Caution: The following works comprise a collection of voices and visions waiting to reach out, suck you in, and never let go. From fancy ketchup to zombies in tutus to spring-ready accessories, the works in this line-up are as eclectic as the students who produced them.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of exploring and creating with Ms. Williamson’s fourth-grade students at Boone Elementary School. Each week, we speculated, debated, and laughed as we discussed the essential elements that make a piece of writing compelling, and, above all, matter. I believe each of the following works embodies those traits, and I feel lucky to be in the company of such expansive imaginations.
So, sit back, relax, and prepare to be dazzled by some amazing creative works. Tread fearlessly, but carefully—they might bite.
Badgerdog Teaching Artist
How to Sell Ketchup: A Fine Food for Fancy People
Rated number one by food tasters around the world! This ketchup is made with real tomatoes, not Franken-food. What’s more, it’s even a good stress reliever. Just squish the packet in dangerous, scary, or other questionable situations and all your fears will disappear! Don’t wait any longer! Now’s the time! Grab your own fancy ketchup packet today. Available at a fast food restaurant near you.
Combs are the best way to keep your hair looking both fine and divine! They’re unbreakable—like Kevlar for your hair! Who wouldn’t want one?
Alvin and Theodore
One day I went to get a haircut. As I was sitting there in the bright barbershop, I thought to myself, Wouldn’t it be nice to have a pet? While I was on my way home, I thought of the perfect pet: a hamster. That’s it! I’ll adopt a hamster!
The next day, I drove to PetSmart and stared into the glass cases housing hamsters, ferrets, and kittens. I spotted a hamster with large black eyes and was immediately in love. The placard next to the cage read: “Chinese Dwarf Hamster.” How exotic, I thought. I had to have it, but I didn’t want it to be lonely, so I decided to snag the hamster it shared its cage with. I filled my cart with all the necessary supplies for my new friends: a cage, water bottles, colorful toys, and flaky hamster food.
Back home, they looked comfortable and happy. The only thing left to do was name them. After a while of thinking, I came up with the only names fit for these two friends: Alvin and Theodore.
It was a dark and stormy night when I fell out of my bed. I got up so I could wake up my dog. I wanted to sleep in his doghouse, figuring I’d feel more comfortable there. But then I heard something odd, something that sounded like a clown. Sure enough, a clown jumped out of the shadows and squeaked his large red clown horn at me. Naturally, I was extremely scared, so I ran the other direction toward the kitchen when a zombie popped out of the pantry wearing a tutu, of all things! I scrambled toward the bathroom and thought I was alone and safe. But then I heard a ghoulish sound from the shower: it was Frankenstein! We looked at each other and both screamed! I dashed out of the bathroom toward my sister’s room, where I spotted crazy Elmo! He started following me as I rushed to get away, but then I crashed into two dancing dolls with eyes as large as the moon. My head was swirling and I started seeing visions. Chicken wings, crying babies, choirs singing. In my haze, a robot dog came barking down the hallway after me. So, of course I ran as fast as I could before spotting the Cookie Monster who yelled, “Cookie, cookie, cookie!” after me as I sped past toward my bedroom. Nowhere was safe. I burrowed into my bed. A few seconds later, the TV mysteriously flicked on, and on the screen appeared the cast of Sesame Street. Slowly, I watched as the head of King Elmo rose at the edge of my bed, and came closer, closer, closer.
The Swag Dogs
I have two female dogs and two male dogs. My family likes to call them the “Swag Dogs” because they have a lot of attitude.
They are all very soft but smell very, very bad. My dogs are all unique. I have a Pug, Chug, Chihuahua, and Maltese. Pancho, the Chihuahua, sleeps with me. But one day he died. Magically, he came back to life. It was a miracle, and the Swag Dogs were back together once again.
Jeffery the Zookeeper: Dun! Dun! Dun!
Once, there was a zookeeper named Jeffery. He was a very rich man, and his house was made of gold and cost more than one million dollars! He also loved animals and even had his own bobcat.
One day, Jeffery saw something in his bobcat’s cage. It was shiny and glittery. Jeffery had to have it. The bobcat was nowhere to be seen, so Jeffery crept into the cage, hoping to retrieve the treasure. But Jeffery did not see that he had been wrong all along: the bobcat was still in the cage.
To this day, nobody steps foot in that cage.
Fight for the Husky
I really want a Husky. I’m trying to persuade my parents to let me adopt one. I mean, who wouldn’t want a Husky? Who wouldn’t want a fluffy, blue-eyed cutie?
I deserve a Husky because I would take good care of it, attending to all of its needs. I already have two other dogs, so I’d convince my parents that they’d also need a new friend.
I’d make my case and seal it with puppy dog eyes. In my fight for the Husky, I’d be victorious.
We are Always Happy
My sister is four years old. Sometimes we are mad or sad. But most of the time, we are happy. When I’m sad, she gives me a hug and a kiss. Sometimes my sister and I are mad or sad. But if we stick together, we’ll always be happy.
There is a photo of a man and his cat. However, what you see is not what is because the man in the photo is the cat, and the cat is the man. The man’s mustache is his whiskers, and the cat’s whiskers are his mustache. They’ve switched bodies.
Since that very first day when the man spotted the cat roaming around his neighborhood and decided to take him in, he knew they would switch bodies. The cat loved it; it loved being human. So they lived like this forever, switching bodies back and forth, between feline and human.
My friend and I were at my house playing games and having a great time when things got… freaky. First, the lights started to flicker, which made us run upstairs and hide in my closet. Sitting quietly together, I suddenly realized it was Friday the Thirteenth. In the shadows of the closet, everything took on a dark red hue, like the color of blood. Then we saw as a hand slide into the closet and slowly feel around. I closed my eyes and hoped it wouldn’t find us. But I never opened my eyes again to see.
Spring Rose Hairclip! By Hair Clippie Co.
Today we have a limited-edition hairclip for the spring season. But this isn’t just any old hairclip. This gorgeous accessory features a prominent magenta rose that will match any party dress you pick out to dance the day or night away. You’ll be the blossom of everyone’s dreams. But this offer won’t last, so get yours today! Be the beautiful bloom you always thought you could be!
This has been brought to you by Hair Clippie Co.
– ¾ after Shel Silverstein’s “One Inch Tall”
If a humans were one-inch-tall, pools would be oceans.
A shoe sole would be a deep, dark cave.
A dollhouse would be a mansion.
I don’t think being one-inch-tall would be so bad after all.
The Scary Night
It was a dark and stormy night. Tod was in the bathroom when the lights started to buzz and the door suddenly swung open. It was my mom. I was comforted at first, but then I noticed she looked different. She didn’t look like herself. Her eyes widened and her mouth turned into a triangle. She let out a long cackle, and then, poof—she vanished.
Animals Reign Supreme
Speak all the languages of the world or talk to animals? I’d go with the latter.
I’d rather be able to talk to animals because I could joke with them. We could trade tricks and laughs all day long. There’d never be a dull moment.
If I could talk to animals, I’d also be able to help them when they’re hurt or in need. I’d know how to help them if they were sick.
In the end, aren’t we all the same, anyway? Aren’t we animals, too? If I had to choose, I’d rather talk to animals. How about you?