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Susanana Leonard HIll

The Last Flight of Christmas


The Last Flight of Christmas

Susanna Leonard Hill is sponsoring her third annual holiday writing contest. I had so much fun participating in the  Halloweensie contest that I thought I'd participate again.  Here is my entry.

flight delay.jpg

The Last Flight of Christmas

(295 words)

‘Twas the night before Christmas and Papa was late,

Snowed in at the airport, stuck at the gate.

“My plane has been grounded. I’m sorry, my dear.

It looks like I’m going to miss Christmas this year.”

“But Papa,” I cried, as Mama drew near,

“It won’t be the same if you are not here!”

“Don’t worry,” said Mama, squeezing me tight,

“Maybe Dad will be able to catch the next flight.”

I had put on my jammies and climbed into bed

When a terrible thought entered my head.

“If snow’s going to keep us from being together,

How will Santa arrive in such wintery weather?”

“Santa will make it even if the snow’s deep,

But he won’t come to visit unless you’re asleep!”

Mama gave me a kiss and turned off my light,

Then I tossed and I turned the rest of the night.

I had just drifted off and was dreaming of toys,

When I woke with a start after hearing a noise.

“Santa!” I whispered and jumped out of bed.

“He made it for Christmas just like Mama said!”

In my robe and my slippers, I ran down the stairs

And found Papa, not Santa, in one of our chairs.

“Papa!” I cried. “When did you make it home?

You said you were stuck when we talked on the phone!”

 “Surprise!” exclaimed Papa, “but I found my way

With a jolly red elf who was driving a sleigh!”

“You met Santa?” I asked, “He gave you a ride?”

“With some help from his reindeer,” Papa replied.

“Mama!  I shouted, “You won’t guess who’s here!

Papa! He’s made it for Christmas this year!”

“Santa also delivered a present or two.”

“But Papa,” I cried, “the best present is you!”

Looking for more wonderful holiday stories to get you into the spirit?  Check out the other entries on Susanna's blog.  And Merry Christmas!


The Tree Lady


The Tree Lady

Susanna Leonard Hill sponsors Perfect Picture Book Friday on her blog.  It’s a wonderful resource for parents, teachers and book lovers of all ages.  I'm participating today with a book review related to the city in which I live:  San Diego, California.

Title:  The Tree Lady: The True Story of How One Tree-Loving Woman Changed a City Forever

Author and Illustrator:  Written by H. Joseph Hopkins, Illustrated by Jill McElmurry

Publisher: Beach Lane Books, 2013.

Genre:  Non-fiction

Ages: 5-10

Themes:  Biography, trees, nature, notable women, San Diego history

Opening/Synopsis:  “Meet Kate Sessions, a young woman with a grand passion for trees.  She has guts.  She has vigor.  And she has a vision – a green, leafy vision that will one day transform a city.”

After graduating from the University of California (the first woman to do so with a degree in science), Kate Sessions took a teaching position in San Diego. Accustomed to the giant redwoods of her Northern Californian birthplace, Kate found the dry and dusty landscape of San Diego lacking. Never one to accept the status quo, Kate set out to “be the change she wished to see in the world.”  The lifelong nature lover left her teaching position and became a gardener, seeking out and planting trees that would thrive in the San Diego soil. Kate single-handedly started a movement that transformed the drab, desert town into the lush and vibrant city it is today. More than 100 years after her arrival, residents and visitors alike enjoy the gardens and parks that Kate created.  Thanks to her, San Diego lives up to its nickname - “American’s Finest City.” 

Why I like this book:  Kate had a "can-do" attitude.  She followed her dreams and used her talents to make her small corner of the world a better place. 

Activities and Resources:  You don’t have to wait until Arbor Day to enjoy Shauna Evan’s fantastic tree related activities. Her site includes book recommendations, craft  and snack ideas. For a short video about Kate Sessions, check out the Women’s Museum of California.  Kate was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006.



Miss Sadie

I desperately needed a break from the revision of a story I've been working on so when I saw Susanna Leonard Hill's third annual Halloweensie writing contest invitation, I decided to throw my hat into the ring. The guidelines are simple:  write a 100 word Halloween story appropriate for children, using the words spookyblack cat, and cackle.   Here is my entry.

Miss Sadie

A bumbling witch named Miss Sadie

yearned to be wicked and mean.

When she tried to be spooky,

she came off quite kooky,

the clumsiest witch ever seen.

“Perhaps what I need to be scary

is something eerie and dark!”

So she found a black cat,

and a tall pointy hat,

and hid in a tree in the park.

“Trick or treaters, beware,” cackled Sadie,

“I’m here to give you a fright!”

Sadie laughed with such glee,

she fell out of the tree,

and “boo hoo-ed” on Halloween night.