Tag Archives: contest

My entry in the Susanna Leonard Hill 5th Annual Holiday Contest!

11 Dec

Yes, it’s that happy time of year when sugar plums are dancing, frost is nipping and we get to enter Susanna Leonard Hill’s Annual Holiday contest! WOO!

This year’s rules are as follows – (taken from Ms. Hill’s blog)

“Write a children’s story (children here defined as approximately age 12 and under) beginning with any version of “Rocking around the Christmas tree at the Christmas party hop.”  You may use that actual opening, or you may change it to any similar version “[Verb of your choice]ing [any preposition you choose] the [any item you choose] [any preposition you choose] the [venue of your choice].”    Your story may be poetry or prose, silly or serious or sweet, religious or not, based on Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or whatever you celebrate, but is not to exceed 350 words . No illustration notes please.  Your entry should be posted on your blog between right now this very second and Friday December 11 at 11:59 PM EST.”
Here is my entry. It comes in at exactly 350 words.
Merry Christmas Mrs. Claus!
By Erik

“Rockin’ around the Christmas tree at the Christmas party hop? Who has time for that?” Mrs. Claus chirped.

She wiped her brow. It was Christmas Eve and she had a lot to do.

Gingerbread was baking, hooves needed trimming, Santa wanted his beard curled, the sleigh’s guidance system wasn’t working. This was just the beginning of her ‘to do’ list.

Mrs. Claus looked at her list and, with a twinkle in her eye, started to work.

She packed toys, checked the reindeer’s jingle bells and fixed a button on Santa’s coat. As she was breaking up an argument between two elves, Rudolph clopped in.
“Will you polish my nose?”

“Of course dear,” she smiled.

“I don’t get it Mrs. Claus. Why are there no Christmas songs about you?” Wilhelm Elf said thoughtfully.

“Christmas isn’t about songs. It’s about serving others. I’m happy to do my little part,” Mrs. Claus remarked.

“You organize the naughty and nice lists, wax the sleigh’s runners, hang the lights, paint the toys – YOU MAKE SURE THE BATTERIES ARE INCLUDED!” Wilhelm exclaimed.

There was a loud “Ho ho HELP!” and an even louder crash.

Mrs. Claus dashed over to find Santa laying on the ground with ornaments strewn around him.

“Ho ho ooh,” Santa grumbled. “My back.”

“What happened, Papa?” Mrs. Claus reached to help Santa.

“I was carrying these in for you when I slipped,” Santa moaned.

“You have to make your run!” Mrs. Claus gasped.

“I don’t think I will be going anywhere tonight,” Santa signed. “You should make the run.”

“I can’t do that!” Mrs. Claus quipped.

“If anyone has the spirit of Christmas, it is you,” Santa said as he gently took her hand. “You can do it.”

With a kiss she grabbed Santa’s coat and darted out the door. Santa and Wilhelm scurried to the window in time to see the sleigh take flight. Mrs. Claus was holding the reigns.

“Merry Christmas Mama,” Santa said with a wink.

“I think we fooled her,” Wilhelm giggled.

“Where’s my pen?” Santa boomed. “We need to write a song called ‘Here Comes Mrs. Claus’.”


Punxsutawney Phyllis’ 10th Anniversary Birthday Bonanza!!! WOOOO!!!!

2 Feb


(Well – other than having a snow day off of school) 😉

Today is Punxsutawney Phyllis’ tenth Birthday! WOO! Punxsutawney Phyllis is the wonderful character created by the awesome author and hare-brained scheme thinker upper – Susanna Leonard Hill!



Well, Phyllis is an over-eager a nice young groundhog with a funky spirit, so I decided that she needed something with a nice funky tune.


The rules for this contest are (copied from Ms. Hill’s blog):

“Phyllis and I are looking forward with GREAT anticipation to reading YOUR poems for Phyllis [about Phyllis], and hopefully seeing some videos too…!

If you wrote a poem for Phyllis, and/or have photographs, drawings, videos, or other fun feature accompaniments, please add your post-specific blog link to the list below, or post your poem etc in the comments, or Email it to me and I’ll post it for you so that we can all enjoy everyone’s creativity!”

Because I’ve been nagging asking Ms. Hill consistently politely and patiently for a video contest for (at least) a year now, I can’t really not do a video.

So, here it is! The lyrics (written by me) are below the video.

Viva Las Phyllis!


Oh Phyllis you are the finest

They should give you a crown and call you her royal highness

As many times as I’ve read your books

People stare and they give me looks

Well – it just isn’t enough – no – it just isn’t enough

Phyllis It’s your special day

And we just want to say




Oh Phylllis, you are the best

Weather predictions better than the rest.

I watch the six o’clock news

and they get me all confused

I just need to ask you

You tell it to me straight

Forget that news at eight

Al Roker says it’s gonna snow

And you say “I don’t think so”




Happy Birthday Phyllis

Happy tenth birthday!


(and yes, my voice is that deep. 🙂 )


Star Weather – Episode IV: A New ‘Hog

1 Feb

Susanna Leonard Hill is having a Phyllis Fashion contest! Click HERE to read the rules and see the other awesome entries! We were supposed to have a Phyllis Fun Fashion Show but Phyllis is no fashionista! She is dashing, daring, beautiful, smart, dangerous… Right? Right!  So I introduce to you…

(cue the music)

Princess Phyllis – youngest member of the Galactic Meteorologists, but also member of the secret organization, the Rebel Chocolate-Eaters!


In her latest amazing feat Princess Phyllis has rounded up a squad storm-troopers. Here she is, posing with the guys before she herded them into a prison cell.


Phyllis also gave them their weekly forecast (“Dark and gloomy, with a chance of dampness”) and filed a report – “The galaxy will have an early spring.”

Want to read the whole story? Check out Phyllis’ books!



Can’t Sleep Without Sheep Jingle Contest!

7 May


Susanna Leonard Hill is celebrating the release of her book “Can’t Sleep Without Sheep” as an ebook with a jingle contest! It is available in all ebook-formats starting TODAY! Click HERE to learn more about it!

Here is my entry… although I guess it is more of a rap than a jingle (I don’t even like rap, but that’s what it seemed to be for me). I have to thank my little sister Josie for being the best sheep ever (check out Josie’s entry in Ms. Hill’s Kids Coloring Contest HERE) and my mom for making her sheep costume in under ten minutes (I was kind of rushing to get this done).

I called it “Got To Count Sheep.” I hope you like it!

Related articles

Phyllis And her Shadow… A.K.A. Susanna Leonard Hill’s The Groundhog Day Fun Photo Contest!

2 Feb


Well, I don’t know about you guys, but I want some spring flowers! The good news out of Punxsutawney is that Phil did NOT see his shadow, so we are getting an early Spring!

Let’s celebrate! Happy Dance! AND enter The Groundhog Day Fun Photo Contest!


Susanna Leonard Hill author of the awesome book, Punxsutawney Phyllis (about a cute little groundhog determined that she can be THE groundhog on Groundhog Day) is doing the contest. Ms. Hill wrote “Punxsutawney Phyllis” (see my review HERE) and April Fools Phyllis (see my review HERE).

The rules of the contest are, get a Phyllis Colorable Action Figure (AKA paper doll, find it HERE). Color and cut and maybe add a popsicle stick then –

“take her outside to a location of your choosing on the morning of Saturday February 2 (also known as Groundhog Day!) and photograph Phyllis (she’s very photogenic!)”

Post the picture on your blog any time between Saturday February 2 and Monday February 4th and in the caption underneath (or a post if you’re feeling expansive) tell us where she is (e.g. Mount Everest, Nepal or Chicago, Illinois), the weather conditions (e.g. sunny and -12 degrees) and whether or not she saw her shadow (and hence whether she’s predicting an early spring or 6 more weeks of winter.)

Here is my entry:

Secretly, all the other action figures were in awe of Phyllis' weather predicting abilities.

Secretly, all the other action figures were jealous of Phyllis’ weather predicting abilities.

Phyllis didn’t see her shadow, for it was snowing and cold . It is 18.5*F in (literally) our tiny town in Pennsylvania.

My sister also entered the contest and posted her picture on her blog. Please click HERE and go to see it. 🙂

To see all the great entries, go to Ms. Hill’s blog by clicking HERE!

Have a nice weekend everyone!

12×12 Update and a Summer Send-Off Contest created by Susanna Leonard Hill!

3 Sep

First, I will start off with the story for the Summer Send-Off Contest entry. Below is my entry and I think I may use the idea to write a book or a longer story.

The rules for the contest as stated on Ms. Hill’s blog are:

The contest is for a children’s story of 250 words or less based on the picture below and in which somebody somewhere in your story says, in dialogue, “Did/do you see that?” (you may substitute any of the other senses – “Did/do you hear/feel/taste/smell that?”) and somebody somewhere in your story says, “Goodbye!” (you are allowed to substitute “Farewell!”, “Au revoir!”, “Sayonara!”, “Ciao!”, or “So long!”). Click HERE to go to Ms. Hill’s blog and see all the entries!

Heather Newman made the awesome illustration for the contest. I really like all the action going on in it! To go to Ms. Newman’s website click HERE.

illustration copyright Heather Newman 2012 used by permission


By Erik

Once Upon A Time, in a land far away (depending on where you are), a princess named Violet was high in a tower. She wasn’t trapped there, mind you. You see, Violet wasn’t an ordinary princess.

One day, Violet heard a commotion outside her window.

“He lit the moat on fire again!” Shouted the stable-boy to Josi, the princesses’ faithful servant.   “I already asked The Pale Sorceress to cast an extinguishing spell!”

Josi yelled up to Violet’s window. “Did you hear that? Your parents will banish us all! What kind of princess has a pet dragon anyway?”

“But Cuddles is just a baby!” was the reply.

“A BABY? He’s about 15… Oh-no, here comes Timothy!” Josi groaned. Violet rolled her eyes at the approaching figure.

As Timothy got closer he boasted, “I shall smite thee, foul beast and save yonder fair maiden, Violet! Oh dear Violet, I hath come hither to rescue thee!”

Violet felt her face get red with anger as she screamed back. “First of all, don’t talk funny. Smite and hither, who talks like that? It’s weird. Second, Cuddles is my PET! I DON’T NEED RESCUING!”

Just then, Sorceress cast the spell to blow out the fire. As the gust came, it lifted Timothy and blew him back to his kingdom!

“Farewell!” Timothy called as he faded in the distance.

“Will he be alright? Josi asked.

“Don’t worry, he’ll be back. He always comes back.” Violet sighed.

And they all lived happily ever after…well, until next time.

Now, for my 12×12 update!

For those of you who don’t know, I am trying to do Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 Challenge. It is a challenge to write 12 picture book drafts in 12 months in 2012. You can click on the 12×12 banner on the right side bar or the one above to learn more about it. I have been working on a PB about a bird and a worm who are friends and I have been trying to make it rhyme well. I wrote the story last month and have been working on the rhyming, but I didn’t get as much done as I wanted to. In September I am going to try to complete the draft! Wish me luck 😀

Night Buddies Give-Away! The Winner is…

21 Jun

Today, I shall tell you something. I will tell you who won the Night Buddies book! (see review of the book and an interview with the author HERE)

And the winner is…


Congratulations! I will email you for your mailing address.

To visit Ms. Larson’s blog, Creating Curious Kids, click HERE! 🙂

Birthday Writing Contest and Some New Blog Stuff!

20 May

Susanna Leonard Hill has a Birthday Story Contest going on at her blog (click HERE to see the post) and I wrote a story for the contest. I have the story at the end of this post but first I wanted to let you know about a couple of changes I made at my blog. I made the changes because I am trying to make it more organized and easier. Let me know what you think about the changes 🙂 

First I made a FAQ page (this was one of my New Years Resolutions anyway). You can click on the tab at the top of my home page to see or (or click HERE). Let me know what you think or if there are any other FAQs I should add.

Secondly I made an official section saying how to send me a book to review. You can see it at the tab at the top of my home page or by clicking HERE.

Thirdly I made a blog schedule. I saw that on a lot of your blogs and I think it’s a good idea! Click on the tab at the top of my page or HERE. To go to it.

Let me know what you think of my changes and if you have any other suggestions! 

Now for something fun!

The Birthday Contest hosted by Susanna Leonard Hill!

The rules are “The contest is to write a children’s story about a very creative and/or unique birthday celebration in 300 words or less. Poetry or prose, your choice.”

Here’s my entry!

Not Another Birthday!

By Erik

Billy hated his birthdays, every single one of them. The day was always a complete disaster. One time, on Billy’s seventh birthday, most of his party guests ended up in the emergency room! In fact, none of Billy’s friends will come to his parties anymore. Only Billy’s relatives show up because they have to. 

Things usually start off pretty well. The guests arrive with smiles on their faces, carrying presents in colorful paper. There’s lots of ”Hi’s”, hugs and  “How are you’s?” Everyone puts their party hats on. There’s pizza for dinner, and games like guess the wizard, and pin the drawbridge on the castle.

Then comes the cake. Billy’s dad carries it in. This year it has twelve candles on it, brightly lit with flames dancing in the air. Billy notices it is an ice cream cake, “UGH!” He says to himself. “Even WORSE!”

The cake is placed on the table in front of Billy; all the guests cower behind their chairs and under the table as they nervously sing “Happy Birthday to You” in hushed voices. As Billy listened to the song, getting ready to blow out the candles, he thought to himself, “This makes no sense for a fire-breathing dragon.”




Winner of the “That Pup!” Illustration

30 Dec

The winner of the original illustration GENEROUSLY donated by Lindsay Barrett George author of many awesome picture books including her newest – That Pup! is…

Diane of The Patient Dreamer blog! Please visit Miss Diane’s blog HERE.

Here is (a not really great scan of) the illustration! Seriously, I couldn’t get it to scan well. It is an adorable illustration of the cute little Pup from the story!

Congratulations! I will be contacting you for your mailing address (or if you are reading this you can email it to me at Erik@thiskidreviewsbooks.com).

To learn more about Ms. Barrett George and her books please visit her website by clicking HERE.

Perfect Picture Book Friday – That Pup!

23 Dec

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday . It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because it’s a nice story with great illustrations.

That Pup!
Written and Illustrated by  Lindsay Barrett George
32 pages – ages 2+
 Published by  HarperCollins Publishers  on August 23, 2011

Theme/Topic – Friendship / Forgiveness

Opening and Synopsis – “What is that pup up to? That pup digs. And digs. And digs some more. What is that pup looking for? And why should this squirrel care?” (from the inside jacket cover).

A young pup decides to play a game and digs up ten acorns. What the little pup didn’t realize is that the acorns were hidden by a little squirrel who was storing them for winter. The little pup hurts the squirrel’s feelings even though she didn’t mean to. The little pup has a great idea to play a new game…HIDE the acorns and she asked the little squirrel to help. Together they put all the acorns back.

Activities and Resources – There are some good questions parents could ask their kids about this book like; Did the pup mean to hurt the squirrels feelings? How do you think the squirrel feel? or What should you do if you hurt someone’s feelings? I think a great activity parents could do with their kids is a scavenger hunt like the pup did in the book (who doesn’t like those?!?). Here’s a cool blog post from Go Explore Nature about a winter scavenger hunt (click HERE) and another about a holiday scavenger hunt (click HERE).

Why I liked this book – Last week I posted a book called The Tree Monkeys by Wynne Marshall (see the post HERE) and it taught a lesson that sometimes actions we do can’t be taken back or in other words somethings can’t be fixed. Well this book shows that some things can be made right if you try to make them right. I thought the book had a good story for little kids and showed them how the pup and squirrel become friends even after the pup digs up all the squirrel’s acorns. The illustrations in the book are great (the pup is adorable)! There are few words on each page so it can be read by kids just starting to read.

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog “Just Right Books” HERE!

To learn more about Ms. Barrett George and her books (she has a lot of really good ones!) please visit her website by clicking HERE

**BONUS** (again 😉 )

I met Ms. Barrett George at my school when she visited to talk about writing books. When I emailed her to tell her I was nominating her book as a Perfect Picture Book, she generously offered to donate an illustration from “That Pup!” to one lucky commenter! All you have to do is comment and you’re in! I will pick (actually my sister Josie does the picking) one name from all the comments for this post (the illustration hasn’t come in the mail yet, when it does I will post a picture 🙂 ) and post the winner on December 30th!

%d bloggers like this: