Discover here interesting children's books and fun activities that S-T-R-E-T-C-H your mind. Explore great places for kids to visit. Write and share your own ideas, great books, or subjects you want to know more about with Jewel. Check out Jewel Sample's writing for kids adventures.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Jewel Sample's Review of Trout Are Made of Trees

When I posted about transforming the unexpected it got me to thinking about what is transformed in streams. Today I am going to share with you what April Pulley Sayre found out about Trout. She was so excited about her discoveries that she wrote Trout Are Made of Trees.

How does this transformation happen? The author explains the process of how the ecological cycle-of-life interactions help to form the perfect nesting and hiding place for trout and eventually how the process moves along the food chain to feed animals and people. So, are trout made of trees? You will have to read the book to find out.

What I liked best is how the author extends learning by incorporating other aquatic discoveries throughout the story to keep the reader interested, as well as offering riparian conservation challenges for readers to consider in the back of the book. The challenges encourage you to put your thinking cap on and further investigate other natural habitats.

Kate Endle’s realistic illustrations are an entertaining collage of nature discoveries. My most favorite illustration depicts the children investigating their collection of specimens with a scientific book, which is encouraging modeling of children’s ability to discover things on their own. Although my first and second graders did not understand all of the words, artistically, I discovered the children came up with ideas to make a collage with their nature collections and use leaves for fish bodies. Please post your ideas when you read Trout are Made of Trees.

Trout Are Made of Trees is recommended as an excellent ecological life-cycle resource for elementary grade level reader.

Trout Are Made of Trees reviewed by Jewel Sample--Award-winning author of Flying Hugs and Kisses. To learn more about Jewel Sample visit her at

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Transforming the Unexpected

It is fun to just take a day and write something unusual. Something most people would not have thought about. So for today’s writing challenge, collect one or two objects from around your house that you could use your imagination to transform into something. Write about the transformation process in a poem or a story.

Examples of objects, brick of cheese for a rat or scouring pad for a nail file or the refrigerator as a big mouth-eating monster.

Here is my attempt to write about object transformation of a bar of soap.


White soap



In murky bath water

Squeezing it between

Fingers and palm

The white frog leaps

Back into the white

Porcelain pond

Words ripple and


Over brain matter

The hand fishes

And feels the undercurrent

The eyes hunt

Piercing the white

Undiluted swells

Looking for the

Amphibious creature

To rear its head

Plug pulled

Gurgle, gurgle


Muddy white scum

Lays on the porcelain pond floor

Fully exposed

Melted smaller

Extraordinarily shaped


My white soap