Hi Spring Fling Kidlit and Math is Everywhere friends,
Wow, I can’t believe it’s already been over a month since the 2021 Spring Fling Kidlit Contest Winners were announced! We officially connected everyone with their prize donors, and I can’t wait to see all the beautiful things that come from these connections and stories! (If for some reasons disconnect happens, just email.) Please remember if you have a success to let us know so we can share with everyone.
But now is the time you’ve all been patiently awaiting: the Spring Fling Kidlit Contest Winner Analysis! We got permission to post and analyze 19 AMAZING stories, and I’m so excited to dive in. As we’re about a week away from Kidlit Zombie Week, I hope you have fun analyzing these pieces to prepare yourself for analyzing and reviving your Zombie manuscripts!
Please remember a few things:
-Be constructive, not constructive (give ideas for improvement in an open and positive way)
-Be thoughtful (the beautiful thing about this business is its subjectivity, you may not think the same at first, but who knows what you’ll think after truly considering something)
-Read and respond to others (don’t just read the stories and post what you think; read what others write, and have fun connecting and learning)
How will this work you ask?
I will post up to five stories at a time right here on the blog
Your goal is to…
-read all the stories
-find which aspects made each story a top choice
-search for a common thread in the stories posted (figurative gold star for finding this out!)
-share what could be improved or tips about how to make it into a PB
-post in the comments your thoughts while responding to others’ comments as well.
That’s it! So without further ado…
Here are the first stories to analyze from this year’s wonderful crop of Spring Fling Kidlit Contest Winners:
READY, SET, GROW!
By Kelly Swemba (@Kswemba)
Good morning and welcome to The Annual Spring Race. I’m your host, Mother Nature. Like bears waking from hibernation, our contestants are grumbling. And rumbling. And shifting in their beds. It’s time. Flowers, start your engines! Ready… Set… GROW! Who will make the first move? It looks like… Crocus! She may be small, but she is mighty! Can this tiny little flower pull it off? Not if Hyacinth has anything to say about it. Making his move, they’re stem and stem! But wait! Tulip breaks her bulb next. Followed by Daffodil. What a race! They’re nearing the top. Climbing. Reaching. Stretching. And it looks like it’s… CROCUS! This dainty flower proves she strong and beautiful. Followed by Hyacinth, Tulip, then Daffodil. The real winners though, are their admirers. Thanks again for tuning in. And make sure to stop and smell the flowers!
Outside Kind of Kids
By Hannah Lapehn (@HannahLapehn)
We yank our blinds and see the sun, slip on shoes and start to run, head out back for forest fun. We’re outside kind of kids. We feed the ducks and pet the dogs, balance over fallen logs, crouch down low and leap like frogs. We’re outside kind of kids. We waddle in the riverbed, spot the minnows up ahead, chase them ‘til our cheeks turn red. We’re outside kind of kids. We build a fortress out of sticks, smack and smear a muddy mix, check each other’s hair for ticks. We’re outside kind of kids. We spy a stick bug’s great disguise, catch the flashing fireflies, release them into shifting skies, We’re outside kind of kids. We pitch a tent and stake it tight, watch the sun sink out of sight, sleep under the moon so bright. We’re outside kind of kids.
By Mary Catherine (@mc_amadu)
Dan DeLion sprouted beside a magnificent garden and was eager to meet the flowers living there. How he wished for a best bud! When he greeted Rose, however, she proved prickly. “Aloe there!” Dan waved. “Aloe there?” Rose scoffed. “How uncultured. The proper salutation is HELLO.” Dan drooped. “How’s it growing?” he asked Snapdragon. Snapdragon was snippy. “Badly. Stop taking my space, weed!” Dan wilted. The other flowers treated Dan like dirt too. He grew pale and bristly. One day, he heard a cheerful “Aloe!” from above. There, fluttering freely, was a tiny maple seed. “I’m Samara! Come fly. BeLEAF me, it’s fun!” she joked. Now THIS was a plant Dan could hang with. Dan giggled. Dan glided. Dan GLEAMED! Dan DeLion was no weed. He was proof that wishes can come true. Together, the new best buds flew off, leaving the garden flowers behind in the dust.
The Wishing Tree
By Lisa Varchol Perron (@LisaVPerron)
On the first day of spring, Lila and her family visit the Wishing Tree. Crowds gather, year after year, to cast wishes on the tree’s magical buds. “The tree looks sad today,” Lila says. “See its branches drooping?” No one answers. They are busy making wishes. Lila’s little sister requests a flutter of butterflies. Her brother, a bundle of balloons. Mama asks for a break from worry, and Grandpa hopes for a spurt of good health. Lila watches the Wishing Tree grant wish after wish, its boughs growing heavier. “Can I give my wish to someone else this year?” “I don’t see why not,” Mama answers. Lila rests a cheek on the tree’s bark. Pow! Rain pours from above, then sunshine cuts through the clouds. The tree sprouts colorful blossoms, and rainbows shoot across the spring sky. Lila throws her arms around the Wishing Tree. “Your wishes matter, too.”
The Art of the Park: An Insider’s View
By Erica Lyons (@EFLyons)
On Mondays Ari drew Josh playing soccer. On Tuesdays he painted Lilah feeding the ducks. On Wednesdays he sketched Zayde playing chess. On Thursdays he sculpted the carousel horses. On Fridays he collaged scenes from the boathouse. On weekends he folded origami zoo animals. Then one day everything stopped. Everyone had to stay inside. There was a window between Ari and the park. His world shrunk, colors faded, details vanished. What was art without the sounds of wind, the smell of flowers blooming, and the feel of the grass on his toes? He stared outside, counting things he missed, Until in Zoom Art Class, Ari’s teacher said the word ‘perspective’. It was there the whole time! He could see the entire park – woven patches of bright colors, beams of sunlight, green treetops, clouds. Avi’s inside art exploded. Pages filled with new ideas. Outside is still better, but perspective changes things.
There you have it! The first 5 stories to analyze from our 2021 Spring Fling Kidlit Contest Winner pool. Go ahead and wade around a bit, then dive into the comments, and share what you think about these pieces and how you think they’re related to each other as well. Have fun and thanks for stopping by to learn and grow with us!
Kaitlyn Leann Sanchez
PS. Please make sure to follow these wonderful creators on Twitter and subscribe to their blogs–you’ll be happy, big things are coming for them soon!
PPS. If you haven’t subscribed to this blog, please do so. Then you won’t miss any analyses and you’ll get weekly updates on great interviews and giveaways.
PPPS. If you haven’t checked out Kidlit Zombie Week, check it out now! It all starts June 14th, except that we always have some surprises right beforehand, so get in on this now!