Ms. Linahan’s Llamas

Ms. LInahan’s llamas (fourth-graders at Baldwin Elementary School) shared a love for collaborative writing and group storytelling that spilled over into irrepressible exchanges of themes and ideas. Our writing time together was book-ended with on-the-rug sharing circles, with each student volunteering connections and interpretations of each other’s work, collaborating to create an inspiring environment for learning and writing.

Emily Beyda
Badgerdog Teaching Artist


My Pet Onion

I’m an onion, but I’m a baller, and I’m officially King Gangster Onion. Last week was awesome. I drank some orange juice and turned into a gangster and ate the MLG Pickle. Now I’m totally rich, and I eat Dorittos and drink Mountain Dew. When I was young, I always wanted to be a white apple, but I never was. I don’t have any parents. I mean, I come from a green thing, but I call him Green Thing, not Dad. My home was a complete mess considering it’s me. So, yeah. That’s me.

Connor Howard


New Friends

One day, there was a purple fluffy unicorn named Jackie. She had no friends and was very lonely. All she wanted was a friend. Jackie had nothing to do and no siblings or friends to play with. She sat in her backyard staring at the side fence. She had been sitting there an awfully long time and her legs started to cramp. She hated getting leg cramps and decided to walk around. That’s when she heard voices. She went inside and found her mom talking to AJ. AJ was a girl in Jackie’s class at school. AJ had seen Jackie walk in and looked to see what was going on. Jackie slowly walked to the door and asked AJ, “Would you like to come and play?” Jackie held her breath as AJ opened her mouth to speak. “Sure,” AJ replied. Jackie was so happy. They went outside and played soccer. When they were done, they were very thirsty. They went to the fridge to get some Gatorade. When they looked in the fridge, they were disappointed. Jackie was afraid AJ would think it was strange she didn’t have anything to drink. That’s when she heard her dad’s booming voice. “I’m home!” He walked through the door holding grocery bags. Right when he placed the bags down, Jackie tore through them. She found Gatorade at the bottom of the first bag. She yanked it out and tore two groceries from the box. She brought the box upstairs in case they were still thirsty. And then they drank all the Gatorade they wanted.

Ben Tillisch


The Kitten

One day, I got my first kitten. I looked at her fluffy white fur. I lightly felt her soft white fur, and then I heard my oven ring. Ding! The cookies were ready! I tasted the gooey chocolate, and the cookie was wonderful. I smelled the delicious cookie with it’s cookie dough smell. I gobbled it up. It tasted so good. But now I regret eating it so fast!

Lily Ruxer


Billy and the Man Eating Fish

One day, Billy was fishing, hoping to catch a fish quickly because he knew the FBI would be there soon. When he felt a tug, he pulled the line and a fish popped up and almost ate him. He kept the fish as a pet, and as soon as he got in his car, the cops came after him. He wasn’t looking where he was going and crashed the car that the cops were using. The fish got so big, it ate Billy and only his head was left. Then the fish ate three more heads belonging to the cops.

Reiser Johnson


The Penguin

There was once a penguin who really loved ketchup and mustard, and he really wanted some of both, but on the way to the store there was a giant human mouth. Every time he went to this store, the human mouth would scare the penguin away, which is why the penguin never had ketchup and mustard again and he lived badly ever after!

Neha Gundubogula


Answer That Question

“Welcome back to ‘Answer That Question!’ We are interviewing Mr. Giant Butt. The first question is, What is your biggest secret?”

“I can actually talk!”

“MY GOD, a talking butt! What a freak show! Next question: What is your greatest fear?”


“What do you want the most?”

“A wife.”

“LOL, he’s forever alone. What was a special day in your life?”

“I’ve never had one.”

“Who is the most important person in your life?”

“I told you, I’m forever alone!”

Kevin Howard


Sparrow and Robin

“Tweet!” Robin chirped. “I want an owner!”

“Oh be quiet,” Sparrow chirped. “We’re wild birds. None of us are getting homes.”

The two friends, Robin and Sparrow, were having an argument over whether they would have owners soon or not. “No!” Sparrow kept saying after Robin asked over and over if they would get homes soon.

What they didn’t know was that under the tree there was a guy named Wallace who desperately wanted a bird. The only problem was that his girlfriend was totally against it.

“No! We are not having another pet in this house ever again! I can’t stand the fur and business they leave all over the place,” she had screamed in Wallace’s face.

“Tweet!” Robin suddenly called. “There’s a sad guy down there!”

“That doesn’t mean he wants us,” Sparrow chirped.

“Birdies!” Wallace cried.

“See…?” Robin snapped.

“Okay, okay. You win!” Sparrow cried as she fluttered down to Wallace. Robin followed.

“I think I’ll call you Hansel and Gretel. No, Salt and Pepper. No, Paul McCartney and Britney Spears. No, John and Lucy. No…” Wallace rambled on about picking names.

“I’m breaking up with you!” Wallace’s girlfriend screamed when she saw Robin and Sparrow.

“Sasha, wait!”

Sasha softened. “We can keep them,” she cried.

“Oh, thank you!” Wallace screamed happily. And they lived happily ever after with the two birds.

Sofia Colaluca


Magic 8 Ball, Yes!

Mr. Burger wanted a pet penguin. But Mr. Burger lived in Egypt, so he booked a flight to Antarctica. When he got there, he was really cold. He saw a house, but he realized it was a council of penguins. They didn’t like burgers, so the council had Mr. Burger ARRESTED FOR MURDER! But a penguin lawyer fought for him, so Mr. Burger was FREE! But then Mr. Burger went back to Egypt with his friend Connor, who went to Antarctica to study sea lions. Everyone was happy!

Bo Wang


Agent Tyler

Hey! Sup? I’m agent Tyler. What I usually do is stop bank robbers and throw them out the window, take down monsters, send bad weather out of the area–you get the point, right? Well, as an agent, I’m really famous. I have about a quadrillion dollars. I can do whatever I want, and I pretty much like wearing sunglasses almost everywhere just for fun.

Tyler Kampton


The Pig Who Went to Candyland

One day, there was a pig who wanted candy, so he traveled all the way to Candyland to get some and take it to his home. When he got there, a dragon tried to eat him and bake him with fire breath. The pig ate some candy and started to run away, and the dragon chased him all the way home and caught his house on fire. The pig was hiding from the dragon under the bed, and he stayed there until the dragon left. Then the pig came out, but his house was destroyed. When he checked his hands, he still had some candy. He ate his candy, and then he fell asleep because he realized it was his bedtime.



The Shadow

Once, there was a boy who was secretly a shadow. All he wanted to be was a normal human being, but healthy food got in the way. He loved healthy food, but every time he ate something healthy, the power of his shadow grew stronger. His parents fed him celery and chicken almost every day. If he wasn’t eating celery and chicken, he was eating broccoli and steak. What the boy didn’t know was that if he ate more and more healthy food, he would become evil! The poor boy couldn’t eat lunch at school because he didn’t want his friends to know he was a shadow.

One day, when he got home from school, he ran to his room. He heard whispering. The shadow was talking to him. “Beware, beware,” the shadow howled.

The boy threw himself on his bed. “Your soul, your soul,” The shadow howled again. Soon after, the boy got dizzy. All he could see was the shadow. The shadow took over his personality.  The boy was under the control of the shadow. The shadow took the boy to the cemetery and pushed him into the cabinet of souls. The shadow won.

Kinda N.



My name is Sprinkles. I live in Unicornlandia. I am going to Cookie College. My roommate is Nyan Cat. She always poops sprinkles, which I find offensive, because my name is Sprinkles! A couple of years ago, my parents, Mr. Donut and Mrs. Pegisi, got killed because of Donald Trump and Barney. Hey, those were the only things on TV! So me, and my brother Watermelon, moved in with Aunt Pineapple. I don’t like her. Her puppy tried to kill me once.

Georgia Schmitt


Nubby’s Life

My name is Nubby. As you can tell, my humor is stiff. Get it? Because… I’m a pebble? Get it? Wow, tough crowd. In school, no one notices me. I mean, who wouldn’t notice a small brown pebble in the school yard? Also, people literally just run over me to play football. Literally! Because they’re ungrateful humans. It’s the same at home. Sleep, wake up, get run over, sleep. (And pebbles DO NOT eat, so DON’T ask.) So, I’m just a pebble push-over. My home is next to other stinking dirt. Geez. My life stinks once you think about it!

Joopsy Addison


The Crazy Frog

One day, there was a cute little frog named Chase. He loved to play with a lily pad and rainbow. He liked to jump on the rainbow. On stormy nights, a big rain cloud rolled through the sky! When it was gone, the frog said NOOOOOOOO! all over the swamp. Then he became a night frog. Then it was it time to fight the cloud. He had to do it. To be continued…



The Lonely Cat

Once upon a time, there was a cat that didn’t have an owner, and the people who took care of her, well, they were mean to her. One night, she woke up and she saw a diamond. Something came out of the diamond, and it was an owner the cat wanted. The owner said to her, “Will you be my cat?” The cat thought and thought and she said, “Yes!” The cat ran away with her new owner, and the next morning the mean people who used to take care of the cat were looking for her. The mean people got mad and they were like, “NOOOOOOO!” The cat heard them, but she didn’t care because she had a nice owner. Meow.

Ava Vasquez


Football Memories

One day, I was playing football with my friend Andy. It was nearly evening, and you could see the brilliant colors of the sunset. My dad was quarterback. He hiked the ball. I took off running as fast as I could. I ran and felt the ball coming. I smelled the leather and hoped I could catch the ball. As the ball went into my hands, I felt the sharp sting of the ball. In anger, I dropped the ball and tumbled onto the sweet smelling grass. I tasted the dew on the grass as I cradled my head in my hands. I heard the footsteps and Andy saying “incomplete.”

William Gu


The Banana and the Horse

Once, there was a banana. He was a mutant and fought zombies. One day, he decided he wanted a horse to help him fight, and he found a big black horse. The banana tried training the horse, but he couldn’t at first. First, the horse didn’t want to fight, but soon he started training and eventually learned to fight with the banana. Soon, the horse and the banana became best friends and lived happily. Well, other than having to fight zombies.



Pac-Man and Justin Beaver

I was going to the arcade, wondering what I would play. I’m Justin Beaver, by the way, and while I was thinking about what I would play I thought about playing Pac-Man. I went to the arcade and found the little lemon with his gorgeous mouth and his beautiful voice, “Wacka wacko,” and I fell in love instantly. I didn’t want to play Pac-Man. I wanted to go in the game with Pac-Man. Suddenly, I saw a button on the machine that said “In.” I pressed it and suddenly felt dizzy. I looked around me then saw black walls everywhere like a maze. Then I saw Pac-Man and was like, “Oh my gosh… Pac-Man” Then I married Pac-Man and had one ugly baby. Then a ghost killed me.

Noah H.


The Worst Day Ever

One morning, I woke up and walked downstairs. I went outside to see what the weather was like. What I saw was amazing. I saw a whole world made out of chocolate. I ran over to touch a tree, and it crumbled. I took a bite out of it–it was flavorless. I listened to the running chocolate under me, but it made no sound. I smelled the air–nothing. I kept walking, fell off a cliff, and was falling for what felt like forever. Thump. It was just a dream, I had fallen off my bed, chewed my Legos, and destroyed them. I had knocked over my water. This was the worst day ever!

Grant Barden



My name is Avalon. I have bad luck, you could say. Well, that’s what other people say. I don’t listen to them, but it’s true I have bad luck. I try to stay hopeful and strong to have things go right. It seems the more I try, the worse things get. One morning before school, I got a black eye. I also slept in, so I was going to be ten minutes late. I got dressed as fast as I could. As I said, bad luck.

Siena Cone


Arcade Adventure

Once upon a time, there was a video game arcade girl and she had a pet deer. One day, the deer jumped into a Pac-Man video game. The girl yelled out, “I’ll save you, Mr. Fluffy Bottom!” She jumped into the game, and a ghost came after her. “Help!” she screamed. “There’s Mr. Fluffy Bottom!” she shouted. She got on the deer and gave him a jetpack. They soon flew on in the game and lived in the Mushroom Kingdom happily ever after.

Emilio Perez


A-Little-Bit-Crazy Writers

With their love for oral storytelling and creative problem solving, Ms. Spencer’s fourth-grade class at Baldwin Elementary School was never afraid to get a little crazy with their writing! This group of writers loved creating new universes where nothing was as it seemed and reality took a day off.

Emily Beyda
Badgerdog Teaching Artist


The Space Pig

How would you like to ride a pig in space? You could feed it cheese mice and chocolate milkshakes and ice cream. You can fly a pig today–dum, dum, dum–and I’m in space! One tiny step for pig. One giant step for pig time.

Robert Witherell


The Weird Day

One day, I was on my morning jog, but then a bird came down from the sky and hit me. That was just one of three weird things that happened to me that day. The second thing that happened to me was this: I was driving in my car and a monster truck came out of nowhere and ran into me. It almost killed me! It was so unexpected. It knocked me out, and I fainted. The third weird thing that happened to me was my house tried to kill me. The shower tried to drown me. My bed tried to suffocate me. The weirdest thing out of all of them was that my food tried to make me fat and kill me!

Lucas Paulson


Humpty Dumpty

Once upon a time, Humpty Dumpty went to get some berries for his special dessert. Then he saw a rainbow and ponies, and he really wanted to ride a pony, so he did, but when he sat on the pony, it went crazy! He almost cracked. But just when he thought he was safe, an eagle got Humpty Dumpty and ate him.

Jenna Lieu


Penguin and Friends

One day, penguin‘s friends came over and they went to the beach. They played tag on the ice on their bellies. It was getting dark, and they were scared by the owl. The owl was mean to them by making a mess in their rooms, and the penguin got blamed for the mess!



Araz the Fish

My name is Araz the fish. Mainly, I go to the graveyard to visit my mum. What I need the most is a ladyfish. A blonde ladyfish to keep me from being alone. My biggest secret is that I pick my nose. I know, I’m a fish, but I have a nose. Deal with it. My biggest fear is sharks, because they ate my mum.

Camden Tracy


Mr. Bunny’s Big Day

Mr. Bunny is walking along and he sees a candy store. “I want some hard candy,” Mr. Bunny yells, so he keeps walking along and then… He sees King Coffee Bean! “Attack Mr. Bunny!” exclaimed King Coffee Bean. Since Mr. Bunny is bigger than the coffee army, he steps on all of them. Mr. Bunny finally defeats them all and gets some hard candy.

Eva Garza



My name is Riverclaw. I’m a kid, but I have no mom and dad. I was raised by a wolf pack. My mom’s name is Diamondclaw and my dad’s name is Tigerclaw, so basically I’m their child.

One day, I saw Beamer the guinea pig and I said, “Hey, you!”


“Want to be friends?”

From that day on we were friends.

Lauren B.


The Sheep Who Loved to Be Pet

A sheep wanted to pet people’s hair. When it’s owner went to do something, he left the sheep with someone else. The sheep wanted to pet the guy’s hair, so the sheep started chasing him. The guy ran to the kitchen. He was so scared. The sheep came in the kitchen and held a gun, and said, “Look, let me pet you. I got a gun.”

“I’m never coming out!” said the guy.

”I will make you come out,” said the sheep.

“You’ll never find me!”

Just then the owner came in and said, “Sheep! No more threatening people!”

The sheep said, “Fine, I’m sorry.”

Gorge Lelux


Monkey Problems

A guy named Steve caught his hair on fire. He had a banana in his hand, and he couldn’t see where he was going. So he ran into a 100-foot-tall monkey! His friend Cupcake tried to save him and look for him, but she couldn’t find him. Later she found out that he was eaten alive, so she had cupcake revenge. She got a banana and threw it at the monkey’s face. But then she got eaten, too!

Julianna Ramirez


The Elephant & the Quesadilla

I walked up the stairs after lunch and I heard a lot of noise and I also smelled some yummy quesadillas. I grabbed the quesadillas until an elephant came up and grabbed them from me! I saw the elephant fall downstairs, and I laughed.

Marissa Gonzales



My name is D.S. D.S. is an abbreviation for my name, so let’s keep it that way. I feel so miserable. My life is so miserable for so many reasons, but the main reason is that I am an orphan. This orphanage is so crowded and the kids are so annoying for a seventeen-year-old like me. Luckily, there’s something really fun I do when no one’s watching. I sneak out of the orphanage and go to this house where my enemy “No Name” lives. I call my enemy “No Name” because, well, she has no name.

Enrique B.


Beamer’s Burgers

One day when I was walking, I heard there was a great burger joint down the street. When I saw the joint, I smelled the best thing ever, and when I got my burger I touched it and I wanted to eat it. When I tasted it, it was so delicious, and I saw that Beamer the guinea pig was making it! I tasted the French fries, and they were delicious. They smelled so good. I heard that Beamer was the best cook. I touched my fries and they felt amazing. Then I saw Beamer wink at me as I left.

Colin Rice


The Racing Monkey

Once there was a monkey that wanted a racecar. But to get it, he would have to win a race. The monkey was in third place by the end. Everyone bumped into him. Then his car exploded and it threw him to the finish line and at the last second he won! He got his dream car, too.

Antonio LaRosa


The Cat Who Wanted Pie

Once, there was a cat who wanted pie, so he went to the pie house. But there was a force so evil there that no one could survive.

“How am I supposed to open this door?” Cat asked himself. “I don’t even have thumbs!”

Cat went to the crowbar factory and came back with a golden crowbar in his mouth.

“Hey door!” Cat said.

“What?” said the evil door.

“DIEEEEE!” Cat yelled.

“AHHH!” screamed Door.

Cat used his crowbar to whack Door in the face. Door fell down and disappeared, so Cat got his pie and lived happily ever after. But Door died, so he didn’t live happily ever after.

Sam M.



No day of my life is easy. Everyone says my name like it’s some evil person’s name. They hiss my name, and they talk about me behind my back because of my stupid name, Ezrila.

One day at school, there was a new kid. She wasn’t shy. She was mean. I tried to be nice to her, but she was so mean.

After school one day, I saw the new kid sitting on a park bench by herself, crying. I didn’t know what to do, so I went and sat next to her. I asked her if she was okay. She said she was fine, but I could see in her eyes she wasn’t.

“Whatever it is, I can help you,” I said. After that, everything changed. Hermione became nice and I made a lifelong best friend.



The Lava Pit

Once, there was a boy with no arms. He wanted to get home, but he had no arms so he could not get to the other side of the lava with monkey bars over it. He needed arms to get across when the smoke was out of his path. He decided he would try to use his legs to get across the lava. He finally made it, and he went home.

Lauren Lauterjung

A Collection of Dazzling Characters

Ms. Quiroz’s class of fourth-graders at Baldwin Elementary School loves animals, aliens, and dangerous babies. Their creative characters expressed themselves in convincing dialogue, with a few great sound effects thrown in for good measure, using their smarts and kind hearts to get out of even the stickiest situations.

Emily Beyda
Badgerdog Teaching Artist


The Fat Cat

Once, there was a cat who was soon fat. He always drank milk, but he was blind so he couldn’t always find his way to his house. One day, the milk was all the way down in the basement. He couldn’t get down the steps, so he winged it and tumbled down the stairs and broke his leg. “So worth it,” said the fat kitty as he drank all his milk!




My name is Spot, and I am a human kid. I do not know how to talk. I was almost killed by pterodactyl. I have a good friend named Alo. His papa died in a flood chasing me. I have to protect and help Arlo get home. He needs help getting home because he fell into the river. He met a lot of dinosaurs, like a pterodactyl, tyrannosaurus rex, raptors, and a triceratops.

Gavin Campbell


Violet the Unicorn

I met a very nice unicorn named Violet. She and I met at the ice cream shop. I love to hang out with her at the park. She told me a funny joke that was so funny I laughed so hard. She is a nice unicorn, and she has lots of unicorn friends. They eat a lot of food, just like me, and her friends are so funny, just like her. They like ice cream, and so do I. Her friends love people who are nice and funny. And that’s how we met.



Dangerous Baby

There is a crazy, dangerous baby, who is cute and has chubby cheeks. His hair feels like a warm blanket. I can hear his machine guns loading up and the taste of the sandwich I had earlier. The room smells like a bad diaper, and then I smell smoke. The smoke detector goes off–beep, beep, beep. He burns down the house! This babysitting stuff is hard. I hope his parents aren’t too mad.

Maddox Merano


George & Sealy

I’m George!

I was running along the sidewalk and saw Mark. “Ughh,” Mark mumbled. I hated him, so I kept walking. I hate life. Everyone hates me.

I don’t know why, but I do have one friend. His name is Sealy! He is a Seal! He has a snout. He is also really crazy and cool!

“Sealy, let’s play!” I screamed from my door.

“Okay!” Sealy answered.

The next morning, Sealy and I grabbed jetpacks and flew all the way to New York. After that we decided to fly back home, but Mark came and broke our jetpacks!

“What will we do??” Sealy asked in a scared voice.

“We shall walk!” I answered. Twenty days later, we were home.

Olivia Christodoulides


Moon Basketball

2934, The Moon: I was feeling really jittery today, so I went the basketball court. I found my friend Jake already there. “Nice!” I said, as he did a backflip from the opposite end of the court and slam-dunked the basketball and landed on the backboard.

“I see you brought Jason.” Jason was my robot friend and could beat you at any video game you played. Jason isn’t one of those cartoon robots who goes beep, beep. He has the characteristics of a normal kid.

“Yeah, I did bring him,” I replied. Right then, Jason grabbed a ball and, from the back of the court, curve-balled it and made the basket.

“Woo Hoo! Nice!” Jake said.

“Thanks,” Jason replied. We kept doing trick shots for about an hour or two.

Jake said, “All right. I have a hot lunch waiting for me at home, so bye!”

“Bye!” Jason and I both said at the same time. With just those words, we departed.

When I got home I found a cake from the neighbors. Man, I was excited to eat that.

Bryce Newman


Catching Chickens

There once lived a kitty cat that loved chickens, but she had never caught one before. One day, the little kitty cat went on a walk, and she spotted a fat little chicken. She carefully went over to it and was so quiet no one could hear her. Then she carefully came closer and scared the chicken and gobbled it right up! But then that was not the way the food chain works! Kakaw!

Mia Rincon


Needy Brother

Sara is awesome, and she has a brother named Taco Kitty. Sara laughed at his name. Taco thinks he keeps the family out of dinner, but actually she does. Taco stays in his room every day eating Pop Tarts and watching rainbow videos all day. He is scared of the sun. Now, let me tell you a little about Sara. She has to do everything for Taco, like getting the charger for his iPhone since he spends all day watching rainbow videos, and get more and more Pop Tarts at the store. I don’t know how how Sara can live with him! She is actually older than him, and he is so dumb and crazy. And that’s how Sara has the most dumb brother in the world!

Audry Bernal


Life on the Moon

2934, Moon: I am Henry. Life is fun on the moon. Basketball is awesome in zero  gravity. Because life can be hard on the moon, we treat everyone like family regardless of who they are. I spend most of my time with my robot friend Jason and my human friend Jake. I play a lot of basketball, and play videogames with Jason.



John Kitty

I am a cat, and my name John Kitty. I am afraid of Captain Hook. He is a bad man, and he throws dirty diapers at me. Then I smell bad. I love to go to World Wrestling Entertainment steel cage matches and watch John Cena. We lift weights together, and he’s sad because he isn’t a pop star. When we saw Captain Hook, we kicked him and said, “Ha ha! We beat you!”

Austin B.


The Giants

One day, I woke up and smelled burning wood. The air tasted like bacon. When I went downstairs, I saw bacon giants with flame throwers burning the house. Some had hammers, which were giant paddles with six big marshmallows and a pretzel handle. They were smashing up the house. Some had potions with chocolate milk, and when they threw the potion on people they turned into monsters! When I touched them, my hand bent and I turned into a chocolate peanut butter wolf.



Jack the Cat

Once, there was a cat named Jack sleeping in a bamboo tree. Pusheen jumped up. He scared the pandas so much that they jumped to the moon–all of them, except a panda named Ling, who was the only one left. Jack pushed Pusheen down, and Ling flew to the moon with a jetpack. Ling told the red pandas that help was on the way, and all the pandas formed a panda chain and flew back to earth where they ate bamboo for life.



The Silly Horses

Once, there was a unicorn. I was that unicorn! I lived in Rainbowville! We would always eat cupcakes and ice cream for dessert. They taste good! Then we ate pancakes and chicken, and then horses barged in. We laughed because the horses talked and told a lot of funny jokes and they would even sing in funny voices. One horse always had a cupcake on the side of his head. One day, I was laughing so hard that I died! They buried me, then I came back to life, but then they killed me.

Maya De La Garza


The Alien Attack

I walked into my kitchen and the first thing I saw were unicorns making pancakes. “Mom, Dad!” I screamed for my parents and they ran down the hall. As soon as they walked into the kitchen, they screamed. “Get out!” But the unicorns did not move. My mom and dad heard something and looked up. A giant iron ball crashed into the top of the roof! The door opened and inside was a giant UFO trying to kill my mom and dad. But my dad was brave enough to kill the UFO with his mega machinegun. Then five more came! I wanted to go and kill them, but my parents said, “Go to your room!” I couldn’t watch them die. I needed them. So I jumped and killed all the aliens in the skin, but then… I got hit in the leg by a meteoroid, and I blew up!




Dragons burn everything they see, but they are nice to kittens. And dragons eat cake like a boss! Instead of blowing out their candles, they eat the candles because they breathe fire. And then about every second they fart out fire and their eyes pop out. They try to wear diapers, but the diapers burn when they fart out fire. They are all gangsters.

Zach Webb


Space Adventure

I was out near Jupiter riding a shooting star. All the other stars were so beautiful, and one star tasted so good. I smelled the rings of Saturn–so good–but the sound was terrifying. The rings also felt very smooth. It took 1,000,000 light years to get to earth, but instead of finding a beautiful sphere there was nothing, just sadness, so then I went to another planet, which was Pluto. There was the earth, and I used my galaxy map to find Pluto, the place where Earth was–they actually switched. But the planet exploded into tiny people, and they all died. So sad. But then there was one more planet, and I searched for it on my computer. It was called the Super Cool Epic Ball of Death. “Whaa?” It was so cool! But it was just the sun throwing meteorites of death everywhere around the galaxy and making new planets.

Oziel Hernandez


The Monkey Driver

I walked up the rainbow and felt the cloud I was walking on. It felt so silky. Then I walked up to a very big house. I went inside and saw that it was a nice place. It smelled like bubblegum. But it could have been the bubble gum I was eating. Then I walked down the rainbow and went home. As I was walking home, I heard something. It was a monkey driving a car! It was coming to me. While he was driving, he was eating a sandwich. I did not want to hurt his feelings, but he was breaking the law. Plus, I don’t think he had a driver’s license. But then he crashed into a car (I told you he was breaking the law) and I ran home!



The Monkey Museum on Mars

Once upon a time, there was a Monkey Museum on Mars! I flew to Mars and touched the rocks. Then I heard a loud rumbling. I scanned my eyes over a giant building that said Monkey Museum. Only monkeys were around. And I walked into the smell of bananas. I was hungry. I tasted the monkey food and it was chocolate. That’s why they were hyper. Then everything blew up! And I flew back to earth. Poor Mars!


The Keen Character-Builders

With their love for interior dialogue and returning to the same universe week after week, Ms. Reaves’s fourth-grade class at Baldwin Elementary shared a love of character that made their stories as fun to read as they were to share. Their well-reasoned arguments helped us choose between invisibility and flight, and their eye for human detail made even the strangest characters both interesting and relatable.

Emily Beyda
Badgerdog Teaching Artist


The Random Story

Billy had a pet named George. The both wanted to go see an underwater movie, but when they got there they were told, “No dogs allowed.”

Billy wanted to get further in the line, but it was huge and he couldn’t get through. Once all the seahorses passed, it was finally Billy’s turn. He tried to go in, but they wouldn’t let him, so he tried to get through the gate.

Sharks started coming his way, so he swam deeper until he got to the theater. The sharks stopped, and so did he. After the movie, Billy and George were running out of air, so they came back to the surface and the seahorses started following them.

Billy started the engine, and the seahorses caught up as Billy and George made it to the surface. Billy knew the seahorses just wanted to play, so they did it again and again until the day ended.

Isy Cherakuri


The Nice Witch

Hi, I’m Jessica. I have a big secret. You can’t tell anyone. Okay. I am… a witch. I am a nice one, though, but everyone thinks I am mean. I try to sell potions that heal people or make them less ill, but they run away because they think I am a real witch. The bad kind.

One day, I met this guy named Bobby. I noticed he was having a bad day like me, so I went up to him and started talking. It turned out we had more things in common than I thought. Every day after he got home from school, I would play with him or help him with his homework.

One day, my mom told me we were going to move in two weeks. I told Bobby, and we were both sad because I was his best friend, like he was to me. Then I came up with a plan.

To be continued…




Just think about being invisible. You could sneak through your house to get your electronics when your parents say no. If you could fly, you could only fly through the house while being seen, so you would get in trouble. If you could be invisible while playing football, you could see the other team, but they couldn’t see you. If you could fly while playing football, the other team could see you, so they could dodge you!

Luke Vail



I think being invisible would be better than flying because you could sneak up on anyone. While flying, your cape could get stuck in a jet engine and you could die. I think invisibility would help you get away from trouble, and you would always win at hide and seek. Flying would be bad because bad guys could shoot you down, so that’s why I want to be invisible.

Peterson D.


The Cats and the Hotdog

One day, there were three cats, and they all wanted a hotdog, so they headed to the hotdog cart. Then a seahorse came up and gave them a fine for $10,000,000. They put their money together to pay the fine. Then they paid the fine, but they didn’t have any money left, so they couldn’t get a hotdog.

The cats walked home, but before they got there they saw someone walking to the hotdog cart. They walked with her, and once she paid they jumped on the table and grabbed the hotdog and ran away. The lady chased them and realized they didn’t have a home, so she paid for a new hotdog and let the cats eat the last one. Then she took the cats home.

Laura Shulze


The Strongest Dog in the World

One day in 2015, a 1,000-year-old dog wanted to be strong, so he tried to sleep, but his wife was making so much noise that it caused the earth to crack into two halves. The crack happened to crack their house in half, too, and then the dog that wanted to sleep started drifting away in space. Then he was able to sleep to gain enough energy to work out, so he became the strongest dog in the world, or at least on his half of the world.

Alex Stevens


The New Friends

One late afternoon, I was walking home from school when I turned the corner and bam! There was a girl standing in my way. It looked like she was talking to someone on the phone. I didn’t really care and walked around her.

I was almost home when I heard footsteps behind me. It was her! She followed me the whole way home! I asked her, “What is your name and what do you want?”

She replied, “My name is Ella. I want a friend who has a simple name. What’s your name?”

“I’m Donny,” I said, feeling kind of bad for her.

“Do you think I could stay with you for a night?” Ella asked. “I am lost.”

“Oh,” I replied. “Okay.”

So we walked home and talked about how bad school is and different things we liked. We are now friends, and we have one other friend we hang out with at school, so life is pretty good.



Minecraft Adventure

One day, I played Minecraft with an old iPad. I turned it on and changed my name to Nazara. Once I clicked play, I got sucked in! Once I was in, I could see that I was a villager, and I couldn’t move my arms. I was freaking out!

After a little while, I went up to a boy named Jonny. I told him what happened. I tried to get out, but I couldn’t.

Jonny said, “I am a scientist in training. I can help get you out!”

I just nodded.

Soon, he made something and I drank it. I felt dizzy, and when I woke up I still was still a villager and Jonny was outside the screen controlling me!

He said, “I am finally a human!” But after two hours, Jonny got sucked back in, and I got to go. I was out controlling Jonny and I changed him into a character that could move his arms. I also gave him pigs to play with and a huge house! Every day I added something to Jonny’s house.



Zadif and the Annoying Song

One day Zadif was sky diving. Nyan Cat flew by and sang his song, then he flew away. Zadif got the song stuck in his head. One day later, he went insane and tried to get the song out of his head. He went mental! He couldn’t get the song out of his head. Nyan Cat flew by and sang his song, and Zadif’s head blew up. Nyan Cat did this because he loved annoying people, but then he blew up because he got the Narwal Song stuck in his head!




Those innocent girls have no idea what trouble they are getting into, I thought, gazing into the black and gloomy distance. My tail splashed around in the blue water. “I will get those tailsmans before they do!” I screamed. “I defeated their ancestors. These puny mermaids have no chance against me. Ling, Serafina, Neela, Becca, Ava, and Astrid will not succeed.” The black pearl glinted in the distance. “What if I get Astrid on my side? I can give her song-casting powers, and she will help me release Abandon, the sea monster, who will destroy the seven seas.” I laughed deeply.



The Line

There was once a guy named Joe who was not very smart. He was in a very long line, but he couldn’t wait for the line to move. He decided to cut the line, but he didn’t have any scissors to cut the line with. However, he had a lamp with a genie in it. The genie came out and asked Joe what he wanted. Joe said, “I want a pair of scissors!” The genie gave him a pair of scissors to cut the line. When he tried to cut the line, it didn’t work, so he kept trying. To this day, Joe is still trying to cut the line.

Marcus Reaves


The Hotdog Aliens

Hi! I’m Samantha. This is the story of my best friend, Jacob. One day, Jacob was walking around the calm and peaceful park. He saw trees, benches, and stands, including hotdog–wait! Hotdogs?! He loved hotdogs and needed them whenever he saw one.

Jacob took out his wallet, but he had no money! He thought the best thing to do would be to ask people at the park. He started walking until he saw two green, slimy aliens. They were walking towards him with dangerous material. Jacob turned around and started running in the opposite direction.

He was almost to his house, when bam! He ran right into another alien. He ran to the left after letting out a terrified scream. But there were aliens there too! And that way and that way! Pretty soon, Jacob was surrounded.

He screamed, “Somebody please help me!” Then he heard the sound of money dropping on the ground in front of him. It was the aliens! All along, they just wanted to help. Then the aliens turned and went away. Jacob went back to the hotdog stand and bought two delicious hotdogs. From that day on, Jacob could always get fresh hotdogs with the help of his new friends, the aliens.



The Cupcake Teacher

The alarm clock had just gone off. I stepped off my bed onto the purple carpet I’ve had since I was five. My dad got it for me. Well, I got dressed, ate breakfast, brushed my teeth, and walked out the door.

Sigh. Walk, walk, walk, and walk. I stepped onto the white tile, looked at the clock, and ran. I opened the door, and my heart stopped pumping. My lungs stopped breathing. My head stopped swirling. My legs stopped running. All of my body was still as ice. My eyes watched every little step.

His face was so grumpy. His cake part was so crummy. My history teacher was a cupcake! He or she–I didn’t exactly know–pointed to an empty desk in the back of the room. My mouth still open, I walked to the end of the room. My classmates seemed fine. They seemed to think it was so normal that our history substitute was a fat, grumpy cupcake.

Wow, this is just embarrassing, I thought. Ok, now I’m fainting… Wait, why am I still in my bed? Oh, I guess it was just a dream.

But it felt like it was real. Hmmm. It was just another lame Sunday. Stomp, stomp, stomp, went my brothers Harry and Ben down the stairs. “I want pancakes! I want blueberry muffins!” they screamed. It’s so crazy they’re twins and completely opposites.



Murderers vs. Cupcakes

Once, a cupcake ran around the park. On the fifty-second lap, he found some cheese. He started walking towards the cheese, but he spotted another cupcake. He hid behind a bush. The second cupcake disappeared when he hid behind the bush. What? thought the first cupcake. He walked towards the cheese. Then some bloody murderers jumped out from behind a bush. “You’re mine!” Said the first one. The cupcake ran for his life. He grabbed a butcher knife and threw it. It missed, but it hit the second guy’s shoe. He fell over and shot the first guy’s hand. That guy screamed and fell over and they both rolled down to the highway and were never seen again. The cupcake took the cheese and sat on the lawn for the next twenty minutes eating the cheese.



Cupcake Fight

I saw a girl who was sad and depressed, kind of like me! She had a black jacket, black pants, a black shirt, black hair, and even greyish looking skin. I was a little scared, but I walked over to her.

“Hi. My name is… Cup… Um… Cupcake. What’s yours?” She looked up. Her eyes were the most beautiful colored eyes ever! They were a radiant blue, like an amazing ocean. She opened her mouth, and I thought, I wonder what her name is? Instead, she came and ate one of my cherries!

“Hey, that’s my hair!” I screamed.

“Whatever,” she mumbled. So we, um, kinda got into a fight. She attacked. She licked my frosting. “Ew!” I yelled. My turn, I thought. I backed up, made a running jump and… hugged her.

Her entire body flew into the air and plopped onto the ground. She was wearing bright colors and had blonde hair. She said her name was Jenna-Menna-Fenna-Kella-Bella-Thrella-Joe. Cococake walked up and ate Jenna-Menna-Fenna-Kella-Bella-Thrella-Joe. Then I ate Cococake and walked away.

Elena H.


Ape Apocalypse

One day, there was a guy named Fred. He was in an ape apocalypse. The ape infection was making apes smart, and they were killing everyone. Fred needed to get to the stairs to heaven so he could escape. But the stairs only came down once a day, which was a problem, considering there were apes with muskets guarding it. Fred made it to the stairs, but there were apes. Lots of apes. He started to shoot the apes. After three hours, he ran out of ammo, but the stairs came down. He ran up the stairs, but at the top he found undead intelligent apes! Then he ran, smashing apes with his AK47 until he was cornered. Then an ape with a knife came and… Wait… What? It was all a dream!




Cheetoland looks like a yellow-orange planet. It smells like cheesy goodness. Everything feels fragile and hard. It tastes like powdery goodness. I heard a lot of cracking and I felt hungry until I saw a surfing dinosaur who was invading the city, which was defended by superhero cheetos!




Unicornland is a hot pink color. It tastes like candy, and it always sounds happy. It feels happy no matter what. It smells like cotton candy. It’s run by King Unicorn, who is crazy and wears a Batman costume. Some unicorns are made of Jell-O, so you can eat them. There are giant blue slushies for the unicorns’ houses.



Star Wars Simone

One day, there was a girl named Simone. She was walking with her sister when a Tai Fighter swooped down and kidnapped her sister. Simone chased the Tai Fighter, but it jumped to hyperspace and flew away. Simone was really sad she lost her sister, so she dialed Ray’s phone number and asked if she could teach her to be a jedi. Ray said no. So Simone went to Hasa to steal a ship. Her plan succeeded and she blasted into space and, luckily, she had implanted a tracking device in her sister so she could find her if she got lost. She followed the purple line on the tracking device, and it took her one year to get there. When she got to the Death Star where they had taken her sister, she got blown up!



Zombie Einstein

One day, Zombie Einstein ran out of money because he didn’t have a job, so he decided to become evil. He set off to rob a bank, but what he did not realize was that Super Sand decided to do the same thing.

Even though they were buddies, Super Sand was greedy and stole the money from Zombie Einstein. Zombie Einstein decided to turn against his partner. He tried to shoot him with his machine gun, but Super Sand was made out of sand, so it wasn’t effective.

What Zombie Einstein did not realize was that the only way to kill Super Sand was to blow him up. After five weeks, the battle kept going. As normal, Zombie Einstein’s bullets were uneffective, but once he saw the grenade in his pocket he realized that he had to use it.

He put on his jetpack and went out through a hole in the ceiling, took the money, and dropped in the grenade! The explosion spread for miles. Once it was over, he realised he had not only killed his friend, but destroyed the whole town. He dropped the money. One day he died. That is the story of Zombie Einstein.

Austin Wine

The Zany World-Builders

Ms. Dawson’s fourth-grade class at Baldwin Elementary School shared a keen eye for detail, grounding their imaginative stories in their characters’ emotional realities, combining a zany knack for world-building with a focus on feeling. They took real world scenarios, like playing Minecraft, going to school, and making friends, and used their imaginations to make them delightfully surreal.

Emily Beyda
Badgerdog Teaching Arist


Cars Racing

They raced by going 367 miles per hour. I booed as Speneli passed Hamelton. I was depressed. We were on the last lap. We were so close to getting first place, but we stopped because Hamelton’s engine broke down. How was he going to win?

Then he started running. I forgot he could dash! He won!

I grabbed the trophy, running out of the derby with everyone chasing me. I jumped in my car and raced off. The police were racing after me. I was going 125 miles per hour in my Bugati Veyron. There was no way anybody could catch me. I was going to the Sahara Desert.

Three months later, I was there—three hundred feet under the surface. All of the police died of dehydration. I was all alone. It was up to me.

Kaiser Kothmann


Bob and Cookie

One day, while flying around, Bob the dog/fly saw a cookie almost being eaten! Bob came in and bumped into the cookie. After that, the cookie was so happy she wasn’t being eaten. Until one day when Bob had bad news.

He said, “I have to move because it’s going to rain.”

The cookie was so mad that she tried to eat the dog/fly, but the dog/fly won! He was so sad because he ate his wife.

“But, on the bright side, I still have the baby.” Until one day when Bob went into the bedroom where the baby slept, and she was not there! Bob was so so so so so so sad.

“First my wife, now my baby,” he said in despair. “My family is gone!”

Abby Rose


Talking to Animals

I would want to talk to animals because I could make them listen to me. Or I would ride dragons. I would sail the seven seas on a megalodon. I might even talk a dinosaur into letting me ride him to school! I would want to have a pet elephant. That is why I would want to talk to animals.

Jackson McNaceshton



If you turn invisible, you can prank, scare, and escape from dangerous animals. But if I could talk to animals, I would fly and talk to my favorite animals, even the dangerous ones.




If you could fly, you could go around the world. If you were invisible, no one would be able to see you. But if you could fly, you would be able to see things you’d never seen before because you would be in the air. If you went high enough, nobody could see you. And if you were invisible, evil would consume you. Lots of people want to fly so they can play pranks, scare people, or skip school.



My Pet

I walked to the pet store wanting to see cute pets. When I touched the door, shivers went down my spine. I walked in and smelled all kinds of terrible poo odors. I looked to my left and saw a white guinea pig. I heard it squeak and knew that it was my perfect pet. I saw it taste its water and I jumped up, saying, “I want him. He is perfect!”

I bought him and took him home. I played with him and looked at his red eyes and white fur. I saw him jump and play in his cage. He felt so soft in my cold hands. I tried to taste his food, but it didn’t go down, so I ran to the bathroom and got it out. The smell of his cage was terrible! I had to clean it. Yuck! Every night I touched his soft, shakey fur. I loved his squeak sound.



Jimmy Limmy

I am Jimmy Limmy, and this is the story of how I beat up my little brother. When I walked into the house, he came up and said, “Come here, I want to teach you a–”

“Mommy!” cried Timmy Limmy.”Jimmy is trying to hurt me.”

Jimmy Limmy asked his mom, “What did I do? I did not do anything. All I did was walk into the house!”

The next day, they went to space. Timmy Limmy started to cry again. “Mommy, he’s trying to hurt me again!” Jimmy Limmy somehow time-traveled and figured out that Timmy Limmy was an alien.

“I finally found one,” he screamed. Then he went over to Timmy Limmy and shook him. He turned green, then he exploded.

“Yes! Now I don’t have to hear ‘Mommy!’ every day when I get home from school.”



Jeffry Belly

One day, a kid named Jeffry Belly wanted to eat a half-eaten sandwich, but he had to pay for it, so he did some chores and got some money and went outside, but it started to rain. The sandwich got wet, but Jeffry Belly loved wet half-eaten sandwiches! He put on his poncho and rode his bike to the shop and bought the sandwich, but he slipped and the sandwich got muddy. Jeffry Belly screamed with joy, and said, “I love wet, muddy, half-eaten sandwiches!” And then he ate it.

William Dawson


Julia and Pony

Once upon a time, there was a pony looking for his owner, Julia. He found a button and pressed it. Suddenly, he traveled from the 17th century to the 21st century. “Neigh!” he said.

“Pony! It’s me, Julia. Hold on. This radio tower is trying to kill us with lightning! You have the button of time! Touch it, hold it, and press it! Ah, I’m down!”

“Neigh!” The pony pressed the button of time, and they lived happily ever after in the 17th century.

Kevin Schicrt


The Candy Bus

I walked to the bus. It felt hot and steamy outside. I walked for a while, and finally I saw the bus. I got on, and it smelled like something died! The driver gave me something, and I said, “What is this for?” The driver said, “Valentine’s Day,” so I took the candy and it tasted so chocolatey. I felt like I was eating all the candy in the world. So I sat down, and the bus drove me home.



The Hungry Marshmallows

I walked into the store, and I saw a whole bunch of candy. I smelled the warm, delicious marshmallows. I opened the bag, and the marshmallows were melting in my hands. Then I put them I put it in my mouth really quickly, and I heard screams coming from my mouth! They went down my throat and down my belly, and they were so hungry they ate through my belly!

I said, “Hey, that’s my belly!”

“We were so hungry, we had to. We’re sorry!”

“I’m not accepting it,” I said. “Plus, now I don’t have a belly to hold all my food!”



Moon Cheese

Once, there was an astronaut who wanted moon cheese, but there was a sharp-toothed cat in the way, so he got his jetpack to take him to the moon. Once he got to the cheese area, the cat sprang up. The astronaut figured out that the cheese was in the dome. Then he took a needle out and popped the cat’s bubble. The cat floated out into space with his head in the water bubble. After that, the astronaut ate all the cheese.




“Ah! Why is a giant pixie stick coming for me? Don’t kill me!” The pixie stick suddenly grabs me and throws me in a giant bowl. He covers me up and puts me in the freezer. I have to get out before I freeze. I cut the plastic with a knife, and I climb out of the bowl. I see the pixie stick again–he’s turned into a devil and taken me to a lava pit. I am in a glass container while the lava is rising! I break the glass and jump out of the lava, but the pixie stick kicks me back in the lava pit and I die.

Tegan Hakkila


Snowe and Astro

Snowe was walking and came across a genie who said, “I will give you three wishes if you let me teleport you to a cheese crater.”

Snowe said yes and was teleported. Snowe got three wishes from the genie, then Astro came along. Snowe liked Astro. She wished they could be friends and then she wished for unlimited wishes. Snowe and Astro became friends. Then Snowe let Astro ride her. They rode into Cheeseville. They both got what they wanted because they had a genie who gave them unlimited wishes.



The Snowman Who Loved Ice Cream

One day, there was a snowman who loved ice cream. The ice cream he loved most was vanilla. It was his favorite flavor, since he was white and vanilla is white. It was a perfect fit.



Candy Marshmallow

I’m Candy Marshmallow. I love to play with my friends, Sticky and Billy. One day when I was at home, I saw a ladybug and jumped. But I found Billy right behind me! I know I can always count on him and Sticky to be there for me. All my friends say I’m brave because I want to be a war elephant! Someday, I want to grow up and be a scientist! When I was born, my mom and dad left me, but at least I have good friends.

Lily Wilson



Jadestone is a human girl. She has everything she’s ever wanted–an amulet, excitement, and adventure. But she has no friends. After doing some research, she found that the marshmallow people are the friendliest creatures in the Twist galaxy!

Jadestone set out on a journey. But there was a problem. She didn’t know how to make friends. In her Radical Book of Heroes, she learned to enter the mindscape. After many failed attempts, she finally summoned a big door. She opened it, and then entered the wonderful world of candy!

Jadestone had to travel fifteen miles to get to the marshmallow nation, but she finally made it. When she met the marshmallows, they became friends! The moral is: As long as you keep working, your goal won’t seem so hard.



Fun & Games

I’m so excited. It’s the annual state carnival! I waited all year for this. Funnel cake, snow cones, games, and my most favorite–the ferris wheel!

My mom drops me off at the carnival, and I run straight to all the games. One, two, three–I knock down all the ducks. The man behind the counter hands me a huge stuffed marshmallow. It looks just like me! I call it Sticky M. Junior.

Next, I walk over to the ferris wheel. I wait in line, then get in the little car. Sitting next to me is another marshmallow! His name is Candy. We get to know a lot about each other throughout the ride.

I tell him my parents named me Sticky M. because I love to eat sticky food. He says he loves to eat candy! The ride is soon over, but we will stay friends always.



Billy’s Birthday

Jadestone is a girl who has green hair, green shoes, and a green jacket. Billy is a marshmallow who is short and soft. The two are good friends, and they’re alike in many ways. Billy is three years old, so he can’t actually care for himself. Jadestone takes care of him. They do everything together, except battle evil lords. Billy does have serious issues with those guys.

Anyway, today is Billy’s fourth birthday. He woke up and hopped downstairs. He tripped, fell, and landed straight on Jadestone.

“Happy Birthday!” she yelled. Billy was so scared, he hid under the couch while Jadestone laughed. But when Billy came out, the whole house was decorated with balloons and cake.

Billy went straight to the table, and Jadestone served him his life-sized unicorn cake. She also handed him his gift–Tim the teddy bear, which Billy had always wanted.

“Thank you!” he screamed. Since he was so happy, Jadestone invited his other marshmallow friends, Sticky M, and Candy, to come over to the house. They gave him gifts and ate lots of cake.