed sheets.

“Yes.” Said his mother. “How is he doing?”

“Can I speak to you out in the hall?”

“I’ll be right back, sweetie.” She squeezed his hand, then left the room and closed the door behind her.

Bobby wiped his hands off on his trousers and bit his lip. Every time the old man in the bed breathed his nose whistled. The room smelled like the split pea soup his mother forced him to eat on Sundays. Just as he was about to plug his nose he thought he could smell something like caramel.

The old man made a sound.

Bobby looked around. Maybe the old man needed a drink of water or maybe he needed another pillow. Bobby took a step closer.

The old man made another noise.

Bobby walked up to the old man and stared at his face. One of the old man’s eyes popped open. He stared at Bobby, then looked around the room. “Are they gone?” asked the old man.

“Who?”

“The adults. Are we alone?”

Bobby nodded, swallowing hard and wiping his hands off on his trousers again.

The old man sprang from his hospital bed, his eyes twinkling and his smile wide and gleaming. “Hot dog!” He cried.

“Grandpa!” Bobby cried. He could definitely smell caramel now.

“My, these gowns are airy.”

“I missed you Grandpa

“No time for that boy,” Grandpa said, “the ship is coming and we cannot miss her! Follow me!” Grandpa sprang to the window, opened it, then crouched in the window sill, his hospital gown billowing around him like a ship’s sail. “Come my boy!”

Bobby joined him on the window sill and looked down. They were two stories up and underneath them was a giant machine with whirring blades. Bobby wiped his hands off on his pants. “Is this safe?” he asked, his voice squeaking.

His grandpa roared in laughter. “Of course not, my boy! Now, when I tell you to jump, you jump.”

“What?”

“Jump!” his grand cried and jumped out the window and Bobby followed after.

As they fell through the air Bobby could hear the blades whirring louder and louder.

They landed on something very solid and very wooden. His grandpa stood and brushed his hospital gown off and Bobby marveled at the scene before him. They were on a flying ship with large, white sails full with the wind. The ship was soaring through the sky and up into the clouds. Below them the hospital fell away until it was nothing but a speck.

A peg-legged man hobbled over to Bobby and helped him up. “Welcome to the Sky Queen!” he said. “The names’ Crusty.” He winked. Then, to the sailors he shouted, “Look alive crew! Captain Snow Beard has returned!”

The crew cheered and shouted their welcome to his grandpa, Captain Snow Beard of the Sky Queen. Bobby stared up at his grandpa as he puffed out his chest and smiled big and bright. “Lead her onward to adventure!” he cried.

Crusty led him and his grandpa to the captain’s cabin. Inside there was a large circular table with walls covered with bookshelves filled with scrolls and books. Grandpa withdrew a scroll and laid it out on the table. Bobby leaned over the map. It was filled with odd places that Bobby had never heard of.

“What are the Hollow Tables?” Bobby asked.

“A dangerous place filled with nasty trolls and giants. I’ll take you there sometime.” His grandpa said. “They are fierce warriors and can teach you a thing or two about bravery.

“They bit my leg off last time we went.” Crusty said, patting his wooden leg. He arched his eyebrow. “One particularly mean troll named Helga munched and crunched on it for her dinner. They would have eaten the rest of me if the Sky Queen hadn’t come and rescued me.”

Bobby cringed.

“But we aren’t going to the Hollow Tables. Not today.” His grandpa said, pointing to a mountain. “That’s where we are going. We are going to see the Rat Man.”

After flying through the clouds for what seemed to be hours, they finally dropped anchor, which sunk through the lower clouds and disappeared. Bobby leaned over the side of the ship and studied all the different clouds that smeared across the blue sky. Off in the distance a formidably dark cloud scuttled closer.

Out of the dark cloud burst a black sailed pirate ship. On the deck stood a terrible looking man. He had a black patch over one eye and his hair was matted with eyes as bright as a lanterns in a swamp. On his shoulder crouched a rat the size of a cat.

“Pirates!” a sailor cried out. “All hands on deck!”

The deck swarmed with sailors all rushing about with muskets and swords loading the cannons.

His grandpa came up beside him dressed in a great coat with large brass buttons and a hat with a white feather. He rested his hand on the hilt of a cutlass. “You scared boy?”

Truth be told, Bobby was feeling very frightened, but he didn’t want to tell his grandpa, the captain of the ship. Bobby shook his head.

“It’s alright to be scared.” Said his grandpa, as if he could read his thoughts. He looked down at Bobby. “Great men are always scared because they live for adventure. But, what makes them great men and not cowards is that they face their fears and conquer them.”

The pirate ship loomed closer.

His grandpa handed him a cutlass smaller than his own, yet just as intimidating. It glinted in the waning light of the sun as it began it’s slow descent under the horizon. “Face your fears, boy, and you will be a better man for it.”

There was a roar from the pirate ship. The Rat Man stood on the edge of the ship and shouted, “Fire!” The boom of the cannon shook the heavens as if it were thunder. It flew and smashed into the Sky Queen. Bobby fell to the ground, but his grandpa remained standing.

“Return fire, sailors!” He cried. “Show them what it means to cross paths with the Sky Queen!”

The cannon boomed and the pirate ship was hit, pieces of wood flying into the air, knocking the Rat King off his feet. The battle ensued with the cannons booming and flashing against the darkening sky. Musket fire lit up the clouds, sparkling like stars. Men shouted and rushed about on the deck.

The battle raged well into the night until the moon shed creamy light on the deck. The Rat man, a large cutlass wound on his arm which matched Snow Beard’s grin, finally admitted defeat. The sailors sent up a cheer. Then, after sailors and pirates filled their cannon ball wounds and healed their cutlass gashes by the healing light of the moon, they gathered on the Sky Queen’s deck and celebrated.

If you have seen pirates or sailors fight, you have not seen them celebrate. Oh what merry songs they sung of bravery and heroes! They danced. They cheered. They shouted.

When the sun raised her sleepy head to see what all the fuss was about, the pirates finally said their goodbyes to the crew of the Sky Queen.

The Rat Man shook Snow Beard’s hand then leaned over to shake Bobby’s hand. “Your grandpa is a mighty terrible foe. Here’s to you being just as scurvy and mangy as he.” He smiled revealing black and wooden teeth.

They raised their anchor and sailed through the sky and waved goodbye to the pirates. They flew over bald mountain tops and over glittering oceans. They sailed over thick forests and passed between sky scrapers.

Bobby’s grandpa stood beside him on the edge of the deck wearing his hospital gown again.

“Where is your coat with brass buttons?” Bobby asked him.

His grandpa did not say anything but smiled as captains do.

The ship dipped underneath the clouds and not too far away the hospital grew larger and larger.

Bobby reached up to take his grandpa’s hand. It felt cold and as soft as soap. “Do we have to go back?”

His grandpa’s eyes began to cloud. “One last adventure, my boy. A captain must face his one last adventure.”

The crew steered the ship down to the second story window of room 89. Bobby said goodbye to Crusty, then stepped in through the window and back into the room. They waved goodbye as the ship sailed away and up into the clouds once more.

Bobby’s grandpa climbed into th hospital bed. “You keep this between you and I, won’t you lad?”

Bobby nodded. “Can I come with you on another one of your adventures, grandpa?”

His grandpa laughed quietly, then began to cough. He took a glass of water from the table beside the bed and drank, the glass quaking in his hand. “You will have your own. And I will join you whenever you like.” He smiled, then leaned back and closed his eyes.

Just then Bobby’s mother came into the room. Her eyes were red. “Sweetie, let’s come back tomorrow. They don’t think he will be awake today.” She said, her voice murky.

“But, Grandpa and I just went on an amazing adventure! You won’t believe what happened!” Bobby said, then remembering his promise to his grandpa, he closed his lips tight.

She smiled sadly and patted him on the shoulder. “It’s time to go, sweetie. Come on.” She led him out of the room.

He stopped before going through the door and turned. It might have been his imagination or a trick of the light, but he thought he saw his grandpa wink.

 

flying-ship

 

Here is the PDF: Snow Beard

 

 I hope you enjoyed this story and go on your own adventures! Have a wonderful week and….

Keep Climbing the Story Tree!

 

 

10 Handpicked Fairy Tales

Flat screen, Flat screen on the wall…what is the fairest book list of them all? That’s right, the fairy tale book list!

Fairy tales are and were created to teach, often used to warn children as to the dangers of the world around them (little red riding hood, Hansel and Gretal, etc), but sometimes they were used to explain how things came to be. A long time ago, when there was no science or beakers or bunsen burners, there were tales and folklore. Those tales explained the wide world and helped bring excitement to an otherwise drab life.

Even Einstein saw the importance of fairy tales:

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”

Also, they are just so much fun! Who wants to stay rooted in reality when you can take the glass elevator to Neverland?

Now, click your ruby slippers together and let’s go into the looking glass of imagination.

1. The Rough-Face Girl, written by Rafe Martin and illustrated by David Shannon. This is my favorite fairy tale kids book. By far. I remember my mother reading me this Algonquian Cinderella story to me every night. I liked it so much better than the traditional story. The artwork is masterful and the story so innovative. You must read this book. (dangling a dangly thing in front of your face in order to hypnotize)

the-rough-face-girl

2. Rumpelstiltskin, Written and illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky. This is an oldie but a goodie. It’s pretty much the story of Rumpelstiltskin (what did you expect?) with really pretty illustrations. That’s right, I said pretty illustrations. Don’t judge me. It got a Caldecott honor reward for a reason. 280240

3. Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, translated and illustrated by Wanda Gag. I gotta include this book because I absolutely adore the illustrations and I find the story enchanting. Wanda Gag is truly a master.

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4. The Emperor and the Kite, written by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Ed Young. This story Chinese folktale is about Princess Djeow Seow and how her father, the emperor, ignores her because she is the smallest until she shows just how devoted she is to him. Sweet with a inspiring lesson about loyalty and noticing those around you, this book is delightful.

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5. Seven Blind Mice, written and illustrated by Ed Young. Not unlike the three blind mice, these ocularly challenged rodents are curious little creatures. They stumble upon something large and mysterious and since they all cannot see they send out one after another to try and discover what is blocking their path. See what they discover. Great metaphor. Great stuff.

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6. Raven: A Trickster Tale from the Pacific Northwest, written and illustrated by Gerald McDermott. As I said before, I have a thing for tricksters. Don’t ask me why. This Native American trickster is not just about tricking people (as he does to the man in the sky who keeps the sun in a box), but he is also about the creation of the world as we know it. Read about Raven and his knack for, you know, getting the sun into the sky and giving light to everyone on the planet. Pretty neat trick, if I do say so myself.

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7. Fables, written and illustrated by Arnold Lobel. I had so much fun reading this book. I wasn’t sold on it right away, but then as soon as I started reading, I was hooked. Short and sweet, each little fable is a page long with italicized lessons at the end. That’s my kind of book.

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8. The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship, written by Arthur Ransome and illustrated by Uri Shulevitz. This Russian Folktale tells about a fool, (who really is no fool at all) outsmarts the Czar with the help of his rag-tag gang. You can’t pass up a book with a flying ship, can you? Obviously I couldn’t.

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9. Arrow to the Sun, written and illustrated by Gerald McDermott. Want to learn about the son of the sun? Well, look no further. The Pueblo fable goes that the sun shot an arrow to the earth and birthed a son. This boy grows up knowing nothing of his father and goes out searching to find him. Not only is it an interesting story but the illustrations are equally vivid.

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10. John Henry, written by Julius Lester and illustrated by Jerry Pinkney. I hate to admit that I had only recently heard about John Henry. I know. Pretty lame. I am so glad that I have now because, wow, what a story! This version especially, with the rainbow and the song that he sung.

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Here is the printable PDF list: 10 Handpicked Fairy Tales

Now off you go into the wild blue yonder where rainbows follow men of strength, where ravens unleash the sun, and where camels dream of being ballerinas.

And remember, remember, to keep climbing the Story Tree.

 

 

 

Butterfly’s Day Out

First, I would like to dedicate this story to my own bear, my husband, who has supported me through everything. Our anniversary is coming up soon and, naturally, my thoughts have been lended to gratitude, love, and to my Vegas worthy luck.

Here’s to true blave!

(If you haven’t seen Princess Bride then you must walk away from the computer/tablet/phone and watch said movie.)

Thank you, Jake, for being awesome.

Now, for the story:

Butterfly stood in front of the mirror, studying her colorful wings. They were splashed with reds, blues, and greens, a brilliant rainbow that would fill any butterfly with pride. But not this butterfly. As she studied her reflection she felt an odd swelling pushing in her chest. It was an emptiness that she could not shake and it grew stronger every day.

The wind, blustering about, rattled the windows. She walked out onto her porch and let the wind nudge her.

Come with me, the wind whispered, Come.

What a peculiar invitation. What a singular moment. Standing there in the wind, listening to it beckon her, Butterfly felt the swelling grow and let the wind pull her in. Without so much as a, “goodbye” to her neighbors or a “see you soon” to her friends, she leapt off of her porch and into the wind.

But the wind was stronger than she had anticipated. It grabbed her and toppled her, head over wings, into the branches of a large tree. She tried to untangle her wings from the braches but she could not.

“Hello there, Butterfly. Do you need some assistance?” asked the tree in a wispy, windy voice.

“Yes please.” Butterfly said, feeling quite pathetic.

“If I help you, would you give me the green from your wings? The sun has bleached my leaves into a rather uncomely color. I would be ever so pleased.”

True, Butterfly had never been precocious of her colorful wings, but what would she look like with no green? Yet, she had little choice if she ever wanted to be free from the tree. “Take all the green you need.” She said to the tree.

So the tree untangled Butterfly and in exchange Butterfly gave him all the green from her wings. And oh how green was that tree as he waved goodbye to Butterfly when she took flight into the wind once more.

Butterfly looked at her wings. There was a small patch of grey where her green had been. Even with the green gone, Butterfly felt a little heavier and the emptiness swelled and pushed up into her lungs. But the wind continued to beckon her.

Come with me, it moaned through the trees, Come.

Soon she grew weary and her wings felt as dry as dying leaves in Autumn, so she landed on a stone beside a roaring river.

“My, you must be parched, child.” Gushed the river. “Take a drink from my water and dip your dried wings. But, before you do,” The river said as Butterfly dipped her small hand into the water, “Would you mind parting with the blue from your wings? I have grown old and dull with age. With the blue in your wings I could be young and sparkling once again.”

Truly, Butterfly was thirsty and her wings crisp and almost breaking, so she gave the river the blue from her wings, then dipped into the water. Her wings were refreshed and she was no longer thirsty, but the grey in her wings grew and soon there was only red left. The river glittered with glee and the sky paled with envy. Butterfly flew on up into the wind that buffeted her so, waving goodbye.

Come. It always said in its hushing, shushing voice. Come.

But she could not fly any longer for she was weak and lightheaded with hunger. Butterfly landed on a rose, her stomach growling like a bear.

“My!” said the rose in a voice so dainty, “you must be starving! Poor Butterfly! Why, come sip my nectar if you need. Oh! What deep red you have in your wings! If only I had such a red in my petals I would surely have more nectar to give.”

Butterfly looked at her graying wings and felt the boil of hunger in her stomach. What good did the color in her wings do her? They could not fill her belly or give her the strength she needed to continue to fly on with the wind. Determined and growing heavy, Butterfly gave the rose all of the red from her wings. The rose preened and twittered with glee.

“Oh, thank you darling Butterfly!” the rose called as Butterfly flew away.

Butterfly was feeling heavier than ever, as if someone had put a pebble on each of her wings, but the wind continued to blow and call for her to, Come. But doubt began to creep up through her wings and down into her heart as cold as the setting sun. The empty swelling was pushing up into her heart and she felt emptier than ever.

“Why must I come?” she called to the wind. “Why?” But the wind swallowed up her words in one big gulp.

The sun sank below the horizon and soon Butterfly could only see as far as her delicate antennae. She flew blindly into a forest choked with trees and shadows. The air was chilled and froze her little wings so she could not fly. She fell straight into something dark and hairy, then fell to the ground. Poor Butterfly! The emptiness inside her swelled until she nearly burst.

“Who is that crying?” asked a low, rumbling voice. A shaft of creamy moonlight broke through the tree tops and shone on the big hairy thing as it bent down towards the butterfly.

Butterfly choked on a scream when she saw what it was. A bear, with its big shaggy head, was staring right at her. His big glossy nose sniffed and snuffed at her wings.

“Are you a moth?” asked the bear, his beady eyes glinting in the moonlight.

“No,” Butterfly sniffed, “My name is Butterfly and I am a butterfly.”

“I have never seen such a beautiful butterfly before. But surely, you are shivering. Come, perch on my nose and I can take you to my home.”

Go. Hushed the wind. Go, it said.

But Butterfly did not need the wind to tell her to go with Bear. His small eyes were glistening with kindness and with the kind of warmth one would find beside a crackling fire. She stepped onto his nose and he took her to his cave. It was no ordinary cave, not dank and cold, but complete with a yellow door, covered in wild flowers in all their proud colors, with smoke curling from a chimney. Inside there was a lively fire and soft chairs and a table with a teapot and a tea cup.

Bear overturned the teacup and set Butterfly on top of it. “Are you comfortable?” he asked her.

“Quite.” She said.

Bear fetched a walnut and made her a small teacup and filled it with a drop of lemon tea and a glob of honey. It steamed in her small hands and the warmth crawled up her arms and into her wings. “You have a very nice home.” Butterfly said. But as she looked closer she could see that there were cobwebs in the corner and dust covering the window sills. The drapes were haggard and worn. Without a word she set about dusting and cleaning, scrubbing the carpets and wiping off the windows to let in the moonlight.

As she cleaned Bear watched her intently.

She alighted onto the teacup and yawned. “Maybe in the morning I can make you new drapes.”

Bear smiled, then walked to the kitchen, rummaged in a drawer, and returned with a matchbox filled with cotton balls and covered in a linen napkin. “Your bed.” He said, smiling.

Butterfly felt the swelling grow into her heart, but it was not an empty swelling, but a swelling filled with something warm and soft, like honey. She snuggled into the bed and Bear curled up beside the fire.

“Goodnight, Bear.” said Butterfly.

“Goodnight, Butterfly.” said Bear.

The wind was quiet as it gazed through the window at Bear as he softly snored and at Butterfly whose emptiness drifted away as she drifted off to sleep.

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Art by Morgan O Brien

 

Here is the PDF: Butterfly’s Day Out

Until next time!

And remember, Keep Climbing The Story Tree!

btw’s, feel free to share this story or any other story you enjoyed. Spread the word to other parents you know would enjoy a free story to read to their child. Hasta luego, muchacho!

10 Handpicked Books About Science!

:Excited nerdy giggle:

SCIENCE!!!

Ahem.

So, I’m a little excited about this…so what? Maybe I am a closet science nerd. Maybe I really like beakers and stars and rocks and

SCIENCE!!!

………I will keep my outbursts to a minimum. But, to be completely serious (it won’t last long, don’t worry), the reason why I have picked some rad books about science is because studies show that boys are more interested in non-fiction books. And I know that boys oftentimes struggle with wanting to read. Their disinterest may simply be because they just haven’t read the right kind of book that interests them.

That makes sense, right?

I mean, you wouldn’t like music if you hated bagpipes and you thought that was all music was. Just as the revered J.K. Rowling once said:

“If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.”

So, without further adieu, I give you……..SCIENCE!!! MWAHAHAHA!!!

1. A Drop of Water: A Book of Science and Wonder, written Walter Wick. Beautiful photos coupled with simple, yet informative explanations about the characteristics of water. Warning: Will make you thirsty. (hyuck hyuck)

2. Open Wide: Tooth School Inside, written and illustrated by Laurie Keller. I really enjoyed reading this book. Silly and interesting, it will teach your child about their pearly whites.

3. The Moon, written by Seymour Simon. This book is about the sun…har har, just kidding. Cool facts coupled with rad photos, including Neil Armstrong’s first step.

4. A Color Sampler, written by Kathleen Westray. I like colors and I think that you and your child will find it fun to see what colors you can get when you combine other colors. Quick read, easy concepts. Me likie.

5. The Cloud Book, written and illustrated by Jomie de Paola. Ever wonder what the right name is for a puffy cloud or a wispy one? Look no further! This book will show you the difference. And after, why not go cloud watching and see if you can name some? Well, that is if it isn’t night time, because then that would just be awkward.

6. Deserts, written by Seymour Simon. Hey, it’s Seymour again! He’s my kind of nerd. I like this book because it is simple and fun to learn about deserts because, did you know that deserts make up one seventh of the earth’s surface? Ya, I know. Crazy sauce.

7. ZZZ…: The Most Interesting Book You’ll Ever Read About Sleep, written by Trudee Romanek and illustrated by Rose Cowles. Just as the title says, this is the most interesting book you’ll ever read about sleep. I was engrossed. Did you know that some gorillas that learned sign language signed in their sleep? More crazy sauce! 

8. How Our Senses Work, written by Jaime Ripoll and illustrated by Marcel Socias. I know it seems a little dry, but there are so many pictures that you’re bound to learn something cool.

9. Math Curse , written by Jon Scieszka and illustrated by Lane Smith. This is a chortle inducing book about a boy who wakes up and sees the world mathematically. It would be fun to, while reading this book, ask your child to count how many eyeballs or fingers there were in the room, you know, just to get their brain juices going. hehe, brain juices.

10.Science Verse, written by Jon Scieszka and illustrated by Lane Smith. Yup. Same dudes. So, this fun book is just a bunch of poems about all things science. Celebrates all things nerdy and cool and awesome.

Here is the printable checklist: Science Booklist

Alrighty. So, you and your little child go out and get some science books. And, of course, Keep Climbing the Story Tree!

Scienceverse

SCIENCE!!!!

Kaylee, The Great and Terrible Dinosaur Princess

First, I would like to dedicate this to a young lady named Kaylee. I hope you enjoy the story and that you keep being yourself.

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” -Bernard M. Baruch

Kaylee, the Great and Terrible Dinosaur Princess

Kaylee’s stomach clenched as the girls of the neighborhood went around the circle saying what kind of princess they were. They were gathered in Anna’s backyard, the pool glinting with sun coins, all dressed in their princess dresses and clutching their dolls with sweaty hands. Kaylee hid Tildie behind her dress. When it was her turn Kaylee bit her lip.

“I want to be the dinosaur princess.” She said, bringing Tildie, her plastic Carcharodontosaurus, out from behind the folds of her green dress. “And this is my pet, Tildie the Carcharodontosaurus.”

The other girls shifted in their poofy, tool dresses.

“Don’t you want to be the flower princess like you were last time? And where is Hannah?” Tabitha asked. Her plastic crown glinted in the sun.

Kaylee had been the flower princess before but, frankly, she was sick of being a flower princess. “No.” she said firmly. “I want to be the dinosaur princess. I can even speak dinosaur,” she added, “See, watch. I’ll say your name in dinosaur.” She growled Tabitha’s name.

The other girls watched Tabitha as she glared at Kaylee.

“There is no such thing as a dinosaur princess.” She said in dark tones, hinting at the destructive power of her plastic scepter.

“Yes there is.” Kaylee said, clutching Tildie so tight his claws dug into her palms, her smile fading.

Tabitha folded her arms across her sequined dress. “Dinosaur princesses don’t exist. Even if they did, they wouldn’t have a T-Rex as a pet.”

“It’s a Carcharodontosaurus.”

The girls twittered with laughter.

“I think it’s time to go home.” Tabitha said, eyeing Tildie with utter dislike. “Let’s go put our stuff away.”

Kaylee was confused. They all had their swimming suits on underneath their dresses. She shrugged and put Tildie into her dinosaur back-pack and headed out the door. “See you later, Anna!” She waved but Anna did not wave back.

Kaylee lived next door to Anna but the walk to her front door seemed to go on forever. Maybe they just had to warm up to the idea of a dinosaur princess. Maybe tomorrow they would all be speaking dinosaur to each other. Maybe they would want to see her dinosaur encyclopedia: Dinos from A-Z. She went up to her room and as she placed Tildie next to Rocky the Iguanodon, a gale of laughter came from Anna’s backyard. Kaylee stumbled on her dress and ran to the window.

The neighbor girls were jumping into Anna’s pool, splashing each other and laughing.

Kaylee stepped away from the window and slumped onto her bed. I should have been a stupid flower princess. Kaylee thought bitterly to herself, burying herself beneath her pillows.

The next day Kaylee rummaged in her closet to find a pink dress to wear over her dinosaur shirt and green shorts. In the closet she found Hannah, the doll that Anna had given to her for her birthday. It was still in its box. She shoved her into a plastic bag and strolled over to Anna’s house.

She knocked on Anna’s door. It opened a crack and Anna peeked through.

“Oh. Hi, Kaylee.” Anna said, not looking entirely pleased to see her.

“Hi, Anna!” Kaylee said, trying to sound cheery, “Are you guys playing princesses today? I was thinking I could be the flower princess this time. I even brought Hannah!” Kaylee brought Hannah out of the plastic bag, her static hair writhing like snakes.

Anna grimaced. “Let me go check with my mom.” Anna shut the door with a snap.

Kaylee peered into the window beside the door and saw Anna whispering with the neighborhood girls who were all dressed in their princess gowns. Tabitha was shaking her head with her arms folded. She was wearing another gown, a purple and pink gown exploding with sequins.

Anna returned, opening the door just wide enough for Kaylee to see her lips and one of her eyes. She coughed. “I think I’m getting sick. And…” she thought hard, furrowing her brow. Someone behind her whispered something. “Oh, yea,” Anna said, “And my mom wants me to do my chores. Sorry. Maybe next week.” She slammed the door and engaged the lock as if she were afraid Kaylee would go into a rage and break down the door.

Truth be told, Kaylee wanted to bestow upon the girls a fury fit for a dinosaur princess. She growled to herself and stomped back home. At the top of the stairs she ripped off the flower princess gown and threw it down the stairs.

As Kaylee watched the dress float down like a pink flower, the ground began to shake as a deep rumble passed through the house. Kaylee clutched the banister. The rumbling stopped and Kaylee went downstairs to find her mother in case it was an earthquake. The house rumbled again, but this time Kaylee noticed that it sounded more like a roar than the rumble of an earthquake.

Kaylee stood beside the basement door and pressed her ear to it when another roar shook the house, the windows rattling and the cups in the cupboard clinking together. She opened the door and stepped down into the dark and closed the door behind her. The air was rich and earthy, as if she were standing in a jungle. She flicked on the light to see that it was not her basement at all, but the tops of tress in a sprawling jungle.

Kaylee walked down the steps. The trees had leaves bigger than the basement door and bugs bigger than her head. When she reached the lush jungle floor Kaylee was on the edge of a cliff. Off in the distance there was a large, smoking volcano rising out of the thick jungle. Pterodactyls flew through thick gray clouds. Other strange dinosaurs Kaylee had never seen before jumped from branch to branch in the treetops below.

Then, from behind her something roared so fierce and powerful that it rattled Kaylee’s bones. She turned slowly to face a great dinosaur with silver blue eyes and black scaly skin. It was a great Carcharodontosaraus, so horrifying yet so majestic that Kaylee wanted nothing more than to hug it around hits thick legs.

The Carcharodontosaurus roared again, exposing his sharp pointed teeth and the dark tunnel of his throat. Suddenly, crashing through the jungle, dinosaurs from everywhere came and circled Kaylee. There was a black and white striped Achelousaurus, a bright blue Stegosaurus with yellow spots, a Maiasaura with her babies peering from behind her legs, a blue Iguanodon, two yellow and green Colepiocephales, and a black and brown spotted Velociraptor.

They all stood still watching Kaylee. She felt fear boiling up inside her telling her to run away, but instead she swallowed a lungful of air and with all her might she roared a great and terrible roar that shook the ground, the trees, and the leaves. The dinosaurs all bowed, then raised up on their hind legs and gave a great bellow. With the air still ringing, the dinosaurs fell silent and the great carchardontosaurus turned around to let her climb up his tail and she sat upon his head.

“What is your name, great and terrible dinosaur?” Kaylee growled in dinosaur language.

“Tildie, your majesty.” He growled. His words rumbled through her legs. “And what may we call you, oh great princess?”

“Kaylee, the terrible dinosaur princess.” Kaylee growled.

“All hail Kaylee the terrible!” Roared Tildie.

The dinosaurs roared a proud roar for their new princess. Tildie led Kaylee through the jungle to meet all her loyal subjects until the yellow sun sunk behind the volcano.

“You cannot be late for supper, your majesty.” Growled Tildie, ever so devoted to his princess.

He took her to the bottom of the stairs. Kaylee hugged him swiftly, then ran up the basement stairs, flicked off the light, and went into the kitchen just as her mother was removing a steaming dish of lasagna from the oven.

When Kaylee and her mom and dad sat down at the dinner table her dad cleared his throat. “Kaylee, we have something to tell you.” He said, folding his fingers together and leaning on the table. He looked to her mother then said, “We have decided to move.”

Kaylee dropped her fork and it clattered against her plate. “Move?” She asked, not trusting her ears.

“Yes, sweetheart.” Said her mother, “We have to leave soon, so we are going to need your help packing. We are moving to a nice place called Appleton. It’s out in the country so there will be lots of forest for you to explore.”

“But I don’t want to move!” Kaylee shouted, thinking of the injustice of it all. Princesses did not move and abandon their people. Princesses were reliable and took care of her subjects. Her face grew hot and her eyes prickled. She ran to her bedroom and slammed the door behind her and did not come out the entire evening.

Weeks went by and the house was empty, except for a small dinosaur suitcase, some wadded up pieces of trash, and a pizza box. A moving truck was parked outside the house filled to the brim with heavy, brown boxes.

As her parents picked up the last pieces of trash and her father threw the pizza box in a big trash bag, Kaylee went down into the basement and entered her kingdom where she gathered her subjects.

“Great and terrible dinosaurs,” she growled, “It is the time of the great migration. Hold onto your moving buddy and follow my lead. You will all arrive at our new home safely. Mother says there will be plenty room in our new home for you all. Now, up the stairs one at a time.”

The dinosaurs followed her one by one up the stairs and squeezed through the basement door. Her parents were sitting at the table eating the last of the pizza and did not seem to notice the train of dinosaurs marching out of the basement.

Kaylee tied the stegosaurs to the top of the truck, stuffed the Maiasaura and her babies into the moving truck, tied a leash to the Achelousaurus and the Iguanodon, stuffed the Velociraptor into the car, and tied the two Colepiocephales to the back of the moving truck. Tildie, however, needed no leash and decided to follow the moving truck.

“You get all your stuff out of the house?” she asked, handing Kaylee’s dinosaur suitcase to her.

Kaylee counted her dinosaurs and nodded.

As they drove down to Appleton people screamed in fright when they saw a great Carcharodontosaraus following a moving van filled with other frightful looking dinosaurs. But Kaylee’s parents did not seem to notice the stegosaurus, the Velociraptor (even though he was making a terrible fuss), or the Iguanodon who kept tugging at his leash.

They finally reached Appleton. Her parents drove to the middle of town and parked outside a tall apartment building. They climbed three flights of stairs to number 301. It was much smaller than they had described it. There were only two rooms, with a small living room and a matchbox sized kitchen. There was no basement.

Kaylee’s heart sank. “Where will all my dinosaurs go?” She asked her mother.

Her mother patted her on the head. “There will be plenty of room for you toys, sweetie.” She said, surveying the living room with her hands on her hips.

Kaylee returned to the dinosaurs and untied them, not knowing how to tell them there was no room for a great dinosaur kingdom. They had to be squished together in the small fenced in backyard. But soon they grew cranky and growled so loud that the neighbors complained about the noise.

At the first day of school Kaylee hardly paid attention to the lessons. Her mind was on her royal subjects growing more and more miserable as the days went on. All they wanted was a nice jungle to roam and roar as loud as they wanted. What was a princess to do?

At recess Kaylee walked on her own, kicking rocks in the grass, her mind on her kingdom. She kicked something hard and plastic and something growled in the bushes.

“Who goes there?” someone growled in dinosaur.

Kaylee froze. “It is I, the dinosaur princess.” She growled back in dinosaur.

A small girl Kaylee’s age popped out of the bushes. There were branches stuck in her bright blonde hair, a smile beaming on her face. “You speak dinosaur too?” she asked brightly in English.

“I am the dinosaur princess, so of course I speak dinosaur.”

The girl gasped. “You are? That’s amazing!” she cried, throwing her arms up into the air. “I am a dinosaur princess too!” She bent down and picked up the plastic object Kaylee had kicked. “This is Blossom, my best pal in the whole world.” She showed Kaylee a brown plastic stegosaurus with hearts and flowers drawn on it with bright permanent markers. “She likes hearts and flowers.” She said, as Kaylee studied the elaborate designs.

Kaylee smiled a real smile, one she hadn’t used in a long time.

“Do you wanna come over to my house after school and play dinosaurs with me? I have a limited edition Giganotosaurus that I got on my birthday. Would you like to see him?”

Kaylee thought hard. “Could I bring my dinosaurs? They are pretty big…”

“I would love it!” the girl cried, leaping from one foot to another. “My name is Ginger by the way, Ginger Stegosaurus Ray, what’s yours?”

“Kaylee, the great and terrible dinosaur princess.”

After school Kaylee went home and gathered her dinosaurs and put leashes on them all, tied them to her bike, and pedaled over to Ginger’s house. Ginger’s house was bigger than she had described with trees bigger than buildings and the house several stories tall. The back yard seemed to go on forever before it was swallowed up in a sea of large trees. It was perfect.

Ginger was on the front porch when Kaylee drove up. Her mouth dropped open when she saw the dinosaurs. She ran up to Kaylee and shyly touched Blossom, the stegosaurus, on the nose. Blossom nudged her gently on the arm.

“I think she likes you.” Kaylee said, pushing out the kickstand on her bike. “I think your backyard will be perfect. They are going to love it.”

Ginger grew quiet, her eyes squinting. “What if…” she hesitated. “What if they lived here and it could be our kingdom and we could be the great and terrible dinosaur princesses together?”

Kaylee hugged Ginger and lept for joy. “That is a wonderful idea!”

The dinosaurs roared their agreement. The girls dressed in their dinosaur princess dresses and led the dinosaurs to the backyard, Kaylee riding Tildie and Ginger riding Blossom. When the dinosaurs went running into the forest Kaylee and Ginger roared great and terrible roars shaking the leaves from the trees and making the ground tremble with fright. There never were better, more terrifying dinosaur princesses in all the land.

This is a Carcharodontosaurus, one of the largest known predatory dinosaurs.

This is a Carcharodontosaurus, one of the largest known predatory dinosaurs.

 

Here is the PDF: The great and terrible Kaylee

Here is a neat website that has tons and tons of dinosaurs and facts about them.

Have a fantastic Wednesday and keep Climbing the Story Tree!

10 Handpicked Books for the 4th of July!

Boomtastick!

That’s what I think about when the 4th of July comes along. Lots of boom and pazazz. And why shouldn’t we celebrate? We have a wonderful country filled with wonderful people and a legacy to be proud of. Sure, there are some nasty stains on the carpet, but we’ve risen above that on the backs of strong men and women. We should be proud. I know I am.

With that in mind, I have complied a booklist that has bits and pieces of what makes the United States the way it is today. Hopefully your children will be amused and entertained, as well as informed and interested in their history because history is exciting!

1. So You Want to Be President?, written by Judith St. George and illustrated by David Small. This Caldecott winner is a funny, informative book about the history of U.S. presidents and what it takes to be one.

2. Lincoln Tells a Joke, written by Kathleen Krull and Paul Brewer and illustrated by Stacy Innerst. Using the means of his sense of humor, this story is about the life of Abraham Lincoln.  Reading this sure did increase my respect for Mr. Lincoln.

3. Nurse, Soldier, Spy: the story of Sarah Edmonds, written by Marissa Moss and illustrated by John Hendrix. “What a cool story!” was my immediate thought after finishing this book. This book tells the true story of a woman who dressed up as a man to join the army during the civil war. Brave and strong, Sarah Edmonds was a true hero.

4. Baseball Saved Us, written by Ken Mochizuki and illustrated by Dom Lee. Set in the Japanese internment camps during World War II, this true story is about a young Japanese boy who finds joy in baseball during a very difficult time in his life.

5. Martin’s Big Words, written by Doreen Rappaport and illustrated by Bryan Collier. This book, using beautiful illustrations and moving words, tells about Martin Luther King’s legacy and his dedication to equal rights for all men.

6. The Memory Coat, written by Elvira Woodruff and illustrated by Michael Dooling. A Jewish family escapes from Russia to go to the United States at the beginning of World War I, but is stopped at Ellis Island because one of the boys had scraped his eye. Through the use of his coat, a miracle happens and they are able to stay in the states.

7. To Dare Mighty Things, written by Doreen Rappaport and illustrated by C.F. Payne. No, this is not a typo. This is another book written by Doreen Rappaport, but this is about the life of Theodore Roosevelt. A fun read and inspiring that if you want something bad enough you’ll get it. (Doreen has a bunch of these biographical books and they are all worth checking out).

8. Abe Lincoln: The Boy Who Loved Books, written by Kay Winters and illustrated by Nancy Carpenter. I know, I know, another Abe Lincoln story, but this one focuses more on his youth and his passion for reading. I’m sorry, but I have a weakness for those who love to read. And heck, Abraham Lincoln is my favorite president because he was just so awesome.

9. The Flag We Love, written by Pam Munoz Ryan and illustrated by Ralph Masiello. Using beautiful illustrations, this book shows how we use the flag of the United States. There are small boxes at the bottom of the pages that give you more information, which is pretty neat.

10. Those Rebels, John & Tom, written by Barbara Kerley  and illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham (what a last name). I loved this book. This tells about how John Adams and Thomas Jefferson got together, but also how completely different they were. I think it’s a fantastic way to show that two people that are so entirely different can use their skills to make big differences (you know, like write the Declaration of Independence. No biggie).

Here is the printable checklist: 4th of july handpicked books

Well, I hope you and your children enjoy reading these books as much as I did. There are plenty of other books out there that can tell you about the history of your lovely country. Although we have a lot more to do to make our country better, it is very inspiring to know about all the wonderful people who sacrificed their lives to make ours better.

Let’s make them proud and blow some stuff up.

That's Sarah. Isn't she a Bad-A?

That’s Sarah. Isn’t she a Bad-A?

Happy Fourth of July, Folks!

Keep climbing the Story Tree!

 

Vincent and Blue

Vincent was in class and the teacher was chattering like a little squirrel about something boring-Vincent didn’t know because he was not listening. He was busy hunched over his desk drawing the tree outside the school window. The tree seemed to be dancing to the sound of the wind. It whooshed back and forth, back and forth.

“Vincent!” The teacher shouted. “You should be paying attention, not daydreaming and scribbling.” She marched over to his desk, opened the window, and tossed his paper out.

After class Vincent rushed outside and found his drawing in the mud. A group of kids were stomping on it and laughing, “Vincent, Vincent, off in space!” they cried and chased him home.

That night Vincent sat in a chair beside his window and looked up at the stars. “I wish I were a star. They could not touch me if I were flying up there in the night sky.”

Blue, a big star in the sky, watched Vincent and sighed. The star was floating through space, alone. When he passed other stars he could hear them laughing, “Look, there goes big fat blueberry.” Blue tried to ignore them but their laughing made him feel cold and dim. He wanted the dark to swallow him up so the other stars could not see him or laugh at him anymore.

As he floated through the sky, feeling fat and ugly, he passed Vincent who was sitting at his desk next to his open window. Blue wished he could see what the little scribbler was doing, but he was too far away to see.

The next day at school Vincent tried very hard to listen to his teacher but he could not stop thinking about painting the sky from last night, especially a bright, blue star that had been floating in the sky. His fingers itched to paint, but he did not want to get into trouble again and did not want the other kids to laugh at him anymore.

When the school bell rang Vincent ran home, the other kids chasing after him calling him names, shouting and barking like mean dogs. He hurried into his room, pulled his box of paints from underneath his bed, and began to paint.

When the night grew deep and the stars began to wake, Blue yawned and rubbed his eyes and looked down to see if the little boy was drawing again. The little boy was asleep in bed, but in the open window a painting was drying.

Blue crept closer and closer to the window to see the painting and when he did he sparkled in amazement. The boy had painted Blue in the night sky. Could the boy be right? Was he really not fat at all, but big, brilliant, and beautiful? Blue rushed over to a glassy lake and looked at his reflection and gasped. In the lake Blue saw the most beautiful star he had ever seen. The star in the reflection was so big, so bright, and shining a creamy blue light that sparkled like snow. Blue twirled about, happy as can be, sending sparks into the night sky like white snowflakes.

Vincent awoke to a shower of shooting stars racing through the night sky and the brilliant blue star from his painting seemed almost as big as the moon and glowed as bright as the sun. He grabbed his paint brush and ran out onto the grass in his bare feet and reached up to the star.

Blue dipped low and picked Vincent up and placed him on his back and soared through the night sky with a tail of light.

Vincent took out his paint brush and smeared it across the sky and painted the sunrise with the rosy reds, blushing pinks, waking oranges, and timid yellows. When it was finished he yawned and stretched. Blue set him down in front of his house and gave Vincent a small piece of him, just a small rock, then off he flew into the night sky.

When his mother woke him up for school Vincent looked everywhere for the rock but it was nowhere to be found. It must have just been a dream, he thought to himself. He told his mother about his dream over breakfast and she smiled and patted him on the head. When he walked to school he told the children about his dream and they rolled their eyes. He drew the picture of him and blue riding in the night sky, but his teacher scolded him and threw it in the trash. Vincent wished that he could find the rock to prove to them that he was telling the truth.

That night, tucked into his bed and staring out the window, he thought about Blue and when they rode through the sky. What a dream it was, he thought. What a wonderful dream. He fell asleep, the window open, and a small rock glowing underneath his bed.

I hope you enjoyed Vincent and Blue! One night when my husband could not sleep I made up this story for him. He said he fell asleep in the middle of it so either it A) helped soothe him to sleep or B) bored him to sleep. I’d like to go with A. 

This week, I was thinking I would just give you the simple PDF instead of the coloring one as well. I thought it might be less printing ink for you if they just drew on blank sheets of paper. Let me know if you want the coloring PDF back.

Simple PDF: Vincent and Blue

the_starry_night-t2

Have a fantastic Wednesday fellow readers! And remember to keep climbing The Story Tree.

10 Handpicked Father’s Day Books

Hola! So, Next Sunday is Father’s day and I thought it would be appropriate to have a booklist full of books about fathers.

Without further adieu, here is the synopsis of the books included in the list, then the booklist that you can print and bring with you to the book store or library! (I like libraries. A LOT) Do you? What am I saying. Of course you do.

1.  Papa’s Mark, written by Gwensolyn Battle-lavert and illustrated by Colin Bootman. Simms’ father is one of the first African Americans to vote in Lamar county, but he cannot sign his name. With some help from Simms and with determination, Samuel T. Blow learns to sign his name on his ballot. Amazing and heartfelt, this story is historical and inspiring.

2.  The Very Best Daddy of All, written by Manon Dane Bauer and illustrated by Leslie Wu. I liked this one because all of the fathers are different kind of animals. They all say what kinds of animal dads do for their children. Educational and sweet.

3. The Babe and I, written by David Adler and illustrated by Terry Widener. When a boy discovers that his father has lost his job and is selling apples on the side of the street (taking place during the depression), it opens up a whole new world for him of earning money and baseball. A touching story of a boy discovering what his father does to provide for his family.

4. Night Driving, written by John Coy and illustrated by Peter McCarthy. Beautifully drawn and crisply written, this story is about a boy and his father driving at night so they can reach their camping spot. Simple, but wonderful.

5. Two Old Potatoes and Me, written by John Coy and illustrated by Carolyn Fisher. When this little girl visits her father’s house she discovers that old potatoes can be replanted. This story is fun and whimsical with bright illustrations as well as lightly dealing with divorce.

6.  Just Like You, written and Illustrated by Emma Dodd. A simple story of a bear wanting to be like his bear dad.

7.  Daddy is a Doodlebug, written and Illustrated by Bruce Degen. With a fun, new twist, this story is about how a son loves how much he and his dad have in common.

8. Mitchell’s License, written by Hallie Durand and Illustrated by Tony Fucile. In desperation, a father finds a way to make going to bed something to look forward to by pretending that his son, Mitchell, can drive his “car” to bed.

9. The Ten Best Things About Dad, written and illustrated by Christine Loomis. A feel good story for sure, this book goes through all the positive qualities of fathers. A great segue way into talking about what your own child loves about his/her father.

10. Every Friday, written and illustrated by Dan Yaccarino. Last, but certainly not least, this story is about how each Friday a father takes his son out for breakfast. Simple, but truly illustrates how little efforts to spend quality time with your child goes a long way.

 

every friday large

 

Well, there it is folks! I hope you enjoy reading these books about fathers.

Here is the printable list you can take with you to the bookstore or the library: 10 handpicked fathers (…I see now that it is a weird title for the document…I have not handpicked fathers up for adoption).

Happy Father’s Day!

And don’t forget to keep climbing The Story Tree. 🙂