Monday, April 23, 2012

A Whale of a Tale



I read a good story this weekend. It had action, suspense, and great illustrations. The characters were not terribly complex, but likable and interesting. Setting didn't have a prominent role, but it complimented the story nicely. The main character overcame a formidable obstacle, and I'm happy to report there was a happy ending.

Want to hear more about the story? Good!

The main character was a whale who decided that she wanted to jump into a small pond just for fun. Trouble is, once there, she can't get out and back home, so she needs help from her friends. Her friends included a small mouse, who, when called upon for help, told the whale that he was busy, but could be there to help in two minutes. Additional characters included another whale, and a large circus mouse, who had been shot out of a cannon prior to arriving at the pond to help.

Yes, I know, not your standard historical fiction type I usually go for, right?

Well, the motivation for reading this story was a bit different. You see, my four year old grandson is the author. He dictated it to my daughter in law, and then illustrated it. I know I'm biased, but it's the cutest and best story I've read in a while. :) 

Reflecting on this little tale has me thinking about good story elements. Characters, plot, setting - what an interesting mix! It takes a sharp and talented writer to blend these ingredients well, don't you think?

Which story elements are your favorites? Do you like strong characters? Amazing settings? A grand and memorable plot? A busy mouse that can come help in two minutes? :D

Have you read any new author's work lately?

Hope you can stop by on Thursday when I join Jeanette Levellie's blog tour celebrating her new book, Two Scoops of Grace with Chuckles on Top. It should be fun!

Happy writing,
Karen


Photo credit: Stock Exchange

34 comments :

  1. That's very cute! I like the idea of teamwork to get the whale home.

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  2. Your grandson's whale of a tale is a precious and priceless memento, probably his first masterpiece. Following in his grandma's footsteps?

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  3. a future writer in the making!! I think that memory is a keeper.
    I enjoy real characters who make me laugh and cry.

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  4. Theresa,
    It was a great team effort. Super cute. :)

    Linda,
    He just might be! Yes, this little treasure book is a keeper, that's for sure. :)

    Terri,
    Perhaps he is! He's a smart little guy. I'm with you; I enjoy those kinds of characters too.

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  5. He's going to be FAMOUS! What a super idea for a book, amigo. I can see I'll be reading his books while in my rocking chair. :-) I love strong characters like that busy mouse. ;-) (((hugs)))

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  6. For me, characters have to be likeable, even though flawed. I have to care about them to keep reading. I've read some books, seen movies, where I didn't care what happened to the people involved. How can a writer miss the boat like that?

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  7. What a cute story! Children come up with the best things.

    Everything has to fit together logically for me to enjoy a story. If there are gaps or missing pieces or - especially - continuity issues, the author has lost me. What's sad is that so many books published today have all of these problems.

    Jessica
    A to Z Blogger & SF/Fantasy Writer @ Visions of Other Worlds

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  8. Well my gosh, Karen. That grandson may be a famous author some day. What a little doll! Maybe you should submit that story somewhere! Could be a best seller.Thanks for sharing.Susan

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  9. Robyn,
    I think it was a cute idea. But then, I think he's cute no matter what! :) Someday perhaps I will be handing out signed copies to my friends! lol

    Mare,
    I agree - I've plodded through a handful of books where I didn't care for the characters at all. Apparently the author must have, but that didn't translate well to the reader!

    Jessica,
    I know - I've run across a few lately that really had me wondering! Ah well, I guess we can learn from them. Great to meet you! Thanks for following!

    Susan,
    Who knows, right? :) Maybe I will! Or co-write something with him when he gets a little bigger. :)

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  10. How sweet! You had me hooked, and I was ready to order your recommendation for my granddaughter :-) Sure looks like you've got another writer in the family.

    I like unexpected plot twists. Sounds like your grandson has that down pat with a little circus mouse that gets shot out of a cannon!

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  11. Aw, how fun, Karen. My 7-year-old niece likes to write books like "Aunt Sarah". I love seeing what her imagination comes up with!

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  12. Your grandson is a budding writer - very cool!

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  13. I must confess that I'm not a huge fiction fan. I tend towards bios or history. But I must say, no matter what I read I enjoy a good chuckle.

    It's alway good to drop in and see what you're up to.

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  14. Tha book sounds adorable--seriously.

    I'm fond of strong characters in stories. I sually don't care where they are. LOL

    Read a really good YA book called The Iron King though. In that one, I thought the plot was really unusual which is why I liked it.

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  15. Kenda,
    Thanks for the vote of confidence! :) I like plot twists too, as long as they don't get confusing. So far his concept was very reader friendly in that respect!

    Sarah,
    It is so much fun to see what they come up with. Young, fresh minds have so much to offer! We could brainstorm with them!

    Alex,
    I guess we'll see where it goes, but this one sure was fun!

    Kathleen,
    Oh yes, I'm with you - humor is always good! Good to see you again!

    Jennifer,
    I thought it was, but again, I'm biased! :) Haven't heard of The Iron King. I'll have to check it out. My teen students ask sometimes what I recommend fiction wise.

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  16. Your grandson sounds very talented. I think writing runs in the family, he must have taken after his grandmom.

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  17. I'll read just about anything if the writing is good and the emotion is there from the start.

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  18. How funny!! I love this!! That is a family heirloom, and I'd have the author sign it if I were you. :) Maybe his mama will laminate it?

    Taking after his grandma with the writing thing, isn't he? Lucky fellow.

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  19. Karen,

    Interesting read! Thanks so much for sharing this.

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  20. Rachna,
    He is a smart little cookie, but then, I am biased! lol

    Laura,
    Good points. These are so important to a story!

    Rhonda,
    That's a good idea! I will pass it along. :)

    Jennifer,
    You are welcome. Thanks for coming by!

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  21. Sweet story! I love character-based plot, with some description. I get to read new author material every week with the homeschool co-op classes I teach. I have a class of teens who are such amazing writers that I'm not sure what I can teach them . . .

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  22. What an adorable story. I like to encourage new writers. My favorite element is the characters. Next is setting. If these are satisfying, plot is less important to me.

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  23. Yes, I love the mouse! I can almost see him now. I liked that story! It's pretty adorable.

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  24. That was so great! I'm a fan of "Big Circus Mouse"... although I relate to the mouse that can be there in two minutes... :)

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  25. Tyrean,
    Thanks! I like characters too - setting is always secondary for me. Sounds like you have some great writers in your classes. I am sure you can teach them a lot!

    Nancy,
    Thank you! I'm all for encouraging new writers too. We all need a hand sometimes, nI o matter where our writing is. :)

    Lydia,
    I know, I loved the mouse too. (Both actually!) It was super cute!

    Cheryl,
    I'll have to see if he'll write another and I can share that one too. :) Me too - the two minutes thing - I think all us moms do that sometimes!

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  26. probably your grandson is following your foot steps.. that's really cool... enjoyed reading your post....

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  27. Adorable, Karen. He wrote this story and illustrated it? Very impressive! God bless him.

    Enjoy the rest of your week!

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  28. Awww. So sweet. But I don't believe it. How can you have a 4 yr old grandson? Did I read that wrong?

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  29. Dorjay,
    He just might be! Glad you enjoyed hearing about it.

    Janette,
    He is a sweetheart, even if I am a little biased. :) Enjoy your week too!

    Annie,
    See, this is one reason why I like you! :) Yes, a 4 year old grandson!

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  30. How awesome that your grandson wrote a book @ age 4! It sounds adorable! What a great thing that he's following in your footsteps. Looking forward to joining Jen's blog tour tomorrow!

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  31. This does sound like a great little book. Thanks for sharing, Karen. And thanks for the birthday wishes.

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  32. Maria,
    I guess time will tell how into it he is, but this one is really fun. Looking forward to Jen's tour too! :)

    Joylene,
    Thanks! Grandma here thought so. :) Hope your birthday was a good one! You share it with my daughter.

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  33. Loved that book! I hope the author comes out with another, soon. ;-)

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  34. Me too, Beck! It was great! :D We got to see the first edition, too.

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your input. Have a blessed day!