Blogs by editor Randi Lynn Mrvos


 Kid’s Imagination Train 

     February 2014   Volume 2  Issue 2

                                           Come read, learn, and draw!

  Cover art by:  Copyright © 2014 Brooke Parr

Kid's Imagination Train
February 2014  Volume 2  Issue 2 
        ISSN 233-987X

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 2

          What's New This Month?

   How I Lost My Hiccups 
      by Guy Belleranti  

   The Magic of Water Puppets
     by Randi Lynn Mrvos

5...Book Review 
                  by Donna Smith 

6...Lesson Plan  
                  by Randi Lynn Mrvos 

7...Lesson Plan Activity
          Tree Identification Walk          
      by Randi Lynn Mrvos 

How I Lost My Hiccups 

I had a case of hiccups
and knew not what to do.
My sister said, "Don't worry.
I'll find a cure for you."

She paced around my bedroom

then looked me in the eye.
"I think I've solved your problem.
Here's something you can try."

"Stand upside down beside the wall

until your face turns red.
Then jiggle, wiggle, shake
the hiccups from your head." 

I did as she suggested,

but could not shake them free.
Instead, I got so dizzy
that I could hardly see. 

My sister said, "Alrighty.

We'll try out something new.
It's sure to be a winner.
Let's implement Plan Two."

"Don't breathe for seven minutes.

Then cough and cough and cough.
I guarantee this action
will chase those hiccups off." 

I coughed like sister told me,

but soon was gulping air.
I hiccupped even harder and
this gave me quite a scare.

My sister got dejected. 
"Plan Three is what we need.
Your hiccups must be silenced!"
She ran toward me with speed.  

"GRR!" she roared. "GRR! GRR! GRR!" 
sucked a breath in quick.
Then all my hiccups vanished.
She'd done it—what a trick!

Written by: Guy Belleranti                                                                                                 3


The Magic of Water Puppets

Puppeteers of America and UNIMA-USA are excellent resources for learning about puppetry.

A puppet puffs on a pipe and exhales smoke. Moments later, he lifts a fishing pole.  He dangles the line up and down with hopes of catching a fish.  As if commanded by magic, the puppet appears to come to life.  In Vietnamese water puppetry, the audience can’t see the puppeteer. They can't see any machines nor controlling strings or poles.   

Water puppets are unique to Vietnam.  The water puppet shows date back to 1121 under the Ly dynasty. These shows were preformed in the rural villages of northern Vietnam in the Red River Delta, where the river fans out into the coastal lowlands.  Here, people farmed the soggy land for rice, just as it is used today.            

Between May and October, heavy rains flood the lowlands regularly. Centuries ago during these rainy months, villagers in Vietnam turned to the natural environment for community entertainment.  After a day of work, they put on puppet shows in the watery rice fields and on the surface of ponds. Puppet shows celebrated a festival or the arrival of spring.  They retold ancient legends and historical events, and portrayed the daily life of village farmers and fishermen.  This performing art was referred to as "the soul of the Vietnamese rice fields."  

Puppets were carved out of light, durable wood from fig or coral trees, commonly found growing around the edge of ponds.  Then they were coated with a waterproof lacquer in the colors associated with the sky, mountains, land, and oceans found in traditional Vietnamese paintings.  Each puppet had its own character and function.  Their outfits reflected their gender, age and social level.  

Today, an indoor pool serves as the stage instead of a flooded rice field.  The puppeteers stand in waist-deep water in a manipulation area.  This area is located at the back of the stage and is shielded by a rattan curtain. The puppeteers move the puppets with long bamboo poles and strings under the water surface.  A rope pulley system along the poles in the manipulation area helps to create puppet motions such as ejecting water to the shore or having puppets look upwards or bend downwards.  To keep the mechanics hidden, the water is made murky with mud or coloring.  

Even though the mastery of water puppetry was passed down from generation to generation, often with a family, it started to become a dying art.  It was not until 1958 that water puppetry was revived. Today, water puppet shows are presented by several touring troupes in Vietnam.  Each show begins with boisterous music:  bamboo flutes, bronze drums, gongs, and xylophones.  When the music dims, wooden characters take the watery stage. Farmers plow and plant rice seedlings.  Water buffalo butt heads and fight.  Dragons spew fire or toss balls.  

Water breathes life into each puppet figure.  It actually becomes a character of the show.  It rocks a flock of ducks. Or, it forms a veil of smoke when fairies descend upon its surface.  It seethes with fury during naval battles.  It bubbles when powerful dragons surface.  The liquid feature of water—its sparkle and reflections—not only provides the stage, but adds the wondrous magic to Vietnamese water puppet shows.

The author wishes to thank Brian from for his expertise.    
Written by:  Randi Lynn Mrvos                                                                                                     4


Book Review:  The Snatchabook

Name of Book: The Snatchabook
Author:  Helen Docherty
Illustrator: Thomas Docherty
Year Published: 2013
Age Range of Book: 3 - 6years
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
ISBN:  9781402290824
Price: $13.36 

Have you ever lost a book? Maybe, you were the victim of the elusive Snatchabook. 

Imagine if your books were stolen, or if you had a book but no one to read it to you. In Burrow Down, the town residents include bunnies, owls, squirrels and other woodland animals.

At bedtime when stories are being read, books begin to disappear in a blink with a tap on the window and a cry in the night. A brave little bunny, Eliza Brown, comes up with an idea to solve the mystery of the missing books. “She planned one night to lie in wait and use a pile of books as bait.” But Eliza is surprised when she discovers the identity of the book thief. 

Author, Helen Docherty’s story presents a lesson about how stealing is wrong even if you have a good reason to do it. The Snatchabook learns with help from Eliza that he can’t take things that belong to others, and together they come up with a way to rectify his misdeed by returning all of the books. 

The rhyming story is a joy to read and Docherty’s Snatchabook is a clever creation. Thomas Docherty’s gorgeous illustrations depict cuddly scenes of animal families enjoying stories about dragons, witches, pirates and princesses, along with rich nightscapes that show glimpses of a small winged critter. 

The Snatchabook is the first published book for both author and illustrator. Helen Docherty is a Spanish Lecturer at the University of the West of England. Previously, she was a language teacher. Thomas Docherty has a background in metalwork and sculpture.

Rating for the book: *****

Visit Donna Smith’s website: 

                                         Lesson Plan:  Trees 


A tree is a living plant.  It has a woody stem, a root system, and branches with leaves.  

Trees serves many purposes.  They give off oxygen, offer shade, block wind, filter pollution out of the air and water, prevent flooding and soil erosion, and provide homes for animals.  

Trees are divided into  two groups:  broadleaved or conifers. 

Broadleaved trees usually have broad flat leaves and produce flowers.  Many broadleaved trees are deciduous, which means they shed their leaves in autumn.  

Conifer trees have narrow hard leafs.  They are mostly evergreen and produce cones instead of flowers.  Conifers keep their leaves in winter. 

Trees come in many different sizes, shapes, and colors.  Some can soar as high as a skyscraper.  Most of the time, trees can be identified by their shape.  But as trees get older, they change their shape.  

The basic shapes of trees include:  columnar, pyramidal, v-shaped or fan shaped, oval, weeping, and round.  

 Written by:  Randi Lynn Mrvos                                                                                                6

Lesson Plan Activity: 
Tree Identification Walk

Materials: Crayons or markers, pencil, paper, tree shapes diagram


1.  Make a copy of the tree shape diagram. 

2.  Color the trees on the diagram. 

3.  Take a walk in your neighborhood or in a park.  Bring along the tree shapes diagram. 

4.  Identify trees by their shapes.  Are they conifers or broadleaved? 

5.  Count the number of trees in each category. 



Written by:  Randi Lynn Mrvos                                                                                       7  


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