Blogs by editor Randi Lynn Mrvos


 Kid’s Imagination Train 
                                                                April 2014   Volume 2  Issue 4

                                                     Come read, learn, and draw!

  Cover art by:  Copyright © 2014 Brooke Parr

Kid's Imagination Train
April 2014  Volume 2  Issue 4
ISSN 2333-987X

Editor-in-Chief:  Randi Lynn Mrvos
Book Reviewer:  Donna Smith
            Illustrator:  Brooke Parr
            Marketing 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 4

       What's New This Month?

      by Nanci Moklak   

          Stormy Weather 
      by Lisa Hart

          Cooking on the Range
      by Donna Smith

6...Book Review 
      Buddy and the Bunnies in Don't Play with your Food 
       by Donna Smith 

7...Lesson Plan 
                  by Randi Lynn Mrvos 

8...Lesson Plan Activity
               The Estimation Game 
       by Randi Lynn Mrvos  


         Seasons come and seasons go.
         But when they come,
         how do they come?
                     By bus, by truck, by car, by plane?
                     Carried by a crane?
                     Aboard a ship? Hot air balloon?
         A submarine?
         Big spoon?
         Or maybe something magical...invisible, unseen?

         Seasons come and seasons go.  
                     But when they go,
         where do they go?

                     Beyond the meadow grassy tall?
         Upon the backs of ants so small?

         Up high toward sky, so vast, so blue?
         'Cross land so vivid green?
         Hop-hopping with a kangaroo...
         ...or somewhere in between?

                      Seasons come and seasons go.
           I'm glad they do.
          That much I know! 

Written by:  Nanci Moklak                                                                                                  3
Stormy Weather

Written by: Lisa Hart
             Art by:  Asa                                                                                                          4

Cooking on the Range 

The smoke makes your eyes tear.  It catches in your throat and causes you to cough. You reach for the crane. You swing it out of the fireplace to check on your pot of stew and to see if the water in the kettle is boiling. After swinging the crane back over the fire, you use the poker to stir the logs to create more heat. Your cooking tools include long-handled shovels and tongs along with a bellows. On other days, you will use a spit for roasting meat or a grill that sits over a small fire for broiling. Cooking in the late 1700s is a laborious task.  But in the early 1800s, a man named Count Rumford comes up with a new way of cooking. His invention, the Rumford range, is the first step in modernizing the American kitchen.

Rumford’s Range
Rumford considered cooking over an open fire to be “uncontrollable and inefficient and the fire cooked the cook almost as much as the food.” Rumford’s range consisted of vertical holes built into a brickwork structure. The size of the holes corresponded with different shaped pots, pans, kettles, double boilers, and pressure cookers. Each hole contained its own separate fire. Ash pit doors included a register that opened and closed to allow more or less airflow. A damper located on individual flues connected to the same chimney. The range fires were extinguished by placing earthenware covers over each hole and closing the register. 

              Fast Food in the 1800s
 John Scanlon is a preservationist and the vice president of the Friends of Hearthside, a historical home located in Lincoln, Rhode Island.  He believes that a home with a fireplace, beehive oven, and a Rumford range could cook food simultaneously. He goes on to say, “This could have saved hours in cooking and fire setting time and the cook could always have something on hand for the family or farmhands.”

Scanlon adds, “Due to the way the system works, there could be hot meals at different times of the day, without having to start or keep large fires going all the time, thereby enabling shifts of people to eat.” Scanlon’s view echoes Count Rumford’s reason for inventing the Rumford range. Rumford wanted to create a way to feed a large number of people. 

             Evolution of the Cooking Range
 By 1830, the cast iron stove replaced hearth cooking and the Rumford range. The mass-produced cast iron stove became a kitchen staple due to its affordability. Throughout the centuries, the stove continued to evolve into the modern gas and electric range.  Count Rumford’s preoccupation with improving cooking methods led him to also invent the double boiler and the drip coffeepot. His studies of heat and friction focused on improving the efficiency of fireplaces and chimneys. He also worked on rendering early versions of central heat and thermal clothing.

             The Man behind the Range
 Count Rumford was born Benjamin Thompson in Woburn, Massachusetts on March 26, 1753. His father was a farmer who died when Thompson was almost two-years old. Though his formal schooling ended at the age of thirteen, Thompson became a soldier, a statesman, a scientist, an inventor, and a world traveler. He was also an advocate for the social reform of the poor. Count Rumford was sixty-one when he died, on August 21, 1814 in Auteuil, France. Franklin Roosevelt believed that Count Rumford was just as important in history as Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. He considered Count Rumford “the greatest mind America has produced.” 

Sidebar:  Benjamin Thompson married a rich widow and lived in Rumford, Massachusetts.  After the Revolutionary War, he sailed to England.  In 1783, he traveled to Germany. There, he was given the title of Count in recognition of his civilian and military services. 

The author wishes to thank John Scanlon, Vice President, Site Management at Hearthside for his expertise. 

Written by:  Donna Smith                                                                                                               5

Book Review

Name of Book:  Buddy and the Bunnies in Don’t Play with your Food
Author:  Bob Shea 
Year Published: 2014
Age Range of Book: 4 - 8 years
Publisher:  Disney - Hyperion
ISBN:  978-1-4231-6807-2
Price: $12.73 

If you’re a monster, you should read this book because even monsters can be fooled.

Bob Shea’s book is filled with bunnies that multiply throughout the story. These bunnies aren’t dumb. They come up with clever and fun ways to discourage Buddy the monster from eating them. They encourage him to eat cupcakes, join them in a game of hide and seek, and ride the gut-turning Whip at the carnival.

Real monsters eat before they swim, but they don’t play with their food and they never become friendly with their meal. Buddy really isn’t a monster at all. He’s just lonely and the bunnies, while tricking him, teach Buddy to think with his heart instead of his stomach. When the bunnies encounter Buddy, they’re fearless and unflappable. Buddy yells at the bunnies, “Hop in my mouth so I can eat you!” The bunnies reply, “It is too hot to be eaten...Can we go swimming instead?”

The book is a colorful blast from the first page to the last. The illustrations convey the joy that the bunnies are experiencing while they outsmart Buddy. The loosely sketched bunnies are adorable and Buddy goes from menacing to a lovable, striped, furry giant.

Shea is the author and illustrator of Don’t Play with Your Food as well as Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great and his series of Dinosaur picture books. His Dinosaur books include Dinosaur vs. Bedtime, Dinosaur vs. the Library, Dinosaur vs. Santa and Dinosaur vs. the Potty. He also wrote Big Plans with illustrations done by Lane Smith.

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


Lesson Plan:  Estimation 

  Sometimes in mathematics only estimates are needed.  An estimate is a good guess, a quick guess.  They are not the exact answer, but close to the correct answer.  

You can estimate just about anything:  the number of people on a beach, the amount of money in a stack of coins, what time someone will arrive, and so on!   

  In estimating amounts, we usually round off to an approximate number.  Rounding off helps you estimate more easily.  

             If the number in the ones place is a 1, 2, 3, or 4 round down to the nearest ten.  For example, the number 22 would be rounded down to 20.  The number 53 would be rounded down to 50.

If the number in the ones place is 6, 7, 8, or 9 round up.   The number 76 would be rounded up to 80.   The number 18 would be rounded up to 20.  When a number is 5 in the ones place, it may be rounded up or down.  

Written by: Randi Lynn Mrvos                                                                                             7


Lesson Plan Activity:  The Estimation Game

Materials: Items listed below, paper, pencil


1.  Gather the items listed below.  Do not count the items.

2.  Look at the items in the left column.  Estimate the number of each. 

3.  Write the estimates on a piece of paper.  Round up or round down the numbers. 

4.  Then, count the items and compare the number to the estimate.

5.  After completing the first list of items, estimate the items in the column on the right.

Pennies from a piggy bank                                  Socks in a drawer
Marbles, beads, or jelly beans in a jar               Books on a shelf
Mini marshmallows in a bag                                Words on a page of a book
Cotton balls in a bag                                             Hangers in a closet   
Envelopes in a box                                               Spoons in a drawer
Blueberries in a carton or grapes in a bowl      Cans in a pantry

 Written by: Randi Lynn Mrvos                                                                                         8                                                                                                                                                               


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