Picture Book Gem: Not Quite Narwhal

As part of the 12×12 picture book challenge, I have been trying to read as many new picture books as I possibly can.  The best part about that is I’m making some really great new discoveries.  One of these is Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima.

Kelp finds he is a little different from the Narwhals he lives with.  He feels very loved but knows there is something amiss.  One day he discovers unicorns and realizes there is a whole other world above the ocean where unicorns who are exactly like him are living.  The problem for Kelp becomes how to merge the two worlds of land and ocean.

The illustrations are delightful and the characters are engaging.  My preschool class loved the story and you will too.  This picture book takes you on a journey to other worlds with some unique and creative ideas about how narwhals and unicorns live.  Jessica Sima creates two magical worlds in this book and children will be transported.

I’m surprised there aren’t more books about unicorns and narwhals as they are such unique and magical creatures.  

Giveaway Winner!

Hey Readers!  I just wanted to let you know I heard from my giveaway winner, Kelly Woods and she was happy to receive her gift card and her copy of Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker this week.

From Kelly:

Good afternoon 😊just wanted to let you know I received the gift card from Amazon. Thank you sooo much!! What a huge blessing you are!! Thank you!! Thank you for your kindness 😊I will let you know as soon as the book gets here. I can’t wait.

…just wanted to let you know I received the book.. Its soooo cute.. Thank you sooo much again for blessing me.. It means more than these words can say 😊 You are awesome and your kindness means a lot 😊Thank you

Kelly, it is a pleasure to have you as the winner of my giveaway.  I don’t think I could find a more appreciative recipient.  Thanks again to all who entered!

And by the way, if you are a Canadian and still hoping to get your hands on a free copy of Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker you can enter my goodreads giveaway this month for your chance to win!  The deadline for entries is May the 2nd.

Have a great day!

“It is not happy people who are thankful but thankful people who are happy.”


Surprise TV Recommendation

Television show recommendations are not the norm here on simply.cindy but then adults do need time to escape from reality too. So here’s a little departure from learning through play and something for after the kids are in bed.

I am not a huge tv watcher.  I find books more interesting.  And hospitals are probably my least favourite place in the world so I don’t know how I ended up watching Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix but it happened.

What keeps me coming back to the show?  The characters.  I absolutely love the characters; they are so well done.  And I actually don’t have to shut my eyes during every surgery now; I can watch the gross stuff.  watch-greys-anatomy-online

Maybe that’s why I like reading and writing too.  It’s all about the characters.  

Are you like me?  Do you love stories with great characters?  Is the character development first and foremost to you?  Then you will love this show.  I promise.

I love watching the doctors heal patients, save lives, and figure out their own lives at Seattle Grace Hospital.  If you haven’t seen it yet, I warn you… it won’t take much and you’ll be hooked.

Winner of Short Story Contest! Yes!

I happened upon a short story contest last week at Wordy Wanderings and guess what?  My little story won!  What a way to start my week! Thank you A. LaFaye!

The challenge? Write a children’s story in 100 words in which a child makes friends with their food.  I figured it would be prudent to repost this here, just in case you missed reading 🙂

Friendship Soup

Sophie: One goldfish, two goldfish…

Sophie popped fishy crackers into her mouth.

Sophie: This fishy looks pale.

Plop! Fishy swam in tomato soup.

Sophie: Isn’t it hot?

Fishy: No. It’s warm.

Sophie: That’s why you’re pale.

Mom: Sophie, please eat your lunch.

Shark chased fishy.

Sophie: Quick, before he gets you!


Fishy: I’m shaking from my head to-ma-toes.

Sophie: Shark’s gone.

Fishy: I’ve always wanted to be a big fish in a little pond.

Sophie slurped some soup.  She left a little for fishy.

Sophie: You’re queen of the pond now.

Mom: Did you finish your lunch?

Sophie: Mostly.

Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this post and would like to show your appreciation, please like my Facebook page.  Thank you for your support! Have a wonderful day.


This story is in response to Vivian Kirkfield’s 50 Precious Words Contest.   March 2nd is the birthday of Theodore Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss and by the way it is also my brother’s birthday… Happy Birthday Michael if you’re reading this!


Vivian’s contest is based on Bennet Cerf’s challenge to Seuss to write a children’s book using only 50 words.  It’s true that the story has over 700 words…but only 50 unique words.  Vivian’s Challenge is to write a story that is 50 words not including the title.

Here’s my entry:


Awake at dawn. Rush to the riverbank.





Turn the crank. Hold tight. Turn fast. Faster.

Sigh. A boot.





Turn the crank. Hold tight. Turn fast. Faster.

Sigh. Too small.





Hold tight. Turn fast. Faster!

Astounding.  A colossal catch!