Tag Archives: Writing stories

The Magic Finger

MG writes everywhere

MG has been writing again. To be honest, she never stops. She started writing a weekend journal two weeks ago which she kept up until yesterday – she might go back to it but when I asked her about writing it she said “You just don’t understand!” so I’ll stick to leaving her to it 😉

She’s also been writing her own version of The Magic Finger over the last week. I’ve read a synopsis of the book online but I can’t remember the detail so I’m not sure how much of what she’s writing is directly from the story or her imagination but her writing is amazing me again.

So far this story is spread over eight sides of densely packed A5. Her writing is much improved even in the six weeks since she wrote The Lonely Bear, although I think I ought to find her some extra spelling work – I don’t normally do any extra-curricular work because both my girls just learn so much from their own interests but MG loves books of words so it shouldn’t be too hard to leave something around for her to pick up on.

I won’t put the whole book up this time, but here are the first two pages (spelling errors and all – although she’s learning more and more as you can see from the first four words!)

Once upon a time there lived a girl called Eleanor. Her friend Beth came to her house Beth played with my doll first i dided not mined. But when she played with it four a long time i did not like it at all. then i poot my magic finger on Beth. (When i poot my magic finger on Beth a red flash when I did it)

When Beth came to a sleap-over at my house she started to turn into a dolly it went quicer and quicer. in the morning Beth said why do i look like a dolly? “said Beth” maby bucos you wer playing with a dolly “Beth said Eleanor,” well i was playing with a dolly “said Beth.” this secend Beths legs turned silcy nitied legs. and her arms wer turning silcy and her eyes wer buttens. her nose was a butten is well. Beths mowth was nitied red. She had a silcy dress on her.

Soon her hol body was buttened silcy nitied on her body. She was like that for ten day’s. the next day was saterday and Beth was still a dolly. on saterday Beth came to my House she played with a difrant toy she played with a robot insted. the robot was shiny and red. when Beth went home i played with the toy robot. Soon Beth was a human agan she was happy that she was normle again. But when Beth came to my house again and she played with my toy robot for a long time i sor red and i poot the magic finger on Beth and when Beth went bac home she started to turn into a robot. When Beth woc up she said why do i look like a robot. on monday Beth came to my house at my house Beth was still a robot. Beth disidid that she would play with a difrant toy bucos it werct bifor this time.

I was going to stop at the first two pages above, but there’s a lovely description of how Beth turns into a toy soldier too:

When Beth went to sleap she startied to turn in to a solger. at bed time when Beth was asleap she startied to hav a solger hat. that was black and then she started to hav a red gacit. and black boots with black tasils. and a yelloe bit at the top. with red trousers with a yelloe belt. with a black tea shirt with silver buttens. and a red bit at the top of the long black hat.

(MG uses ‘g’ instead of ‘j’ frequently, something that needs to be worked on. ‘gacit’ is therefore ‘jacket’. The only word I needed to check with her was ‘nitied’, which is ‘knitted’ but ‘disidid’ (decided), ‘werct’ (worked) and ‘bifor’ (before) took me a while too!)

It’s at this point that Beth’s mum suggests to Beth that Eleanor has a magic finger so Beth goes to teach her friend a lesson – by sitting her on a chair and telling her not to do it again! It was very hard not to but Eleanor stopped using the magic finger, and next time Beth visits they see a magic shoe and a magic ring! I’m very excited to find out what happens next with the two friends, and in reading all the descriptions that MG is adding. Plus, I love how she’s starting to use punctuation in her writing too.

I have no idea if this is average for a 6-and-a-quarter year old, but it seems amazing to me (of course!) I’ve watched her writing most of the story and it’s all coming from her head even if it’s a memory of something she’s already read which makes her descriptions even more wonderful to read (for me!)

I see a lot of blog posts on how to encourage your children to write. I haven’t a clue on how to give any advice on that because I probably need something on how to stop your child writing. MG was writing in her book whilst walking to school one day this week! Every child is different. MG writes. It’s her passion, and it’s a delight for me to go along for the ride…

[I’ll add a picture of the actual text later, but my camera card is full so I need to clear it off before I can take pictures and I’ve just not got round to it!]

Once aponer time #5

Continuing the serialisation of Mighty-Girl’s picture book: the final pages of The Lonely Bear.

The Lonely Bear, page 10

The Lonely Bear, page 8

The Lonely Bear, page 9

The Lonely Bear, page 9

The Lonely Bear, back cover

The Lonely Bear, back cover

To say I’m proud is something of an understatement. The length of this writing for a just-turned six year old is amazing (in my opinion!), there’s over 360 words even excluding all title, character lists etc.

Mighty-Girl approached this work entirely on her own initiative. The only input I had was when she asked me to spell a couple of words (“curious” and “their” – I got some of the their/there/they’re out of context though so incorrect use is probably my fault!) and she only let me read it when she was ready.

I’d like to give huge thanks to Clara Vulliamy who you can see is a huge influence in this work (Martha in this story is named after Clara’s Martha Bunny) and also I can see a lot of similarities to David Melling characters too!

Finally: exciting news! The Lonely Bear is going to be animated…


Once aponer time #4

Continuing the serialisation of Mighty-Girl’s picture book: pages six and seven of The Lonely Bear.

The Lonely Bear, page 6

The Lonely Bear, page 6

The Lonely Bear, page 7

The Lonely Bear, page 7

Come back tomorrow for the final installment!


Once aponer time (an aside)

It’s two-for-the-price-of-one today as along with the third installment of The Lonely Bear I just couldn’t resist sharing something else MG has just written. She decided she hated it so tore it in half, and it’s had water dripped on it too so I’ve typed it up after the pictures.

Witch Story, page 1

Witch Story, page 2

once aponaer time they livd in a carssle a kwen and to prinsesis carld Rosie and Sinder. But muther did not no that sinder was a witch. it startid at night time wen the muther put them to bed and sed good night childrun and when thear mumy gos to slape the bad witch gos to her witch touer evree single night.

Corrected text: Once upon a time there lived in a castle a queen and two princesses called Rosie and Sinder. But mother did not know that Sinder was a witch. It started at nighttime when the mother put them to bed and said “Good night, children,” and when their mummy goes to sleep the bad witch goes to her witch tower every single night.

I find this piece of work astonishing for a six year old. It just seems so mature? Maybe she copied it from somewhere but it’s not familiar to me. If any readers recognise it, please let me know, I’m really curious as to whether it’s something she’s memorised and altered or just her own interpretation of many things she’s read.

I’d love to know more about this story, but I don’t think MG wants to continue it!

Once aponer time #3

Continuing the serialisation of Mighty-Girl’s picture book: pages four and five of The Lonely Bear.

The Lonely Bear, page 4

The Lonely Bear, page 4

The Lonely Bear, page 5

The Lonely Bear, page 5

Come back tomorrow for pages six and seven!


Once aponer time #2

Continuing the serialisation of Mighty-Girl’s picture book: pages two and three of The Lonely Bear.

The Lonely Bear, page two

The Lonely Bear, page 2

The Lonely Bear, page 3

The Lonely Bear, page 3

Come back tomorrow for pages four and five!


Once aponer time #1

I am a very proud mum at the moment. Mighty-Girl has always loved writing and creating her own books. Often these are ‘schoolwork’ that she makes up or colouring books that she draws herself but this week she was especially inspired and created a full storybook.

I should point out that no one else had input into her book. She chose the paper and folded it (the original is three A4 sheets folded together), thought up every part of it herself, wrote and illustrated on her own terms and timeline. She did it over two days: one afternoon & evening, and one morning.

I also want to point out that Mighty-Girl turned six at the end of February so is not quite six and two months.

I can see things that she’s picked up in school in her writing, specifically the list of characters and the setting that she’s written at the start! I don’t know if this is based on a story she’s heard but it is her story and an extention of one she started last summer.

Some of the characters have changed – the bee and frog have disappeared and a rabbit (or two) appeared – but it’s the same idea that’s been in her head perculating.

MG has also dedicated the book to Clara Vulliamy, you’ll see why as the story progresses! Clara’s books inspire so much creative play in this house and I’m more than proud of my girl, not only for her perserverence in completing her work, but for knowing who inspires her too.

I shared one page on twitter yesterday, and it was suggested I serialise the work. So, I introduce you to “The Lonely Bear”, serialised in five parts…

The Lonely Bear, front cover

The Lonely Bear, front cover
The odd white patches are because I’m trying to clean up the scan, badly!

The Lonely Bear, inside front cover

The Lonely Bear, inside front cover
Title, setting and character list

The Lonely Bear, page 1

The Lonely Bear, page 1

Come back tomorrow for pages two and three!



The Little Fir Tree

This year MG has the part of Mary in her class Nativity play (5-7 year olds). The main part is the fir tree, Mary and Joseph don’t have any lines but they do join in the songs! I’m getting an idea of the play, not only from MG’s singing but she made this book at the weekend, and being the ultra-proud parent I am, I had to share!

The Little Fir Tree Cover “The Littl fir tree”
The top corner says “scall” (school) and the names of her teachers.

The Little Fir Tree pages 1 & 2 “The Litte fir tree. One day groe sum fir trees one was sml the uvers lrft heloe shorte heloe scwert he toe small The wodkcuter cam to lok at all the trees the wodkcuter cam”
The Little Fir Tree. One day some fir trees grew. One was small. The others laughed: hello shorty, hello squirt, he’s too small. The woodcutter came to look at all the trees. The woodcutter came 

The Little Fir Tree page 1Page 1 flap open

The Little Fir Tree pages 3 & 4

“Sum time the rain fet on the trees splish splash piter pater in the rain forist fallin on the”
Sometimes the rain fell on the trees. Splish, splash. Pitter, patter in the rain. Falling in the forest.

The Little Fir Tree pages 5 & 6
The Little Fir Tree pages 7 & 8
“fall in the graown flot in all a rown
sumtims the sun shind brit on the trees sun lit sun lit berning
brit in the blow sky sunit sunlit berning brit in the blow sky”
Falling on the ground, floating all around.
Sometimes the sun shone bright on the trees. Sunlight, sunlight burning bright in the blue sky. Sunlight, sunlight burning bright in the blue sky.

The Little Fir Tree pages 9 & 10
“mere and dyosif wer son to hav a baby that ni the baby was born”
Mary and Joseph were soon to have a baby. That night the baby was born.

The Little Fir Tree pages 11 & 12
“Jezs Jezs so small and so preshesj and glorre of heven alyoleer alyoler come to erth”
Jesus, Jesus, so small and so precious. Glory of heaven, hallelujah, hallelujah. Come to Earth.

The Little Fir Tree Back Cover
“evre one has sum think to liv for evre one of us has sumthink to liv for”
Everyone has something to live for. Every one of us has something to live for.

MG told me that the last page should also say “everyone has something to give”. I’m not sure what the picture is, the things she likes about herself maybe? Or just a random doodle that belongs somewhere else?!

MG makes a lot of books like this. She glues pages together, creates flaps and sticks pictures she’s drawn and cut-out down. I really must find some of the other good examples and take pictures. This one especially impressed me because it’s a more complete work (she often gets distracted, or the books are more disjointed – I love them all!) and because it shows how she has learnt and understood her Christmas play.

Things I find interesting are how there are a lot more high frequency words that are in her head that she can write correctly. It’s interesting (to me!) to see this develop. I also find it interesting how the “D” and “J” sounds can be confused. She writes “Dyosif” for “Joseph”, cf. “Jagn” for “Dragon” in her first stories four months ago. I also love her hallelujah: alyoleer/alyoler. I had to look up the spelling and had forgotten it actually starts with an H so I think her attempt is brilliant.

Her spacing and splitting of words over two lines make it quite hard to work out all her meaning still, but every part of that is improving and she’s really getting her ideas across. I leave her total freedom to create, and don’t “correct” anything she does. I do say I can’t always read what’s written but we work it out together and I’m getting pretty good at reading phonetically now!

Not wanting to leave DG out, she’s starting to make letter shapes so I think she’ll be forming her first letters and maybe her name very soon. At her age, MG could write her own name and her sister’s but MG and DG are different people. In contrast, DG flies off into preschool in the morning without a backward glance to me but I was still coming into the class every morning for the whole of F1 with MG and she still has shy mornings now, although her confidence is blossoming.

Blossoming is one of the words MG’s teacher used to describe her in parent’s evening last week, along with determined and a credit to the school. The teacher also said that whatever I was doing at home, to keep on doing it because MG is putting everything together and has no worries in any subject area. DG’s key worker said she was quiet! My daughters are completely different people at school than at home! I am utterly proud of every bit of both of them.

First Stories

MG (5yr 5mo) has started writing stories. As her mother, I think her ‘books’ are the most amazing, wonderful things in the whole wide world ever. I’m sharing her first books below.

Book One

bi [MG] And the picJs rar bi [MG]
By [MG]. And the pictures are by [MG]

wons pon tim the ws A bear in bi the rocs nere the wortreA ejs he ws lone And sAd
Once upon a time there was a bear in by the rocks near the water’s edge. He was lonely and sad.

evn the frog cood not chere up evn the bee cood not chere him up evn the fox cood not doo
Even the frog could not cheer him up. Even the bee could not cheer him up. Even the fox could not do it.

bt the Awl coo do it.
But the owl could do it.

the end

Book Two

bi [MG}. and the picJs rs bi [MG].
By [MG]. And the pictures are by [MG]

wons pon ti thea ws a monstre hoo liv in carsl bcs ov the Jagn and the prinses ws criing and wondin if a prins wd cum to rescyou he wod cum to resgyoy.
Once upon a time there was a monster who lived in a castle because of the dragon. And the princess was crying and wondering if a prince would come to rescue her.

dn and he did cum she sdopt criin ar you u rel prins yes i am pt won secnd a wicd wich pere how did theat hapn prins
Then and he did come. She stopped crying.
“Are you a real prince? “
“Yes I am.”
But one second a wicked witch appeared.
“How did that happen prince?”

I am so proud of my little girl’s imagination, and how happy she was producing these first stories. I can’t wait for more, especially the middle of the first book and the end of the second!