Archive for the 'books' Category

Storytime: The Troublesome Tooth Fairy

Year: 2000
Author: Sandi Toksvig
Illustrator: Georgien Overwater

Jessica’s granny wasn’t like other grannies. She never wore a shawl or a flowery dress or sensible shoes to help bad feet. In fact, the day Jessica went to see Granny about her tooth, Granny was wearing a cowboy outfit. Granny was in her kitchen but she wasn’t doing granny things like knitting or cooking. She was dancing. It was a Tuesday and Granny went line dancing on Tuesdays.

‘Granny,’ said Jessica, a bit excited, ‘it’s happened!’

‘That’s wonderful,’ exclaimed Granny. Then she leant forward and whispered, ‘What has?’

Jessica smiled at her. Right in the middle of her mouth was a large gap.

‘My tooth has come out!’

Jessica felt in her pocket and pulled out a small piece of tissue paper. Inside was a small but perfect white tooth, which, that morning, had been helping Jessica to eat an apple.

‘That’s marvellous,’ declared Granny, doing a short tap dance in her cowboy boots. ‘I think this calls for champagne, don’t you?’

Jessica nodded. She knew it wasn’t real champagne but they had the drink in champagne glasses anyway.

Continue reading ‘Storytime: The Troublesome Tooth Fairy’

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Storytime: The Frankenstein Teacher

Year: 1998
Author: Tony Bradman
Illustrator: Peter Kavanagh

High in the spooky mountains, a spooky storm was raging. In the heart of that spooky storm, there stood a spooky old castle. In that spooky old castle, there was a spooky laboratory. And in that spooky laboratory…

Something very, very spooky was going on.

Vast vats were hubbling and bubbling. Enormous machines were humming and thrumming. Colossal coils were whizzing and fizzing. And right in the middle of all that sound and fury was… The Doctor.

‘At last, the moment is near!’

He pulled a massive lever.

The roof opened wide to the night, and the wild wind came whistling in. Thunder crashed, lightning flashed… and ZAPPED! on to a metal rod. It sizzled down the wall, scorched across the floor, and jumped once more…

Straight into a strange shape under a sheet.

The Doctor threw some switches. Bright sparks flew, choking smoke billowed, and The Doctor checked his dials. He looked around–and then he smiled. Beneath the sheet there were definitely some… twitches.

‘MY CREATION LIVES!’

Continue reading ‘Storytime: The Frankenstein Teacher’

Storytime: Yo Ho Ho!

Year: 1996
Author: Marjorie Newman
Illustrator: Kate Sheppard

‘This is Mr Cutlass,’ said Mrs Smith, the headmistress. ‘He is your new teacher.’

Class 4 looked at their new teacher. He wasn’t like the other teachers. He wore a spotted scarf round his neck. And he had a parrot on his shoulder.

‘What’s the parrot’s name?’ asked Oko.

‘Nipper,’ said Mr Cutlass.

‘We don’t usually have pets in school,’ frowned Mrs Smith. ‘Mr Cutlass says Nipper will help with lessons.’

‘Ar. That he will,’ said Mr Cutlass.

Class 4 laughed. Mr Cutlass laughed, too. Nipper squawked, and flapped his wings.

Mrs Smith did not laugh.

‘I hope everything will be all right,’ she said. She walked out of the room.

Mr Cutlass winked at Class 4.

‘Right, mates! The first lesson is singing!’

He began to sing a loud sea song. Soon everyone in the room was singing loud sea songs. Nipper squawked, and flapped his wings.

‘He’s helping!’ said Mr Cutlass.

Class 4 laughed.

Continue reading ‘Storytime: Yo Ho Ho!’

The Dog – part 2

“Well, I went with him into his hut–and a hut it certainly was: poor, bare, crooked; only just holding together. On the wall there was an ikon of old workmanship as black as a coal; only the whites of the eyes gleamed in the faces. He took some round spectacles in iron frames out of a little table, put them on his nose, read the writing and looked at me again through the spectacles. ‘You have need of me?’ ‘I certainly have,’ I answered. ‘Well,’ said he, ‘if you have, tell it and we will listen.’ And, only fancy, he sat down and took a checked handkerchief out of his pocket, and spread it out on his knee, and the handkerchief was full of holes, and he looked at me with as much dignity as though he were a senator or a minister, and he did not ask me to sit down. And what was still stranger, I felt all at once awe-stricken, so awe-stricken… my soul sank into my heels. He pierced me through with his eyes and that’s the fact! I pulled myself together, however, and told him all my story. He was silent for a space, shrank into himself, chewed his lips and then questioned me just like a senator again, majestically, without haste. ‘What is your name?’ he asked. ‘Your age? What were your parents? Are you single or married?’ Then again he munched his lips, frowned, held up his finger and spoke: ‘Bow down to the holy ikon, to the honourable Saints Zossima and Savvaty of Solovki.’ I bowed down to the earth and did not get up in a hurry; I felt such awe for the man and such submission that I believe that whatever he had told me to do I should have done it on the spot!… I see you are grinning, gentlemen, but I was in no laughing mood then, I assure you. ‘Get up, sir,’ said he at last. ‘I can help you. This is not sent you as a chastisement, but as a warning; it is for your protection; someone is praying for your welfare. Go to the market now and buy a young dog and keep it by you day and night. Your visions will leave you and, moreover, that dog will be of use to you.’

Continue reading ‘The Dog – part 2’

The Dog – part 1

“But if one admits the possibility of the supernatural, the possibility of its participation in real life, then allow me to ask what becomes of common sense?” Anton Stepanitch pronounced and he folded his arms over his stomach.

Anton Stepanitch had the grade of a civil councillor, served in some incomprehensible department and, speaking emphatically and stiffly in a bass voice, enjoyed universal respect. He had not long before, in the words of those who envied him, “had the Stanislav stuck on to him.”

“That’s perfectly true,” observed Skvorevitch.

“No one will dispute that,” added Kinarevitch.

“I am of the same opinion,” the master of the house, Finoplentov, chimed in from the corner in falsetto.

“Well, I must confess, I cannot agree, for something supernatural has happened to me myself,” said a bald, corpulent middle-aged gentleman of medium height, who had till then sat silent behind the stove. The eyes of all in the room turned to him with curiosity and surprise, and there was a silence.

The man was a Kaluga landowner of small means who had lately come to Petersburg. He had once served in the Hussars, had lost money at cards, had resigned his commission and had settled in the country. The recent economic reforms had reduced his income and he had come to the capital to look out for a suitable berth. He had no qualifications and no connections, but he confidently relied on the friendship of an old comrade who had suddenly, for no visible reason, become a person of importance, and whom he had once helped in thrashing a card sharper. Moreover, he reckoned on his luck–and it did not fail him: a few days after his arrival in town he received the post of superintendent of government warehouses, a profitable and even honourable position, which did not call for conspicuous abilities: the warehouses themselves had only a hypothetical existence and indeed it was not very precisely known with what they were to be filled–but they had been invented with a view to government economy.

Continue reading ‘The Dog – part 1’


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