A Writer's Playground

Monthly Activities for Kids by Linda Martin Andersen

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Posts Tagged ‘Flip Flap Floodle’

A Duck is a Duck is a Duck–The Duck Test

Posted by lindamartinandersen on January 11, 2013

“A Duck is a Duck is a Duck–The Duck Test” by Linda Martin Andersen

“A Writer’s Playground”–A place to find wordplay, writing, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart.

Today’s post is all about word play.  I am focusing on ducks. 

No, it’s not Duck Day. 

It is a special day for a friend of mine who loves ducks.  For that reason, I’m sending her a few links about ducks that I think she will enjoy reading and/or listening to. I certainly hope you will also.

Expressions About Ducks.  Do you know these?


Childhood Games:

Celebrity Ducks:

Celebration Featuring a Duck:

Charity Event with Ducks:


Location, Location, Location: 

Search Engine:

Books About Ducks:

Product Details

  • And because my friend, Joan Y. Edwards, is celebrating a birthday and she has a published book about a little duck, I’m also featuring  Flip Flap Floodle here.

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Flip-Flap-Floodle-Joan-Edwards/dp/1594572852/

Barnes & Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/flip-flap-floodle?r=1

Happy birthday Joan!

May you always carry Flip Flap Floodle’s song in your heart.  I hope you’re feeling ducky, birthday girl!



To help us all remember Flip’s song, here’s Joan to sing it for us.  http://www.joanyedwards.com/FlipFlapFloodle.htm  Just beware–if you sing it, it becomes a part of you. 

Please join me in wishing Joan Edwards a Happy Birthday!

*Quacking noises echo off the walls, ceilings, and floors and travel all the way to her home.*

Copyright © 2013 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Careers, Character Traits, Games, Interviews, Monthly Activities, Reading, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 42 Comments »

Write a Little, Write a Lot, Just Write

Posted by lindamartinandersen on January 7, 2013

“Write a Little, Write a Lot, Just Write” by Linda Martin Andersen

“A Writer’s Playground”

A place to find wordplay, writing, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart.

January 8-14 is Universal Letter Writing Week

Have you heard the chatter:  “Letter writing is a dying art,” some claim.  The number of letters mailed are on the decline and postal delivery may be reduced.  Saturday delivery could be eliminated.

At Christmas, a postal worker told me he had observed that only “little old ladies” were sending Christmas cards anymore.  Still, I won’t get discouraged because written communication does takes place, just in different places and in new formats.  Look for it.  It’s seen in blog posts, text messages, billboards, lunch boxes notes from Mom, church marques, cheers and jeers in newspapers, etc.  Where have you seen written messages?  Choose a day during Universal Letter Writing Week and keep a tally of written communication you see.  And remember to keep writing–a little, a lot, just write.

Recently, I read a letter written by Kelly Starling Lyons that was posted at ReaderKidZ, a blog site that reviews books written for children and spotlights authors.  Kelly chose a dynamic way to tell readers about her new book, Hope’s Gift.  After reading her letter, I hope you’ll consider purchasing a copy of  Hope’s Gift.

Hope's GiftFor description and purchase information:  http://www.amazon.com/Hopes-Gift-Kelly-Starling-Lyons/dp/0399160019/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1357338421&sr=8-1&keywords=hope%27s+gift

Read Kelly Starling Lyon’s letter to “Dear Readers” here:


Listed below are a few examples of writing done by kids and adults.  Find your category.  How many of the listed examples have you written?  What others can you add to the lists?

Kids Write…

  • Thank you notes
  • Letters of apology
  • Poems, stories, and reports
  • Greeting cards (hand-made or purchased)
  • Letters to Santa
  • Letters to an author (not bad to be up there with Santa and the Tooth Fairy)
  • Letters to the Tooth Fairy (Seen posted at my dentist’s office):

Tooth Fairy--final one

Adults Write…

  • Emails  to family and friends
  • Notes in their child’s lunch box
  • Letters to someone deployed or far away
  • Greeting cards
  • Blog posts
  • Book reviews
  • Thank you notes–I recently won a copy of Stake Out by Bonnie J. Doerr at Carol Baldwin’s Blog.  I have been fortunate enough to win many books by commenting on favorite blogs.  When I am a winner, I always send an email thank you and sometimes I send a thank you note in the mail. 

Product Details

For description and purchase information:  http://www.amazon.com/Stakeout-Bonnie-J-Doerr/dp/1616030070/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1357338950&sr=8-1&keywords=Bonnie+J.+Doerr

To learn more about Bonnie Doerr’s book, Stake Out, check Carol’s blog post here:  http://www.carolbaldwinblog.blogspot.com/  Carol ‘s blog features book reviews and giveaways.  Check it out.

Adult Writers/Authors Write…

  • Letters to an agent or editor
  • Query Letters
  • Outlines
  • Proposals to Publishing Company
  • Thank you notes
  • Newsletters
  • Poems, short stories, and novels
  • Blog posts, tweets, a Facebook comments, or other social media messages.
  • Authors inform contestants of winning a contest
  • Authors or other famous person answers fan mail
  • Book Reviews–I recently posted two on Amazon:

Book Review #1:  Lessons Learned:  The Story of Pilot Mountain School  by Gretchen Griffith

Product Details

To hear an excerpt from Lessons Learned, listen here:  http://www.southernwritersonline.com/take-five.html

For description and purchase information:  http://www.amazon.com/Lessons-Learned-Story-Mountain-School/dp/0914875647/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1357329446&sr=8-1&keywords=Lessons+Learned+by+Gretchen+Griffith

5.0 out of 5 stars Lessons Learned: The Story of Pilot Mountain School by Gretchen Griffith, November 26, 2012
This review is from: Lessons Learned: The Story of Pilot Mountain School (Paperback)

Gretchen Griffith describes herself as a storycatcher. Her ability to capture the Pilot Mountain School stories and their underlying lessons goes beyond storycatching. She records more than mere words. Griffith’s text weaves the voice and heart of the people in such a way that readers connect, whether they grew up in that area or thousands of miles away. Lessons Learned tells the story of Pilot Mountain School, constructed in 1942, and how it became the hub of the community. Even though its doors eventually closed to rural school children, the lessons learned there were not forgotten. Today, the building serves as a gathering place for shopping and dining, as well as a center for a community outreach program. Pilot Mountain School continues to radiate lessons. Lessons Learned is recommended to all who love history and creative approaches to restoration of buildings.

Book Review #2:  Flip Flap Floodle by Joan Y. Edwards

Flip Flap Floodle cover 300x421 300 res

5.0 out of 5 stars School Counselor’s Review of Flip Flap Floodle by Joan Y. Edwards, January 4, 2013
This review is from: Flip Flap Floodle (Paperback)

When I was a School Counselor, I often used literature to illustrate good character traits and making good decisions. I shared Flip Flap Floodle with a 1st grade class. We had been talking about asking trusted adults for help when needed. This book fit right in with our study. After reading, the students created thank you cards to give an adult who had helped them. One of the children said that the author should get a thank you card for her book about helping others. I agreed.

Let’s talk:  What do you think about letter writing in 2013?  Does it make you sad that there are less handwritten letters?  Do you enjoy corresponding by email?  What are your thoughts? Please enter them in the comment section.

Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.” Please come again soon.  Bring a friend. 

Coming soon:  A guest blog by Joyce Hostetter, children’s book author.

Copyright © 2013 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Calendar Events, Careers, Character Traits, Games, Interviews, Math, Monthly Activities, Reading, Science, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments »

It’s Family Stories Month. Meet Joan Y. Edwards, An Author Who Has Been Telling Stories Since She Was a Child

Posted by lindamartinandersen on November 25, 2012

“It’s Family Stories Month.  Meet Joan Y. Edwards, An Author Who Has Been Telling Stories Since She Was a Child” by Linda Martin Andersen

“A Writer’s Playground”–A place to find wordplay, writing, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart.

Today, we have a guest who likes to tell and write stories.  Many are about her family .  This is the month to do it because…

It’s Family Stories Month.

Join me in providing a warm welcome for Joan Y. Edwards.


Joan, tell us about your storytelling and writing…

Family is very important to me. In looking through my stories, almost all of them relate to an experience I had with my family.

Courtesy of Kids Shots Portraits

Larry, the Terrifying Turkey

Aunt Sophie’s Biscuits

The Day I Turned My Brother, Butch, into a Monkey

Mack and Mazie, Loggerheads forever (beach experience with family)

Miss Mary’s Beautiful Garden (neighbor)

Joan’s Elder Care Guide (my mother)

Just Like Sissy

The Day Daddy Saved Me from an Untimely Death.

Against the Odds (about family, not my family, but could have been)

Immigrant Heart (about family, not my family, but could have been)

Why is that? I can’t totally explain it. But, I’ll tell you how it all began.

One day when I was five years old, I made up a story about a little duck named Flip Flap Floodle. He has a new flute and wants to go play his flute for Grandma. His mother warns him about the dangers of Mr. Fox. Flip proclaims, “My song will keep me safe.”

Not at all charmed by Flip’s song, Mr. Fox swallows him in one gulp. When Flip’s mother finds Mr. Fox in the woods, she hears a familiar muffled sound coming from inside the Fox’s belly. She bops the fox with her pocketbook and sprinkles pepper on his nose. The fox sneezes out Flip Flap Floodle still playing on his flute. Flip plays his song for Grandma and becomes a big star, just like Mr. Chicken said he would. The moral to this story: Never Give Up even if it seems you’re inside a fox’s belly.

In 1945, we had a thick book of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. It didn’t have pictures. There were no picture books back then or none in our household. I only heard stories. I didn’t realize that people could write them down and get them published. I was familiar with newspapers. Their articles weren’t fairy tales. I loved the little Golden Books, but there were only two or three of them. When I was in fourth grade, I got a library card and checked out books like Little Women by Louisa Mae Alcott; Heidi by Johanna Spyri; The Bobbsey Twins written by various authors under the pen name of Laura Lee Hope.

When I studied to be a teacher, I learned about picture books for children. Since then there are oodles and caboodles of picture books for children. These books fill whole sections of libraries across America. What is one of your favorite picture books? (leave a comment)

In 1967 when I was expecting my first child, Lorrie, I thought it would be neat to get Flip Flap Floodle published as a picture book, like the Golden Books. I thought it would be even more fun to have it in the school library and the county library for them and others to check out.

For five years traditional publishers said, “No.” I self published it in 2004. Flip Flap Floodle is available in paperback and as an ebook for Kindle and Nook.  Check here:

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Flip-Flap-Floodle-Joan-Edwards/dp/1594572852/

Barnes & Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/flip-flap-floodle?r=1

Telling stories at home is a fun thing to do. Tell stories to your dolls, your toys, your Star Wars figures, and your Bob the Builder figures. Tell stories on the way to school. When it’s time to share at school, tell a story you made up. Don’t copy someone else. Tell or write your own story.

I’ll bet you tell your friends, parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents, aunts, and uncles fun things that happen to you. You also tell them things that scared the socks off you. When creating stories, add a little fiction to the truth.

Here’s one of mine:  One time Mother had a turkey. She loved him. He hated my older sister, Judy and me. He flogged us whenever we went outside. I wrote “Larry the Terrifying Turkey” in memory of that story…part fiction and part true. That turkey scared me. That fear stayed with me a very long time.

Another story, “Just like Sissy” is about how my sister, Judy went to school in first grade and I didn’t get to go. I was downtrodden. My best friend was nowhere around and I missed her. I bought hot dogs at a drugstore down the street, took them to her class and expected to enter her classroom and sit beside her. That didn’t happen. They took the hot dogs and closed the door.

My stories go on and on. Your stories do, too. You may not have even thought about your stories as part of a fictional story, a picture book or chapter book in the library or bookstore. However, I am here to tell you that it’s possible. You can do it.

Write your stories in a notebook. A bound composition book is best.  Pages from spiral composition books come loose. I recommend that you use a pen, because it writes darker and is easier to read later on.  When your parents ask what you’d like for your birthday or Christmas, you know the answer: A bound composition book and a pen or pencil to inspire you to tell your stories which make you smile.

When you’ve experienced part of your story first-hand, you probably care more about it. It makes a difference – either good or bad for you.

I love the books that show the extreme opposites of things, like Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst and illustrated by Ray Cruz: http://www.amazon.com/Alexander-Terrible-Horrible-Good-Very/dp/0689711735

Another one is Fortunately by Remy Charlip: http://www.amazon.com/Fortunately-Remy-Charlip/dp/0689716605/

Followed by That’s Good! That’s Bad! by Margery Cuyler, illustrated by David Catrow: http://www.amazon.com/Thats-Good-Bad-Owlet-Book/dp/0805029540

Circle Stories are fun to tell over and over again.  Here is an example:  “If you give a mouse a cookie”by Laura Joffe Numeroff, illustrations by Felicia Bond. http://www.amazon.com/You-Give-Mouse-Cookie-Give/dp/0060245867

My story “Mack and Mazie, Loggerheads Forever” is a circle story. It’s about two loggerhead turtles love for each other. Two sailors save the turtles and then the turtles save the sailors. Loggerheads are a part of our family. They are part of nature. Nature is a part of us.

As you can see, family is a big part of my life. Friends are also an important part of my life. Therefore, family and friends are part of my stories. What you care about the most will find its way into your stories.

Readers, please leave your story idea in the COMMENT section below.  Joan Y. Edwards and all the other visitors at “A Writer’s Playground” look forward to reading your stories or story ideas.

Let’s let Joan know how much we appreciate her coming.  Storytellers deserve a group hug.  Ready?


How about it, Joan?  Can you feel the love?  We hope so!  Thank you so much for telling about your storytelling and writing.  Please come again!

Copyright © 2012 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Careers, Character Traits, Interviews, Monthly Activities, Reading, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 44 Comments »

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