Posted in Young Writers in Action

Young Writers in Action: An Unpleasant Surprise

Cat peeking out a doorway. Photo by Henda Watani at pexels.com

AN UNPLEASANT SURPRISE

by Audrey, 10, VIC

Sometimes people ask me, “Hey, if you were an animal, what would you be?”

I’d think, and then say, “A cat!”

I wonder what it would really be like…

I think cats are amazing creatures! If only I could stay up late exploring! I can’t think of anything bad about- oh wait, humans picking me up! I hate being picked up. I wonder if I should say anything else next time …

“If you were an animal, what would you be?” the new kid asks.

This time I don’t hesitate. “A cat! I love cats.”

After school, she comes up to me. “Are you sure you’d want to be a cat?” 

“Yes … why? What do you- OH!” I blink, and suddenly she’s like a giant! I close my eyes and rub them. Wait, why do I have paws? Oh no, she’s turned me into a cat!

“Turn me back into a human! I don’t want to be a cat!” I yell, but she just laughs. I must be meowing!

Suddenly, my friend Natalie appears out of nowhere! “Hey! I just saw you turn her into a cat!”

The new girl turns around quickly. “No, I didn’t! You’re going mad, Natalie.” She puts her hand on Nat’s forehead. Oh, that girl is infuriating!

Natalie moves away. “Then why is her bag there? Hair ties too! THERE’S CLEARLY A CAT IN FRONT OF YOU!” she yells.

“That’s MY bag, and I dropped my hair ties. That cat is a stray,” the new girl lies, turning red.

“I’d recognise Audrey’s bag anywhere. And those are her hair ties. I bought them for her birthday last year!” Natalie retorts, and leans forward to pick me up. “This is my friend, and you’re not going anywhere until you turn her back into a human!” I wave my paw and meow in approval.

Natalie boops my nose. “See? Even as a cat, she’s exactly the same person.”

The new girl sighs. “Fine. But it’s not going to wear off until tomorrow morning. She’ll have to stay this way until then.” 

“Drat! What will my parents say?” I meow.

As if she can understand me, Natalie strokes my head. “Don’t worry, I’ll tell your parents you came over for a sleepover. My parents will totally believe me. They believe anything I say!”

The new girl nods at us and runs off. 

The next morning, a bright sunny Saturday, I walk back home with Natalie. She waves at me goodbye. “Bye!” I yell.

Being a cat is pretty fun. I think. But I’d rather be a human.

Mum greets me at the front door. “Had a fun night? Lucky girl, I was worried you wouldn’t come home!” 

“I had a great night, thanks Mum!”

She winks at me like she knows a secret. “Staying at a friend’s house sure is the cat’s whiskers! I sure know what it’s like.”


Audrey is a frequent contributor to Alphabet Soup. Read another story by Audrey here. To send us YOUR story, poem, artwork or book review, check out our submissions guidelines. 

Posted in Young Writers in Action

Young Writers in Action: MEOW!

MEOW! by Analia, 10, NY, USA

Black and white cat. Photo by Hugo Zoccal Fernandes Laguna on pexels.

“Hello? Hello? Hello? Hello? Hello? ARE – YOU – LISTENING?”

Humans are so annoying. I just want breakfast! The humans don’t listen and it’s so annoying. They walk around the house getting themselves food and then they brush their teeth, then their hair, then they pack, and then at the last possible moment, they give you food! Maybe I’m just overreacting a tad bit. I mean it is possible that I’m the first thing they feed in the morning but get this, they wake up at 7:30 am!

It never matters how hard I yowl or scream or cry because when they sleep they never wake up unless they want to. When their eyes finally open, I take advantage. I’m actually in the middle of that right now. The owner just woke up and I’m begging her to give me my tuna, my water, and my dry food.

“Please! I’ll do anything!”

She doesn’t listen. In fact, she walks like a sloth to the kitchen. In fact, sometimes I wonder if she’ll ever get there. She finally does. Then, I wait. She takes care of my water first. Why? I need food, not water!

“Food first!”

She continues to wash out my water bowl. Sometimes, it’s pointless to argue. Finally, she’s done. Placing my water dish on the counter, I continue to follow her to the vault. A rusty midnight-colored cabinet with smoke-colored metal openings. You have to curve your fingers around the bars in order to open the cabinet. I call it the vault because there’s no way my delicate paws can open it.

She doesn’t even bother to examine what tuna can I have. She just takes the one in front of her. The green can. I alternate between purple and green. One is tuna and chicken and the other one is tuna and turkey. I always get them confused on which way is which so I call them green and purple. When she took the green can, smoke came out of my ears.

Green? Green! I had green yesterday! Give me purple! Outrageous, inconsiderate, foolish child! How dare you give me green two days in a row! I have a very delicate stomach and if you mess with my palette, you’re cleaning up the mess!

She gives me green. Some things you can’t fight. As she pours the tuna and some of its liquid into the bowl, I try to push her arms away. She fights back refusing to give me my first lick.

“Why? Why? Give me my food!”

Then, I learn the horrid secret she’s been keeping from me. The secret that makes my eyes water. She puts in antibiotic powder!

“Nooooooooooooooooooo!”

Then she lets me have it but I don’t want it. Not after she kept that awful secret from me.

In protest I march to the dining room table and lay down, making sure my white and black fur gets everywhere. Stretching out again, nobody notices the mess I’m making. She just continues to refill my dry food then moves on to the mutt’s food. The mutt they call a dog. The inferior puppy that’s been ruining my life for a year and a half now.

I continue to stretch out on the dining room table, knowing that my actions would soon bring attention to me. When the girl came for breakfast, she stared me down.

“Cookie, will you please move?”

“No!” I replied in a sarcastic tone to make sure my anger was expressed. I don’t think the message got across. I guess some battles you just can’t win.


Analia is a frequent contributor to Alphabet Soup. You can read her earlier work here. To send us YOUR story, poem, artwork or book review, check out our submission guidelines.

Posted in Young Writers in Action

Young Writers in Action: The Prisoner in the Cage

THE PRISONER IN THE CAGE
by Ever, 10, Bellevue, Washington, USA

White Pigeon in a cage. Photo by Garfield Besa on Pexels.comI gazed mournfully through the old rusty glass, scarred and dented with bruises of dirt and yellowed grass. It was snowing lightly outside, tiny specks of snowflakes, pure and clean, gently drifting down, making the journey of a snowflake’s life.

The chilly winter air was quite cold, and through the broken window, breezes sailed across the tattered room, piercing my delicate small body. I was a handsome young bird, with wings fresh and strong, and here I was, imprisoned, cut off from my world in the skies. How I wished to be free, to be soaring in the clouds with the ones of my kind.

The snowing went on for days and days, frosty winds that kept me weak whipped me, biting me with their sharp teeth and their venom of cold filled me. The wide world that I used to have with a flap of a wing now became the cage that I was set in, microscopic compared to my old world in the air, the world where I could explore every crook and nanny, that world that gave me freedom. But now here I was, powerless against the dull metal binds of the once-golden cage. The strips of my prison held me back, and each time I looked at them my heart was filled with that sense of lostness, that feeling of being forgotten and wiped from their minds.

It was a sad feeling, knowing you were known no more, knowing that you weren’t thought of anymore. I felt extinct, and the hope that was never there in my heart was blown out with the gale that came every now and then.

I was a prisoner. To think an animal that had the gift of freedom, the power of flying anywhere in the world, was trapped by thin steel cords; well, that was a thought that had never entered my mind before.

I was the lonely prisoner in the cage, in a musty and creaky room, uninhabited by anyone anymore. I succumbed to loneliness and sat down.

I waited for someone to find me, but maybe it was true that I would not be found. Maybe I would last forever in that cold, sad, room, never to be found …


This is Ever’s first story for Alphabet Soup. To send us YOUR book review, poem, story or artwork: check out our submission guidelines

Posted in Bowral Public School, Young Writers in Action

Young writers in action: Toby

TOBY
by Meg, Year 5/6, Bowral Public School, NSW

It was such a miserable day. If you add up all of the miserableness in the world and then times it by the weight of the world, the day was still more miserable. It was rainy, but at the same time, it was hot and humid so it was worse being inside than out. Toby was trapped inside The Great Tree of Woof. He had all of his other doggy friends, of course, but Toby had cabin fever and he wanted to go outside, desperately.

The problem was though, The Great Tree of Woof was being rather inconvenient. It had this terrible habit of making all of the doors too small when it was raining. Yes, to you and me this seems like a good idea because if all of those dogs went outside into the rain then they would come back muddy and disgusting. But for Toby, it was unbearable.

Toby was starting to hallucinate. He was certain that he saw Felix, the smallest dog at The Great Tree of Woof, waltzing upside down on the ceiling. This was getting ridiculous. Toby HAD to get out.

Dog snout at night. photo courtesy pexels.comToby had to just make do for now and only stick out his snout. It was better than nothing.

Rain splattered down on Toby’s nose. It was nice and refreshing. The memories of when he was a puppy came back to him. How he could sneak out because he was so small. Toby wished that he was still that small. The rain drops became bigger and Toby started to feel drowsy.

As he lay down thunder rumbled up ahead. He wasn’t going to be able to sleep for long. When the thunder started he, being the oldest and wisest dog there, had to calm all of the puppies down.

Toby wriggled to get comfy and drifted off to sleep.


We will be sharing writing from students at Bowral Public School over the next few days. If you’d like to send us YOUR book review, story, poem or artwork, check out our submission guidelines

Posted in Young Writers in Action

Young Writers in Action: How to Make a Friend

HOW TO MAKE A FRIEND: A PENGUIN’S GUIDE

by Aaron, 6, New York, USA

Pengy is a penguin for sure. He lives in the New York aquarium. He is trying to find a new friend but he can’t. He is on a different schedule to all the other penguins because he goes swimming while they eat. And when they go swimming, Pengy goes to nap and he naps for the rest of the day.  So Pengy wanted to switch his schedule so he could be with the other penguins longer.

One day, Pengy the penguin was swimming around looking for friends. They all swam and dropped their eggs in the water and Pengy went to save them. The other penguins knew that Pengy took their eggs so then they started a fight. Next, they found that the other penguins laid eggs so they also took them. Then the zoo keeper finds out that the penguins are having a fight and then they separated all the penguins so they are separate from Pengy.

So because of the fight, one of the zookeepers decided to take one of the penguins and train them to be on the same schedule as Pengy. But when Pengy and the other penguin had eggs at the same time, they had a fight because there were penguins falling in the water and they didn’t know whose was whose so they fought over them.

So they split all the penguins away from Pengy and his friend to a different enclosure while all the other eggs were hatching. Then one of the eggs started to hatch but they didn’t have any water or ice to slide on. The enclosure was warm to keep the penguin eggs warm because they didn’t have feathers yet. But once they started hatching, they were moved back to be with Pengy.

Pengy was happy because they were all on his routine so he got a lot of friends to swim with.

The end … for now.


This is Aaron’s first story for Alphabet Soup. To send us YOUR story, poem, artwork or book review, check out our submission guidelines.

Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by kids, Oxley Christian College

Book review: Queenie

Queenie by Corinne Fenton and Peter GouldthorpeREVIEWED BY ELIZABETH, 8, VIC

Queenie by Corinne Fenton, illustrated by Peter Gouldthorpe, Black Dog Books, ISBN 1876372974

Elizabeth read this book in her school library.

Queenie is an Indian elephant. When she gets separated from her mother, where does she go? Will she ever find her mum?

Follow Queenie’s journey to a new life. She grows to be an amazing elephant, strong and big. She becomes a legend.

She carries hundreds of people who feed her lots of peanuts, her favourite food.

My favourite picture is of two elephants playing in a bright green forest, splashing in the glittering water. Their hideaway place is calm and peaceful.

People of all ages, children and adults, who like elephants, should read this book.

I give this book a 10 out of 10 star rating because of the fascinating pictures that fade into the plain light grey outline border.


If you’d like to read more book reviews by Oxley Christian College students, you can click on ‘Oxley Christian College’ in the grey categories box in the right column of this blog. To send us YOUR book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by kids, Book reviews by Matilda

Book review: Pepsi the Problem Puppy

REVIEWED BY MATILDA, 11, WA

Pepsi the Problem Puppy

Pepsi the Problem Puppy by Sandi Parsons, ill. Aśka, Faraway Nearby Ink, ISBN 9780987615701

A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

Rosie has always wanted a dog but when her dad brings home a mischievous puppy called Pepsi, she realises what a big responsibility keeping a dog is. Unfortunately, Mum doesn’t like Pepsi destroying everything, running through the house (while destroying everything), and having accidents inside. Rosie will have to find a way to train Pepsi or the puppy will be taken back to the shelter.

Every few pages there are humorous black-and-white illustrations. Six to eight year olds will love the humour and the detailed stories about Pepsi being naughty. Granny’s failure to get Pepsi’s name right (due to her bad hearing) is also funny.

This is a book about everyday life and will be a favourite for kids who love dogs and wish for one of their own (or who already have a naughty puppy of their own).


Matilda is one of our regular book reviewers. You can read Matilda’s other reviews here. If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by kids

Book review: Fantastic Mr Fox

Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl (audiobook), read by Lionel Jeffries, BBC Audiobooks UK, ISBN 9781408483770

fantastic mr fox audiobook

REVIEWED BY MATILDA, 8, WA

Matilda borrowed this audiobook from her local library.

I like listening to audiobooks because they make you have an idea of the picture in your head. With this audiobook I could read along with the book while I listened but sometimes I just like listening without the book. I like the voices they have for the characters.

Fantastic Mr Fox is about a family of 6 foxes (4 children and 2 adults). Mr Fox has a very clever brain and every night he makes sure the wind is blowing towards him so he can go out and steal some dinner from the 3 farmers Boggis, Bunce and Bean. The 3 farmers are really mean and they try to catch the foxes because they want to shoot them. I like this story because it’s exciting and the foxes can dig faster than any other animal.

Most kids from 5 and up would love this book but little kids might need a grownup there to help with the scary bits.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Matilda is one of our regular book reviewers. Her most recent review (if you don’t count this one) was of  Pearl Verses the World. If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!