Happy Birthday Erik


Erik had to find his missing present.

He entered the steamy castle kitchen just as the royal cook was ready to take her batch of Kingdom Cream Puffs out of the oven.

“No one move,” said the cook.

“It is essential,” she continued, “that everyone be perfectly still when I remove my Kingdom Cream Puffs from the oven. Their puff is what makes them fabulously famous and marvelously magnificent.”

“But, my present…” Erik thought, “I must find it.”

He cautiously stepped forward.

“Uh, Ma’am?”

Poof! Pop! Un-Puff!

”Ruined!” yelled the royal cook. “My cream puffs are ruined!”

She turned toward Erik.

“What on earth could be so important that you dare to un-puff my cream puffs, boy?” she yelled.

“Well, it’s my birthday present, Ma’am. It’s missing.”

“Birthday, perthday! Present, pheasant!”

“Did you think I hid your present in my cream puffs?”

“Well, it’s just that…”

“It’s just that…NOTHING! Now I must start all over!”

“No! I won’t start all over, boy! You will start all over!”

What’s your name, anyway?”

“M-m-my name is, Erik. But, I have no time. Today is my birthday and I must find my missing present.”

“That’s nonsense, boy! You will stay.”

“Yes, you will stay and you will measure and you will sift and your will stir”

“And when that is done, you will mix and you will beat and you will bake.”

“And when that is done sweep and you will wipe and you will wash.”

“I have my eye on you, Erik. You are going to puff your un-puffing.”

“Grab the sugar! Grab the flour! Grab the wooden spoons and the royal mixer!”

Erik could see that he was not going to get any help here. In fact, he wondered if he would be spending his birthday under the thumb of the royal (pain) cook!

He had to get out of here.

He cooked up a plan.

He grabbed the wooden spoons.

He grabbed the royal mixer.

He waited.

The royal chef headed the other direction, barking orders as she went.

Quickly Erik attached the wooden spoons to the blades of the mixer.

He tipped the huge vat of flour.


Erik escaped in a cloud of flour through a royal window via royal mixer turned helicopter.

But, a royal mixer turned helicopter doesn’t go far! Erik landed with a bumpity, bump right HERE!

Christmas Contest: Christmas Bash-A-Roo

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Christmas! And one of the most wonderful things about Christmas is Susanna Leonard Hill’s Holiday Contest! Oh, yes…most wonderful!
There are prizes! Read about the unbelievable prizes HERE. Make sure you scroll down and click on the links to read all the wonderful entries! Check the comments for entries, too. Seriously, your Christmas will be more merry if you read them.
There are rules! Below is a brief description of the rules. (The full description is HERE.)
It must start with Dashing through the snow in a one horse open sleigh…or a variation of that line.
It must be a story for children.
It must be 350 words or less.
And…I have a rule to go along with my 318 word story…you must sing it to the tune of Jingle Bells!!

Christmas Bash-A-Roo
by Penny Klostermann

Tromping through the pines
In their woolen socks with toes,
Yetis march in lines
Grunting Ho, Ho, Ho’s!
They meet their Sasquatch friends,
And Bigfoot buddies too.
The time is here to all attend
The Christmas Bash-A-Roo!

Bigfoot tap, Yeti rap,
Sasquatch line dance too—
Gathered in the forest
For their Christmas Bash-A-Roo!

High up in the sky
A flash caused them to pause.
“Could this be the guy?
Could this be Santa Claus?
We’ve heard the tales of old.
We’ve heard the human lore,
But never has he joined our fold
At Christmas time before.”

Bigfoot tap, Yeti rap,
Sasquatch line dance too—
Gathered in the forest
For their Christmas Bash-A-Roo!

They heard a Ho! Ho! Ho!
And saw a red-nosed gleam.
Coming through the snow
Was Santa and his team.
“I think we can agree—
Though sightings have been few
It can be reality—
Yes, legends can be true”.

Bigfoot tap, Yeti rap
Sasquatch line dance too—
Gathered in the forest
For their Christmas Bash-A-Roo!

Santa flashed a grin
And said, “Hey guys, let’s bop.”
The reindeer joined right in
And did the Reindeer Hop.
He handed out sweet treats
To each and every beast.
Then said, “Let’s dance a few more beats
Before we fly on east.”

Black-boot tap, Santa rap
Reindeer line dance too.
What a holly-jolly,
Hairy Christmas Bash-A-Roo!

Santa waved goodbye
And headed to his sleigh.
He winked a twinkling eye
As he flew away.
Oh, what a joyful night—
A Santa Claus debut.
Oh how merry! Oh how bright!
The Christmas Bash-A-Roo!

Bigfoot tap, Yeti rap
Sasquatch line dance too—
Gathered in the forest
For their Christmas Bash-A-Roo!

Tromping through the pines
In their worn out socks with toes
Yetis march in lines
Grunting Ho, Ho, Ho’s!
They wave at Sasquatch friends
And Bigfoot buddies too.
And say, “We’ll see you all again
At next year’s Bash-A-Roo.

Perfect Picture Book Friday-Cowboy Christmas

Yeehaw and a Ho! Ho! Ho! Today I’ve rounded up a review that has me kickin’ up my heels!


Cowboy Christmas

Written by Rob Sanders

Illustrated by John Manders

Golden Books 2012

Ages 3-8

Themes: Christmas, Cowboys, Santa Claus

Synopsis: (from Kirkus) Cartoon-style art, lots of cowboy lingo, and funny attempts at holiday decoration and baking…Young buckaroos who like their Christmas stories punchy rather than sweet might just take a likin’ to ol’ Dwight, Darryl and Dub.

And, just in case you’re not already a rip roarin’ off to the bookstore or library to grab your own copy, have a look at this here book trailer.

Opening: “Three days till Christmas,” said Dwight.
“And we’re stuck with cows,” whined Darryl.
“Santy Claus will never find us out here on the range, ” sniveled Dub.
Cookie stirred the beans.
“No presents, “said Dwight.
“No stocking, ” added Darryl.
“No Santy,” groaned Dub.

Resources: For any of you that don’t follow Rob Sanders blog or look regularly at his website, you are missing out! Both have valuable resources for teachers and for writers. In fact, after you look at the Cowboy Christmas activities all available from Rob’s website, you will be sold. HERE is a muscial based on the book. HERE is a reader’s theater. HERE is a writing activity, Cowboy Writin’. HERE is Cooking With Cookie (the cook). And, HERE is Sweet Cooking With Cookie (the cook). See what I mean? Incredible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now, if you want to be inspired as a writer, be sure to subscribe to receive posts from his blog. And don’t just wait for posts! Rob has an incredible blog directory HERE  that is chock full of information for writers.

Why I Like This Book: Well, I live out here in West Texas in the midst of cowboy lingo, ranchin’, and rodeoin’! I see real-life cowboys every day! So, having a book that incorporates Santy Claus with cowboys is just my idea of fun! The text is full of cowboy, twangy words that add a humorous liveliness to an endearing tale. Children will relate as each of the cowboys reminisces about his childhood Christmas tradition. They will laugh along as the cowboys try imitating those traditions with the limited resources out on the range. Award winning illustrator, John Manders, adds his more-than-special touch to the story with his artwork. All-in-all, this is a book that you should round up for several reads during the Christmas season.

Susanna Leonard Hill features Perfect Picture Book Friday on her blog. This is a wonderful resource if you are wondering what books to give as gifts, needing material for a lesson, or just looking for a great book to read. Here is a list of books by category. Each book listed has a link to a review, information about that book, and resources for activities. There is also an alphabetical list.