Blogs by editor Randi Lynn Mrvos



                                   Volume 1 Issue 6

Firefly Lights  
by: Geary Smith  

Cat Speak 
by: Randi Lynn Mrvos  

Book Review
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda 
by: Donna Smith

                             Firefly Lights    

By: Willow

      “Where have all the fireflies have gone?” asked Dad while driving home one night.  
      “There aren’t as many as there used to be,” Mama answered.
       Their daughter Somer sat in the back seat of the car.  She had never seen a firefly.
      “What are fireflies?” she asked.
       "Fireflies are little bugs that blink green, and gold, and white lights," replied Mama.       
       When they returned home, Mama poked the lid of a mason jar with holes.        
        They stepped outside.
       “I haven’t seen any fireflies yet, Mama,” said Somer with a yawn.
       “You just have to be patient,” said Mama.  “Maybe you’ll find one.”
                Within a few minutes, a blinking light appeared over the flower garden.
                “A firefly!” shouted Somer. 
                More fireflies appeared.  They were like little green-glowing balls of light.
                Soon after, Somer shouted, “I got one, Momma! Their lights turn on and off."  
                As Somer’s Mason jar was filled with fireflies, Mama checked her watch.
       “It’s getting late, Somer.  Time to go inside," she said. 
                Somer got ready for bed.  Then she put her jar on the nightstand.  
                "Goodnight fireflies," said Somer.
                After Daddy tucked her in and Mama turned off her light, the fireflies still shined. 
                "Goodnight, Somer," said Mama as she closed the door.
                Somer watched the fireflies flash in the jar.  But gradually, the lights grew dim.      
                She then realized that her fireflies did not belong in a jar. 
                "Maybe kids all over the world catch them, but don't set them free," said Somer. 
                "Maybe that’s why the fireflies are disappearing!”   
                Somer opened the bedroom window. She unscrewed the lid of the Mason jar. 
                “Fly away!” Fly away fireflies,” whispered Somer.
                Green, gold and white lights twinkled as each firefly flew into the night sky.  
                They lit up the midnight sky—blinking on, blinking off—glowing firefly lights.  

By: Geary Smith
*****************************************************************************                                         Cat Speak

By: Fiona

Cats can make over 100 different vocal sounds in a variety of octaves and tones.  Each one conveys a different meaning.  “Meow” might mean “hello,” “what’s for dinner?” or “let me out!”  But that’s not the only way a cat “talks.”  A cat uses his entire body to communicate with humans and other animals. 

Cat eyes are good indicators of mood.  The widening of eyes can express fear, anger, or interest.  Narrowed eyes show confidence.  Heavy eyelids and slowing blinking say:  I’m chilling. 

A cat’s pupils usually change according to the amount of the light in a room.  But a cat’s feelings are independent of lighting.  Dilated pupils indicate fear that may be followed by aggression.  When the pupils narrow to a slit—look out!  You have an angry cat on your hands.   

The ears can move independently of each other and can swivel 180°.   If the ears are turned back, a cat is annoyed.  A fearful cat flattens its ears. 

Whiskers are used to feel in the dark.  Normally, whiskers are held together very loosely so that they fan out at the side of the face.  But if a cat is annoyed, afraid or angry, the whiskers point backwards and flatten out.  Whiskers fanned forward:  I’m curious.

When a cat pulls back its lips in a sneer with a slightly open mouth, it means:  What’s that I smell?

A bold cat may raise its head.  An angry cat may lower its head.  If a cat’s head is stretched forward, it wants to see its owner’s face or desires to be touched.  A head-butt conveys:  I think you’re nice to me right now and we can be friends.      

Upon meeting a rival, a cat makes itself look larger by raising the hair along its spine and tail.  But if it is scared, fur stands on end over its whole body like a Halloween cat. 

Tails are used for communication and balance.  To greet a human, the tail is raised.  To express contentment, the tail is soft and fluid.  Unlike a dog, if a cat wags or slashes its tail from side to side, it is feeling annoyed. 

Paw/Pads of the feet:
Feet pads have sweat glands that produce a watery fluid when a cat is scared or hot.  A raised paw means:  I’m ready to swat. 

If a cat is all stretched out with its belly exposed, it is not always an invitation to give a belly-rub. Most of the time, this position suggests:  I’m so relaxed.  I trust you.  

Cats vocalize to express their mood and to say:  hello, I want something, or I sense danger. 
Cat sounds include:
Meowing—common cat cry
Hissing—back off
Chattering—clicking sound often made with a cat sees a bird
Chirping—short, high-pitched friendly sound used to greet humans
Purring—usually associated with being content, though sick and injured cats purr, too

Scent glands are located on the lips, chin, temples, and base of the tail.  When cats rub their scent on a person, they are saying:  You are safe and I am fine with you right now.

Cats not only "talk" by meowing, they communicate from the tips of their ears to the tips of their tails. So listen up!  What is your pet saying to you?

By: Randi Lynn Mrvos 
The author wishes to thank animal behaviorist Dr. Carlos Siracusa for his expertise.
Book Review: 
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda

Book Review: The Strange Case of Origami Yoda
Arthur:  Tom Angleberger
Illustrator:  Tom Angleberger and Jason Rosenstock
Year Published:  2010
Age Range of Book:  8 - 12 years
Publisher:  Amulet Books
ISBN:  978-0-8109-8425-7
Price:  $10.98

Sometimes the magic you make is better than the magic you believe in.

At Mcquarrie middle school, the socially awkward (okay he’s odd) Dwight dispenses wisdom from his paper origami Yoda. According to Dwight’s classmate Tommy, “The strangest thing about Origami Yoda is that he is so wise, even though Dwight is a total loser.”

Tommy decides that it’s time to find out whether or not Dwight is pretending to be Yoda. He starts compiling case studies along with comments from his friend Harvey, and unsolicited doodles from his pal Kellen. Tommy wants answers to his questions about Yoda. “Is he real? Does he really know things? Can he see the future? Does he use the Force?”

The students are asked to relay their experiences with Origami Yoda. The stories include wet pants, going to the movies, doing the twist, and many more middle school dilemmas. And of course, there are references to Star Wars.

Throughout the book, the font changes from typewritten to handwritten reports, giving it the authentic look of notes collected by Tommy.  And, the drawings are pure adolescent scribble. This is the first book in the Origami Yoda series. The other books are Darth Paper Strikes Back and The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee. Angleberger is also the author of  Fake Mustache and Horton Halfpott.

If you want to create your own origami Yoda, follow the instructions at the end of the story. You just might get the urge to give your friends advice and you may begin to feel the Force.

Rating:  * * * * *
Reviewed By:  Donna Smith
Visit Donna Smith website at

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