Posted in Books

LibriVox

Hello Bookbooksbloggers!

I’m sorry I’ve been away so long- I just don’t have enough time to post as regularly as I was! Still, I’m going to keep doing the occasional post every few weeks like this one, so keep tuned in.

I would also love some people to do guest posts on my blog: just contact me on the contact page and I’ll get back to you!

Anyway, so this afternoon I’m just popping you a quick resource in the form of LibriVox.org.

LibriVox is an organization that provides free online audiobooks for listeners to enjoy.

They are all quite old books, dating around the early 1900s and before, but even if you’re not into that kind of stuff I’m sure you’ll enjoy at least one of the books on there.

There’s plenty of Emily Dickinson stuff if poetry is your thing. Some other authors on there are Lewis Caroll, Charles Dickens and Jules Verne. (There are 311 recordings by Charles Dickens!)

Don’t expect perfect sound quality and exemplary reading: everything is done by volunteers at home. But for that kind of recording, the standard really is amazing: things sound pretty professional!

I would suggest the Bobbsey Twins series by Laura Lee Hope as a few children’s books that are on there. There is some extremely, extremely (very subtle) mild racism and sexism, because of the time period it was written in. It is a gentle but fun read that is great when you want a break from the serious stuff.

Another good children’s book series on LibriVox is the Five Little Peppers by Margaret Sidney. I would recommend listening to it.

To access this great free database, head over to librivox.org.

That’s all from me for now!

Matilda 😀

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Posted in Writing

Elsie Pepper and the Truth About Grown-Ups (Sorry, adults reading this!!!)

 

Chapter One

Grown-ups. You always see them talking about things behind your back, or saying that you CAN’T wear your undies on the outside like Superman, even though it is essential to your game, or talking about the stock market to you when you would rather it was behind your back, or… well, the faults in grown-ups are too many to count. And yet… why is it that no matter how much you swear that YOU will be different when you grow up, people never are different? Why is it that parents are so boring? Well, that is exactly what Elsie Pepper would find out one fateful day.

On the day before that day, she had been sent to bed early because she had taken the last cookie out of the jar. Why did grown-ups have to ruin everything? She had explained to them that she was doing exactly what they had told her to do, which was run off and play. She was playing a game: it was astronauts, and the cookie was her fuel. But did they listen, like any decent kid would have done? NO. Of course not.

Elsie was huffing about this in her bed, she noticed that it was getting very cold. Brrr, she shivered and pulled her doona up to her chin. I know, she thought. I can play humpback whales! She started making whale-y noises under her covers. But the game just wasn’t working for her. Then along came a thought. What if she had a REAL whale? Now how would she go about doing that? Her mind preoccupied with thoughts of whales, she slowly drifted off to sleep.

Whales were all very well, but Elsie knew that she would not be getting one. Still, she decided to ask if she could go to the aquarium, figuring that Mum and Dad couldn’t refuse to take her.

Mum was of a mystery age, but Elsie knew that she was positively ANCIENT. All grown-ups were. She was an “accountant”, but Elsie didn’t really know what it was, on account of the terrible explanation Mum had given her.

“Mum, what’s a ‘countant?” she had asked once, when she was younger. Mum had smiled at her.

“What makes you take such an interest in my work, sweetie?” Elsie had repeated her question. This is another thing about grown-ups: instead of giving straightforward answers to questions, they come out with questions of their own.

“It’s someone who adds numbers and manages tax,” said Mum.

Elsie pulled a face. She hadn’t known what tax was then, but adding numbers is just horrible. (She knows what tax is now. It’s paying money to buy nothing. She doesn’t get why it is such a big hit. Neither do I.)

Dad, on the other hand, was a much more interesting thing. He wrote picture books, like The Bunny That Went Hop, or The Gnu That Went Moo (that was Elsie’s favourite). He was also of an ancient age. Elsie knew this because his hair was all grey. Dad said he dyed it that colour, but Elsie doesn’t believe him.

Today, Mum was sitting at the computer tapping away at numbers. “Can you take me to the aquarium?” asked Elsie, then remembered her manners: “Pleeeeease?” (This was another grown-up thing. Manners! Who even needs them?)

“Sorry honey, I’ve really got to get this client’s job done. I’m already running overtime.”  Mum ruffled Elsie’s hair. “How about you have some crisps to cheer you up?”

Elsie scowled. Crisps were no substitute for the aquarium. They always got ice cream at the aquarium. Ice cream was way better than crisps. But still, crisps were yummy, so she grudgingly said. “I guess.”

“Where are your manners, young lady?” asked Mum.

“At the aquarium,” said Elsie.

“Fine,” said Mum. “Go ask your father about the aquarium.” And she turned back to her computer screen.

Elsie found Dad in bed sleeping. She jumped on him to wake him up. He was very bouncy, just like a trampoline.

“OOOOOWEEEEE!” he yelled. “STOP BOUNCING ON ME!!” But Elsie went on bouncing, panting through her jumps, “Will… you… take me… to… the… aquarium?”

Dad took no notice. “GET OFF!” he hollered. “THAT HURTS!”

Suddenly, Mum was on the scene. Elsie quickly stopped jumping on Dad and looked at her with a solemn expression on her face.

“Right!” said Mum. “That’s it! You are going to your room this instant.”

“No,” said Elsie.

“Elsie May Pepper, go to your room before I kick you halfway to Timbuktu. I’ll count to ten.”

Elsie went, kicking the floor as she did.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Two

It was so unfair. Didn’t grown-ups know what it was like to be a kid? Didn’t they know that Elsie was just trying to keep her father awake? Anyway, what kind of person naps in the daytime? Elsie found it boring enough lying in bed at night, let alone when she was allowed to be up doing fun stuff. But not fun stuff at the aquarium, she remembered, and sighed.

Elsie, sitting on her bed, could hear her Mum clickety-clacking on the keyboard, and her Dad’s occasional snores. Why were they sitting there working when they could be vacationing in the Bahamas or exploring the Himalayas with all the money they had? Why were they just wasting their lives with silly things like sleeping and sums when they could be eating ice cream at the aquarium. Elsie made a quick vow there and then to never waste her time sleeping or doing sums when she grew up.

Right now however, she was not grown up. She was sitting on her bed, wishing she was. Sadly, wishes don’t come true. She browsed her shelves, looking for something to play with. She saw it. A brand new puzzle that she had bought from the shops with her own pocket money just yesterday. It would be the perfect puzzle to play with right now, whilst she was feeling so bored and angry.

There was no picture on the box showing what the puzzle would look like once it was done, but Elsie was sure she could do it. She was a master puzzler.

As she sat there idly putting pieces into place, she began to think about all the things she would do when she was grown up. She would ride her white pony every day, have sweets for dinner, never go to work, drink milkshakes every day instead of water, play all the best games, climb all the best trees, have a chocolate fountain in her room, never go to bed, and NEVER, EVER be sent to her room ever again.

She looked at her puzzle and realised that it was all wrong. She had been putting in the pieces upside down. Darn, she thought, and punched the box. Now I’ll have to start all over again. Then she looked at the box again, noticing some more writing.

“Time Puzzle 1976.” Elsie read the box aloud, wondering what it meant.

Maybe that’s what the brand is called, thought Elsie. She had learned about brands when she much younger, and was wondering what the little colourful pictures with words were on the side of her iPad whilst she was watching videos. Her Dad said they were called “ads” and they helped things called “brands” (which were big groups of inventors) to sell their “product”, which was the thing they had invented. It still didn’t make that much sense to Elsie. Grown-ups aren’t very good at explaining things.

She turned her attention back to the puzzle, slotting the pieces in very particularly, not letting any thoughts about grown-ups or brands creep into her mind and distract her from the important task of putting together the puzzle. “One piece here, two pieces there,” she sang as she worked, and contemplated a career as a professional puzzler. But she decided she’d rather be eating ice cream at the aquarium, and besides, she had vowed not to work. Anyway, Elsie wasn’t sure if there were such thing as a professional puzzler.

The puzzle was really starting to take shape now. Elsie could see that it was a scene of some old-fashioned school children in the playground. They looked like they were having fun. Elsie wished she could join them. But no. Here she was, stuck in her room, all because of her annoying parents. Parents were the most annoying thing of all annoying things, Elsie thought. They stopped you from doing what you wanted, like going to the aquarium, and eating ice cream.

But they couldn’t stop her from doing her puzzle that she had bought with her own money, thought Elsie. What reason would they have to do that? And with that thought, she put in the last piece.

Elsie stood back to admire her work, feeling proud that she had finished it. Look at it, she thought. What a masterpiece. Suddenly, she felt the ground shake beneath her feet. She looked up, but nothing off her shelves was broken. Phew, she thought. That was a close call. They sometimes had earthquakes in her city, but they were usually just tremors like that one just then. Nothing dangerous or anything. Still, things could be broken.

Suddenly, the tremor started again. She saw the puzzle moving dangerously close to her, and suddenly everything began to whirl. Elsie spun around and around in circles as the puzzle sucked her in. There was a whirl of colour, and a whooshing sound. Then all was quiet and still.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Three

Elsie looked up to see that she was sitting in the puzzle. She had almost expected this: it happened all the time in the stories Dad read to her. Still, it had never happened to her before, so it was interesting. It was exciting. It was an adventure.

Down in the playground, children were laughing, and running, and jumping. “Well?” said a voice next to Elsie’s ear. “Go and join them!” Elsie jumped in surprise, startled. She looked around and saw a flying puzzle piece hovering over her left shoulder. “Who are you?” she asked it. “I’m a flying Puzz L Guide. I help people who use the Time Puzzle.”

“The Time Puzzle?” Elsie asked, intrigued.

“The Time Puzzle,” said Puzz L. “It transports you to a different time. I help you get back home and guide you around while you’re here. By the way, is there any chance you want to go home right now?”

“No,” said Elsie. “Why would I? I only just got here.”

“Just hoping,” said the puzzle piece with a shrug. “I want to go back to bed. I’m not really a morning person.”

“It’s not the morning,” said Elsie. “It’s four o’clock in the afternoon.”

“Not in Puzz L Land,” said Puzz L. “It’s 6am there.”

Elsie doesn’t waste time arguing with Puzz L about time, but instead races down towards the playground. “Wait up,” squeaks Puzz L, trailing behind.

As she nears the yard, she sees a group of kids around her age all sitting together… and she gasps. Because sitting together under that tree, laughing and playing and having fun, were her parents. Perfect miniature versions of Mum and Dad, the accountant and picture book author.

One of the kids beckoned for Elsie to come over. She had kind brown eyes and a pretty dimpled face.

“Come sit with us,” she called over the hubbub of the playground. Elsie took a seat next to the girl.

“What’s your name?” asked a short, stocky boy with ginger hair.

“Elsie,” said Elsie.

“I’m Marya,” said the girl with kind eyes.  “He’s Elton, with the red hair, and she’s Karen, with the almond eyes. And sitting next to her is Kulas.”

Those are Elsie’s parent’s names. It’s definitely them.

Elton continues with the conversation they were having before. “I call to order this meeting of the Good Grown-up Society, in which we discuss how to be properly good grown-ups.”

“Hear, hear!” chimed in the others.

“Does anyone have any suggestions?” asked Elton, who seemed to be in charge.

“I do,” said Karen. She carried up a long list with her as she went to stand in front of the group. “Number One: NO LISTS!!!” She threw the list into the air and laughed. “No rules, lots of sweets, no work and NO LESSONS!”

“YEAH!” cheered everyone else. Elsie was stunned. This was her Mum. Her Mum’s rules were lots of lists, lots of rules, no sweets, lots of work and above all lots of lessons! It was hard to believe that she had once been this carefree girl with such good intentions about adulthood.

“Look,” whispered Puzz L. “You’re Dad’s up next.”

“Can I just say,” Kulas began, “That I do not like grown-ups. They’re always telling us off for silly reasons: especially parents. So I have decided that when I become a parent, I will let my kid do whatever they want. I’ll let them have ice cream for breakfast if they want it. They deserve the freedom that grown-ups have. Why should kids not be allowed that same freedom. Bring on parenting!” He bowed and walked back to his seat to wild applause from the four seated.

Elsie said her goodbyes to the other four kids and walked off to another, quieter part of the playground. She turned to Puzz L.

“Wow!” she said. “I never thought you’d show me that.”

“I know!” said Puzz L. “I’m as surprised as you are! You don’t get ice cream for breakfast… do you?”

“No,” said Elsie. “In fact, I don’t even get ice cream for dessert.”

“What a bunch of liars,” said Puzz L.

“I know, right,” said Elsie. “But liars with good intentions. I wonder where it all went wrong.”

“Would you like me to show you?” asked Puzz L. “It might take a while: things went wrong in a lot of different places.”

“Yes, please!” said Elsie, remembering her manners without realising. “Take me!” And suddenly the world started shaking, and spinning.

 

Chapter 4

When the final sounds of whooshing faded away, Elsie found herself and Puzz L in a room filled with rows upon rows of beds. They had bedside tables that were sparsely decorated with photos and books. Almost every book was a textbook. She recognised Mum’s name on one of the covers: Karen Reid-Webster.

“Where are we?” Elsie asked.

“We’re in a dorm,” said Puzz L.

“What’s a dorm?” asked Elsie, annoyed at Puzz L for not seeing that she didn’t know what a “dorm” was.

“It’s a place where lots of people sleep when they go off to a really big, hard school called University.”

“University?”

“University. University is really stressful, and it’s one of the things that made your Mum and Dad change their minds about parenting.”

“Why?”

“How about we take a look…”

They went out into the corridor, and found themselves facing a  door marked “Exam Room”.

“What are ‘exams’?” asked Elsie.

“They’re very hard tests you have to take that basically determine your entire life.”

“Oh.” Elsie fell silent for a couple of seconds, then continued. “Why did this change Mum and Dad’s minds?”

“You’ll see,” said Puzz L, smiling as much is possible for a puzzle piece.

Elsie opened the door and they went in. There were a bunch of people sitting at desks, sweating in concentration as their tongues stuck out of their mouths. They were all murmuring numbers to themselves. And… one of them was Mum!

Elsie gasped. She peeked over at Mum’s test paper. The questions were all really hard Maths. She could barely add twenty-one and twenty-four!

“Can they see us?” she whispered to Puzz L.

“No,” he whispered back. “I made sure of it.”

Elsie nodded. Now she knew how hard the exams were… wow, that would have made Mum much more serious and grown-up-y. Besides, she’s moved somewhere away from her parents, so now she has to take care of herself properly, so she’s learning about health and all the other boring things you do to survive in the grown-up world.

Puzz L whispered to her, “I just want to show you one more thing here before we go.”

“OK,” whispered Elsie back. And they crept out of the room.

When they got back into the corridor, Elsie asked, “What did you want to show me?”

“This,” said Puzz L. He walks into a huge room filled with people. At the front, a man was talking about prime integers and how they relate to tax refunds.

Everyone in the room was taking notes, constantly jotting down little things.

“In a University,” said Puzz L, “you don’t get taught by a teacher and told what activities to do. You have to come to these talks, called lectures, which tell you things. Then you need to learn stuff on your own so you can pass those big, hard exams. So you need to teach yourself to teach yourself. Do you get it?”

Elsie wasn’t sure if she got it, but she nodded anyway.

“Good,” said Puzz L. “Now, shall we move on?”

“Sure,” said Elsie. And the world started spinning again.

 

Chapter Five

Elsie found herself standing in a world of whirling colour and content. “Where are we?” she asked Puzz L, shielding her eyes from the blinding lights.

“We’re inside a computer,” said Puzz L.

“A computer?” repeated Elsie.

“A computer. And what’s about to happen to us is just a short snippet of what happened to your Mum and Dad when your Mum was pregnant. Somehow her computer found out about it, and this is what happened to her.”

The flood of lights dims and suddenly Elsie’s attention is drawn to a single video.

“Do you want a healthy child?” asks the presenter. “Well, early bedtimes are the best thing you can do for your child.”

Another ad shows up. “Sugar rots your child’s teeth. Call 933 today to get a special diet plan for your child and don’t forget to go to Sparkle Dentist.”

Then another: “Five veggies and two fruits!”

And another: “Lite and easy gives you healthy meals for your child.”

And even more! “Give your child a head start at Brindabell Primary.” “Lay down proper rules to give your child a head start.” “Introduce your child to the joys of healthy living through this new app.”

“Whoa,” said Elsie. “That’s enough! I can’t believe this happened to Mum and Dad! No wonder they cracked.”

“I know,” said Puzz L. “But there’s more.”

“No!” said Elsie.

“Yes,” said Puzz L. “Shall we go?”

And the world shook and spun.

This time they were sitting in a room filled with Mum, Dad and their various friends, all giving advice on parenting at the same time.

“Remember, healthy habits for life!”

“An education is the most important thing for your child to have!”

“Don’t forget regular checkups!”

“You will need to live more tidily from now on, set an example.”

“Remember, not to much screen time!”

“Oh my gosh,” said Elsie. “I had no idea about this! Talk about peer pressure!” (Peer pressure  is where your friends try to make you do something you might not want to do. They had learned this in safety lessons at school.)

“I know,” said Puzz L. “Could you stand up to this much pressure?”

“I don’t know,” said Elsie. “Would you be able to?”

“No way!” said Puzz L. “You must be joking! No one could survive this.”
Elsie nodded, thinking about it.

“Now,” said Puzz L. “I think it’s time to go home.”

And for the very last time that day, the world started whirling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Six

Elsie and Puzz L arrived back home in almost no time at all. Her parents were calling through the door: “Let us in, Elsie!”

When Elsie opened the door, they both gave her big hugs. “We love you,” they said, “even when you’ve been naughty.”

Elsie was pleased to hear this but she still thought it was unfair that she had been given consequences. “Mum,” she said, “why did you change your mind so much about parenting since when you were a kid?”

“I didn’t,” said Mum. Liar, thought Elsie.

“Why did you, Dad?”

“Well you see, darling, grown-ups go through this thing called “Grown-up School” where you learn to be responsible and not have fun. It’s a very important part of growing up.”

“Like University?” asked Elsie.

“Exactly like University,” said her Dad. “In fact, it is so like University that I think it might even be called that.”

“Do you learn to drink tea and coffee at Grown-up School?” asked Elsie. “And wine and beer?”

Her parents laughed. “Now, let’s not get into that, sweetie,” said Dad, and they left.

Elsie flopped on the bed and reviewed the day’s activities. They were very interesting and made a good movie in her head. She decided to write them down. “Puzzl Tim” she wrote. She wasn’t sure if it was spelled right, but never mind.

The next morning at school, she told everyone all about what had happened to her. “Wow,” they said. “I wonder if our parents were like that. Can we see?”

She nodded. “Just come around to my place after school!” And so her entire school was invited to her house.

A troop of children went out of the school gates that morning and walked to Elsie’s house, all going in the same direction.

When they got to the door, Elsie knocked and Mum came to open it.

“What are all these kids doing here?” she asked Elsie in surprise.

“They came to see my new puzzle!” said Elsie. Mum’s mouth stayed wide open in shock.

“Let’s go, gang!” called Elsie and all the children raced inside, cheering and yelling, trampling poor Mum.

“Wait!” Mum called. “You’re not allowed!” But Elsie couldn’t hear her.

Elsie and her friends raided the fridge and pantry and were soon feasting on crisps and cake and ice cream. It was going to be the best afternoon ever!

They ran upstairs to see the puzzle, but just as they got to the door, they saw Mum and Dad blocking it. Elsie smiled at them.

“Hello Mum, hello Dad!” said Elsie. They stared angrily back at her.

“What’s wrong?” she asked.

“You are in deep, deep trouble, young lady!” Mum said. Dad echoed her.

“Deep, deep trouble!”

“Do any of your parents know where you are?” Mum asked the rest of Elsie’s friends. They shook their heads.

“Well you are NOT allowed to be in my house, so scram!” Dad said.

The children scrammed. They were scared by Mum and Dad’s yelling.

“And you, my girl,” they said to Elsie, “will go to your room IMMEDIATELY!!!”

She went to her room. She could hardly believe that she was in trouble AGAIN!

When she got into her room, she saw Puzz L waiting for her.
“Cheer up!” he said. “Try doing the puzzle again to make yourself feel better.”

Elsie took his advice because who knew, there might be some sort of a magical candyland in the puzzle this time. But there wasn’t. As her fingers put the puzzle pieces into place, Elsie noticed that it was two children being yelled at by a very angry man… he seemed to be their school’s principal. Only he didn’t seem to be very friendly at the time of the picture. And the children… they were Mum and Dad!

“Lets go,” Elsie said to Puzz L. And so they went.

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 7

“How dare you put glue on your teacher’s chair, forcing him to walk around with a chair attached to his pants for the entire day! I’m expecting a written apology!”

“Actually,” said Mum, “I have the rulebook here and there is absolutely NO rule about glue on chairs.”

“I DON’T CARE!” screamed the principal. “You are in SO MUCH TROUBLE!”

Elsie giggled.

“Wow,” she said to Puzz L. “I never imagined Mum and Dad getting in trouble. This makes it much better that I’m in trouble. I wonder if you still get into trouble as an grown-up.”

“Would you like to see?” said Puzz L.

“Oh, yes, yes, YES!!!!”

“Well, let’s go!” And with that, they were gone.

They were standing in Mum’s work. She went here every day that Elsie was at school and did difficult sums. Mum was there too, standing in front of her Boss and looking scared.

“What’s wrong with her?” asked Elsie.

“You’ll see,” replied Puzz L.

Her boss was a bit like the headmaster: red and angry. Elsie thought he looked a bit like a tomato that was about to explode.

“What were you thinking, Karen?” he splutters (that means yell with a lot of spit).

“I’m sorry, Mr Cartwright.”

“YOU SHOULD BE! I SHOULD HAVE YOU FIRED ON THE SPOT!”
“Oh, no, please don’t Mr Cartwright!”

“Please don’t? PLEASE DON’T! DO YOU EVEN KNOW WHAT YOU DID, WOMAN? YOU LOST OUR BEST CLIENT! NOT ONE OF OUR BEST: OUR BEST!!!!”

“Yes Mr Cartwright, I’m sorry Mr Cartwright, I’ll try to do better Mr Cartwright.”

Elsie and Puzz L moved away from the spluttering boss and poor Mum.

“Poor Mum,” said Elsie. “Why isn’t she answering back to him like she did to the principal?”

“Her Boss could fire her, which is where she isn’t allowed to do her job any more. If she’s not allowed to do her job, then she can’t get any money to buy food and clothing and presents with.”

“Oh,” said Elsie. “So that’s just another way grown-ups change.”

“Just another way,” said Puzz L. “Shall we go home?”

“Sure,” said Elsie. And they swirled and whirled all the way home.

Chapter 8

This time when they got home, Elsie was in big trouble. But she explained that she didn’t know about the rule of no friends home unless organized and things went about the normal way.

The next day, she was sitting on her bed reviewing the previous day’s events in her mind, when she had a shocking thought.

“Oh no!” she said. “What if I grow up all sensible and grown-up-y!”

Suddenly, Puzz L was there at her side. “Would you like to see yourself all grown up?” he asked her.

“Oh yes,” said Elsie. “I don’t just want to: I need to.”

And the world whirled yet again.

When they could see again, they were standing in a kitchen with Elsie as a Mum scolding her children.

“James Pepper!” she said to her youngest. “Put that cookie down and have an apple instead.”

“Anna! Time for school! Have a nice day sweetie!”

“Toby! Into the shower at once! You’re filthy!”

“No,” said Toby.

Elsie Mum picked him up and dumped him in the tub, then ran the water. She went out of the bathroom and locked the door behind her. Then she came out to see James munching on a cookie.

“Right!” she said to him. “Go to your room now. WITHOUT THE COOKIE!”

Anna was complaining about school.

“Too bad,” Elsie said to her. “You’ve got to go.” She trundled Anna off.

“Mum,” asked Poppy, “can I go to the aquarium?”

“Sorry darling,” said Elsie. “I have to do some important stuff for the bank.” She was now the manager of a bank.

“How about you have some crisps to cheer you up?”

Elsie giggled. She knew what would come next. But if that would all happen to her when she was an grown-up… then what could she do to stop it happening?

As soon as she and Puzz L got back home, they wrote a list.

Our List Of How To Be A Good Grown-up

  • Always eat ice cream for breakfast
  • Eat at least one packet of crisps every day
  • If you have kids, let them do WHATEVER they want
  • Go to bed late
  • Don’t bother with work: go on holiday instead!
  • Never, ever follow rules
  • Never, ever create rules
  • DO NOT act at all sensible
  • Play lots of games
  • Under no circumstances give in to peer pressure
  • BE YOUR OWN PERSON!!!! WHO CARES WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK!

And you will see that if you follow this list, you really can be a first-class grown-up.

Posted in Books

The Long Limerick

Hello everyone! This is another limerick post! 

Only this time I decided to try something different: I’m merging four limericks that form one story.

If you stick around to the end, I’ll be revealing an old limerick that I did on my own name with some help from my grandparents when I was about four (or was it six…)

So without further ado, let’s get into it!!!!

 

There once was a dog named Pig,

Who thought she was small, not big.

She turned out to be right,

When after a fight,

She managed to hide in a fig.

 

Now before we go on I must say,

That, while, Pig ran away,

She was not beaten, Oh Lord,

She was simply bored,

Because the fight lasted all day.

 

Pig was owned by a boy named Rick,

Who had a long tongue that could lick.

 

It was brown and sticky

And as she was not picky,

Pig tried to fetch it like a stick.

 

Now this young boy named Rick,

Had many a fight he did pick.

So when he saw Pig

Aimed at him and his rig,

He fought her right off with a kick.

 

The End

 

 

And this is my next limerick: one I made up AGES ago, when I was very young, with the help of my grandparents.

 

There once was a girl named Matilda,

Who wanted to be a great builder.

She built with sticks,

And she built with bricks,

Till one day they fell down and killed her.

 

Thanks for reading! Please comment down below to tell me what you think of these limericks. I would also LOVE to know what you thought of my first podcast episode! I really love hearing from you guys, and if you comment, I promise that I will reply. See you!

Matilda

 

 

Posted in Writing

The Mayor’s Demise

For this writing task, one I did at school, we were asked to write based on a stimulus that was on a website called pobble365.com. This is a great website for writing stimulus if you ever want to check it out. Below is the picture and the story.

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The Mayor’s Demise

 

The Mayor stared out of his grimy window onto the winding streets of Strange Town below. They were lit with hundreds of tiny, sparkling lights.

“Pathetic,” he snarled, saliva dripping from the roof of his mouth onto the once-white carpet below. It was now black with dirt, age and soot. “Just pathetic.” He was, of course, remarking on the tiny lights. He disapproved of anything tiny (or sparkling, for that matter).

Strange town was indeed a strange town. The houses had windows jutting out at odd angles, lopsided roofs and an array of different turrets. Some of the dwellings even had legs.

The inhabitants of the houses were all as different from each other as their homes: and not in the different way that humans are different from one another.

No, every person that lived in Strange Town was as different as chalk and cheese. Us humans are about as different as stilton and camembert.  (As you can see, there’s a huge difference. Hold on… what’s different? What difference? This is getting confusing!)

There were people with wings, with trees growing out of their heads, with snakes instead of hair. There were people covered with fur who liked cuddles, and people covered with scales who liked biting. People who had cages for bodies. Every single inhabitant of Strange Town had their own unique ability.

The Mayor himself was the cleverest person in Strange Town, but he lacked something that all the other people in Strange Town had. A heart. All the inhabitants of Strange Town, despite their differences, were kind, honest and had a strong sense of kinship with their peers. They stuck together through thick and thin, and celebrated their differences.

The Mayor hated difference. He thought that it was the source of all abomination. It was this difference that he cursed now.

“But now there are only a few people who can prevent my plans. And I will soon be rid of them,” he said, smiling crookedly as he lit another cigar.

“Then no one will stand in my way!”

The citizens of Strange Town were nocturnal, so it was not until nightfall that they awoke. A mailman knocked on Fluzzguffle’s door just as he was starting his oatmeal. “Message from the Mayor,” said the mailman in a gruff voice.

“Well, hello Persy!” said Fluzzguffle. “Fancy that! A letter from the mayor.”

The mailman nodded, his expression still blank, despite the wide smile plastered across Fluzzguffle’s face. He always hated delivering Fluzzguffle’s mail. Fluzzguffle was always just too enthusiastic and too friendly.

“Let’s see what it says then!” said Fluzzguffle.

“Sorry, Fluzz, must run! Lots of mail to deliver!” said Persy, turning towards the door.

“Oh, come on, surely you can stay for some delicious scones!” Fluzzguffle pleaded. With those fatal words ringing in his ears, Persy the mailman ran.

“Oh come on,” muttered Fluzzguffle to himself. “What’s so wrong with my cooking?” What was ‘so wrong with his cooking’ was the taste… and the texture… and everything else. He was the worst cook to ever have graced this earth.

While his unique strength may not have been cooking, he definitely had one. In appearance, he looked just like a human being: except for one thing: he was huge. Gargantuan. Enormous. He was three metres tall, and built as solidly as a heavyweight wrestler. His enormous size lent a hand to his unique talent: strength.

On the other side of town, another mailman was knocking at another door. The door was considerably smaller than Fluzzguffle’s, only a few inches high. A face peeked out from behind it. “Yes,” squeaked a small voice. “What is it?” The face belonged to W, who lived in a small hole in the ground. She was shaped like a rat and covered in fur. “Delivery for W? Letter from the Mayor!” boomed the mailman’s voice. He was a lot bigger than her. “Thank you,” said W tartly, taking the letter and disappearing back into her burrow. She was not pleased at being awoken.

W had a talent that was unrelated to her small stature. The small, rat-like creature was the bravest person in Strange Town.

At exactly the same time, both W and Fluzzguffle opened their letters. At the exact same time, they both squeaked “Dinner at the Mayor’s!” (the letter was an invitation to join him for dinner). And at the exact same time, they both wrote their affirmative replies.

At exactly seven O’clock, W stood at the Mayor’s house and knocked on the door with all her might. Nothing happened. She knocked again. Still nothing. Soon, her knocking became constant battering. Still, inside the house, nothing stirred. She gritted her teeth and looked at her watch, tapping her foot impatiently. 7:20. She had been knocking for twenty minutes! Suddenly, she heard footsteps coming up the path beside her. A colossal man was striding up the path.

“Down here!” she squeaked as he came nearer.

“HEEEEERRRRRE!” At her last squeak, the man looked down. “Why, hello down there,” he said in loud, rumbling tones. “Are you here to have dinner with the Mayor too?”

“Yes, I am,” said W, relieved that this tardy man had enough knocking power in his meaty fists to get the Mayor to let them in.

“Well then, let me introduce myself. I’m Fluzzguffle.”

“I’m W,” said W.

Fluzzguffle reached down and picked her up, then knocked on the wrought-iron door. It swung open. “Come in,” said the Mayor.

They walked into a massive hall with a beautiful crystal chandelier hanging from the ceiling. “My wonderful guests,” gushed the Mayor. “I am so glad to have you here.”

“We’re glad to be here,” said W politely.

“But my friends, I must have a picture of this glorious moment with you. Go, stand there. The light is just right,” said the Mayor, pointing to a spot just under the chandelier. Whilst W was walking over to the spot he had pointed at, she spotted a man on the rafters next to it: holding a knife. The man was wearing a t-shirt that had the Mayor’s symbol on it. She needed to get Fluzzguffle out of the way. The man was going to cut the chandelier.

W looked at Fluzzguffle. She knew that he was too big for her to move. She thought quickly, biting his leg and darting out of the way as she did so. “Hey!” Fluzzguffle yelled, and moved to chase her, lumbering over the polished marble floor. In doing so, he moved out of the way of the chandelier just as it came crashing down. It had fallen right where they had both just been standing.

The Mayor’s face was white. He looked shocked: but at what? Was it the fact that the chandelier had fallen? Or the fact that they had survived it? “Well, I’ll leave you to have a snoop around my quarters before we have dinner so that you can recover from your little experience. See you in half an hour.”

Shocked by the abrupt dismissal and the Mayor’s unsympathetic comment, they both walked out of the room, not really knowing where they were going. They soon found themselves in a study, and, out of curiosity, Fluzzguffle’s eyes found the desk that was sitting in the middle of the room. Upon the desk sat an important looking official document. He scanned the title of it and the words he saw there made him stand up straighter. He began to feel panicked and short of breath. Contract of sale of Strange Town to Normalville, the document read. And at the bottom was the Mayor’s angular signature.

Fluzzguffle’s eyes found W’s. Her eyes were wild with shock and fright. “We have to get out of here,” he said in a low voice. “He’s going to sell the town. We need to warn the villagers!”

Just at that moment, the Mayor walked in. “Well, well, well, I see you’ve discovered my plans!” he said. “You can’t get away with this, can you?”

They ran.

“I know…” panted W, in between gasps, “of a secret…. passage that…. leads…….. to safety.” “Whe…. where?” asked Fluzzguffle.                                                                                               “Pick…. me up and….. I’ll tell you,” gasped W. Fluzzguffle obligingly scooped her up off the floor.

After her breathing had slowed, W went on. “It’s through a secret tunnel in the Mayor’s closet. We haven’t lost him completely but we should be able to get through the door before he catches up.” They sprinted there, only stopping when they were safely outside, breathing heavily. “We have to ring the bells, to let everyone know that something important is happening,” said Fluzzguffle. W nodded her agreement.

They tugged at the long ropes to ring the bells that served as alarm bells. When they were rung, all the villagers had to gather in the city square immediately. In less than half an hour, all the villagers were collected in the square, and Fluzzguffle explained the situation to them and told them the plan that he and W had concocted.

The Mayor stomped out of his house muttering threats aimed at “those two blasted, meddling creeps! When I get my hands on them…”. He stepped over the threshold and Fluzzguffle gave the signal. Instantly, a band of siren-like creatures started singing. The Mayor sat down on the spot, entranced by the music.Whilst the music continued, he felt pecking at his shoulder. The beaks were drawing blood but still the music rendered him helpless. Finally the beaks relented, but the music continued. Then a new pain was brought to the Mayor’s attention. Fluzzguffle was tossing him up in the air, throwing him on the ground. It was agonising. The Mayor was tortured in turn by each of the people in the town, all using their unique abilities against him, until finally Unsfa, who had a cage for a body, trapped him. The music rose to a horrible shriek and then died away.

In the end, the Mayor was sentenced to a life of community service and our two heroes were both made joint Mayors. Strange Town was never sold, and all its inhabitants continued keeping their strong bond, despite their differences.

The End Is Just The Beginning

Posted in Books, Great gift, Upper Primary

Addie Bell’s Shortcut to Growing Up

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Another book review for you today.

Addie Bell’s Shortcut to Growing Up by Jessica Brody

Addie can’t wait to grow up. When her crazy neighbour gives her a box 📦 that will grant your every wish, she doesn’t believe her. But when she wishes to be sixteen, will she regret the decision that she makes?

Join Addie as she deciphers the life of her sixteen-year-old self. She’s popular and pretty, 💅🏻💄💋 but will she be able to discover what matters most 💕 ? Will she be able to revive a friendship 👩‍❤️‍👩 before it’s too late?

I quite liked this book 👍🏻: it reminded me of Careful What You Wish For. It conveyed a powerful message in a funny and light way, which is always nice. It’s chock-a-block full of emojis 👱🏻‍♀️💂🏻‍♀️🤶🏾👨🏾‍🔬👨🏾‍🏫👳🏾😃😇🙂, which is pretty funny.

If you’re looking for a light read with positive messages, then this one is for you.

Rating: 8/10 🙂

Verdict: Light read with good message

Age range: Kids and Tweens

WTB: Dickson, Woden and Kingston Libraries

Posted in Books, Upper Primary, Young Adult/Teen

The Lucy Variations

Time for another book review!!!

The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr

Lucy Beck-Moreau was a famous pianist. Then one day, after discovering some shocking news, she gave up piano altogether.

Now she wants to rediscover piano, so with the help of her brother’s piano teacher (whom she may or may not like), she starts to play again.

But what is going on with her teacher? Will she be able to cope with the fractured relationships beginning again will cause with her family? And most importantly, will she be able to find who she truly is through music?

This book is interesting and unique with a great plot. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is well worth a read.

While we’re here,  I would like to point out that this book has not one, not two, not four, but THREE covers, so I thought I would compare them. Comment down below which one you like best!

(PS Thanks to Sue’s Reading Corner for giving me this idea, sorry about this idea stealing. I love your blog, and as they say, imitation is the highest form of flattery. Please tell me if you don’t want me doing this or something)

 

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So, with these covers, I found it easy to eliminate one: the right hand corner one. That leaves me with two covers. I must say, I like them both, but  I will have to go with the one in the middle. It just makes me immediately think of the book: it’s perfect!

Anyway, let’s move onto the rating etc.:

Rating: 9/10

Verdict: AMAZING PLOT

WTB: Tuggeranong library and Woden library

Age range: 11+ years???? Not really sure…