Blogs by editor Randi Lynn Mrvos


 Kid’s Imagination Train 
                                                                January 2014   Volume 2  Issue 1

                                                  Come read, learn, and draw!

  Cover art by:  Copyright © 2014 Brooke Parr

Kid's Imagination Train
January 2014  Volume 2  Issue 1 
      ISSN 2333-987X

Editor-in-Chief:  Randi Lynn Mrvos
Book Reviewer:  Donna Smith
            Illustrator:  Brooke Parr
            Marketing Director/Art Director:  Rosemarie Gillen  

             Editorial Offices:
             All across the United States

             Publishing Office:
             4637 Spring Creek Drive
             Lexington, KY  40515

 Mission Statement:
Welcome to the Kid's Imagination Train, where children can take the journey of reading in a brand new way. KIT offers book reviews, fiction, poetry, and nonfiction for kids ages 5 - 12. It’s unique in that it engages children by providing the opportunity to illustrate their favorite features and have them published online. 
We invite you to read, to learn, and to draw!  

©Kid's Imagination Train

                                          Volume 2 Issue 1


The Librarian with a Tail
by Savannah Hendricks 

Stony Faces
by Anne Renaud

5...Book Review 
Unfortunately, The Milk...
by Donna Smith 

6...Lesson Plan 
20th Century Artist: Henri Matisse
by Randi Lynn Mrvos

7...Lesson Plan Activity
Paper Cut-outs 
by Randi Lynn Mrvos 

      The Librarian with a Tail

Every other Saturday, Gianna and her Dad got into the car and drove to the library. It was Gianna’s least favorite thing to do. She thought that the books on the shelf smelled old, that the building was too quiet, and that story time was boring.
“It’s more fun playing at the park,” she said. 
“Books can be fun, too,” he replied.
On this particular Saturday as they pulled into the parking lot, Gianna noticed a huge dog trotting into the library. Not only did Gianna dislike the library, she was afraid of big dogs! Goose bumps pricked Gianna’s arms.
“A dog walked in there,” Gianna told her dad. “And the dog is as big as me!”
“It’s probably a guide dog,” he said.  “Come on now, it’s too hot to sit in the car."
Gianna sighed as she got out of the car. She walked heel to toe, taking the tiniest steps possible, heel to toe, heel to toe. The doors parted and Gianna took shuffle steps inside. She peered around the large bookcases, cautiously looking for the tail.
After following her Dad through the different book sections, she spotted her worst fear. Sitting with a few other kids in a corner was a dog with blonde fur, its tail tapping lightly on the carpet. Gianna froze.
One kid was holding up a book to the dog and reading aloud. Another kid was petting the dog. Without realizing, Gianna took a few steps towards the circle. One of the kids in the circle turned around.
“Hey, you want to join us?” asked a kid in a red t-shirt.
“No,” Gianna stammered.
The kid in the red shirt turned back around and continued petting the dog. Gianna stood there staring at the circle. Gianna took a few more steps forward.
“Are you sure you don’t want to join us?” asked a girl in a pink dress. 
“Big dogs scare me,” Gianna announced.
“Well, this isn’t just a dog,” stated the kid in the red t-shirt. “This is Max. He is a librarian.”
“A dog cannot be a librarian…can he?” Gianna asked.
“Max is a special dog. We take turns reading to him. He likes to hear us read stories,” said the girl in the pink dress.  
Gianna was confused.  So she decided to sit in a nearby plump chair to see what this librarian dog was all about.  Gianna waited for Max to do something, but he just sat there and listened as the kids read to him.
With each visit to the library, Gianna sat in the plump chair, secretively listening to the stories and observing Max.  Then on a rather rainy Saturday, Gianna entered the library to find Max lying alone in the reading circle.  She approached a shelf, slid a book from it, and slowly opened to the first page. Thunder rumbled outside and rattled the windows. Max jumped up and startled Gianna.  The book in her hand slammed shut.  
Max trotted over to Gianna.  At the sight of the big dog, Gianna trembled.  When Max lowered his body to the carpet and laid his head on his paws, Gianna sighed with relief.  Up close Max was not scary, but a friendly furry dog.  Gianna reached out and petted the blonde fur.  Upon her touch, Max nudged Gianna’s book with his nose.
“Did you just ask me to read to you?” Gianna whispered to the dog.
Max tilted his head as if to say, “Yes, read.”
Max sat up and wagged his tail.  He waited patiently.  Gianna giggled and opened the book.
“Once upon a time,” Gianna read aloud to Max.

 Written by: Savannah Hendricks                                                                                               4 


   Stony Faces 

If you’re out gazing for gargoyles, best look up, way up, and then lookout! Why? Simply put, gargoyles spit!

Gargoyles serve the practical purpose of projecting water free of stone walls and protecting buildings from erosion. Distinguishing a true gargoyle from other creepy carvings is easy once you know what to look for—a rainspout. Unless you want to get soaked, don’t stand under one on a rainy day.  

According to legend, the practice of mounting hideous heads on buildings can be traced to a fire-burping dragon named La Gargouille. The dragon lived hundreds of years ago by the River Seine in France.  Described as having a reptilian-neck and mammoth wings, the dragon terrorized the inhabitants of the village of Rouen. It frequently required a human being for its lunch.  

One day, a priest who was passing by offered to conquer the dragon if the townspeople agreed to build him a church. Armed with little more than his courage, the priest set out on his quest. He was able to subdue the dragon with his cross.   La Gargouille was then lead back to town where it was burned to death in the public square. However, because it was a fire-breathing dragon, hence, somewhat fire-proof, its head and neck did not burn. Not knowing what else to do with the dragon’s head, the villagers kept it. They mounted it on the church when it was completed.    

During the Middle Ages, gargoyles shaped as fantastical beasts began to appear on churches and cathedrals throughout Western Europe. The uglier the gargoyles, the better. The common belief was if they were repulsive enough, they would scare away demons and leave everyone in the church at peace and ready for prayer.

Many of these human-like and animal-like creatures are still visible today on buildings and churches. But don’t be fooled. When scouting around for stone carvings, some of the creepy creatures you see may not be real gargoyles.  If it doesn’t have a rainspout, the carving is not a gargoyle. It is called a grotesque. And if the carving combines two or more beasts, it is called a chimera. Some of the most famous chimeras stare down from atop Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. Perched high above ground, their expressions have exaggerated clown-like features, so they can be seen from street level and not fade from view. 

So now, why not turn your eyes to the skies and explore your neighborhood?  What stony face will you discover?  Do gargoyles, grotesques, and chimeras roost up above?

The author wishes to thank Sherry McKay, Architectural Historian, School of Architecture, University of British Columbia, Professor Steven Mannell, Director, School of Architecture, Dalhousie University and Professor Terrance Galvin, School of Architecture, Dalhousie University for their expertise.

Written by:  Anne Renaud                                                                                               5


Book Review: Unfortunately, The Milk...

Name of Book:  Unfortunately, The Milk... 
Illustrator: Skottie Young 
Year Published: 2013
Age Range of Book: 8 - 12 years
Publisher: Harper 
ISBN: 978-0-06-222407-1 
Price: $8.32 
  Milk not only builds strong bones, it's a handy weapon against aliens.

In Neil Gaiman’s ridiculously, wacky novel, a father’s trip to the corner store for a bottle of milk             
becomes a wild journey.  Before a mother leaves for a conference to give a lecture about lizards,
she tells her husband they’re out of milk. Since there’s only orange juice in the fridge along with
ketchup, mayonnaise, and pickle juice, the children need milk for their “Toastios.” After waiting
ages and ages for their father to return, the children begin to contemplate eating pickles for
            breakfast. But when their father eventually comes in with the milk, he has a tall tale to tell. 

While trying to make his way home, he encounters, snotty looking aliens,wumpires, and pirates—
“men with very black hair and sharp stone knives.” And through it all, the father holds on tightly
to the milk. A stegosaurus with a “Floaty-Ball-Person-Carrier,” in other words a hot air balloon,
who eats “hard-hairy-wet-white-crunchers,” commonly known as coconuts, comes to the father’s
rescue. Cartoonist Skottie Young’s amusing black and white sketches fill the pages with graphic

Gaiman is an acclaimed writer of both children’s and adult fiction. Some of his most popular
books for children are Coraline and The Graveyard Book. He won the Newberry and Carnegie
medals for his novel Coraline; and, The Graveyard Book was made into an Academy Award
nominated film. Other books written by Gaiman include Crazy HairThe Day I Swapped My Dad
for Two Goldfish and Odd and the Frost Giants.

Young is not only an award-winning cartoonist, he has also illustrated bestselling adaptations of
L. Frank Baum’s Oz novels. In addition, he’s worked for Marvel, Warner Bros., Image Comics,
Mattel and Cartoon Network. 

The slime volume with pictures on nearly every page is an easy, fun read. Gaiman seriously
knows how to keep his reader chuckling. Milk is the star of the story, but orange juice has a
supporting role.

Rating for the book: *****
Donna Smith is a freelance writer. You can visit her website at


Lesson Plan  

20th Century Artist:  Henri Matisse 

Henri Matisse was a French artist who lived from 1869-1954.  When he was young, Matisse painted women, landscapes, flowers, and still life pictures.  

Later in life, he became ill and was confined to bed.  Too weak to paint, Matisse found it easier to cut out designs with scissors.  He called his technique drawing with scissors. 

To make his designs Matisse relied on assistants, who painted sheets of paper with colors that he had carefully chosen.  Once the paper was painted, Matisse cut out his shapes.  

His assistants pinned the cutouts on the walls of the studio so that Matisse could see how they looked together.  Sometimes Matisse changed the arrangement and added more shapes.  When he was satisfied with the arrangement, the shapes were pasted upon the paper.  

Though Matisse is largely known for his cutouts, he created paintings, sculptures, costumes for ballets, drawings, and even stained glass windows.

Did you know:
A still life is a painting of an arrangement of things such as books, flowers, vases or food. 

Written by:  Randi Lynn Mrvos                                                                                                     7


Paper Cut-outs

Materials:  Dark blue and light blue construction paper, 22” x 28” white poster board, scissors, glue, ruler, pencil, a images of Matisse’s paintings:  Polynesia, The Sky 1946 and Polynesia, The Sea 1946.

Images of Matisse's art: 
  1.  Using a ruler, draw five 4" x 8" rectangles on pieces of dark blue construction paper.    
  2.  Using a ruler, draw five 4” x 8” rectangles on pieces of light blue construction paper.   
  3.  Cut out the rectangles.  You should have a total of 10 rectangles.  
  4.  Arrange the rectangles in a row, with five in a row, alternating the colors. 
  5.  Lay out the second row directly underneath the first row, alternating the colors. 
  6.  Glue them onto a piece of white poster board.  The rows should look like this:

dark blue              light blue              dark blue              light blue              dark blue 
light blue              dark blue              light blue              dark blue              light blue 

  7.  Choose a subject.  It can be the sky or the sea like Matisse’s, or any other 
       subject that you like.
  8.  Make paper cut outs with the white construction paper.  Cut out birds, 
       clouds, stars for the sky or algae, fish, and waves for the sea. 
  9.  What other kinds of shapes can be cut? Cut the shapes in one stroke, like 
10.  Glue them onto the checkerboard background. 
11.  Title the picture.

Written by:  Randi Lynn Mrvos                                                                                                   8                                                                                                         


      Thank you for reading 
Kid's Imagination Train


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Kid's Imagination Train



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