My grandson spent the weekend with his mom at the North Pole, riding the Polar Express and meeting Santa. Tuesday, we’ll be putting up the tree and getting ready for a welcome visit from my son and his family who are flying in from Chicago to spend a few days with us for Christmas.
I hope all of you are able to get into the spirit of the season…no matter whether you celebrate one of the winter holidays or not. Our backyard is a snow-covered wonderland – there is a special hush that falls in the woods when there is snow on the ground.
Today I have a special treat for you – well, I hope it will be a treat. My friend, children’s author Susanna Leonard Hill, is holding her famous annual Holiday Contest. All week, writers can post a holiday story for children on their blog and link it to her post or they can add their story to the comment section if they don’t have a blog of their own.
Rule rundown: 350 words or less, kid-friendly (for children under 12), story must include some weather event that impacts the holiday.
At the end of the week, Susanna and her assistants will pick some of the stories and put up a poll where you can go and vote for the one you think is the best. There are great prizes…the quality of the stories is incredible…I hope if you are not participating, you will visit some of the blogs and read the entries.
My story is about three musicians, Hither (a mouse who plays acoustic guitar), Thither (a jazz-funk drumming toad) and Yon (a swan who plays classical violin). When a tornado rips through the town of Delight, will their music be able to soothe the savage storm?
Photo courtesy: http://www.weatherwizkids.com/weather-tornado.htm (This is a GREAT science site for parents, teachers and kids!)
Hither, Thither and Yon Save Christmas – (303 words)
Have you heard about Hither and Thither and Yon,
a mouse and a toad and an elegant swan,
who battle with music one dark Christmas night
in the midst of a storm in the town of Delight?
Hither and Thither love Club Razzmatazz
and evenings of improvisational jazz.
Guitar on his shoulder, and drums at her hips,
they be-bop along with a song on their lips.
And Yon, he is headed the opposite way.
His violin sings at the Swan Lake ballet.
Each night the whole audience rise to their feet.
“Encore!” they all clamor. “Please maestro, repeat!”
The wind whips and whistles – a dust-cloud appears.
It whirls and it swirls and it deafens the ears.
And Hither and Thither turn up the wrong street.
They enter the ballet with toe-tapping feet.
Around the next corner at Club Razzmatazz
the jazz band is missing some guitar pizzazz.
Again the wind howls and rumbles and roars
and Yon and his fiddle explode through the doors.
As Hither plays jazz funk and Thither, the blues,
the dancers don taps on their soft ballet shoes.
At Club Razzmatazz, things are going quite well
as Yon and the band are beginning to jell.
But outside the spiral of wind picks up steam,
rip stripping the roofs – “Help!” the dancers all scream.
The storm is a monster – a villain – a beast
gobbling gaily wrapped gifts like a fine Christmas feast.
But Hither’s guitar strums a soft lullaby,
and Thither’s drum whisks with a hush and a sigh,
and answering back is Yon’s sweet violin.
Soon the twister starts losing its devilish spin.
The town has been rescued, and Christmas is saved,
and good boys and girls who all year have behaved
get tickets to Hither and Thither and Yon,
now appearing on Broadway in “MOUSE, TOAD AND SWAN.
Ta-Da! I hope you enjoyed that.
And I hope you sign up for my newsletter so I can send you the Anti-Bullying Toolkit Guide for Kids: http://eepurl.com/8pglH. Everyone who subscribes will be entered into a raffle for a copy of my parent-teacher resource book, Show Me How! The winner will be announced in the first blog post of the year.
Stay warm! Eat chocolate! Read books!
Ah! Music doth soothe the savage storm! 🙂 What a fun story, Vivian! Love the repetition of all the “z” sounds in Club Razzmatazz with the jazz and pizzazz! 🙂 And such musical words for your musical story along with lovely rhythm and meter! Nice job! Thanks so much for once again joining in the holiday fun! 🙂
I’m so happy you enjoyed the story, Susanna. The holiday season wouldn’t be the same without your writing contest. 😉
Vivian, this is wonderful! I love these delightful characters and the musical twist to the story. And I’m so glad it all ended on a happy note. (HaHa!) Well done!
Thanks, Cheryl…there certainly were some twists (twisters) and turns (up the wrong street)…glad you liked the story. 🙂
I loved this, Vivian. You have a wonderful way with words and images.
Oh Sylvia…that is kind of you to say…I love a challenge, especially when it comes to rhyming stories. 😉
Very fun Vivian… I hope I see a version of this in the new year in critique group.
Yes, ma’am! Glad you enjoyed it, Stacy…you will definitely be seeing this in 2015. 😉 Are we having a critique round this month? I know everyone is uber-busy. and wonder if it will be too stressful, especially for Jeanine and Sheri.
Wonderful from first to last, Vivian. Perfect for wee little ears. Have a Merry Merry Christmas with your family. So glad that your son’s family is able to fly in and join you.
Oh yay! So happy you liked my little rhyme, Nancy! And thank you for the Christmas wishes…the same to you and yours…may the New Year bring peace of mind and joy in our hearts. 😉
Vivian, this was wow! Your rhyme is perfect, no stretching to make words fit. The story is wonderful and a pleasure to read the way it flowed.
WOW! Thank you so much, Lynn…my aim was to entertain…I’m so glad that it did. 😉
This was awesome, Vivian! Intricate rhymes and very nice meter, along with a unique plot that didn’t miss a beat. I love, love, love the way the music tamed the twister. Super razzmatazzicaly cool!
Love, love, love your comment, Carrie…you are very kind. And I did love the word Razzmatazz…I think kids would love to say it also. 🙂
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The rhyming is fabulous. The photo is amazing. I love this!
Thank you…thank you! I love to work with rhyming stories. 😉 🙂 And I loved your Ivan story!
Great job with the rhyme and the story! So unique and fun!
So glad you enjoyed the story, Margaret. I loved Jack Jingle…what a brave little elf. 😉
Very nice. I must have been tricky to fit “improvisational” in there!
Thanks so much, Lauri. 😉 Sometimes it’s harder getting the small words to work…and ‘improvisational jazz’ just has such a great jazzy beat to it…I had to do it. 😉
lovely rhyming and great visuals. terrific job
Thanks, Cecilia! I wish my illustrating skills were more robust…I would love to be able to draw Yon and his fiddle, exploding through the doors of the Club Razzmatazz. 🙂
Great poem and I lived Razzmatazz
Sounds like a fun place to go, right? Thanks for stopping by, Rebecca…glad you were entertained by Hither, Thither and Yon. 😉
So cute, Vivian. Who could not love a mouse, a toad, and a swan in a rhyming, musical story? Great job!
Ta-Da! Thanks, Penny…coming from the master of entertaining rhyme, I really appreciate your kind words. Susanna’s contests are always the best!
Oh, how I love it when musicians cross over! And they save Christmas by doing it! Yay! Thanks for a fun read! I love the names. Just brilliant! Good luck in the competition!