These original stories are lighthearted, with a gentle touch of compassion and helpfulness. Walter the Whale and his family lend helping flippers to a stranded cruise ship. Hip Hop the Hippo overcomes the disability of one short leg. “Treats for Pepper” takes the little pet dog on his first solo exploration of the town, ending with a treat from the local butcher. Mark the Manatee finds a way to teach safety to the other manatees. Croaky the Frog makes a new friend called Jumpy, and together they share the lily pads. The friendly panther learns the important lesson of being yourself and not trying to imitate others to get attention. Rascal the Raccoon is rescued from churning waters by her brothers and sisters after they put themselves in danger. “Raindrops” is the story of a magical land called Rainbow that began to fade away until some billowy white clouds came together and saved Rainbow.
|Product dimensions:||8.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.23(d)|
|Age Range:||4 - 12 Years|
Read an Excerpt
AN ADVENTUROUS SATURDAY
Peter and his parents moved out west when he was a young boy. It certainly had made quite a drastic change in their lives. There were not as many cars moving swiftly on the streets. No tall buildings built so close together and rising up and up and up as if reaching for the sky.
Peter loved the open space. He could look in all directions for miles and miles. They were not the only family in this newly formed suburb. The new town had been planned to give each home-owner a good sized piece of property to grow a vegetable garden or flower garden or just plain grass and trees.
Each day after school, Peter would take a different route home. He was determined to learn every street name and the name of every new family that moved into town. He already had met Larry, Billy and Herbie who became his friends.
The four boys were always seen together. If you knew where one of the boys was going, you could be sure the other three would be there too. Like shadows, one following the other.
One Saturday morning Peter, Larry, Billie and Herbie decided to do some exploring. They promised their parents to be home by 6 o'clock for supper. They would pack a lunch, wear their sunglasses and Peter would bring a compass for direction-just in case they got lost.
Now, you know those four little boys would be watched from a distance by their fathersjust in case of an emergency.
The boys had voted Peter as the leader-that decision also made Peter kind of responsible for the other boys. He agreed and proceeded to draw a map of sorts that they would each follow. There were landmarks of certain trees, a large square rock, an old wooden barn and a deep water well.
Larry, Billie and Herbie yelled, "Stop, stop. That's plenty of land-marks. We have to be home for supper time."
Peter drew a copy for each of his friends and when all that yelling stopped he handed out the copies.
The boys then went home to make their lunches. When they returned to Peter's house, all the boys started out on their Saturday morning adventure.
It was a nice sunny day, no clouds in the sky and the air was warm enough for shortsleeve shirts. The boys had worn their little cowboy boots and cowboy hats that had been Christmas presents a few months ago.
They had walked a few blocks, passing the large trees marked on their maps. Billie suggested they stop for a cool drink of soda. After all, there was no need to rush, and a cool sweet drink would give them plenty of energy for their day's hike.
Once they satisfied their thirst, the four boys continued on their Saturday trip. At the last street in town they passed by the large square rock on which the town fathers had painted in large letters the towns name of Westward. "WELCOME TO WESTWARD," it read.
As the boys walked on, they sang songs, kicked at stones, and sticks and the just plain dust that was blowing around from the dry ground.
By the time they reached the deserted old red barn, the sun was high in the sky. Their watches read twelve noon, lunch time.
Larry, Billie, Herbie and Peter walked around the outside of the barn first. Then Peter drew up enough nerve to open the barn doors. Out flew a few small birds, swooping right over the boys' heads. Peter yelled for the others to run for cover. Oh, my! Now that was nothing to be scared of.
After dusting themselves off, the four settled down on the shady side of the barn. No one wanted to venture inside — just yet.
The four opened their metal lunch boxes filled with sandwich, cookies, soda, an apple and last but not least some candy.
They all agreed, chattering at the same time, that so far, this was a great day. The hungry little tummies filled up fast. After finishing the candy and drinking the last drop of soda, the boys were ready to go on.
Larry, Billie, Herbie and Peter walked very slowly into the barn. Their little eyes gazed all around the walls and then up at the slanted roof, which had parts missing that let the sunshine in to cast shadows as the boys walked around. There were many old and rusty tools that had been left in the barn many years ago. The boys were so excited that they tripped and stumbled over old rakes, shovels, a wagon wheel, even a old wooden pitch fork that had been used to pitch hay up to the loft (second floor) of the barn. What an exciting time they had! Peter had a great idea! What if their parents allowed the boys to clean up the barn and make it into a club house? The boys jumped for joy. Yes, that sure was a great idea!
After dusting themselves off, they went outside and closed the barn doors carefully. Then they continued on their Saturday trip.
The last stop on the maps was the old water well just down the road. Someone long ago had built a round stone wall around the well, complete with a slanted wooden roof, a pulley with a long rope and pail. All the townspeople knew that well held the sweetest, clearest, coldest water in the whole area for miles around. Very carefully, Peter turned the wooden handle that let the rope and pail fall to the well bottom. Just as carefully, he turned the wooden handle again, bringing up a pail full of that sweet cold water. The boys thought this was just great fun, and the water helped quench their thirst and dry throats.
Just then they heard talking and laughter coming from behind a large clump of trees. Well! What do you know! The laughter was from the boys' fathers. The dads walked over to their sons, explaining that they had come looking for the boys — just to make sure everything was alright and that no one was lost and there were no bruises.
They sat down to rest and talk about the red barn and their club house idea. Oh! There would be so much to do every Saturday from now on.
Their dads thought the club house idea was good and they would help — that is if the boys wanted their help.
With that said, Larry, Billie, Herbie and Peter jumped up and yelled "three cheers for our dads. Hip Hip Hip, Hooray! Hip Hip Hip, Hooray! Hip Hip Hooray!"
By the time the boys and their fathers arrived back at their homes, the small of good home cooking prepared by their mothers was coming from the kitchens and tempting aromas whisked past their little noses.
What a wonderful, adventurous Saturday it had been. It had been a great day to hike, a great day to explore and a great day for the boys and their dads.
BILLY, BOBBY, LARRY, AND WINKY
Once upon a time, there were four little boys who lived near the seashore.
Their names were Billy, Bobby, Larry and Winky. They were cousins who spent many happy hours together playing games on the beach or just wading ankle deep in the clear sea water as it washed up on the sandy shore.
Of course, there were times the four boys disagreed on something or other, but they always shook hands and went on with their games, laughing and having lots of fun.
Larry's grandfather had given the boys swimming lessons. He made sure that Billy, Bobby, Larry and Winky practiced safety in the water and were taught to be careful and watch out for the big waves that came rolling toward shore and would make a big splash. The boys also were told how deep the sea water was. They knew that they could have lots of fun staying close to shore and did not have to go into deep water.
There were many times when the boys would play tag in the water, splashing Grandpa as they jumped up and down, with the small waves that rolled into shore and out to sea again.
One summer day, Larry's grandfather suggested they all take a walk along the beach and look for different kinds of shells. At first that idea did not seem like fun. Not until Billy, Bobby, Larry and Winky began to find many different shapes and colors of shells.
They found some tiny shells no bigger than your fingernail with rainbow colors sparkling in the sunshine. Then there were shells shaped like a fan, tiny at one end and wide at the top. Some shells were white, some shells were pink, some shells were black.
Some shells were shaped like an ice cream cone. Some shells were round and shiny. They found clam shells, oyster shells, snail shells, and scallop shells with ridges from top to bottom.
Larry found the biggest shell of all. It had rolled onto the beach with the help of a big, big wave that came splashing onto the shore. The boys jumped back onto the beach just in time.
When Larry held the big seashell up to his ear, he could hear the sound of waves. What a magical shell that was and how pretty it was, white on the outside with a smooth shiny pink inside. It just seemed to curl up all by itself. Larry passed the shell to his grandfather, then to Billy, Bobby and Winky. Everyone agreed that Larry had found the best shell of all.
They sat down on the sand to rest for a while and to look at all the shells they had collected. The boys put their shells into the decorated beach pails that they had brought to the beach. It was great just sitting on the sand, watching the waves come in and out to shore. Of course, a splash of water once in a while felt good on such a warm day.
Larry's grandfather told the boys it was time to go home. He was watching the clouds getting darker and there was a very strong wind beginning to blow. Grandpa explained to the boys that before long there would be a rain storm.
He promised to bring the boys to the beach again tomorrow — that is, if it was not raining or very windy.
What a great time the boys had that day!
Billy, Bobby, Larry and Winky could hardly wait until they got home to tell their mothers what fun they had and to show their treasure of seashells to their fathers.
HIP HOP THE HIPPOPOTAMUS
Once upon a time, a family of hippopotamuses roamed the flat lands of Africa.
Their family and friends called the parents "Momma and Poppa Hippo." It was much easier to say "hippo," instead of trying to bellow out the word "hippopotamus," especially for the young ones.
It had been a long hot summer. In spite of the heat from the blazing rays of the sun, the young hippos always found something to do, something to amuse themselves.
They played the game of chase the dust swirls created by the hot dry air.
They played a game of tag, chasing each other all over the low flat land, around the scrub bushes and trees.
The young hippos even played a game of Ring-Around-Rosie. When they came to the part when they sang (with their very low, snoring voices) "all fall down" — the land shook, the trees trembled fearing that they would fall down too.
Can you imagine all that noise and commotion? Oh my! Oh my! Just as the trees began to frown at the hippos, the shaking of the ground stopped.
To cool themselves after playing the games, the hippos liked to go in the water and swim with just their head above water in the nearby river. Sometimes the young hippos liked to dive down and walk on the bottom of the river. Now that must really be a funny sight to see. Imagine! A hippo walking on the sandy bottom — that must be a very smart hippo to be able to hold its breath under water.
Finally, summer vacation was over. It was time for the young hippos to go back to school to learn their ABCs.
Their school-teacher made a bell from a piece of a hollow brown log. She wrapped a green vine around a large white stone and tied the other end of the green vine to the top of the brown log. Of course, the bell had a very dull sound, but it was loud enough for all the young hippos to hear.
Every day the young hippopotami trotted to school. Every one except one young hippo. Try as he would he could not trot-trot with his four short legs. Instead it was more like a hip-hop, hip-hop.
All the other animals in the area also noticed the little hippo had trouble with his trotting.
The lions roared, "Why don't you trot-trot like the other hippos?"
The hyenas laughed and laughed at the young hippo. But you know that hyenas laugh all the time at any thing or any one. They must think that they are funny and amusing.
The elephants bellowed with their long trunks, "Have you hurt your leg, little hippo?"
The lions, the hyenas, and the elephants thought and thought and thought. Finally all the animals realized that the little hippo had been born with one leg shorter than the others.
It did not stop him from having fun.
It did not stop him from going to school. It did not make him cranky.
In fact, he was fun to be with because he always tried to be nice and friendly to all the different animals.
The little hippo was happy because his momma and poppa were loving and caring parents.
He was happy because he had many friends.
And he sure was happy that he had learned his ABCs.
One day while trotting home from school, his young friends called him Hip-Hop. From that day on he was known as "Hip-Hop the Happy Hippo."
MARK THE MANATEE
Once upon a time, a manatee named Mark lived in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
He had wandered away from his family of manatees early one morning. He decided to find a quiet spot on the river bottom, a place all for himself with no other fish around.
There was such a place little Mark knew of. Some broken pieces of concrete had been dumped there a long time ago.
As he squeezed in behind the large pieces of concrete, he thought to himself, "They hardly notice me. After all, I just float and swim around, nothing special about that."
The young manatee could not think of one interesting thing to do to get the attention of his family.
The other manatees liked to swim far out into deep water once in a while. Little Mark knew there was always a danger in leaving the shallow waters and returning to the shallow waters. Many boats were always in that area. Big and small boats. If one bumped into a manatee, the mammal could be hurt, because manatees swim so near the surface and they move so slowly.
As Little Mark was resting on the river bottom he had a idea. It was a great idea! He would make a list of all the things manatees should do to stay safe and unharmed.
First, he would need something to write with. A broken hollow reed from the bottom of the river filled with some black ink from his friend the octopus would do.
Little Mark left his hideaway and swam out to the deep water where his octopus friend lived. Then Mark explained why he needed some black ink. The octopus told Mark that he was doing a very good deed and gave Mark some black ink and wished him good luck.
Then Little Mark remembered where he had seen a old wooden sign that lay on the river bottom. The sign had blown off a nearby restaurant during a storm and rested in the sandy waters for a long, long time.
He thought and thought, "What should I write? Will the other manatees listen to me ? Will they like my idea? Will they laugh at me? No! I will make the list interesting."
He began making the list. The list got longer and longer. It filled the whole board.
How many ways can he think of to help keep the manatees safe from harm?
Little Mark was beginning to feel better about himself. Why? Because he was trying to be helpful. He was starting to think of others, not only of himself.
When the list was finished Little Mark placed it in a safe place next to some rocks, under a long wooden dock by the restaurant.
Then he swam back out to his family. By the time Little Mark reached the area where the other manatees were swimming he was tired. But he was so excited about his project that he did not stop until he had called out the name of each manatee.
As they gathered around Little Mark, he explained about his project and wanting to help the others. At first the Manatees thought he was being foolish. But the more they listened, the more they realized that Little Mark had a very good idea. They all agreed to follow him back to the dock in the river.
Little Mark said he would give a class on safety every day, in the morning, before the manatees swam out into the Gulf of Mexico to enjoy themselves.
Momma and Poppa Manatee were so proud of their Little Mark. All his brothers and sisters wanted Mark to be the leader of all the manatees.
Little Mark declined. He said he was happy just to be a part of the large family, and to know that he had been helpful in his own small way.
From that day on Little Mark felt closer to his family than he ever had before.
Excerpted from "Grandmother's Bedtime Stories"
Copyright © 2017 Gloria Madden.
Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
An Adventurous Saturday, 5,
Billy, Bobby, Larry, and Winky, 13,
Hip Hop the Hippopotamus, 17,
Mark the Manatee, 21,
Timothy's Pigeons, 25,
Treats for Pepper, 31,
Walter the Whale, 39,
Croaky the Frog, 47,
The Friendly Panther, 51,
Minerva the Minnow, 57,
Rain Drops, 61,
Rascal the Raccoon, 67,
The Seagulls' Flight, 71,
The White Flamingo, 77,