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  • Crazy Day to Day Adventures of Tom Story - The Magic Dove, I mean Squirrel

    Now, you might be wondering what this is all about. Who is Tom Story (even though you're on my website) and why should I care about his crazy 'Day to Day' Adventures and also, surely no one can have so many crazy Day to Day Adventures? Well I can and I have and I will and I, ummm, am (read in whatever order). Like a pigeon escaping the peril of park life or a camel who has found its way into the city, I will show you Excitement (yay), Adventure (yay), Waffles (yum) - sometimes. Not only I, but my son JJ Story, my daughter El Story and Grandad Story (who between you and me, generally only has adventures when riding his bike). So let us dive into this new world of wonder and glimpse into an ever changing world where up is sometimes down and down sometimes left and east also sometimes left and let's not even get started on South. I don't trust South. Welcome to the 'Crazy Day to Day Adventures of Tom Story'. Today's Tale - The Magic Dove, I mean Squirrel. So we got into the car and I was greeted by a barrage of, Daddy this, Daddy that, Daddy: I started talking first, Daddy: Now I've forgotten what I was going to say. Daddy: JJ is so annoying, Daddy: El is so annoying. I like toast. In the end, the name Daddy was put off limits and a profound conversation struck up about how cool it would be to have magical powers and what we would do if we did. El - I'd turn invisible JJ - Ultimate Gobstopper Me - Limit the word Daddy to 14 times a day only. What? El - What? JJ - What? Me - Stop saying Daddy so much. The conversation continued until El said… 'Let's do the Magic Button thing.' In case you didn't know, we have a magic button that can literally transport us anywhere and with Hogwarts being a fictional land and unsure of the legalities of visiting such a place (adviser is telling me to shut up about Harry Potter stuff)... Anyway - we visited Harry Potter at Hogwarts - joke - joke. Side note - I've literally got 33p and a medium gobstopper to my name, so good luck suing me anyway. So with a smile and a tap, El, JJ and I pressed the Magic Button to transport us to a magical land of well magic. We found ourselves in the middle of a town, not a modern day, coffee shop on each corner, town, but an old fashioned one with straw hats on each roof and shops selling, well on closer inspection, some sort of coffee looking substance and sweet bread by the said. As we walked along a cobbled path past an elderly lady mixing her coffee with only her finger twirling around the top, we realised we had seen the first signs of magic. Within minutes we'd been shouted off the path by broomstick riders seeming like they were in a rush, watched cats turn into cows to be milked, cows into chickens for eggs and eggs hatching into baby dragons who spat puffs of smoke which turned into tiny little birds, who exploded into emeralds. Every person we passed, in those few minutes, carried a wand and that was nine. Nine people. Nine magic wands. 'You there.' said a Dove from above. 'Yes talking Dove?' said El. 'Just Dove will do, or Cyril as that's my name. I don't just say talking humans do I?' 'No, but you did just shout, you there, which is a bit rude.' said El. 'I take your point. Ok. Excuse me, you three humans.' 'El, JJ and Tom.' I interjected. 'El, JJ and Tom. Would you magic me some seed?' 'Why would we magic you some seed, why don't you magic up your own seed?' asked JJ. 'Oh I see. Making fun of me aye? Make fun of the Dove who can't do magic.' his eyes narrowed, 'All it would have cost you was a flick of your wands and now it's cost you a friend. A talking Dove friend. A talking Dove friend who's really good at chess.' 'I'm sorry,' said El, 'we don't actually have wands. We're new here.' 'New here? New here? You're given your wand on your birth bed, a wand is part of a person. How has being new here got any relevance to having a wand? You make me sad. You know what Dove's do when they are sad?' We all looked at each other. We had our suspicions. 'They poop.' he said. With that, Cyril the Dove flapped off aiming a poop in our direction narrowly missing us, but hitting an old lady who turned a kind of purple that I'd only witnessed once before, when an old teacher of mine fell on a student's bag and ending up sprawled across the desk before falling back over another chair as he got up in anger. She looked up at Cyril and as an earthling might shoo a fly, she flicked her wand sending a beam of green that hit him square in the backside. Cyril's flapping stopped and his descent to the ground ended with him rolling into a ball on impact. As a squirrel. 'A squirrel.' he said studying himself, 'A squirrel? Is that better? I can't decide if it's better. Is it better?' He looked at us and it wasn't really a question that a human could honestly answer having no experience of being either species. He looked over every part of his body before concluding, 'No. I can't fly or poop as freely.' We did all sort of feel that way too. 'Ok.' he said, 'I guess there's only one thing to do. As everyone in this town is either mean or unfriendly. I better teach you magic so you can turn me back.' 'How will you teach us magic if you don't know magic?' asked El. She meant it sincerely, but Cyril's chest and abdomen grew two inches (which is big for a squirrel). 'Oh right! That's it. That's it. You go your way. I'll go mine. I've never been so insulted in all my life,' he said, he took a deep breath, 'Ok. Come with me.' Although a little erratic in behaviour and emotional state with a tendency to fly off the handle, we did start to like Cyril. We followed him and his little squirrel legs through the town where he led us to free food and water, and before going to, where he needed to 'teach us magic', he took us to this magical play area to apologise for being so uptight earlier, blaming 'egg stuff' for his bad mood. Anyway. The play area was amazing. I sat drinking, well, coffee as the kids went on floating swings, a roundabout that went on its own accord, a climbing frame that spoke and gave hints of how to reach the top, and a slide that grew to double the size when you reached the top. The kids had great fun, but soon Cyril was pulling us along with his tiny squirrel fingers saying, 'I don't like being a squirrel anymore.' Cyril led us through a few more hamlets, a village of green grass houses and a forest where ducks roamed wild before we reached a great lake that sparkled in the sun. 'Drink.' he said. 'That is how we become magic?' asked El. 'Yep. Your wands will grow and from your fingers, magic will erupt.' 'So how is this you teaching us to be magic? And why don't you drink?' asked JJ before realising he'd upset Cyril again. Cyril took a deep breath, 'Do I look magic to you? Do I!' 'You talk.' said El. 'Where did you say you were from? It can't be Masledor or Brinsling as even the silliest places wouldn't allow humans to be this silly. Let me guess. Earthlings with a magic button?' 'Ummm, yes actually.' I said. 'So let me guess, you are descendants of cycling legend John Story, who found the button off the Cornish Coast inside a clam shell that sparkled like gemstones?' 'That's a very specific version, but yes, I believe so.' I said. 'Great. Great. Great!' he flung his hands in the air, 'You can't do magic.' 'What?' I asked. 'Y o u - c a n ' t - d o - m a g i c.' 'You don't have to say apostrophe.' said JJ. 'Well now what?' I asked. 'Go home. Use that magic button thing - and go. I'll find another human who will turn me back. Bye. See you later. Bye. Bye bye. Bye. Bye. Bye. Bye. Bye.' he said pushing our ankles. 'Stop saying bye now please. Look there has to be something. The button doesn't take you places for your hopes to be smashed to pieces by a talking squirrel. Sorry. Dove.' I said. At that moment we looked at JJ and El who had decided to drink the water anyway. 'Nooooooooo.' said Cyril, his hands on his face looking like a cute squirrel who really wasn't cute and was now coming across as a little mean. A beam of light exploded from both kids at the same time, bursting right up to the sky and at that moment turning the blue sky black. 'What have you done?' said Cyril, he shook his head, 'three days of darkness will follow as you have drawn all the magic from the world, thank you very much. I'm going to be the most hated Dove in all of Zanier.' 'You're a squirrel. And I can feel all the magic seeping through my veins.' said JJ, 'Watch.' A wand appeared in his hand and he turned a giant boulder by the side of the lake into a huge gobstopper. 'Watch me, watch me.' said El. She twirled her newly formed wand around herself and soon she was invisible and playing lots of tricks like pretending to be a ghoooost. Cyril pulled his hand down across his face, 'that's it,' he said, 'go home and I'll clean up this mess. Go now. Thank you very much. Please go.' JJ looked back from the Giant Gobstopper he was now hugging. He flicked his wand at Cyril who turned back into a Dove. 'Oh, well, oh, well, thank you.' he said admiring his new feathers, 'ummm.' El reappeared and shot a couple of blasts of magic into the sky and with it, the sky cleared and their wands disappeared, taking away all their magic and leaving JJ cuddling a boulder. 'Oh, ok.' said Cyril. 'That's all we wanted to do.' said El. 'Oh. Right. Yeah.' said Cyril. 'Well, we best be going.' I said as I pulled out the button. Cyril looked genuinely happy for the first time as we all held onto the button. 'But, I've got to give you your going away present.' he said. 'We know it's poop Cyril. You keep it.' said El. 'Ok.' he said, 'well thank you I suppose.' Just before we pressed the button, El shouted over, 'I left one bit of Magic for you Cyril, to say thank you for our adventure. It's behind JJ's hugging rock.' Cyril's eyes lit up, he knew it was the birdseed that he'd so desired and requested and he couldn't believe how much he'd misjudged these humans who had changed his perception of the human race who were in fact… nope, it was poop. El, JJ and I returned and 47 daddy's later, I was in bed asleep. Now go take a bath. Please.

  • Crazy Day to Day Adventures of Tom Story - The Ultimate Gobstopper

    by Tom Story Now, you might be wondering what this is all about. Who is Tom Story (even though you're on my website) and why should I care about this crazy 'Day to Day' Adventure business and also, surely no one can have so many crazy 'Day to Day' Adventures? Well I can and I have and I will and I, ummm, am (read in whatever order). Like a pigeon who has escaped the peril of park life or a camel who has found its way into the city, I will show you Excitement (yay), Adventure (yay), Waffles (yum) - sometimes. Not only I, but also my son JJ Story, my daughter El Story and Grandad Story (who between you and me, generally only has adventures on his bike). So let us dive into this New World of Wonder and glimpse into an ever changing universe where up is sometimes down and down sometimes left and east also sometimes left and let's not even get started on South. Welcome to the 'Crazy Day to Day Adventures of Tom Story'. Today's Tale - The Quest for the 'Ultimate Gobstopper'. So the conversation went like this, as JJ looked in wonder at the awe inspiring sight before him - a medium gobstopper (the large one was 50p out of budget): JJ - Can you imagine having the biggest gobstopper ever? I bet it would be as big as my hand, no, your hand, no two hands. Four hands. Me - I've heard (definitely not a Web search later) - there are one's as big as bowling balls. JJ - We have to find it. For scientific purposes. Me - Not because you want to spend the rest of your life with this Giant Gobstopper and maybe marry it? JJ - Yes, I mean no. What? So while El danced across the land of princesses and sugar plum fairies, JJ and I embarked on an Adventure...To find the Biggest Gobstopper ever. The Ultimate Gobstopper. So I got out the magic button (did I mention I had a magic button that can transport us literally anywhere) and with a smile and a tap, together JJ and I pressed the button to transport us to a magical land of sweets and chocolate. We looked around at candy trees with gum drop leaves and chocolate mountains with sherbet tops. A path of cobbled sweets led to a sugar dessert in the distance and powdered creatures flew with sprinkling wings while strange animals of various shapes and sweet consistencies trotted and galloped and danced and fed on everything - as everything was sweet. Then, a mallow man came walking on by. 'Howdy NSF's - what's your quest?' he said as he flumped around. 'To find the Ultimate Gobstopper.' said JJ. The mallow man blinked and soon large chocolate soldiers appeared with lollipop spears. 'These NSF's are here to take our heart. Take them to the Matchbox Queen.' said the tasty looking marshmallow man. 'Come with us, Non Sweet Folk.' said a guard with an outrageous British accent. We were led, well prodded by tasty lollipops, through the mountains and to an enormous sugar glass castle with perfectly designed grounds of sweet smelling grass and statues made of rock (the seaside sweet - not actual rock silly). JJ kept eyeing the backpack as if he was torn between pressing the button and still wanting to see the Ultimate Gobstopper. Thick tinted sugar glass gates opened, the only entrance and exit between a high fruit drop hedge that encased the large grounds, while out marched a procession of horses and chocolate soldiers through a fanfare with four huge golden geese carrying a half eaten, but beautiful royal chair. What was strange, was that it was carrying nothing. 'Can you see it Dad?' asked JJ who's eyes were much better than mine. 'See what?' 'A Matchbox. On the chair.' As we met in the middle and the sweet guards cleared to allow the chair through, I could see a small Matchbox on the chair that began to open and a tiny person dressed in a beautiful regal gown and sweet encrusted crown appeared. 'Welcome fellow non sweet folk. I am the Matchbox Queen. My Match Box and me would like to welcome you.' 'Hello Matchbox Queen.' said JJ and I together. 'My royal adviser tells me you want the 'Ultimate Gobstopper'?' 'Well, we want to find it. Not necessarily have it.' I said. 'Maybe a lick.' said JJ. 'A lick. How bizarre.' said the Matchbox Queen who seemed to grow more annoyed by the second, 'To the dungeons!' JJ and I were taken into the great castle, down and up and down some more and then left and up and around more and more sugar coated steps, until we were thrown into a cell. Worse, as the guards left us, they took our bag. We were left, alone in the dark of a cell of nothingness. 'Great.' said JJ, 'now we're stuck with no way home and we still haven't seen the 'Ultimate Gobstopper'.' A noise seeped through the walls, a strange whistling like sound. 'Hey.' I called. 'Hey yourself.' came a voice back. It spoke strangely like it was from a strange land. 'Can you get us out of here?' asked JJ. 'I do not know. Do you like sweets?' 'We do. Why?' asked JJ. 'I'm sweet.' 'Ok.' I said. 'We're all sweets.' it said. 'Ok.' I said. 'I'm sweet.' it said. 'Yeah you said that.' I said. JJ stopped. 'Wait, I get it, it's all sweet. These bars aren't bars, this ground isn't dirt, it's umm…' he licked it, 'it's chocolate powder.' I moved to the bars and knocked them with a ninja chop and they snapped like candy sticks. We rushed through and moved to the next cell where a sad looking gummy bear sat on the floor. 'So what did you do?' JJ asked. 'I like sweets.' 'Oh. Oh! Ummm, thanks for helping.' I said. We left. We rushed around the Palace and soon found our bag and in fact, the whole place was very poorly guarded. So we ran straight for the huge sugar glass door and as we opened it, we heard a very tiny sounding…'Halt.' It was the Matchbox Queen and all her guards. We opened the door and ran to the huge exit gate that we came in on with its huge fruit drop hedge either side. The gate was large and heavy, needing a mechanism to open it. 'It's too big to get through.' said JJ, 'we have to eat through the hedge.' 'Not enough time,' I said, 'they're coming.' At that moment I looked at JJ and he looked at the bag. I started getting out the magic button when he said, 'stop.' He began to move some of the ground beneath his feet and was soon three foot deep in a hole, 'Dig dig dig.' he called as I jumped in. We were twenty feet down in no time and when the guards caught up, they peered down at us. One looked to jump then the other held it back. We kept digging, but soon we couldn't dig any further. The Matchbox Queen peered down. I looked at JJ who looked at me and the feel and touch and sweet smell that drew up from the hard substance below meant only one thing. 'Are you happy?' called the Queen, 'you have found the heart of our world. A world the size of your Earth with the Ultimate Gobstopper inside.' JJ looked in amazement, he actually couldn't believe the size of it. 'Am I happy?' he asked as he bent down to smoother himself in it, laying down with his tongue millimetres from the hard outer shell. 'Don't do it.' said the Queen. JJ asked again, 'am I happy?' he took an almighty lick, 'I am now.' 'Urghhh gross,' said the Queen as one of the guards was actually sick with jelly. 'Well,' I said, 'I guess we found the Ultimate Gobstopper.' With that, JJ and I hit the magic button and returned to our table where the medium sized gobstopper sat in silence. JJ looked at the medium gobstopper in shame. 'Look at you.' he said shaking his head. I put my hand on JJ's shoulder, he looked genuinely annoyed at the gobstopper. And that's the end of today's adventure. Now go take a bath.

  • Bookshelf Ben in...The Story Train

    Welcome to the Magical Adventure of Bookshelf Ben and his friends as they take a trip on the Magical Story Train. Bookshelf Ben and the story train is the first book in the Bookshelf Ben series that has been published as a Picture Book you can find in Tom's Storytime's 'Magical Library' now. Let's go on an adventure... Look into your imagination and find… Bookshelf Ben in...the Story Train Bookshelf Ben and his friends, set off from their home, Jumping out from the shelf, they waved bye to Gill Gnome, There was Holly and Molly, sweet twins with big grins, Next came Brogen the cat, who jumped out from the bins, Then Brolly the dog, floppy ears to the floor, And with a whizz and a pop, they were out through the door, for… A Train Adventure... On a summery day, all the flowers in bloom, The train, steam pipe blowing, came in whistling its tune, 'All aboard,' called conductor, 'the story train's here, Adventure and magic, and laughter is near.' Bookshelf Ben went on first, to the carriage marked, 'Space', And soon the train's whistle, gave start to the race, On a rocket they launched, it was destined for Mars, And a space race they had, on Bouncing Bug cars, Then a Martian came pointing, 'you've proven your worth.' It came back on the rocket, softly landing on Earth. At the next stop, aboard, a carriage marked 'Woods', Where creatures came running, with their fun little hoods, Off they rushed to a bush, but inside, magic land, Full of Unicorns and Dragons, and crabs bathing on sand, And they dived into water, made of chocolate, with sweets on top, But the moon gate pulled open, as the train came to a stop, Next carriage named 'Mystery', with a map in their pack, It was London, 18th century, and a mystery set to crack, And a duck dressed all smartly, acted strangely and bizarre, So they tracked it to a warehouse, that was really really far, But the duck was disguised, it was really a swan, And as soon as they found it, with three quacks, it was gone. The fourth carriage was an ocean, and dressed in snorkelling gear, They dived down to the bottom, wow an emerald so clear, A sunken ship was its holding, but the fish weren't too kind, Bubbles blowing, one shouted, 'my fish food, go find!' So they searched all compartments, then sail out to hem, And they found it in a pouch, and exchanged it for the Gem. In the fifth was an island, they were the only one's there, As the sun poured its rays, from the trees, out, came a Hare, 'Imagination is this story, and you all have your say,' Bookshelf Ben thought of adventure, while Brolly swam in the bay, The twins Molly and Holly, started flying through the air, And Brogen sat gleaming, in her brand new luscious hair. As the final carriage opened, was the last one on the ride, It was set full of characters, and every one went to hide, So they searched their favourites books, to find where they'd gone, What fun laughing, what fun playing, and it ended with a song, As the story train ended, they sat and smiled with glee, What a fun trip they'd had, and just in time for tea. As the train pulled into station, and the moon fought for the sky, The Bookshelf five bounced off, and each one gave out a sigh, Bookshelf Ben came out last, then he chuckled to the moon, 'Don't be sad my special friends, we've got more adventures soon.' And the trees swayed in the wind, and the stars twinkled like the sun, Join the Bookshelf five next time, for more amazing fun. I hope you enjoyed Bookshelf Ben. If you did, make sure you sign up for your 'Magical Library Card' so you can read it time and time again with all its magical secrets hidden beneath its pages. Kind Regards Tom Story

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