Birthday! Birthday! Party Time! Party Time!

It’s party time! Gennie and I are three days away from being one year older! Thanks for helping us celebrate!

Word lists and prizes:

Original contest announcement:

Before you submit your entry, doublecheck the following:

  • To be officially considered for prizes, you must fill out and submit the entry form below by 11:59 p.m. EST on Sunday, November 21.
  • Your story must include at least one word from each birthday girl’s list.
  • Note that italics, bold, and other formatting won’t show up on the Google form (we’re sorry!).
  • Make sure to select the teal “Submit” button at the end of the entry form below.
  • If you want others (aside from the judges) to be able to read your story, you need to also include your story as a comment below. Note, though, that stories in comments don’t count as entries. Make sure to fill in the official entry form below. Gennie and I won’t be reading comments until after the judging is complete (we’ll be judging based off the Google form, where we can hide names).
  • If you post your story on your own blog, feel free to include the link (to the specific post) in the entry form and in your comment below.

[THE FORM IS NOW CLOSED. Please enjoy reading the entries in the comments below! And stay tuned for the winners to be announced in early December. Thanks for joining us!]

We’re so glad you decided to celebrate with us! We hope you had fun, and we can’t wait to read your fantastic! fantastic! stories.

–Gennie and Amy!

243 thoughts on “Birthday! Birthday! Party Time! Party Time!

  1. Never Sea
    by Anne Lipton
    (100 words)

    Aquabelle won’t go to sleep.
    She grows hungry counting sheep.
    She wants a drink, a snack, a bite—
    another salty fish goodnight!

    She asks to read her favorite book
    with Tinkerbell and Captain Hook.
    “That was good! Now sing to me
    of twinkling stars and mighty sea.”

    Soon Aquabelle appears to snooze.
    She floats off on a moonlit cruise,
    where swimming dolphins brave the dark,
    but shy away from toothy shark.

    Fair Aqua flicks her tail with flair,
    and sea life scatters everywhere.
    Beware the briny ocean deep,
    for sharks like Aqua never sleep—
    but they really love to eat!

    1. Oooh! Didn’t see that coming! Nice meter, awesome story pacing and imagery. ^__^

      1. Thanks, Vanessa!

      1. Thanks, Katie!

    2. I love the contrast of the expectation set by the character asking “Now sing to me
      of twinkling stars and mighty sea” and then the identity reveal–great twist!

      1. Thanks, Carrie!

    3. Love this, Anne! Great rhythm, fun images, and a great ending. Love the name too!

      1. Thanks, Sarah!

    4. This is so fun to read! I love the ending twist!

      1. Thanks, Julie!

    5. I am super impressed with how you went off to a completely unexpected and wonderful place with the words form the lists. Great rhyme and fun read!

      1. Thanks, Lori!

      1. Thanks, Julie!

      1. Thanks, Susan!

    6. Fun to read aloud, dark ending, and super fun overall! Great story! Love the language . . .

      1. Thanks, Tonnye!

    7. I love the imagery you’ve created here and the rhyme and meter add extra sparkle to the story. Nice work!

      1. Thanks, Becky!

    8. Whew! Haunting, beautiful, and darkly funny.

      1. Thanks, David!

    9. Yikes! Fun story, Anne!

      1. Thanks, Karyn!

    10. Super cute! And even more fun to read the second time after knowing the end!

      1. Thanks x 2, Jana!!

    11. Love this nautical rhyme!!

      1. Thanks, Laken!

  2. Wacky Hair Day
    by Rachel Rizzuto
    (100 words)
    Toni had bad luck with hair. A volumizing, texturizing haircut only made her flat, thin, straight hair flat, thin, straight, and short. Thus, Wacky Hair Day presented a particularly deflating conundrum. Until her search savvy sister discovered the solution – pineapple hair! Saturday, they read blogs and watched videos. Sunday, they practiced. Monday morning, a fantastic crown of spiky hair sprouted from Toni’s head. She leapt from Dad’s van, hardly believing her luck. Then, the deluge. Inside, drips from her limp ponytail masked her tears. An equally soaked friend smiled and said, “Gosh, lucky thing Wacky Hair Day is next week!”

    1. So cute, Rachel – a double twist! 😀

    2. Wonderful humorous writing with fantastic twists (!) and an incredibly inventive use of “pineapple.”.

    3. How fun! “Then the deluge” would be a full page spread all to itself, it’s so good.

    4. Great twist, Rachel! I like your word choices like “search savvy sister” and “fantastic crown of spiky hair sprouted…”

    5. Pineapple hair! So creative. I can visualize these vivid events so clearly. Bravo!

  3. Oh what fun! Thanks Amy and Gennie for doing this, and happiest of birthdays to you both! The words are so delightful. I couldn’t decide so I used them all in this silly little story. =)

    (100 words)

    Henry the turtle has a conundrum. (That means a BIG problem!)
    Today’s Slurpy’s birthday.
    But Henry monkeyed around and snoozed too late.

    It’s almost party time.
    Don’t miss the puzzles, the crafts, the milk & cookies… and the CAKE!
    Henry wraps the present: a baseball mitt!
    “Slurpy loves baseball.”

    Henry inches to the river,
    but swimming across would take forever.

    HEY, LOOK! A pineapple.
    Henry loves pineapples.
    He munches and munches.

    And, munches!


    HEY, LOOK! A pineapple boat!
    Henry climbs inside, and…

    across the river.

    “Hi Henry! You’re just in time.”
    “Hi Slurpy! Happy birthday!”

    1. Wow! So cool, I can’t believe you managed to work in all of the words! :o)

    2. hahahah so cute and fun, Tony!!! So so good!!!!

    3. Awe-inspiring use of all the words from the lists in an entertaining story with vivid voice.

    4. Oh, my silliness!
      Great job incorporating all the words and making such a loving friendship in Henry and Slurpy.

    5. Fun! Love the pineapple boat and how you used ALL the words. Excellent!

    6. What fun! And so clever that you were able to use all of the words! Wonderful job!


    By Vanessa Konoval


    Rabbit squinted at Turtle.

    Turtle blinked at Rabbit.


    Both animals picked up their milkshakes, stuck in their straws, and started to drink.


    But Turtle just gave a little sip. A little smack of the lips. A satisfied “Ahh.”

    The crowd cheered. “Rabbit’s in the lead! Turtle, catch up!”


    Sip. Smack. Ahh.

    “Turtle!!! Rabbit’s almost halfway done!”

    “Rab-bit! Rab-bit! Rab-bit!”


    Sip. Smack. Ahh.

    “Rabbit’s almost done! There’s no way–”


    “Ohhhhhhhh,” Rabbit groaned from the floor, head in paws. “Brain…freeze!”

    The crowd roared.

    Twenty minutes and eighty sip-smack-ahhs later…

    “And the winner is…TURTLE!”

    1. My brain is full—of admiration. A delicious twist on a classic with outstanding pacing and onomatopoeia.

    2. Fantastic onomatopoeia use, love your way of retelling the story and making it fresh and… ahh… satisfying.

    3. FUN! Love the repetition of Sip. Smack. Ahh. and SLUUUUUURRRP! As someone who gets brain freezes, I felt Rabbit’s pain. 🙂

    4. A slurping contest – how delicious!

    5. This is so much fun! I can just hear Turtle sipping away at his milkshake.

    6. This is so clever! I love twists on classic tales and I especially love Turtle’s milkshake-slurping strategy.

    7. Great use of slurp, and love the twist on Tortoise and the Hare. Funny!


    By Vanessa Konoval

    Long-legged Inspector Macacque paced before the assembled, scowling creatures.

    “Who could have done it?” No-one spoke. “WHO bonked poor, wide-eyed little Tree Tarsius here on the head, under this very tree?!”

    “Was it proud Maleo Bird, angry at Tarsius’ laughing at her chicks?…

    …quiet Babirusa Boar, enraged when Tarsius stole his fruit?…

    …Or Anoa Buffalo, just to be a bully?”

    Inspector Macacque glared. “A conundrum! Three big, tough beasties, all with motive, all with opportunity, all with—”


    A coconut fell out of the tree and sent the lanky monkey sprawling.

    “Ah-hah!” squeaked Tarsius. “The COCONUT did it!”

    1. Haha this is super cute! I love a good mystery! That sneaky coconut!

    2. Delightful mystery in a (coco)nut shell with an amazing cast of characters and panopoly of STEM elements.

    3. I would 100% read this picture book, it reminds me of watching the Kratt brothers shows.

    4. Love it! A mystery in less than 100 words!

    5. I had to google Macacque to see what these guys look like– so cute! What a fun cast of characters, strong voice, and excellent ending.

    6. Great slapstick mystery

  6. Checkout my medium link

    The Cookie Conundrum
    Lori C Evans

    Amy Monkey boarded the bus.
    She sat by Gennie Turtle, if you could call
    climbing, perching, and jumping, sitting.
    “Swimming, baseball, here we come! Which sport do you like?”

    “I prefer cooking. And crafts. Have a home-made elephant ear.”
    Gennie held out a sack and slurped some soy milk.

    The girls polished off a puzzlebook on the way to camp.


    It’s Amy’s birthday!
    Gennie snoozed, considering a sweet surprise.
    Chocolate chip, oatmeal, snickerdoodle?
    Yummy, but too common.
    In the camp kitchen, Gennie secretly baked.

    Amy swung from a tree, snagged a cookie, somersaulted, and sampled.
    “Pineapple cookies?

    (Want to try pineapple cookies? These are good. .

    1. Very cute image, and a fun way to cram all of the words in! Makes me want to read a whole PB set in this cute-little-animal summer camp. ^__^

      1. Thanks! Great idea- might have to give it a try.

    2. Impressive use of all the words via a sublime depiction of a friendship between characters with very different personalities.

      1. Thank you!

    3. Sweet friends! Incorporating all the words with a 100 word limit is a tall order, but you did it well.

    4. Love it! The cute characters, so aptly named, the camp setting, the sweet conundrum, and the delightful ending.

    By Jana Mattern
    100 Words

    “MORE APPLES!” Evangeline demanded.
    She ate applesauce,
    apple muffins,
    apple pie,
    and apple jelly sandwiches.
    As long as she had apples, she was happy.

    But eventually,
    their apple trees became bare,
    the stores sold out of apples,
    and there was not a single apple left in the world.

    “MORE APPLES!” Evangeline demanded.
    Her mom offered cookies and cakes and custards.
    But Evangeline only wanted apples.
    “MORE APPLES!” she demanded.

    Then her mom brought her a new piece of fruit.
    “Ouch! It feels like a pine cone!”
    Evangeline scowled.
    She tasted.
    She paused.
    Finally, she looked up and yelled,
    “MORE pineAPPLES!”.

    1. Hahahaha nice twist!

      1. Thanks Vanessa!

    2. hahahha, Jana! Funny ending!!!

      1. Thank you Kim-Hoa!

      1. Thank you Katie!

    3. Cute!! I love the name Evangeline and how she knew exactly what she wanted– so kidlike. My story has a pineapple twist ending as well. 🙂

      1. Thanks Sarah! When I read yours I thought – great minds think alike! We both used the pineapple twist ending!

    4. A tantalizing tale illustrating the limits of single-mindedness and the virtue of trying something new.

      1. Thanks Anne!

    5. So fun! I can just imagine little Evangeline in the illustrations.

      1. Thanks Tonnye!

    6. My son is obsessed with apples so this hit home for me. Nice story!

      1. Thanks David!

  8. Elephant Cake | By Catherine Catcho | 100 Words

    Let’s talk about the elephant in the room: your birthday cake.
    We sang.
    You wished.
    Now we have a life-sized elephant to eat.
    What conundrum?
    Show how to enjoy this half-ton crumb by crumb!

    Step 1: Shoes off! You’ll need this ladder and utensil bag.

    Step 2: SQUISH. Dig your fingers in and grab hold.

    Step 3: Taste test! Mmmm. Buttercream.

    Step 4: Slide down. Roll the cake to the zoo.

    Step 5: Delegate the monkeys to spread the word. And the big cats to slice & serve.

    Step 6. Hang out and hug the real elephants. (For they are disturbed.)

    1. Very cute! I like how you gave the steps. 🙂

    2. I was already giggling, but that ending parenthetical was a perfect laugh out loud!

      1. My mom has said this saying all my life, and I wanted to give a “birthday” version of it. TY for your kind comment!

    3. Such a fun and original interactive story with terrific action and sensory description.

    4. “Let’s talk about the elephant in the room…”–great 1st line! I’m immediately hooked & want to know more. “Half-ton crumb by crumb”–excellent read-aloud quality. Plus I’m always a sucker for a list. Good work.

      1. Thanks for your sweet comments Carrie.
        It’s inspiring me to turn it into a PB.

    5. Ha ha!. I really like, “Slide down. Roll the cake to the zoo.” and the last line is perfect.

  9. Happy almost birthday, and thanks for the contest! I wanted to try to go as all-in as possible on “conundrum”. It was fun!

    By David Filmore

    This monkey Mel, she loves to drum
    to tap, to roll, to strike, to thumb.
    But sometimes when she taps a beat
    Mel loses track of her two feet.

    Then comes another kind of drum.
    It’s one we call a conundrum.
    That’s not a drum that Mel can tap.
    It’s getting lost without a map.

    Conundrums come when monkeys drum
    instead of minding where they’re from.
    Mel could pause now and look around
    but then she’d miss this rockin’ sound.

    This monkey Mel, she loves to drum
    no matter what the conundrum.

    1. Love the jazzy beat and the clever wordplay!

    2. That’s fun to read out loud, and it really would help kids grasp the concept of a conundrum.

    3. Amazing use of conundrum in a poem. I love how the rhythm echoes a drum.

    4. This is so much fun to read aloud! I love the second stanza and “It’s like getting lost without a map.”

    5. I love how you used the drum/conundrum pun. Great sing-songy word play.

    6. This feels like a updated/modern version of ‘hand, hand, finger, thumb’ and I’m here for it.
      👍👍 🙂

    7. I love the rhyme and play on words. What a great read aloud!

  10. I Don’t Wanna
    Katie Fischer

    Tick tock
    Time to get up…
    I don’t wanna!

    Crunch munch
    Time for breakfast…
    I don’t wanna!

    Scribble scritch
    Time for school…
    I don’t wanna!

    Whoosh swoosh
    Time for ball…
    I don’t wanna!

    Scooch scoop
    Time to pick up…
    I don’t wanna!

    Rub scrub
    Time for teeth…
    I don’t wanna!

    Tick tock
    Time for bed?

    Oooo snooze…

    1. Really cool way to tell a story. Also, I feel this on a personal level ^__^

      1. It’s definitely a situation both kids and adults can come together on.

      2. Love this! Very relatable, since I am not a morning person.

      3. So fun and relatable!

      1. Especially as it gets colder where I am this is a more and more common occurrence.

    2. Mood! A clever combination of lyrical and humorous writing.

    3. Love your pairings—crunch munch tick tock, whoosh swoosh, scribble scratch–they create a nice rhythm and are fun to say. And now I’m sleepy too. 😉

    4. great onomatopoeia!

    5. Perfect! That’s what I want right now too! Great use of language! I really enjoyed your story!

      1. Thank you. Isn’t staying snuggled up what we all want in winter?

    6. Love the format, fun words, repetition, and stubborn insistence that is oh so familiar!

      1. Thank you, I was trying for something adults and kids could both relate to.

    7. What a fun structure and build up to finding out what they did want. All for it to loop back to the beginning to be sleeping. Great job, Katie! I enjoyed reading it. Good luck!

      1. Thanks, I love loop-around stories but I don’t often write them so this was fun to do.

  11. Thanks for putting on this fantastic contest! And HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY to both of you!

    (WC 100)

    Ahoy from Pirate Ship Park!
    Binoculars in hand, I scale the rope to the lookout.
    Yo ho ho!
    Booty ahead! X marks the spot.
    I’ll have to cross shark-infested waters to claim it.
    With a daring whoosh, I whiz down the slide and leap to the seesaw plank.
    Shiver me timbers.
    The sharks look hungry.
    I bravely balance across and vault onto the monkey bars.
    Heave ho!
    I will not become shark bait!
    I swing to the picnic table, where my treasure awaits.
    A brown bag with a note:
    Love, Mom”
    Even a swashbuckler needs a snack!

    1. So fun. I love the big reveal, and creative use of the contest words!

    2. This is delightful, Katie! Love “With a daring whoosh, I whiz down the slide . . .” and all the fun action.

    3. A cracking yarn about the power of imagination. I love the echo of ‘X marks the spot’ in Mom’s XOXO.

    4. what a fun way to envision the playground!

    By Judy Sobanski (100 words)

    Monkey spread the word around the Rain Forest.
    Birthday party for Turtle! Two o’clock today!
    Next, Monkey asked Turtle to gather some bananas.
    While Turtle was gone, Monkey and his friends:
    Crafted party hats and a sign.
    Strung vines with water lilies.
    Made a coconut punch.
    “Get ready to yell ‘SURPRISE!’,” said Monkey.
    No Turtle.
    They waited.
    Eventually, the sun set and the moon rose.
    When Turtle finally returned, everyone was asleep.
    “A party for me? How wonderful! It must be a slumber party.”
    Turtle closed his eyes and dreamed of the coconut punch they’d have in the morning.

    1. Oh, that was so cute. Great pacing, too – hard to do with so few words!

    2. What a delightful ending! The friends were all so thoughtful and turtle was sweetly positive about the situation.

    3. A beautifully quiet story about finding happiness and contentment at your own pace.

    4. LOL — sometimes being slow has its issues. I hope Turtle gets to enjoy his coconut punch!

  13. Thanks so much for hosting this fun new contest, Amy and Gennie! Happy birthday!

    Here’s my blog post:

    Piper’s Pumpkin Party
    By Sarah Meade
    Word Count: 100

    Piper’s having a party! A PUMPKIN party!
    She picks up her pen to plan.
    She’ll pour pumpkin punch,
    serve pumpkin cookies and pumpkin pie,
    and create pumpkin pyramids!
    She’ll procure plenty of pumpkins for crafts, too.
    Now all Piper needs is . . . pumpkins.
    When she reaches the pumpkin patch– the sign says SOLD OUT.
    Piper frowns.
    She tries the farm down the road– NO PUMPKINS.
    Piper pouts.
    Finally at the supermarket– not a pumpkin to be purchased.
    Piper PANICS!
    No pumpkins?!
    She ponders.
    She peruses the produce section.
    Then . . .
    Piper spies a sale . . . Aha!
    Piper’s having a party.
    A PINEAPPLE party!

    1. Fun alliteration, and I love the pineapple party twist!:)

    2. Alliteration, resilience, and festivity all in one micro-PB? Yes, please!!

    3. Pumpkin pyramids sounds like an excellent activity! Haha- love the use of all the p’s!

    4. With her peerless adaptability, perspicacious Piper makes a perfect party planner

      1. Perspicacious is SUCH a great word and a new one to me! Thanks, Anne!

    5. Great alliteration! Love Piper’s ingenuity

      1. Thank you, Becky! I appreciate your kind words.

    6. Love the alliteration and all the fun party details. We were definitely thinking along the same lines with the pineapple twist – great minds think alike!

  14. Stink Fairy’s Smelly-bration
    By Stacey Miller
    100 words

    Stink Fairy had brewed the whiffiest, spiffiest pongiest potion for the Rotten Realm Smelly-bration when…
    She tripped over a Drain Dreg and her pongy potion dripped down the drain.
    “Oh bursting boils… there’s only one thing to do,” cried Stink Fairy.
    She whooshed down the drain,
    with a…
    Splat and an “Oh drat!”
    And landed on Soggy Sid.
    “Slurp,” said Sid as he gave Stink Fairy a soggy kiss.
    “Thanks Siddy,” cried Stink Fairy.
    Faster than a snotty sneeze she collected the drool and got a lift off Sid to the Smelly-bration just in time to win 1st prize.

    1. Awesome alliteration, creative characters, and wonderful world building in just 100 words!

    2. I’m giggling through the gross-out! Very creative and cute!

    3. Only a 100 words & yet there’s so much to love here! My favorite bits were the kid-friendly “swears” & the alliteration throughout. The Stink Fairy & Rotten Realm has a lot of fun potential & I can see you expanding on this story.

    4. Love your Stink Fairy stories, Stacey! I especially enjoyed “faster than a snotty sneeze.” lol

    5. I’m super impressed with the world-building you created in 100 words. Rotten Realm is hilarious!!

    6. Kids would love all the EWWWing to be done while reading this. Ha! Smelly-bration!

    7. Fun word play!
      And so gross in the perfect way for kids.

  15. Monkey manners leave a lot to be desired!
    Those cheeky monkeys grin.
    They peer at those faces pinned to the glass. Thinking we will give you something to see…

    Mini monkey crouches over his cracker.
    In his head he asks a riddle, what do monkeys like with their milk?
    He’s proud of his creation…
    …A chocolate chimp cookie! 💩 🍪

    The children squeal “YUK!”
    The chimp grins and everyone laughs!
    Forever remembered,
    Monkey madness! 🐒 🍪

  16. A Monkey Conundrum

    Monkey manners leave a lot to be desired!
    Those cheeky monkeys grin.
    They peer at those faces pinned to the glass. Thinking we will give you something to see…

    Mini monkey crouches over his cracker.
    In his head he asks a riddle, what do monkeys like with their milk?
    He’s proud of his creation…
    …A chocolate chimp cookie! 💩 🍪

    The children squeal “YUK!”
    The chimp grins and everyone laughs!
    Forever remembered,
    Monkey madness! 🐒 🍪

    1. Based on a true story!

    2. Original story with no-holds-barred humor that kids love!

    3. LOL
      This is exactly the kind of story my kids are big into right now.

  17. Pip practices patience
    TWANG went Pip the pixie’s party hat.
    It had to be today.

    “Three more sleeps,” said his mum, “you have to be patient.”

    Pip slumped, “What’s patient?”

    “Ask the moon when it shines or the blossom when it blooms. They will give you your answer.”

    Whizz whoosh, Pip flitted into the dazzling morning light.

    “Moon’s still asleep. I’ll have to wait.”

    Flutter flitter, into the cherry tree.

    “The buds shut tight, I’ll have to wait.”

    “Here’s snuggly monkey.”
    Tuck-in, kiss.
    “Did you get your answer?”

    “No, I have to wait,” eyes shine “I have to be patient.”

    1. Love the onlmatopoeias and the linkage between emotional development and the natural world!

    2. You’ve created such a wonderful, relatable character in Pip and set the scene so well. i want more!

    3. Love how this gently shows the power of slowing down and tuning into the natural world. Great use of onomatopoeia!

    4. Beautiful way of describing guiding kids to discover information on their own!

    by Tara Cerven
    96 words

    “Surprise party for Turtle? Yippee!” Monkey screeched.

    Crocodile carried cookies. Cat contributed crafts. Pig poured pineapple punch.

    Decorations dangled. Balloons bounced.

    Party time!

    They all waited for Turtle…

    and played baseball while they waited.

    Elephant hit the ball hard.

    It whooshed right past Pig and plopped in the swimming pool.

    Giraffe jumped in after it.


    Pool popped. Desserts drenched.


    Nobody even noticed Sloth slurp the punch.


    Everything was ruined.

    And where was Turtle?

    Everyone was puzzled.

    What a conundrum!

    Meanwhile, back at the pond…

    Turtle had just settled in for his seasonal snooze.

    1. Wow! Another one with ALL the words! I want an invite to this party… *<|:-D

    2. The image of a quiet, slow sloth slurping down the punch in the middle of all the chaos made me giggle. So much big action packed into this micro-story–an illustrator would have a lot of fun with it.

      1. That was my favorite part, too!
        I also really liked how turtle is totally oblivious.

    3. Cute! Love all the party chaos and the image of Sloth slurping the pineapple punch.

    4. Wildly creative and comprehensive word play! I love “Pool popped. Desserts drenched.”

  19. Happy Birthday, Birthday Twins!! I love that you’re celebrating with a fun contest.
    Eek, here’s my entry.

    What About Giraffe?
    98 words
    Amy M. Miller

    Turtle swam.
    Monkey swang.
    Anteater slurped.
    Lovebird sang.
    Cheetah whooshed.
    Hyena laughed.
    Meerkat dug.
    What about Giraffe?

    Lion roared.
    Skunk stank.
    Snake slithered.
    Hippo sank.
    Gazelle leaped.
    Hyena still laughed.
    Frog hopped.
    What about Giraffe?

    Giraffe doesn’t swim, slurp
    Or swing.
    Giraffe doesn’t whoosh, dig,
    Or sing.
    Giraffe doesn’t roar,
    slither, or sink
    He doesn’t leap, hop,
    Or stink.
    What’s your signature move,
    You big Giraffe?
    We promise
    Nobody’ll laugh.

    Quiet Giraffe,
    Has been on the scene.
    Behind the action,
    Hidden between,
    Squint and you’ll miss him
    Still as a staff,
    His “move” is hiding,
    That sly Giraffe.

    1. Awesome concept and meter! Loved the denouement too. ^__^

    2. Such a clever and lyrical listicle employing an enviable number of the contest words!

    3. Very fun to read! I especially love your last line, “Squint and you’ll miss him…” These few words made giraffe lovable, even while hidden.

    4. Fun to read rhyme!
      This would be just perfect for a board book.

  20. Happy, happy Birthday!
    Here’s my story! ( I also submitted via the “teal” tab! 🙂 )

    Willy’s Wonderful Win

    Willy won everyone’s hearts by simply being Willy. One slurp of a kiss, your heart would melt! He was a toy chasing, moon howling pup.
    Everything changed for Willy when he met Ruby, a little girl who did not want to be Willy’s friend. Willy performed his best trick..he chased his tail and even caught it! He tried to share his best bones, even the dirtiest ones he retrieved from the deepest holes he dug!
    One day with a whoosh of his tail, he tickled Ruby’s nose. That made Ruby giggle happily! With Willy’s help, Ruby found her mojo!

    1. This is such a sweet-treat of a story about patience, perseverance, and serendipity. Where there’s a Willy, there’s a way! I love how he and Ruby came together in the end.

    2. Aww, what a sweet story of winning over a new friend!


    “No oysters for my birthday!”
    Della declared.

    “They’re slippery.
    I want pizza for my birthday!”

    “But we always have oysters!”

    “Not this year.
    I want pizza — with pineapple.”

    “But Grandpa loves oysters!”

    “Not Grandpa’s birthday.”

    “But oysters are yummy and good for you.”

    “Pizza is yummier and gooder.”

    Della crossed her arms,
    with her grumpiest face.

    What a conundrum!

    Della conjured a big tear in her eye,
    with her saddest face.

    Mama looked at her.

    Della put her hands together and said, “PLEASE?!. . .”

    So Mama brought out. . .
    for the birthday girl. . .
    Topped with pineapple —

    and oysters!

    1. Oooh, I love pineapple on my pizza. Not so sure about oysters, lol. Fun and relatable story, Tonnye!

    2. Scintillating dialogue with vivid, authentic voice!

    3. I just had to Google oyster pizza! I never really thought of it as a topping before this.

    4. I’m a fan of family traditions… but oysters and pineapple on pizza is an interesting thought.
      Good dialogue too.

    5. Adorable! “Pizza is yummier and gooder” – hilarious kid voice!

  22. Herman and Pearl
    100 words

    Herman and Pearl loved exploring the riverbank together.
    “The world is sublime so we take our time,” they sang.
    “I’m glad you don’t slurp earthworms, like other turtles!” said Herman.
    “Eat you?” said Pearl. “My diet’s dirt-free.”
    Herman paused, listening for turtles who weren’t picky eaters.
    “My birthday wish was for armor like yours, but still no shell…”
    Snap. Rustle. Crunch.
    “What’s that?” Herman gasped.
    Pearl winked.
    Zip. Pluck. Whoosh.
    “What happened? Where am I? Too dark!” Herman shrieked.
    “Shh,” said Pearl. “Shells are for sharing.”
    Herman grinned.
    “Looks like my wish came true! Let’s shellabrate!”
    Pearl laughed.
    “Happy Birthday.”

    1. Fun and original concept! Outstanding pacing and dialogue with marvelous use of onomatopoeia to convey action and increase tension.

    2. I was anticipating/worrying that Herman would get eaten, so I’m glad the two friends found a solution to shellabrate.

  23. Birthday Conundrum
    by Julie Hansen
    WC: 100

    “Happy birthday…
    Turtle blinked.
    “But it’s my birthday.”

    Monkey added “and Turtle.”
    “All better!”

    Turtle wished she could hide in the sand, but
    she shuffled up the shore.

    “A pinch for an inch!” called Sally Lightfoot,
    pinching Turtle’s flipper.
    Monkey added another
    “for good measure.”

    Next, they played Pin the Tail on the Coati.
    Turtle stuck the tail on Tapir.
    Monkey howled.

    Turtle got tagged in Duck, Duck, Goose
    every time.
    Monkey never did.

    When it was time to cut the cake, Turtle wasn’t hungry.

    “Jellyfish cream!” wailed Monkey. “But it’s my birthday!”

    “Jellyfish cream!” gushed Turtle. “All better!”

    1. I’m glad Turtle got a delicious birthday surprise in the end.

    2. Very cute!! Jellyfish cream cake hahah!

    3. Good job showing the difficulty kids have sometimes about sharing birthdays.

  24. Thanks for such a fun contest! My story was inspired by true events. 😀 My son opened the patio door calling for the cat, and a raccoon came up the steps!


    There’s a raccoon-y in my room-y.
    Don’t tell Mom and Dad.
    If they knew I let him in,
    I think they would be mad.

    I called for my cat, Cookies,
    To come in from the rain.
    Instead a bushy-tailed raccoon
    Thought I called his name.

    At first I was a little scared.
    I know raccoons are wild,
    But he stood up on his furry paws,
    And I thought he actually smiled.

    I’ll whoosh him out, I promise,
    But first I’ll let him snooze a tad.
    There’s a raccoon-y in my room-y now.
    Don’t tell Mom and Dad.

    1. Hilarious! Love the assonance of “racoon-y” and “room-y.”

    2. The little ones can be so cute, but oh my! Kid knows that mom and dad would freak out. Great rhythm!

      1. Lol, I think I pretty much shouted at my son to close the door. Then we instituted a new family rule: No calling for raccoons out the patio! If it were up to my boys, they would have one for a pet. 😀

  25. Ashley Sierra
    Word count: 96

    Turtle’s Special Day

    “March 1st is my special day,” Turtle cried. “I don’t want to share my birthday with you, Monkey.”

    Turtle slipped inside his shell.

    Monkey sighed. “It’s not really my birthday.”

    Turtle popped out. “What?”

    “My birthday is leap day, February 29. But that only comes every four years.”

    “Your birthday is only every four years?”

    Monkey slumped. “Yeah.”

    “When’s your next birthday?”

    “Two years,” Monkey muttered.

    Turtle paused. He pondered.

    He proclaimed, “I’m happy to share this day with you!”

    Monkey jumped. “Really?”

    “Let’s go shellebrate our special day.” Turtle beamed. “Race you to the cake!”

    1. Happy Birthday Amy and Gennie! I have a nephew with a birthday on the 23 and twin nephews on the 24. Enjoy your day! Thanks for the fun contest.

      1. Thank you for stopping by and reading!

    2. Fantastic character arc in so few words! Though Turtle was initially slow to to share, the way he embraced it in the end made me smile. “Race you to the cake!” (I see what you did there!)

      1. Thank you for reading, Anne! 😊

    3. Aww… sometimes it’s hard for kids with leap birthdays, but understanding friends and family like your Monkey make special days every year.

      1. Sorry, tried writing two sentences concurrently and borked my brain. Understanding friends like Turtle make sure all the Monkeys get special days…

      2. Thanks for reading, Katie!

    4. Your sweet story makes me smile, Ashley. Love Turtle’s change of heart!

  26. Fantastic character arc in so few words! Though Turtle was initially slow to to share, the way he embraced it in the end made me smile. “Race you to the cake!” (I see what you did there!)

  27. “Knock, knock!” Monkey rapped on Turtle’s shell. “Anyone home?”
    “Rats,” thought Turtle. He wanted a quiet day. Monkey wasn’t quiet.
    “Want to swing from trees?” said Monkey.
    “Chase butterflies?”
    Race to the pond?”
    N—” But Monkey was off.
    “Rats” said Turtle. He lumbered after Monkey. Turtle wasn’t fast.
    In a flash, Monkey was back. “I win! Race to the tree!” And off he flew. Turtle sighed.
    Monkey darted back. “I win!”
    Turtle thought. “Race you home?”
    Turtle stuck his head back in his shell. “I win.”
    “Rats,” said Monkey.

    1. A very cleverly circled story with well-drawn characters who play to their contrasting strengths with ingenious outside-the-box (or inside-the-shell!) thinking.

      1. Thanks, Anne!

    2. Clever Turtle! That was a lot of fun to read.

    3. Even in so few words, I get a great sense of the two opposite characters! Great work!

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