Thursday, August 27, 2009

Claiming contest entries

Our display of art contest winners has received much praise and appreciation these past few months - we're extremely proud of the talented artists who submitted!

We will continue the display through September, and any artist who entered may pick up their piece at any point - but should take their picture next to the display before they go!

Thanks for submitting, and we hope to see your masterpieces again next spring.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Art Winners 11-13

First place: Claire Dickson, age 12
"The Lonely Surfer"

Second place: Eleanor Holton, age 11
"Journey to the River Sea"

Writing Winners 11-13

First Place: “More Than 1000 Books on our Shelves” by Margaret Shea (age 11)

I am from

“Handsome is as handsome does”

And, “Hunger makes the best sauce”

I am from being critical, and being kind

From seven aunts and uncles,

A World War II veteran,

And a small town in Michigan.

I am from ping-pong,

And playing (fighting!) with my brothers.

I am from jokes about Christmas trees (“You son of a birch!”)

And more than 1,000 books on our shelves.

I am from Ancient Greek and Latin,

And poems endlessly recited by my father:

In the car, and as I brush my teeth.

I am from two attorneys,

From a poor city boy who grew up in Lowell,

And a little girl from a small town who made it big.

Second Place: “The Ode to Mozzarella” by Francis Corvino (age 12)

Mozzarella oh mozzarella

Come to me!

My poor mouth is in the mood for salty and sweet

As I sit at my table

I think of only one thing

That that is mozzarella cheese

Your explosive flavor

And everything about you

Is so delicious

Mozzarella oh mozzarella

When I finally get a chunk of you

I need another piece

After the next piece

There will be another

Then another

Until there is no more to eat

Mozzarella oh mozzarella

Your flavor beckons to me

Like a bone does to a dog

When my spoon hits your flesh

My taste buds start to sizzle

Like firecrackers in the sky

Or popcorn on the burner

Mozzarella oh mozzarella

Now my teeth start to open

My hand starts to shake

And my head starts to spin

You are now in my mouth

Waiting to be released

From the prison of my fork

Mozzarella oh mozzarella

My lips start to seal

And I suck you from the fork

Then BAM!

Salt starts to rush

Into the bottom of my throat


I cut you thinly

Trembling all the while

Mozzarella oh mozzarella

I place you carefully

On top of a thinly cut tomato

Then I sprinkle you with vinegar

A small dose of olive oil

Will add to your taste

Mozzarella oh mozzarella

Once you come to my mouth

I can smell your ravishing taste

I can see your diamond like salt

Shining on your soft and squishy flesh

I can feel your soft, soft body

As you shimmer in the light

I can only think of more

Mozzarella oh mozzarella

While you jump in my mouth

Like kids on a trampoline

Washa! Goes the tomato

Wahoo! Goes the vinegar

Wala! Goes the olive oil

What you do is indescribable

You are like a nuclear explosion

An avalanche on Mt. Everest

Mozzarella oh mozzarella

It’s just me and you

The cats aren’t in the kitchen

There’s no mouse to be seen

No dog that is barking

No horse is now running

But my hand sure is moving

And right to my mouth

I close my eyes

And take a deep breath

I have a small nibble

Then one a little bigger

As my I take bigger bites

There becomes less left of you

And less

And less

And less

And gone

Third place: Twas the day of Inauguration by Chhoyang Cheshatsang

‘Twas the day of Inauguration and it went all through the state

Obama was president! But not quite yet…

People were crowding, pushing, shoving and shouting

But there was peace to the court

when Obama was arriving.

Everybody clapped and cheered.

And then they saw Bush who they sorta feared.

The group was playing, Perlman, Montero, McGill and YoMa

While the Obamas relaxed,

like they were doing Yoga.

While they were playing, the announcer,

Who was close friends with Bill Gates,

said “Obama is now president of the United States.”

People hugged and cried and kisses (ew),

Even the Republicans were kind of happy too.

Then everyone stopped their ruckus,

‘cause it was old Joe’s turn to do the oath of office.

With his hand in the air

He said those powerful words

But at Fayerweather Cindy was asking Jordan,

“What’s half of two thirds?”

Biden was now V.P.

The man 2nd in charge

But the real show was

the guy living large.

Honorable Mention: Outside the Box by Claire Dickson

On November 4, 2008 our country voted for a new president. But just a second. Fifteen percent of the population can’t vote. Some people need to think outside the box and open up their minds to us kids. Well, at least someone has. John Holt, a pioneering homeschooling advocate expressed in his book “Escape from Childhood” that everyone should have the right to vote. He said: “Though we will probably lower the voting age a year or two at a time, ultimately I want the right to vote for people of any age.”

I think John Holt is right. All people should have a say, even kids. Especially since the outcome of the elections affects them hugely. Everyone should have the option, even if they choose not to take advantage of it.

John Holt had a fourth grade class of 28 kids write to him on the subject. The results on that were very interesting. Nine boys and three girls said they would vote and should be allowed to do so. Five boys and two girls said they would not vote, nor should they be allowed to. The people who said they wouldn’t or shouldn’t be allowed to vote gave reasons like this: too difficult, would not know how to, would vote the same as parents, would break the voting machines.

The only one of these reasons that might turn out to be a reality if kids were allowed to vote is that they might vote the same as their parents. Even so, it’s not a good enough reason to keep kids from having the right to vote. Kids’ moms and dads aren’t always going to vote the same way, and we kids have minds of our own.

You might think kids don’t think about these things, but we do! In fact, a survey of 500 kids ages 8-12 was done before the election by Just Kids Inc. Seventy two percent of them knew who they would vote for, and they had some ideas in mind for the next president – lower gas prices, stopping the Iraq war, etc.

So let’s start thinking outside the box and let youngsters put their vote in it!

Art Winners 8-10

First place: Bennett Graff, age 8
"The Department of Time and the In-Between" from "The Seems: The Split Second" by John Hulme and Michael Wexler

Second place: Abigail Dickson, age 10
"Ella Fitzgerald: The Tale of a Vocal Virtuosa" by Andrea Davis Pinkney

Third place: Valerie Dubinsky, age 9
"Coraline" by Neil Gaiman

Honorable Mention: Gwyneth Bechunas, age 8
"In the Lagoon"

Writing Winners 8-10

First place: “The Dream Ghost” by Sophie Culpepper (age 10)

I didn’t know what was happening. I was floating away, farther and farther away, and everything was going black.....

An 11 year-old girl suddenly appeared in the middle of the woods. She looked dazed and confused. How had she gotten here? Suddenly she realized how cold, hungry and tired she was. The child dropped to her knees, moaning. She knew she could never find her way home. Suddenly, she jumped to her feet. There was a light coming towards her. The girl stumbled forward…and found herself face to face with an old woman holding a lantern.

“Why, you poor child! What are you doing out here in the cold!you’re dead on your feet! Come with me, claire, and we shall get you some nice hot soup.”

Claire gratefully took the wrinkled hand, and gasped. “Why ma’am, your hand is cold as ice!”

The lady scowled. “Really Claire, it’s quite rude to make comments like that.Apologize.”

“Sorry,” Claire muttered. This lady was starting to scare her, but there was no way she was going to turn down soup, just becuase her skin was cold! However, had she noticed two other things, she would have been running for her life, screaming.Number one: she knew claire’s name without being told. Number two: she didn’t leave any footprints in the damp forest earth.

“Here we are, Claire,”purred the old lady. Claire gasped. The house was huge! It was of grey and black stone and had no windows. She had a thousand questions at that moment: Who was the old woman? Why was her house in the middle of the forest? Why was it covered in cobwebs? What had the lady been doing in the forest so late at night? However, a glance of warning from the old woman told her not to ask any questions.

The old woman took out a key that seemed to be made of what looked suspiciously like a human finger bone. It took a full five minutes to get the door open. The second they stepped inside, Claire knew something was wrong. The woman slammed the door shut and slid the bolt home, locking the door. She smiled mockingly.

“Would you like some soup, dearie?” She stuffed the selection in Claires face, laughing a truly evil laugh. The choices were: eyeball chowder, liver stew, bone soup and toenail noodle soup.

“No thank you” said Claire shakely. She began to back up. “I’ll be going now.” She turned and tried to run, but the old woman caught her in an iron, icy grip and sneered. “Oh no you don’t. I have very special plans for you.

“At least tell me who, no what you are,” pleaded Claire, desperate.

“Whith pleasure. I am the gost of Mrs. Kimberly black, murderer and kidnapper.

Claire felt sick.At last she managed to choke out “What are you planning to do with me?”

“Why, I am planning to Kill you and with one drop of your blood I will come back to life!” Kimberly laughed the laugh of a lunatic. Then she picked up a knife that had been lying on the counter beside her, unnoticed. She raised the knife slowly, letting it slide up claire’s arm, leaving a long, shallow cut. Claire covered up the blood with her hand, realizing too late that this left her chest unprotected. With a wild war cry, Kimberly brought down the knife. Claire screamed and once again she was floating…..

I woke up, shaking in my parent’s bedroom. I was lying on the couch.

“Claire, you look as if you’ve seen a ghost!” my dad said. Suddenly he saw my arm. “Claire, Whats this?” he cried. There on my arm was a long, shallow cut.

Second Place: untitled story by Tim Lee (age 10)

Chapter 1

Kyle sat in the back yard of his house. He was 12 years old, and his parents had just gone to some meeting at his school. He was old enough to stay home, so usually his parents let him. Unless they were going to be away for awhile, like maybe the entire night. In that case a neighbor would come over to check on him now and then.

Kyle lay back on the soft, slightly damp grass of his yard. His vision slowly went black, although his eyes were open, and he could make out dark forms. He began to see colors and shapes, dancing in front of his eyes. He did not know why this happened, but he enjoyed the sensation. Every time this happened Kyle usually pried himself from the ground before the anything really did something, but tonight he wanted to find out what the climax of his hallucinations was. The patterns got deeper, going into focused detail, but then blurry again. He felt strangely relaxed, pinned to the ground by gravity, his body in another dimension. He started to lift up into the air. Not fully into the air. In the dimension of his back yard, he was laying on the ground with his T-shirt getting slightly wet from dew. However, in the Tachyon dimension, he was in the air, gliding through a tunnel through space.

Tachyons are particles that can travel faster than the speed of light. Scientists have theories that if something could travel faster than the speed of light, unusual things would start to happen, like the tachyon being able to travel through another dimension of earth and space. In other words, time travel.

Kyle stared as the colors turned to dark forms and the hallucinations calmed. He then had enough focus to see where he was. His own back yard. He slowly sat up, disappointed that nothing had happened, and he walked over to the front door. He jiggled at the handle, and then realized it was locked. As he was pulling the key out of his back pocket, the door swung open. An old man stood at the door.

“Yes?” he said creakily, “Are you selling something?”

“No, I was wondering who you are. You’re in my house!” Kyle said uncomfortably.

“I live here. My name is Francis Skidmore. Call me Frank.”

Kyle figured it out. “Oh…” he said softly.

Kyle had traveled into the future. He was now staring at his father, or future father, In about his seventies or eighties. Kyle had discovered a time portal, In his back yard.

Chapter 2

Jason McCrieg walked down the street, weaving and dodging through the throng of businessmen. He couldn’t call them that like he wasn’t. He was a businessman himself. He was an insurance agent for Carlton & McCaster in Washington D.C. His job was boring, violently tedious at some points. But, he was making reasonable income, and he was at a steady job, a job that wouldn’t turn its back on him during the economic crisis.

He was waiting at a street crossing, thinking about his job. He didn’t notice that the walk sign had already flickered on, the timer slowly counting down. At the twentieth count he started to walk. When he had reached about the middle of the cross walk he noticed a bus driving up to the street. He calculated that by the time the bus reached the area that he was in, he would be well across the street. Being distracted by this thought, Jason dropped his brief case. The series of events that followed were the reason Jason McCreig would die, or worse.

Kyle stared. He knew it was impolite. But he stared. He was looking at his father. In the future.

“You are… dad?”

“And, who are you?”

“My name is Kyle Skidmore.”

“Kyle Skidmore?” the man said, “Kyle… that’s my father’s name.”


“My father, Kyle Skidmore. What is this April fool’s day?” the man said, getting angry.

“No, I’m…” Kyle said defeated.

“C’mon! Who are you?”

“Kyle Skidmore! You’re my father, Frank Skidmore!”

“Frank Skidmore? Frank? That’s my grandfather!”

It finally dawned on Kyle. He was talking to not his father, but his son.

“I, uh…have to um… go. I have to go now.”

“Was there something you wanted?” his son said.

Kyle started to walk away.

“Oh, well I guess not.” His son closed the door.

Kyle tried to grasp what had happened. By lying in his yard, Kyle had traveled into the future. There he met his father, no- his son, talked with him and left.

Kyle realized his problem. He traveled into the future, yes, that was amazing. But, how did he get back to the past? He considered lying in the yard again, but he didn’t know if it would work. he decided the probability of it actually working was better than walking around trying to time travel, so he went back and found exactly the faded imprint of his form on the damp grass. He lay down, and the show began.

Jason dropped his briefcase. He watched in horror as all the papers spilled out on to the asphalt. He scrambled to pick them up. The bus driver watched Jason drop the case, but his eye was caught something else. A woman walked across the sidewalk, holding her child’s hand. The child was pulling on the woman’s purse, and just has the bus driver was going to look away, in that split second, the seam of the purse burst. Jewelry, coins and belongings spilled from the bottom of the purse. The child laughed, as an old man slipped on the scattered items, regained his balance and started to mutter. The bus driver did not notice Jason, in front of the bus picking up his own briefcase.

Jason looked up and in a fraction of a second his mind processed three things; Moving bus, fallen briefcase and certain death.

Jason looked up and felt nothing. He saw a huge blue form rushing at him and his world went dark, like an invisible hand had turned out any light in the world. He opened his eyes realizing that he wasn’t dead. There was a dull pressure pounding his ears and a constant ripple of hot and then cold air rushing at him. He watched looked around himself and realized that he was now in the bus, floating in almost slow motion over the seats and bus riders. Slowly things began to speed up to normal time, and Jason hurtled through the bus to the back wall. He braced himself for impact, but the only thing he felt was a slight ripple through his skin and a strange sensation through his stomach. He smacked down on the hard pavement. He looked around. Something was different. Because of a formation of molecules and tachyon particles, he had managed to fly through the bus unharmed and ended up somewhere near the 1950’s. he watched the old fashioned style bus drive away in a cloud of dust and smoke. Jason had time traveled.

Note: This is only the first to chapters. It continues, but it was too long to submit all of it.

Third Place: “Pure Jazz” by Coby Gray (age 10)

The music flows out of my bell

A river

Only stopping to take a breath

Cracking sometimes

But otherwise perfect




Honorable Mention: untitled poem by Magnus Aske (age 8)

Frog, green frog, bright green spotted frog,

shinny, slippery melody, still… cattails,

pond… jumping, splashing, swimming, vanished.

Art Winners 5-7

First place: Natalie Holton, age 7
"The Moon Lake" by Ivan Gantschev

Second place: Tess Walsh, age 6
"Wash, Wipe"

Third place: Grace Broughton, age 6
"Mary Had a Little Lamb"

Honorable Mention: Benjamin Wong, age 6
"Wow Wow Wubbzy: Special Delivery" by Mara Conlon

Writing Winners 5-7

First place: “The Spooky Cat” by Yasmine Aoua ( age 7)

When my friend was young she had a cat. Her cat’s name was Furry. She was black with lots of fur, that’s why she called her cat Furry. Furry would always stay in the living room at night until one night Furry went into my friend Sasha’s room. That night Sasha could not sleep because there was too much light and too much noise. The light and the noise came from Furry. Furry was paying and her eyes were glowing in the dark. Sasha thought there was a monster in her room. Then Sasha started to scream as loud as she could. Sasha’s mom heard Sasha’s scream and went to see what happened. Sasha told her mom everything that happened and she said “It was Furry because last night I heard her go upstairs. Sasha’s mom said “I will get you a night light so you will not get scared and you will be able to sleep and you will know who is making the noise.” Then Sasha was happy and she was not scared of Furry anymore. That is the end of the spooky cat story.

Second place: “Pull Up, Pull Up” by Tess Walsh (age 6)

Pull up pull up

Pull them down

you should

wear them

upside down

or red or brown

Third place: “A Turtle” by Grace Broughton (age 6)

A turtle is green. A turtle is slow. If a turtle wants to go somewhere not far, it will still take a long time.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

2009 Contest Winners!

It was fun, it was difficult, it's over: the judges have done their judging and the talliers have tallied their tallies and here are the results of the 2009 art and writing contests....

Art Contest

Ages 5 -7

1st place: Natalie Holton
2nd place: Tess Walsh
3rd place: Grace Broughton
Honorable mention: Benjamin Wong

Ages 8-10

1st place: Bennett Graff
2nd place: Abigail Dickson
3rd place: Valerie Dubinsky
Honorable mention: Gwyneth Bechunas

Ages 11-13

1st place: Claire Dickson
2nd place: Eleanor Holton

Writing Contest

Ages 5-7

1st place: Yasmine Aoua
2nd place: Tess Walsh
3rd place: Grace Broughton

Ages 8-10

1st place: Sophie Culpepper
2nd place: Tim Lee
3rd place: Coby Gray
Honorable mention: Magnus Aske

Ages 11-13

1st place: Margaret Shea
2nd place: Francis Corvino
3rd place: Chhoyang Cheshatsang
Honorable mention: Claire Dickson

As soon as we can, we will post the texts and hang the artwork in the store! Winners will receive a postcard in the mail shortly, and gift certificates can be picked up in store.

Congratulations and thanks to everyone who entered!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Last day!

Today is the last day we are accepting contest entries, so as of 7 pm tonight, the contest is closed.

Winners will be announced on May 15th via postcards to the addresses they provided on their entry forms. Gift certificate prizes can be picked up in store any time after that date. Prize-winning artwork will be on display in store and the prize-winning writing will be posted right here.

Thanks to everyone who valiantly submitted their work, and good luck! Judging sure is going to be hard, but we'll do our best. See you in two weeks!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Art and Writing Contest Guidelines

It's that time of year again: the start of our annual Just for Kids Art and Writing Contests! Here are the guidelines for both contests (you can enter one or both!), and an entry form you can print out and send in with your submission. All entries are due by April 30th. Winners will be announced May 15th.

Art Contest:
Illustrate a scene from your favorite p
oem, fairy tale, short story, or book. Please be sure to label your artwork with the title and author of the work you have chosen to illustrate.

Writing Contest:
Write an original short story, poem, or essay. Three pages maximum.

Prize-winning artwork will be on display in Curious George from June through August. Prize-winning writing will be posted right here on this blog.

Submissions will be judged by age group: ages 5 to 7, 8 to 10, and 11 to 13. Gift certificates will be awarded to first, second and third place winners.

No purchase necessary. All kids between the ages of 5 and 13 are eligible, except relatives of Curious George employees. Please enter each contest only once. Children submitting multiple entries in either category will be disqualified. Children should enter only their own work.

Download and print this entry form to send in with your submi