Blogs by editor Randi Lynn Mrvos



      Kid's Imagination Train

                                                     Volume 1 Issue 9
                                                   ISSN 2333-987X

The Princess and the White Box
by Donna Smith

In the Ring with Sami
by Randi Lynn Mrvos 

3...Book Review
 Boy and Bot 
 by Donna Smith

                                                       The Princess and the White Box

     The plan for the upcoming middle school dance is to go with my friends. The trouble is all of my friends have dates but me. Anna and Sasha are here to cheer me up and to help me figure out how I can find a date. 
     “How about having a contest?” I ask.  
     Anna says, “That’s a great idea. What about a song-writing contest?”
     “No,” I say. “It would take a too long to go through all of the songs.”
     “You could have a race.” Sasha says.
     “A race isn’t fair to all of the guys who aren’t good runners,” I say. “This is just too hard. I’m really hungry. Let’s get a snack.”
     While eating apple slices and peanut butter, it suddenly occurs to me what I should do. 
     “I should have a contest asking the boys to bring me my favorite thing. What do you think?” I ask Anna and Sasha.
    “We love it,” they say.
     Sasha says, “We’ll send out a text letting everyone know you’re looking for a date.”
     The girls forward the message to all eighth grade boys. The text reads, “Win D8 w/Rachel to dance. Bring her fav thing 2Day.”
     After a while, a messy line of boys forms outside. There are skinny ones, wide ones, pimply ones, tall ones, short ones, athletic ones, and nerdy ones. I open the front door and start to receive their gifts. Some of the presents are beautifully wrapped. They give me flowers, cameras, movie tickets, CDs, DVDs, jewelry, books, bottled water, puppies, kittens, a lizard, and laundry detergent, but I reject them all. None of the boys offer me my favorite thing.
     It’s dark when the last boy leaves. “Well that didn’t work,” I say to Anna and Sasha. “The dance is tomorrow night and I still haven’t found a date.”
     Anna pats me on my back while I lie on the rug in despair. “It’s going to be okay,” she says.
     I give her a doubtful look. Why is she so sure I’m going to find a date? And who keeps texting her during my crisis?
     The sound of the doorbell startles me. My friends peel me off of the floor, fluff my hair, and smooth my clothes. They walk me to the door and open it. Standing on the porch is a boy I know from school. He’s in all of my classes.
     “Hi Eddie,” Anna says. “It’s about time you got here.”
     “Sorry, I had to finish some things and wait for my brother to give me a ride,” he says gesturing to the Jeep in the driveway vibrating with loud music.
     Eddie approaches me and says, “Hi Rachel. I hope I’m not too late. I brought you something.” He hands me a rectangular, plain white box.
     “Thank you,” I say.
     I gently undo the tape and lift the lid. A heavenly scent escapes from the box that is better than any perfume. The plain white box holds a baker’s dozen of rainbow-sprinkled donuts. In my arms are thirteen glorious, doughy, iced treats. I feel a little faint and giddy.
     I look up at Eddie and ask him, “Will you go to the dance with me?”
     “Sure,” he says smiling. “I read somewhere that sprinkled donuts are your favorite. I made them myself. I watched a video and bought all of the ingredients with the money I made mowing lawns.”
     “I am so impressed!” I tell him.
     The next day, my dad and I drop off the presents at the local donation center and we take the puppies and kittens to the animal shelter. My dad lets me keep a gray tabby.  Later that night Eddie, my friends, and I dance and laugh at the semi-formal until it’s time to go home. We continue the celebration at my house. For a couple of more hours, we play video games, drink chocolate milk, and eat sprinkled donuts. And I learn that Eddie contacted Anna to ask her about my favorite thing. I’m lucky I have such great friends. But, I hope I won’t need another contest when prom time rolls around. 

by: Donna Smith                                                                                                                        1

“Dog shows are a great way to meet responsible breeders,” says American Kennel Club's Assistant Vice President Gina Dinardo.  “An ethical breeder’s primary concern is to produce dogs of high-quality, good health and stable temperament.  The number one reason dogs are surrendered to shelters is due to behavior problems.” 

                                                   In the Ring with Sami

Long before Sami was born, I met her great, great grandmother Chance at a Basenji puppy party.  Like the puppies, Chance didn’t bark.  Basenjis have a physical structure in their voice box which is different from other dogs.  But Basenjis can growl, whine, whimper, and yodel—sort of a warbling “bar-ooo.”  Chance started her dog show career at the age of 6 months and was on her way to becoming an American Kennel Club champion.  But owner Carole Kirk noticed that Chance’s heart wasn’t in it.  So Carole introduced Chance to other sports for dogs.   

Carole Kirk and her dog Sami

Many years later in December, 2010, Chance’s great, great granddaughter Sami is born.  Sami reminds Carole of Chance.  But does Sami have what it takes to be a show dog?  Can Sami win the highest honor, Best in Show?  Can she bring home the red, white and blue ribbon?  

Like most Basenji’s, Sami is high-spirited.  She playfully nips at Carole’s pants.  In the show ring, this would be a bit of a no-no.  Because Basenjis are endlessly curious, some breeders believe that they are harder to train than most breeds.  So Carole believes the earlier Sami begins her training, the better. 

As a pup Sami learns to stand still on a table.  This is expected of dogs when they’re being examined during breed judging.  Sami also learns to follow Carole around the house on Carole’s left side, the place she’ll need to be when she’s in the ring.  Next, Sami learns to stand in a stacked position.  Stacking is like posing.  After Sami masters stacking, she learns to gait, or move in a steady, swift trot.  
When Sami is four months old, she’s ready for her first AKC show in the 4 - 6 month beginner puppy class. The Redbone Coonhound goes into the ring, followed by Sami, and then the Bassett Hound.  Sami is a bit scared at first.  Yet she trots full out like a racehorse just as Chance had sixteen years ago.  Unlike Chance, Sami’s heart is in it.  She seems to say “Look at me, aren't I cute?” 

But Sami needs to be on good behavior while she's in the ring.  Sometimes a judge may steal a glance or as AKC judge Charles Roberts puts it, be ‘a sneaky peeker.’  He says, “Dogs must be patient as they wait their turn to be judged.”

When it’s Sami’s turn, Carole lifts her onto a table so that Sami’s features may be evaluated.  Then Carole takes Sami "down and back.” Carole is concerned that Sami might nip at her legs or worse, dart in front and trip her. 

“There is never a dull moment taking a puppy in the ring as they are typical kids,” says Carole.  “You learn quickly to expect the unexpected.  [With a Basenji] you need the patience of Job, the wisdom of Solomon and a very good sense of humor.”  

But Carole was pleasantly surprised.  Sami trots along perfectly at Carole’s side—never once breaking her gait.  After the judge studies the lineup, she presents Sami the second place ribbon in the Hound Puppy Group. 

Two months later I meet Sami before she competes in an AKC approved puppy match.  Matches are for practice; shows count toward becoming a champion.  One by one the puppies strut their stuff.  But there can be only one winner.  At the end of the competition, the judge awards Sami Best Puppy in Match with the first place pink and green ribbon. Carole breathes a sigh of relief.  Sami seems to have outgrown her games.  In a couple of months, Sami will compete in her second AKC dog show.  

Sami yodels, “Bar-ooo.”  Loosely translated:  “Next time, I’m going for red, white and blue.”     

The author wishes to thank Carole Kirk for her expertise. 
By:  : Randi Lynn Mrvos                                                                                                           2

Book Review: Boy and Bot

Name of Book: Boy and BotAuthor: Ame Dyckman
Illustrator: Dan Yaccarino
Year Published: 2012
Age Range of Book: 3 – 5 years
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
ISBN: 978-0-375-86756-9
Price: $12.95

Most touching stories involve boys and their dogs, but Dyckman’s debut picture book is about a boy and a robot.

While a boy is out collecting a wagon full of pinecones, he crosses paths with a giant red robot. They quickly forge a friendship and spend the day playing together in the woods until the robot accidently gets shut off.

The boy takes the robot home in his wagon and proceeds to take care of him. He feeds him applesauce, reads him a story, and tucks him in for the night. By chance, the boy’s unsuspecting parents turn the robot back on. But once the robot is awake, he finds the boy unresponsive, not understanding that he’s just sleeping. So, the robot decides to take the boy to his inventor’s house where he can fix him. Happily, the boy is returned to his parents with the help of the robot’s inventor.

The story is sweet and innocent, even though a parent could envision a darker outcome. Children however, will see the fanciful aspect of the story which is:  it’s fun to have a robot for a friend. The bright, colorful illustrations are wonderful and match the story perfectly.

Dyckman is also the author of Tea Party Rules. She lives in New Jersey and says, “When she became a grown-up, she remembered she wanted to write books when she grew up.” Yaccarino is an author-illustrator. Some of his more than thirty books include All the Way to AmericaLawn to Lawn, and The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau. In addition, he is the creator of the television series Oswald and Willa’s Wild Life.

Rating for the book: ****
Visit Donna Smith’s website: 

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