How to Make a Baby

Given I’ve just had a baby (which explains the lack of recent content!) this was a fun story to write as I’ve just been through the explanation of how to make a baby with my three year old. This is also my first children’s story not written in rhyme. Enjoy 🙂

How to Make a Baby

By Corrina Campbell

I really really really want a baby.

One that is mine and one that I can call my very very own.

All my friends seem to have new babies. Little baby brothers and little baby sisters and one of my friends even got two babies at the same time!

They get to play with them, and they feed them and they take them out for long walks in the buggy.

My friends make their babies smile by singing songs or telling funny stories or blowing slobbery raspberries.

I will definitely be able to make my baby smile.

I am going to make a baby.

I love makings things. I’ve made a rocket, and a robot and I have made a cake with icing.  It was really good because everybody ate it.   I have even made butterflies (well, kind of, they were caterpillers and I fed them and looked after them and they became butterflies).

Making a baby should be easy.  First I just need to figure out what the ingredients are. My Mummy tells me that when they made me they used eggs from her and seeds from Daddy so I write this down…

INGREDIENTS

Eggs

Seeds

Hang on a minute. This cant be right. There must be more ingredients needed to make a baby?  My baby will need eyes to see me, and ears.  My baby will need a nose and a mouth, not forgetting fingers and toes AND I most definitely want my baby to have hair that I can brush.

I take a minute to think. Then I know exactly what to do and add to my list of ingredients;

INGREDIENTS

Eggs

Seeds

2 cherry tomatoes for eyes

1 sausage for the nose

1 banana for the smiley mouth

spaghetti for the hair

10 carrot sticks for fingers

10 grapes for toes

 

Done. Now, time to start making my baby.

I carefully collect two eggs from my Mummy’s fridge. That’s where she keeps her eggs.

My Daddy keeps his seeds out in the garden shed. He has loads of different seeds that he usually uses to grow flowers and vegetables.   It is a bit strange that he uses seeds to grow flowers and to make babies…but then my Daddy does lots of strange things (like the time he tried to ride my bike even though it’s obviously too small for him.)

It’s really quite tricky choosing the right seeds for my baby.  I thought there would be an obvious packet with babies on the front but instead all I see is flowers and vegetables.  I wonder if this is why I had heard that babies can grow in a cabbage patch?  I think carefully, what colour of baby do I want?  There are loads of colours to choose from.

This is definitely harder than I thought.

At first I think I should chose the pink and the blue seeds, since apparently those are baby colours, but as my favourite colour is yellow I pick the yellow ones.

Taking a large bowl I crack the eggs and mix in the seeds. It does not look like a baby.

Maybe if I add some flour, like a cake, that will help?

It’s thick and gloopy but I feel confident that if I put it in the oven it may still turn into a baby so I add my final ingredients…

2 cherry tomatoes

1 sausage

1 banana

A handful of spaghetti

10 carrot sticks

and

10 grapes

 

Mix Mix Mix.

 

I gently pour out my baby mixture into a dish that can go into the oven and shout my Mummy.

(I am not allowed to put things in the oven without her)

“Mummy, I am making a baby”

I expected her to help me pop it in the oven. I thought that she would help turn my ingredients into a baby.  I assumed that the hard part was done but it turns out I can’t make a baby.

(Well not yet anyway, because I am too little)

Mummy’s eggs are actually inside her tummy and not in the fridge

and

Daddy’s seeds are actually inside him too and not in the shed.

What a disaster.

Mummy says I shouldn’t feel sad because her and Daddy would like a baby too and that there is one growing inside her tummy right now.

Mummy says that I will get to feed the baby and play with the baby AND take the baby for long walks in the buggy.

Mummy also says I make her smile all the time so she knows that I will definitely make the baby smile too.

So I am happy to leave the baby making to Mummy and Daddy because they seem to be doing a pretty good job of it.

(Look how awesome I turned out)

And anyways, I really really really want a dog.

“Mummy, how do you make a dog?”

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The Spider Who Spoke

A few weeks ago my daughter had been out on her bike and on removing her helmet we found the largest spider EVER.  

I am ashamed to say I am a spider killer.  I’ve squashed them, flushed them and brushed them.  I am not a fan.  However, I do try not to let me phobias rub off onto my daughter and in this instance I remained calm and managed to trap the spider in a glass and release it outside.  Genuinely, this wasn’t as hard as I thought.

As always, this situation got me thinking as to what it must be like being a spider and how rubbish it must be to have people (aka giants) constantly trying to chase you away/stamp on you/drown you.  Originally the story was going to be about saving spiders, and titled “SAVE A SPIDER’ yet interestingly it went in a slightly different, completely unexpected direction – as you’ll see when you read it.  I love stories like this that just evolve 🙂

It’s easy to feel like a small voice lost in a big crowd, but having the courage to be that small voice can be the beginnings of something incredible.

 

THE SPIDER WHO SPOKE

Sophie was a spider, she was hairy and small

If you didn’t look closely, you’d not see her at all.

An ordinary spider with eight dangly legs

She liked to eat flies that she caught in her webs.

But although she seemed happy, she lived in great fear

Scared of the giants who lived very near.

With their huge giant hands and their great giant feet

She could hear them for miles as they walked down the street.

Yet what puzzled her most was not actually their size

It was the reaction they had when she was caught by surprise.

Often they’d scream and run out of the room

Returning quite quickly and bringing a broom

To sweep her away from her home and her bed

“Get out’ they would cry

(she’d pretend to be dead)

But this isn’t the worst story she has to tell

She’s almost been stood on and stamped on as well.

There’s also the time, she was flushed down the drain

Or so they had thought…she’d held onto the chain.

And then made her escape when no one was looking

(Judging by the smell they’d carried on with their cooking)

Sophie’s just a small spider, she’s not committed a crime

Yet stories like this happen each day all the time.

And spinning her web it bothered her so

A thought in her head that just would not go…

“Yes I eat flies for my mid-morning snack

And yes I am hairy and a little bit black.”

“But if it wasn’t for me there’d be flies everywhere

The giants know this, but they don’t seem to care.”

“If we stamped on them or flushed them away

They wouldn’t be happy, they’d have something to say.”

“It just makes me sad, the way that they act

We don’t want to hurt them and that is a fact.”

So Sophie thought hard about what she could do

And inside her head an idea then grew.

They didn’t have to stamp or flush spiders away

There was a better option – an easier way.

So feeling quite brave she decided to go

To find a big giant and just let them know.

She had to think hard, this wouldn’t be easy

To speak to a giant

(It made her feel queezy!)

But she plucked up the courage and decided to hide

In a bicycle helmet she waited inside.

Finally the helmet was lifted up high

“I’m going out on my bike,” said a girl with a cry.

Now spiders are clever and Sophie was too

And she’d written a sign

With some words that she knew.

Climbing out of the helmet to speak with the rider

She produced a small sign that read ‘PLEASE SAVE A SPIDER’

The girl stopped in her tracks and right on cue

Sophie waved quite politely and asked ‘how’d you do?”

The girl paused for a moment then replied “Erm…I’m fine.

But who are you?

And what is that sign?”

Sophie jumped from the helmet and landed quite neat

A short distance down at the little girl’s feet.

“I’m Sophie,” said the spider “And I want to protest

At the way we are treated, it’s as if we’re a pest.”

“Yes I eat flies for my mid-morning snack

And yes I am hairy and a little bit black.”

“But if it wasn’t for spiders there’d be flies everywhere

You giants, you know this, but don’t seem to care.”

“Often we’re stamped on or just flushed away

But there is a better option – that’s what I’m here to say.”

The little girl listened, she seemed quite concerned

And the more that she listened, the more that she learned.

“So,” said Sophie “I know that you’re wary

It doesn’t matter we’re small, you still think we’re scary”

“But please use a glass or a box or a jar

Or anything that will keep us from wandering far.”

“Then slide over some paper and trap us inside

And find somewhere else for us to then hide.”

“I can’t guarantee that we won’t come back in

But we don’t want to be squashed and just put in the bin”

The little girl giant looked rather sad

“I just hadn’t realised, I feel rather bad.”

“You are quite creepy with your dangly legs

And all of those flies that you catch in your webs.”

“But you’ve done nothing wrong and there is no excuse

For catching a spider and not letting it loose.”

“Thanks,” said Sophie “I just thought you should know.

And now that we’ve chatted I really must go.”

And scuttling away she shouted “Goodbye”

(She was getting quite hungry, it was time for a fly)

And the little girl giant decided that day

That she’d listen to Sophie and do it her way.

And she told all her friends and her family too

That they should save spiders – that it was easy to do.

And as Sophie watched from up high on a shelf

She saw the great difference and smiled to herself

She was pleased she’d been brave and that she’d spoken out

She had been quite scared and filled with self-doubt.

But the giants had changed because she spoke her mind

She’d made giants stop, and think and be kind.

And she sat quite happily, on her web with her flies

Knowing she’d made these giants more wise.

So if you a spider, or have something to say

A thought in your head, that wont go away

Then don’t be scared to say what you think

It’s better to say it than be flushed down the sink.

The Finger Prince

Writing is not my ‘real’ job.

*sniff

I work in education – yay!

Recently I have been studying the benefits of Emerging Literacy, and indeed focusing on a developmental approach to Literacy.  This work has been predominantly linked to work done by the Highland Literacy and the Northern Alliance where you can find a wealth or resources and research…I don’t want to bore you with the technical stuff!

By taking a developmental approach I have been able to record and track the progress, with regards to literacy in the Early Years across the Northern Alliance.  From this I discovered that 1 in 6 children starting Primary 1 did not have a secure pencil grip and that one of the most common difficulties children were having was the production and creation of rhyme (see next story – ‘The Wicked Witch of Rhyme’….and also appreciate why all my stories are written in rhyme!)

It was on the back of this information that I decided that I wanted to create a character, and indeed a story/book, to tackle some of these issues.


FINGER PRINCE was created with the aim of encouraging both teacher/parent and pupil to ensure solid gross/fine motor skills before attempting to hold a pencil and start writing.  He was also created with my daughters hand/finger print – clever right?!

Often children start using a pencil too soon and this is when bad habits can develop which can be tricky to reverse.  However, if we can ensure that a child’s bodies/muscles are ready then the likelihood of a poor pencil grip is less.


I decided upon three challenges with the aim of highlighting the use of the shoulder/body, then the wrist and then the fingers – it’s not just random selection!  I am still not 100% sold in the challenges set by ‘Hand Master’ so I am keen for feedback or suggestions.

I’ve also tucked a bit of growth mindset in there too for good measure! (Ugh, I’m such a teacher!)

FINGER PRINCE

There once was a King, the King of Hands

Who ruled his own Kingdom, and far away lands.

 

With his powerful pencil, he ruled on high

But one day he let out a terrible sigh,

“I’ve been King a long time and I’m now getting old

This Pencil of Power is too hard to hold.”

 

“It takes great skill to harness its’ power

To draw King pictures hour after hour.”

 

“Bring me my son, he now needs to learn

It will take some time,” he said with concern.

 

The Finger Prince arrived,  He looked very small

It was hard to imagine him, with pencil at all.

 

“My dear son” said the King. “I am growing old

This Pencil of Power is too hard to hold.”

 

The Prince stepped up

“Father, what can I do?

To become a great King, a King just like you?”

 

Taking a breath the King stood tall

His deep booming voice, echoed out round great hall.

 

“For many years I have ruled these lands

I am the King, the King of Hands.”

 

“But to be this King for all of you

I had to prove what I could do.”

 

“The Pencil of Power is hard to control

And mastering this skill is the only real goal.”

 

“For he who controls the pencil,

As I have shown,

Can rule this Kingdom and sit on this throne.”

 

“You must hold it high and point it down low

And spin it around and make it go slow.”

 

“You must dot all your ‘i’s and cross all you ‘t’s

And when people see this they’ll fall on their knees”

 

“Your writing must be strong

Clear and bold

When using this pencil carved out of gold.”

 

“Do all of this and you’ll be King of Hands

To rule my Kingdom and faraway lands.”

 

And sitting back down the King smiled at this son

“And remember when practising to always have fun!”

 

The Prince looked concerned but someone appeared

With an incredible pencil and a very long beard.

 

“To help, said the King, “I assign the Hand Master

He’ll help you develop these skills so much faster.”

 

“And when you are ready just let me know,

Please do not fail, I don’t want to say no.”

 

So Finger Prince and Hand Master

Started work straight away

They decided to practice at least once every day.

 

“I need a pencil,” said the Prince.

“To practice my hold

My father’s is heavy, it’s made of pure gold”

 

But Hand Master replied

“I do not agree, the time for a pencil

Will be decided by me.”

 

“What?” cried the Prince

“That cannot be true

Give me a pencil, I insist that you do.”

 

But Hand Master stood still

Calm and steady

“You can hold a pencil but once your ready.”

 

“I’ve trained many Kings, some thought they knew best

With the Pencil of Power they failed every test.”

 

We start tomorrow and do not be late

I’ll make you a King

A King that is great.”

 

And with that he vanished

Leaving the Prince all alone

To sit and to dream of his seat on the throne.

 

So very next day they started their work

“Why are we here?” said the Prince with a smirk.

 

The Hand Master replied,

 

“To make the pencil as light as a feather

Your whole body must work

Every part all together.”

 

“Place your crown on your tummy and crawl on your back.

Use both hands and feet you’ll soon get the knack.”

 

So the Prince practiced and practiced

‘Til he could practice no more

“I can’t do this,” cried the Prince

As he lay on the floor.

 

“You can’t do this yet,” said the wise old Master

But every day you practice you’ll get a bit faster.

 

And sure enough these words were true

The Prince walked on his back, crying “Look what I can do!”

 

“Now, I want a pencil?

Said the Prince, “I am ready

I will hold it strong, I will hold it steady.”

 

“No,” said Hand Master, swooshing his cloak.

And with that he vanished in a puff of blue smoke.

 

So the very next day they started again

“I just want a pencil, oh please tell me when?”

 

The Hand Master replied,

 

“To make the pencil as light as a feather

Your whole body must work

Every part all together.”

 

Hand Master pulled out a cloak

It was full of big holes

“You must learn how to sew, that’s one of your goals.”

 

“Thread this needle, in and out

You’ll soon master this soon, of that I’ve no doubt.”

 

So the Prince sewed and he sewed

‘Til he could sew no more

“I can’t do this,” cried the Prince, as he lay on the floor.

 

“You can’t do this yet,” said the wise old Master

“But every day you practice you’ll get a bit faster.”

 

And sure enough these words were true

The Prince finished the cloak yelling, “Look what I can do!”

 

“Now, can I please hold a pencil?

Said the Prince, “I am ready

I will hold it strong, I will hold it steady.”

 

“No” Said Hand Master, swooshing his cloak

And with that he vanished in a puff of pink smoke.

 

So the very next day they started again

“I just want a pencil please tell me when”

 

The Hand Master replied,

 

“To make the pencil as light as a feather

Your whole body must work

Every part altogether.”

 

And taking his Pencil

(While stroking his beard)

He conjured some magic and a piano appeared.

 

“You must play the piano,” said Hand Master to Prince.

“You played when  young, but you haven’t played since.”

 

“Remember to use every finger and thumb

And once you can do this our work is then done.”

 

So the Prince practiced and practiced

‘Til he could practice no more

“I can’t do this,” cried the Prince as he lay on the floor.

 

“You can’t do this yet,” said the wise old Master

But every day you practice you’ll get a bit faster.

 

And sure enough these words were true

The Prince played a concerto singing, “Look what I can do!”

 

“Now, can I please hold a pencil?

Said the Prince, “I am ready

I will hold it strong, I will hold it steady.”

 

And swooshing his cloak

Like a great magic shawl

In a puff of red smoke they were in the grand hall.

 

“Well,” said the King, “This is a surprise.”

“Are you sure you are ready, are you sure this is wise?”

 

“He’s ready,” said Hand Master, swooshing his cloak

And with that he vanished in a puff of green smoke.

 

“Oh no,” thought the Prince, “Where is Hand Master?”

“I can’t hold a pencil, this is a disaster.”

 

“My son, it is time,” said the King of Hands

“To rule this Kingdom and faraway lands.”

 

Holding out the great Pencil the King passed it on

The Prince took the Pencil…it felt rather long.

 

But it didn’t feel strange

It was as light as a feather

His body was working, each part altogether.

 

He held it up high

He pointed it low

He spun it around and made it go slow.

 

He dotted his ‘i’s and crossed all his ‘t’s

And when people saw this they fell to their knees.

 

His writing was strong, it was clear and bold

He could use the pencil, the pencil of gold.

 

“The King,” cried the people

They yelled and they cheered

(Hand Master was there, he was stroking his beard)

 

And he became King, The King of Hands

And he ruled the Kingdom and faraway lands.

 

And when asked how he writes with such skill and precision

He says it was down to one simple decision,

 

To not hold it too soon and to wait until ready

So when the time came he could hold it steady.

 

So if you want to be King then make your hands strong

So that when you are ready you cannot go wrong.

*disclaimer: I’m not an illustrator, just a doodler!

 

The Baby who Loved to Sleep

It’s almost three years ago to the day that I became ‘Mummy’ and I was lucky to have a lovely group of Mums (miss you guys) to hang out with.  We regularly discussed the highs and the lows, the tears and the torments, the sick and the sleep – or should I say lack of it?

That’s how it was for all of us….bar one.  She had a ‘Sleeper’.  I am fairly sure that most of you will know exactly what I mean by this.  The baby that just, well, sleeps….ALL THE TIME!!!  Don’t get me wrong, we loved them both dearly but that doesn’t mean to say we didn’t wish her at least one bad nights sleep!?  Motherhood is cruel like that.

Unfortunately that night never came, she did indeed have a ‘Sleeper’ but thankfully I can create my own endings (mwah ha ha!).

 

THE BABY WHO LOVED TO SLEEP

(you know who you are!)

 

There once was a baby

So cute and so small

Who arrived in this world

With no effort at all.

 

He was so relaxed

He never did cry

Cuddling his Mum

He opened only one eye…

 

To see what was happening

To see who was who

There in the hospital

All shiny and new

But you’ll never believe what he decided to do?

…SLEEP!

They packed up their things

And loaded the car

They strapped in his seat

The journey was far.

He sat there at ease

Not making a sound

But he opened an eye

And looked all around.

To see what was happening

To see who was who

There in the car

A seat with a view

But you’ll never believe what he decided to do!?

…SLEEP!

Arriving at home

The neighbours all came

To see the new baby

He heard them proclaim..

“He’s just so settled!”

They said to each other

He opened an eye

And looked out from the cover.

To see what was happening

To see who was who

All of these people

Bringing him blue.

But you’ll never believe what he decided to do?

…SLEEP!

Then came a smell

From inside his nappy

Surely he’ll wake

And then not be happy?

Legs int he air

As if doing a dance

He opened an eye

And took a quick glance.

To see what was happening

To see who was who

There in his nappy

A smelly big poo.

But you’ll never believe what he decided to do?

…SLEEP!

Into the bathtub

He went with a splash

He played int he water

And had a great thrash.

He made lots of bubbles

In the water he’d play

They used a big sponge

And the dirt washed away.

Dried by the towel

Cosy and warm

He opened an eye

To get pyjamas on.

To see what was happening

To see who was who

Having his milk

In pale gingham blue.

But you’ll never believe what he decided to do?

…SLEEP!

Clean and dry

he was tucked into bed

With his teddy and blanket

His parents both said,

“Goodnight baby boy”

And away they did creep

“I think that tonight

We’ll both get great sleep”

With a kiss on his head

They turned out the light

He opened one eye

And got a terrible fright…

Nothing was happening

There was no one he knew

And you’ll never believe

What he decided to do?

…..SCREAM!!!


 

 

 

 

A Dog Named Kai

I have been digging through my old notebooks recently to have a look at some of the stories I have started but never finished (there are quite a few!).

‘A Dog Named Kai’ was started in February 2015 when a story hit the press about a dog being left at the train station with a suitcase.  Click here to read the article.

At the time I had been focussing my writing around ethical stories – basically stories that had a ’cause’ attached.  The initial idea stemmed from  ‘I Love Birthdays’ with the hope that one day, if the book were to ever be published, the proceeds would go to Kwa Njenga Primary School in Kenya.  Similarly this story, ‘A Dog Named Kai’, was written with the similar aim of supporting a cause but in this instance the SSPCA (The Scottish Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals).
Enjoy the troublesome yet true story of Kai…

A DOG NAMED KAI

There once was a dog

A dog named ‘Kai’

He was the best kind of dog

That money could buy.

 

Loving and friendly

He could do it all

He’d sit very still

Or go fetch a ball.

 

“Look at me!” he would cry

“I can chase my own tail

But when I get close

To catch it I fail.”

 

And that’s when he was no longer for sale.

 

A new home and new owner

He just could not wait.

Arriving at last

He ran through the gate.

 

He looked at his owner

And gave a loud bark

And then played in the garden

Until it was dark.

 

“Look at me!” he would cry

“I can play dead

I can roll on my back

And sleep in my bed.”

 

And with that he received a pat on the head.

 

That night he was scared

No one was there

Alone in the dark

Why didn’t they care?

 

He scratched and he whimpered

When at last he saw light

But all that he heard was

“Be quiet, GOODNIGHT!”

 

“Look at me!” he would cry

I just want to play

To cuddle with you

Till the dark goes away.

 

But he didn’t see anyone until the next day.

 

Finally the morning

Not sure what to do

He was still locked inside

But he needed a poo!

 

He looked and he scratched

But no where to go

He cried and he barked

To let someone know.

 

“Look at me!” he would cry.

As he rattled door

But then it just happened

Right there on the floor.

 

They don’t seem to love me as much any more.

 

The very next day

He set out to impress

He did lots of tricks

To make up for his mess.

 

He’d sit and he’d listen

He’d do all he was told

He’d follow his owner

And be good as gold.

 

“Look at me!” he would cry

“Aren’t I the best?

Give me a challenge

Just give me a test!”

 

But his owner just sat there and shouted, “YOU PEST!”

 

Left out in the garden

All on his own

He longed for some food

Or a tasty beef bone.

 

He didn’t know where

His owner had gone

He hoped that he wouldn’t

Be gone very long.

 

“Look at me!” he would cry

But no one replied

Nothing worked

No matter how hard he tried.

 

And that night in his bed he cried and he cried.

Finally he woke

And went out to the park

He was so excited

He started to bark!

 

He pulled on his lead

Wanting to run

He wanted to play

And go and have fun.

 

“Look at me!” he would cry

“Please throw me a stick

I’ll fetch it right back

And give you a lick!”

 

But all that he got was a very hard kick.

 

He was so confused

What had he done wrong?
It felt like his owner

Just wanted him gone.

 

“Oh dear” thought Kai

Feeling quite sad

I just want to play

I don’t mean to be bad.

 

He fetched a stick

He chased after a ball

He sat really beautifully

Not moving at all.

 

He held out his paw

He begged for a treat

He stayed on this lead

And walked down the street.

 

He licked and he smiled

He did all that he could

He sat and behaved

Like a good doggy should.

 

“Look at me!” he would cry

As he jumped over a log

“Or if you would rather

We could go for a jog?”

 

But the only response was….”I’m done with you dog.”

 

“Oh no” thought Kai

“What can I do?”

“ I’ve really done everything

To try and please you.”

 

“I feel I’m not wanted

I don’t really know why,”

And with that he let out

A really big sigh…

 

“Look at me?” He tried

As he lay not he floor

“Nobody loves me

Not any more.”

 

And with that all he heard was, “Just go, there’s the door…”

 

Packing a suitcase

With all that he had

(His owner ignored him

And seemed rather glad.)

 

“I’m leaving,” he barked.

But he got no reply.

Then finally an answer…

“Good riddance, goodbye.”

 

And with that Kai left with a tear in his eye.

 

He strolled down the street

Not sure where to go

He felt the rain falling

He felt the wind blow.

 

Turning a corner

He looked all around

He pricked up his ears

And heard a strange sound…

 

“A train!” he barked.

“That’s where I should head

The train station might have

Some food and a bed?”

 

Straight down the steps

He arrived at the station

He looked all about

With great trepidation.

 

The station was busy

He sat by a chair

He looked for an owner

Just someone who’d care.

 

He put out a paw

He’d sit and he’d stay.

He heard a man saying,

“Aw look, it’s a stray!”

 

Then suddenly a man from the SSPCA.

(*The Scottish Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals)

 

In the back of a van

With food and a bone

A man with kind eyes

He was no longer alone.

 

Finally arriving

He got a long walk

They gave him a bath

They sat down to talk.

 

“Look at me,” he cried

“I can ran really fast!”

They threw him a ball

He was happy at last.

 

With food in his belly

A soft place to sleep

He arranged all his blankets

And collapsed in a heap.

 

But just as he dosed

There came a loud cry

“You’re in the paper

Look, it’s you Kai!”

 

“Me?” he thought. “Really – but why?”

 

But there was his photo

Suitcase and all

“WANTED – NEW OWNER”

And a number to call.

 

Kai jumped up excited

He ran round and round

He ran and he danced

He rolled on the ground.

 

But then he stopped

“Will they know I need space?”

“Will they take me for walks?”

“Throw a ball I can chase?”

 

“Don’t worry,” said the man.

“We know what to do

We’ll find you a family

That’s perfect for you.”

 

And sure enough

The very next day

A family came

And took Kai away.

 

They took him for walks.

They threw him a ball.

He’d run and he’d chase

And come back when they call.

 

Happy at last

They all played together

Kai and his family

Together forever.

Own your Emotions – meet the EMOs!

So, I have been thinking about mental health a lot recently.

Mainly because I have a daughter, which means I over-think E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G, and partially because I’ve seen friends, family, and at points myself, battle with mental health.

I’m a firm believer in the influential role of the early years in shaping adults for the future and so I have decided to write a series (yikes…a series!?) of books to encourage young children to identify and talk about their emotions in the hope that, one day, they will feel confident to speak to someone when they feel an emotion that is strong or impacting on them negatively.

I have based the series, and the emotions (known as EMOs!), on Robert Pultchik’s theory on emotions.  To summarise there are 8 but each within a spectrum.  See below…

 

If you are interested in finding out more click here.  I don’t want to bore you with the science bit!

The series will include the 8 emotions as creatures, each with their own story to tell, and an introduction (see below) which will also either be a story or a song…if I can think of a chorus and a tune!  I am hoping that once the series is complete it can be used in classrooms and nurseries to support teachers and children in talking about and discussing their emotions.  Would appreciate any feedback on this as I will be working on the series over the next few months and direction of this idea is still up for discussion!

So sit back, relax and meet your emotions, otherwise known as your EMOs…



Own your Emotions

There are lots of things inside your body

From your head down to your toes

But there are other things you cannot see

We call them our EMOs!

They’re little quiet creatures

That come from deep inside

It’s important that you spot them

And that you don’t let them hide.

They’re really our emotions

And knowing them is wise

For if you do not spot them

They’ll catch you by surprise

Sometimes when you can feel them

You won’t know what to do

But you don’t need to worry

Because they all belong to you.

All you have to do is spot them

And recognise they’re there

Everybody has their own EMOs

It’s something we all share.

And here they are to meet you

There are 8 that you should know

Out they come, one by one

They’ve come to say ‘Hello!’

The yellow EMO is called HAPPY

Just look at that big smile

Bubby and bright, a cheery sight

Let’s hope she stays a while.

The green EMO is known as TRUST

He’s often hard to spot

But when you really need someone

You’ll feel him quite a lot.

The dark green EMO is called FEAR

She doesn’t stay for long

But when you’re scared or unprepared

She can feel very strong.

The purple EMO is SURPRISE

He may jump out on you

When you’re not aware or didn’t care

He’ll appear and shout out ‘BOO!’

The pink EMO is called DISGUST

She can start very small

But the more you care you’ll feel her there

Growing big and tall.

The blue EMO is known as SAD

She often brings on tears

She hangs about and brings on doubt

Until the feeling clears.

The red EMO, you’ll probably know

ANGER is his name

He’s easy to spot, firey and hot

And difficult to tame.

The orange EMO has a big long name

He’s a really great creation

Bringing excitement and some nerves

He’s called ANTICIPATION.

So now you’ve met them

Don’t forget them

Remember they there

Waiting for the perfect chance

To come out of their lair.

So if you’re feeling full of joy

Or even sad and blue

Just think “Which EMO could this be?”

And you’ll know just what to do.

 

 

 

 

 

Daddy, that’s my Humous!

Since the arrival of our daughter my husband seems to have found his inner-child (on second thoughts not sure he ever lost it!)  If he isn’t playing with her toys, he’s eating her food or pinching her juice.  Some clear favourites are Pom Bears, Petit Filous, BabyBel and he loves to watch Trolls.

…although eating an Ella’s pouch was a low in Daddy World.  Definitely not as good as they look, ha ha!

I previously wrote a nice wee-ditty about “Mummy’ so I guess this is the follow-up ‘Daddy’ version.  It’s slightly shorter than I’d like so if you have anything to add that you know Daddies like to pinch let me know!  🙂

Daddy, this is my story…

 

Daddy, that’s my Humous

 Daddy, that’s my humous

Daddy, that’s my cheese

Daddy, that’s my juice

Can I hear a ‘please’?

 

Daddy, that’s my favourite ball

Daddy, that’s my chair

Daddy that’s my water pistol

You’re spraying everywhere!

 

Daddy, that’s my ice cream

Daddy, that’s my cone

Daddy, they’re my sprinkles

Go and get your own!

 

Daddy, that’s my hairbrush

Daddy, that’s my pen

Daddy that’s my paper

You want to use again!

 

Daddy that’s my biscuit

Daddy, that’s my cake

Daddy, that’s my favourite snack

Oh for goodness sake!

 

Daddy that’s my fork

Daddy that’s my spoon

Daddy that’s my pasta

You’ll get your dinner soon!

 

Daddy that’s my bike

Daddy that’s my cap

Daddy that’s my football goals

Please now give them back?

 

Daddy that’s my toothbrush

And that is my shampoo

Daddy’s those are my bath toys

They are not meant for you!

 

Daddy, that’s my blanket

And Daddy, that’s my bed…

But with that grin I’ll cuddle in

And share with you instead.

Alma and the Problem with the Beard

I had a Dad with a beard.  It didn’t really bother me, in fact I would say I didn’t really notice that other Dads didn’t have beards.  The beard was just ways there.  Yet, when Alma called me to ask how I coped with prickly, scratchy kisses it got me thinking – how would I have solved the problem of the prickly beard?

I was also visiting Alma and Jasper at the weekend so bashed out a beardy book for them to enjoy…hope you do too!

(*I also now have a YouTube Channel where you can listed to the story being read! 

Alma and the Problem with the Beard

Alma loved her Daddy, he was big and he was strong

But something really bothered her, something felt quite wrong.

He was funny and he was silly and he let her jump in great big puddles.

He was kind and he was caring and he gave great Daddy cuddles.

But the problem had always been there and it bothered her, quite so.

She tried hard to forget it but decided he should know.

So, one night after brushing teeth and having stories read.

She waited for her moment as she lay in her bed.

Cuddling up all snug with teddy, Daddy turned off the light

He kissed her very gently and whispered  ‘Good night”.

“That’s it,” said Alma, “I can take it no more”

(It had happened again but worse than before)

“What’s wrong?” asked her Daddy

And her brother appeared

And taking a breath she pointed

“It’s your beard…”

“My beard!?” said Daddy

“What ever do you mean?”

“I cut it and I trim it and I keep it so clean”

Her brother laughed, but Alma let out a great sigh

“I’ve got a problem with your beard so let me tell you why…”

“It prickles and scratches and I don’t like it near my face

And when you cut it, it leaves hairs, in every little place.”

“And it’s never really all that tidy and it’s never ever neat

It’s filled with beard crumbs and who knows what

Every time you eat.”

“And worst of all, it’s a funny shade of grey, now that you’re getting old

That great big horrible smelly beard all crusty with food mould.”

Daddy looked rather sad, stroking at his beard

“This is worse than I had ever thought,”

“This is worse than I had feared.”

Her brother exclaimed, “I have a great plan!”

“Let’s cover the beard, with strawberry jam!”

“Strawberry jam?!” shrieked Alma

“That’s rather weird, but it could solve the problem

Of the prickly beard?”

So the very next day it was jam that they used

Spread onto the beard

(Mummy looked quiet amused!)

“Kiss me,” said Alma, but flies had appeared

Feasting on jam on this great jammy beard.

“Yuck!” exclaimed Alma, “This just will not do

I can’t kiss a beard full of flies and jam goo!”

Her brother pondered, “Now let me think

We could try some tinfoil from under the sink?”

So the very next day it was tinfoil they used

And they wrapped up the beard

(Mummy looked on amused!)

“Kiss me,” said Alma, but a hard shape had appeared

The silver sharp tinfoil wrapped round Daddy’s beard.

“Ouch!” cried Alma, “I can’t even get near

To give Daddy a kiss this is impossible I fear.”

Her brother then shouted, “I know what to do

Why don’t we flatten it using some glue?”

“Glue?!” shrieked Alma, “That’s rather weird”

“But it could solve the problem

Of the prickly beard?”

So the very next day it was glue that they used

They stuck down the beard

(Mummy still looked amused!)

“Kiss me,”said Alma, but she stuck to his face

“Help! Get me down, I need my own space!”

“Disaster” sobbed Alma, “It makes everything stick.

We need something else

We need something quick!”

Her brother suggested, “We could give this a go?”

He had a large box

Marked with ‘PLAY-DOUGH’

“Playdough?!” shrieked Alma, “That’s rather weird”

“But it could solve the problem

Of the prickly beard?”

So the very next day it was playdough they used

All over the beard

(Mummy was very amused)

“Kiss me,” said Alma. It prickled no more.

But pulling away it all fell on the floor.

“Oh no” cried Alma, “It doesn’t stay on

This prickly beard will never be gone.”

And feeling quite glum left with prickles again

She headed to bed but suddenly then…

Daddy came in.

He looked really weird.

He face was all smooth – there was no hairy beard!

“Daddy?” asked Alma, “Is that really you?”

Looking quite closely not sure what to do.

Her brother jumped in and got quite a fright

“That isn’t my Daddy he doesn’t look right.”

Examining him closely not liking the change

Alma gave a great wail, “You look really strange!”

“But it’s me!” yelled Daddy, giving them both a smooth kiss

“Oh dear,” said Alma, “It’s the beard that we miss.”

“We didn’t like the prickles or the way that it grew

But one thing was for sure it was definitely you.”

And hugging them both Daddy gave a great smile

“Next time I’ll stick to my own beardy style.”

And they all laughed together and it eventually grew

The beard they all hated but really loved too.

 

The End.

Alma and the Broken Bone

I am happy to admit, this is not my best effort.  Yet, strangely, I really enjoyed writing this – I didn’t think too hard about it, I didn’t focus on it making complete sense and I didn’t think about any other impact (my stories tend to have an educational/moral slant to them) other than making a little girl called Alma smile.

Alma is 5 and last week she broke her collarbone.  What makes this a particularly miserable break is the fact that there is no cast, there is no ‘quick-fix’ and it’s just sore until it is better…which sucks if you are 5.  Alma has a younger brother called Jasper and, generally speaking, they are usually the best of friends so I wanted a story that would include both of them going on an adventure to fix her bone.

What I actually enjoyed most about this little creation is that this is actually my first ‘published’ book.  *take the word ‘published with a pinch of salt.



In order to give a book to Alma about her broken bone I had to create it.  This was relatively easy (bar printing pages upside down, back-t0-front, higgilty piggilty..etc) with the help of a laminator, some crayons and a long arm stapler.

Long story short, I got into real teacher mode and made the book. From beginning to end it took a grand totally of 4 hours.  That included the story, the illustrations (not sure you can really call them that but we will for the benefit of this blog post!) and the publishing.  Yes it’s a bit sketchy in places, the drawings are pretty amateur and the story line is a bit…well…odd, but when I heard how delighted Alma was with the book all of that didn’t really matter.  More importantly, it was awesome for me to see a book right the way through from beginning to end.  Makes me even more driven to actually get some of my work published – without the use of a laminator.

Enjoy ‘Alma and the Broken Bone’…

Alma and the Broken Bone

By Corrina Campbell

 

Alma had a broken bone

And when she broke it

She gave a moan…

“My bone, my bone

This is not a joke

I firmly believe

My bone is broke”

“It’s ok Alma”

Said Jasper her bro

“We’ll buy a new one

Come on let’s go.”

So Jasper and Alma went to the shops

To buy a new bone

(and some lollipops!)

They found a shop

Not far from their home

“I wonder if this shop

Will sell a new bone?”

“Excuse me,” said Alma

(she was very polite)

I’m looking for a bone

That is strong and white.

“I have just what you want,”

Said the man with a smile.

“It’s white and it’s sparkly

It’s the –bang-on-trend style!”

Pulling out a box

He presented a phone

Jasper laughed

“That’s not a bone!”

“Oh no!” cried Alma

“This just will not do!”

And leaving the shop

She shouted “Thank you!”

Crossing the street

Not wanting a phone

They found another shop

“Will this sell a bone?”

There were lots of people

Who looked very smart

The walls displayed graphs

Some pictures, a chart.

“Excuse me,” said Alma

(she was very polite)

I’m looking for a bone

That is strong and white.

“I have just what you want,”

Said the man with a smile.

“A sensible option

It’s just in this file…”

“How much money do you want

To take out as a loan?”

Jasper laughed

“That’s not a bone!”

“Oh no!” cried Alma

“This just will not do!”

And leaving the shop

She shouted “Thank you!”

Looking next door

Not wanting a loan

There was a small shop

“Will this sell a bone?”

There were lots of colours

And it smelt very sweet

There were jars stacked high

Ridged and neat.

“Excuse me,” said Alma

(she was very polite)

I’m looking for a bone

That is strong and white.

“I have just what you want,”

Said the girl with a smile.

Leading them down

To the far end of the aisle.

“Which ice cream would you like

To have on your cone?”

Jasper laughed

“That’s not a bone!”

“Oh no!” cried Alma

“This just will not do!”

And leaving the shop

She shouted “Thank you!”

Feeling quite glum

Not wanting a cone

There was one more shop

That might sell a bone.

It was gold and silver

It was very grand

And sign on the door said

“DRAGONS ARE BANNED”

“Excuse me,” said Alma

(she was very polite)

I’m looking for a bone

That is strong and white.

“I have just what you want,”

The lady said with a smile.

You’re my first prince and princess

I’ve had here in a while.”

It had diamonds and pearls

A truly great throne

But Jasper laughed

“That’s not a bone!”

“Oh no!” cried Alma

“This just will not do!”

And leaving the shop

She shouted “Thank you!”

Both feeling sad

They had to head home

It just wasn’t possible

To buy a new bone.

Their Daddy was there

“What’s wrong?” he cried

“I’ve broken a bone.”

Alma sighed.

“Oh no!” said Daddy

“Oh poor little you

Let’s find Mummy

She’ll know what to do.”

“Mummies know everything,”

Jasper said with a wink

Then Mummy appeared

“Now, let me think…”

“The bone that you broke

Does not need a cast

So you don’t need to worry

Because it will heal fast.

Your body is clever

It knows what to do

And before you know it

You’ll be back to brand new.

You’ll need to be brave

It will be quite sore

But until it is better

You can have lollies galore!”

“Hooray!” cried Alma

“I don’t need a new bone

Or a phone, a loan

A cone or a throne!”

“But Alma,”

Asked Jasper

“I want one too

A broken bone, just like you.”

“It’s ok” Said Alma

“There is somewhere I know

That’s sells broken bones

Come on, let’s go.”