Shayne's dream of being able to fly is realized after several heartbreaking mishaps. Later he teaches his Grandma and together they embark on an exciting adventure that takes them from the hot Caribbean sunshine to the frigid cold of the North Pole where they encounter danger and excitment along there way. This is a delightful tale for the young and the young at heart that brings the magic of make believe to life.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.14(d)|
|Age Range:||4 Years|
The Adventures of Shayne and His Flying Grandma
By Julie Quetel
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2010 Julie Quetel
All right reserved.
Chapter OneSnap! Dry twigs crackled loudly under Shayne's feet as he ran playfully around the yard. The unexpected noise sent a flock of birds that was foraging among the dry leaves soaring into the sky. As they swiftly flew upward, noisily voicing their opinion about being disturbed, Shayne watched in awe at the ease with which they flew.
Suddenly he had an interesting thought. What if he could fly? Excitedly, he imagined all the fun that he would have and the places that he could visit. The birds with their beautiful, outstretched wings gracefully soaring across the sky made it look very easy. Surely, he could do it, too, if he tried.
Looking around, he spied a little rock off to his left. He ran over to it and hopped on. Then, spreading his arms the way he had seen the birds spread their wings, he flapped them up and down, up and down, faster and faster, until he was gasping for breath, but nothing happened.
He was very disappointed. Realizing that it was going to be a lot more difficult than he had thought, he decided that he would practice until he could fly just like the birds. For the rest of the day, he tried repeatedly, but he was not successful. All he got for his efforts were a few bumps and scrapes as he fell off the little rock.
On Monday, he went to school. He tried very hard to concentrate on what the teacher was saying, but every now and then visions of himself flying around the world would creep into his thoughts. He could hardly wait until it was time to go home so that he could continue practicing.
When the bell finally rang, he raced out the door and quickly got on the bus. When he arrived home, he grabbed a snack and ran to his secret hiding place. He didn't tell anyone about his intentions of learning to fly because he wanted everyone to be surprised when he came flapping overhead, calling out, "Look at me! Look at me! I can fly! I can fly!"
With excitement and determination, he climbed onto the same rock as he had the previous day. Not wanting anyone to know his secret until he'd learned to fly, he looked all around to be sure that the coast was clear. Realizing that he was all alone, he spread his arms and flapped them up and down, up and down, slowly at first and then faster and faster until he became very tired, but again, to his dismay, he still did not fly.
He felt a great feeling of sadness, but he was not about to give up. He reassured himself that soon he'd soon be up in the sky, flying along with all the birds. Exhausted from all his attempts at flying, and with night fast approaching, he decided to head home. Sleep did not come quickly that evening since all he could think about was learning how to fly. As he lay there, tossing and turning, he suddenly had an idea. Perhaps if he made some wings and tied them to his hands, they would help him to accomplish his dream. Yes, he thought, I think that will work. He couldn't wait to get started on them the following afternoon. Finally exhausted, he fell sleep.
On Tuesday after school, he gathered all the things that he would need to make his wings. He got some cardboard, strings, glue, crayons, and some feathers that he'd found on the ground while at play. His mother was busy doing the laundry as he came around the corner laden with all his supplies. "Where are you heading off to in such a hurry?" she called out to him as he dashed by.
"I'm on a secret mission!" he replied, and took off at a rapid pace so that she couldn't ask any more questions.
When he arrived at his destination, he once again looked all around as he'd done the day before. His mom knew that he often played in the tall grasses behind their house, and therefore she wouldn't be worried and decide to come looking for him and discover his secret. He could feel his heart pounding with excitement as he cut two large pieces of cardboard the length of his arms. He then took his crayons out his backpack, and sat down on the ground, and started to color his wings.
He colored one wing a bright blue, like the sky that he dreamed of reaching one day soon. Then he colored the other one a bright yellow, like the sun that felt warm upon his back as he worked. When he was finished coloring, he glued the feathers to his two wings. The blue feathers he glued onto the yellow wing and the yellow feathers he glued onto the blue wing. My wings are beautiful, he thought when he was finished.
He stood and admired them as he imagined how magical they would look once he was up in the sky, flying contentedly along. All the birds would fly next to him just to see his wings. They would think that he was a giant bird. He smiled in delight at the thought of it. Finally the time had come to try them on. With great caution, he gently placed the wings on top of his hands and secured the string tightly in order to keep the them from falling off. It wasn't easy getting the strings tied, but he was determined, and finally he was ready to give them a try. He was very excited. His heart beat rapidly in anticipation. He looked like a bird, and he felt like a bird, so perhaps now he could fly like a bird.
At last the moment had arrived. He climbed onto the rock and stretched his wings as far as they would go. He excitedly began to flap them up and down, up and down, faster and faster. The blue and yellow wings moved swiftly as the feathers shone brightly in the sun.
Suddenly he felt himself rising off the rock. It was not much, but it was a start. He felt overwhelming happiness, but just when he thought that he would be the only flying boy in the world, he came crashing down. He landed hard on the ground, but he didn't cry. Instead, he started to laugh from pure joy at having at least risen a short distance. His laughter rang out loudly, causing his mom to call out to him.
"Shayne? Shayne, are you all right? What's so funny? Come in now, dear. It's getting late."
"I'll be right in, Mom", he replied. He was relieved that his secret place was well hidden and that his mother had not seen him fly. He needed more practice before he could tell anyone his big surprise.
He carefully took off his wings, grateful that they had not been broken when he'd fallen. He hid them in a hollow tree that stood close to the rock that he called his "launching pad." He knew that hardly anyone ever came this way, and therefore his wings would be safe until tomorrow.
Rapidly he gathered his crayons and glue, and placed them in his backpack and then he headed for home. He wished that it was tomorrow already so that he could fly once again. Maybe tomorrow he would be able to fly higher he thought excitedly.
Yes, he said to himself, tomorrow is the big day. He hurried across the yard and into the house.
His mother was busy preparing supper. She called out to him, "Shayne? Is everything okay? I heard you laughing. What's so funny, my little snugger bugger?" She came out of the kitchen and playfully grabbed him as he walked by. She then planted a big kiss on his cheek. He laughed and kissed her back. He loved his mom and dad more that anyone else in the whole world.
She turned around and headed back into the kitchen. Shayne quickly ran to his room before his mom remembered that he hadn't answered her question. He didn't know what to say if she asked again, and he didn't want to lie, because lying was bad.
When his dad arrived home, he asked how school had been that day, and Shayne said it had been good. He did not tell his dad that he had kept looking out the window and longing to be outside. He wanted very much to tell his parents that he was learning to fly. He knew that it wasn't nice to keep secrets from them, but this was a good secret. Someday soon they would be very proud and surprised when they looked up and saw him flying overhead.
After dinner, he watched cartoons, and then he went to bed. He dreamed all night of all the adventures he would have as a flying boy.
On Wednesday, he went to school, but he again kept looking out the window, waiting for the dismissal bell to ring so that he could hurry off to his hiding place. After many hours, he finally heard the long-awaited sound of the bell signaling the end of the day.
Hurray, he thought, time to fly, time to fly. He was thinking so hard about flying that he barely heard when the teacher said, "Children, don't forget to do your homework." Homework? Oh, no! Now I won't have time to practice flying. Disappointed, he walked slowly outside and climbed onto the school bus.
All the children were laughing and talking with each other, but he didn't feel like joining in. All he could think about was that he would not be able to practice flying that afternoon. He knew that homework was important, but he had other things on his mind. By the time the bus arrived at his house, he felt much better. There was always tomorrow, and besides, he could see some dark clouds gathering in the sky. It looked like it was about to rain.
As he arrived at the front door, a huge bolt of lighting forked across the yard. A loud clap of thunder seemed to shake the very ground that he was standing on. The angry black clouds quickly rolled overhead and rapidly the rain fell, first in tiny drops, and then a gigantic downpour pelted the ground. He quickly opened the door and called out to his mom that he was home. I guess it doesn't matter now that I have homework to do, he thought to himself, because I would not have been able to go to my secret place, anyway.
Later that night as he was lying in bed listening to the steady sound of the rain falling, he had an awful thought. His wings! They must be getting wet. I have to save them, he said to himself. Despite the fact that he was afraid of the dark, he was determined to go and get them.
He quickly jumped out of his bed and sneaked past his parents' room. They would not want him going out this late. As he quietly opened the front door, a gigantic clap of thunder with noise as loud as a giant's roar echoed throughout the house. He stood rooted to the spot, trembling with fear.
The lightning cast shadows all around the yard. He could hardly see through the terrifying darkness. Suddenly, he saw a ghost zipping left and right and up and down. As he watched wide-eyed it seemed to be coming straight at him. He was extremely afraid. He could hardly swallow. "Ghost! Ghost! It is a ghost!" he exclaimed. His heart was beating very rapidly. There is no way that I'm fighting a ghost for my wings, he decided as he quickly slammed the door shut and raced upstairs, not caring this time if his parents heard him.
He jumped back into bed and threw the covers over his head, peeking out every now and then to make sure that the ghost hadn't followed him. He decided as he lay there trembling with the thunders roaring and the lightning flashing that he would have to check on his wings tomorrow. After tossing and turning for a long time that night, he finally fell asleep.
On Thursday, the rain continued and the thunders rumbled throughout the day. He listened as the news reporter on the radio said that there wouldn't be any school that day since the storm the night before had caused a lot of flooding.
As he glanced out the window, he saw one of his mom's bedsheets on the ground. It must have fallen off the line during the storm. Hey, he thought, that was the ghost from last night! He felt foolish now at how frightened he had been because of an old bed sheet. He was glad that no one had seen him shaking under the covers.
Since he couldn't go outside to play, he watched cartoons. He soon became bored and decided to practice flying in his room. He climbed on his bed and flapped his arms as he'd done before and jumped. He tried this several times until his mom started yelling at him to stop or he'd be sure to fall through the floor and into the room below. I guess a bedroom is not a place to practice flying. I'll just have to wait until the sun comes out again, he decided. He went to the window and sadly watched the steady rain as it fell, hoping with all his heart that his wings had survived the storm.
As he continued to watch, he began to think of all the adventures and the places that he could visit once he'd learned to fly. He decided to make a list. I know, he said to himself, I'll go to visit Grandma Julie. He put Grandma on the list. He loved Grandma very much but he didn't get to see her very often. She lived far away on an island and it cost a lot of money for the plane ticket. When he learned to fly, he wouldn't need a plane ticket. Instead, he'd fly next to the plane for free and wave at all the people inside. He thought about it with glee.
He sat and thought some more. He could visit Santa Claus at the North Pole. That would be fantastic. He wrote Santa Claus on the list. I bet Grandma would like to learn to fly and go to the North Pole with me, he thought. He knew that she loved Santa Claus as much as he did. He giggled with excitement just thinking about it.
They had just recently celebrated Christmas, and he had received many gifts from Santa. He would be able to thank him in person when he and Grandma visited the North Pole, and he would finally see Rudolph and all the reindeer as he had always wanted to do.
He remembered how excited he'd been on Christmas Eve. He'd kept looking out the window, hoping to catch a glimpse of Santa as he flew over his house. Then, just before he had fallen asleep, he was sure that he'd heard a noise on the roof. It must have been when Santa landed his sleigh. I guess Rudolph and the other reindeer had trouble landing, just like I did, he thought. He had desperately wanted to look out the window, but he knew that, in order to receive gifts, all children must be in bed when Santa came, and he didn't want to take the chance of being caught. When he awoke on Christmas morning, there were many presents under the beautiful Christmas tree.
If Santa's reindeer can fly, I can, too, he decided. He couldn't wait to visit Santa Claus at the North Pole. He continued to write his list and then watched some more cartoons until his mom called out that it was time for dinner.
The following day was Friday, and he had to go to school. At recess, everyone was talking about the storm and the damage that it had caused. He didn't tell anyone that he'd thought he'd seen a ghost flying around in his yard, because they would have laughed at him.
After school, he raced to the hollow tree where he'd left his wings on Tuesday. As he reached inside the tree, he discovered to his dismay a pile of gooey cardboard. The rain had ruined them. The feathers had become unglued. The strings had fallen off, and the wings that he had colored so brightly fell in pieces all around him. He started to cry. Teardrop after teardrop fell from his eyes just like the rain that had fallen and ruined his dreams. Now what do I do? I don't have anymore cardboard. I'll never be able to learn to fly. He sat and cried some more. With his head hanging low and his heart filled with sadness, he slowly walked home.
He tossed and turned again that night. He dreamed about the birds laughing at him, saying, "You can't fly, you can't fly. Stay on the ground where you belong."
Then he saw Grandma in his dream and she was saying to him, "Shayne, if you don't try, you'll never get anywhere. Don't give up as soon as something goes wrong. When things go wrong, as they often will, that is the time to work harder. Make your dreams come true. Always believe in yourself." He smiled at Grandma, and she smiled back. He knew what he had to do now. He decided with determination that he would show those birds that he could fly just like them.
When he awoke the next day, he helped his mom with some chores, and then he headed for his secret hideout. Since it was Saturday, he could spend the entire day practicing to fly if he wanted to. Maybe he didn't need wings after all. Perhaps his arms would work just as well. He really hadn't given them much of a chance the first time. This time he was more determined than ever not to give up easily. Grandma needed him to teach her to fly, so therefore he had to learn first.
Excerpted from The Adventures of Shayne and His Flying Grandma by Julie Quetel Copyright © 2010 by Julie Quetel. Excerpted by permission.
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