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swaying in the breeze riding a black horse
The forest was serene and peaceful yet alive with hundreds of sounds

Illustrator J. Palmer for 'Swaying in the Breeze' by Megan M. Gannett, 13. Published November/December 2003.

To our adult readers and supporters...
In the eternal words of the song from Cabaret, “Money makes the world go around.” A pledge of the equivalent value of one cappuccino a month from each of you who read this Newsletter would be transformational for Stone SoupPlease join with us to support children’s creativity. Thank you. 

A note from William Rubel

Firstly, very special thanks to those of you who have recently made donations. We are so appreciative. Thank you.

Recipes for the December issue are due September 15. We need all recipes turned in by then so we can properly test them. This is our second year publishing recipes. Please, read my post on writing recipes and get to work! Also, for your review, here are links to recipes published last December. Parents and grandparents! This is a project that can probably use your help. Thanks.

Concrete Poetry extension!

I know this is a tough one. We have extended the deadline for the concrete poetry contest one month, to September 15th. You now have a whole extra month to tackle the challenge. Concrete poetry is a piece of visual art made with words.

The shape of a person, a pet, the sun, the crescent moon, a square, a car, a tree, an egg, your teacher's marking pen, desk, shoe, a fading shadow. A squiggly line: worm, snake, stick, dream. Rectangle: brick, bread, phone, a piece of paper. Leaf, flame, splash of color. Tear drop.

Here is a classic example of concrete poetry, "Swan and Shadow" (1969) by the poet John Hollander.


Our editor, Emma Wood, describes what she is looking for in this contest as follows:

Many readers understand a concrete poem to be a poem that takes the shape of its subject—a poem about a swan in the shape of a swan, for instance.

Though that is certainly a type of concrete poem, a concrete poem can also be more than that. A concrete poem is a piece of art to which both the visual and the written element are essential. With just the image (no words), you lose something, just as with only the words (no image), you lose something. A concrete poem is one you need to see as well as hear!

The Wikipedia has a good article on Concrete Poetry. It tells us that "the idea of using letter arrangements to enhance the meaning of a poem is old" and is known to go back to at least ancient Greece in the centuries 200 BCE to 300 BCEa little over two thousand years ago.

So, concrete poetry is a new thing, an old thing, and above all else, a real creative challenge! Make it your thing, and submit an entry to our contest.

We look forward to reading your work. As always, submit contest entries using our submit page.

Until next week,

Highlights from the past week online

Don't miss the latest content from our Book Reviewers and Young Bloggers at stonesoup.com!

This week we have a post from a slightly older young blogger: Olivia Joyce, a student at UC Santa Cruz, has come up with a fantastic activity based around a portfolio we published in the March issue. You can find her call for you to imagine whole new worlds here.

In the review section, you can read the latest review from Nina Vigil, this week of The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle by Christina Uss.

From Stone Soup
November/December 2003

Swaying in the Breeze

By Megan M. Gannett, 13
Illustrated by J. Palmer

In many ways Aubin Tupper was a lonely child, with no children nearby he thought of as friends. Living out in the country with his parents and little brother, he had homeschooled since grade two—it hadn’t taken him long to find out that the public school nearest wasn’t for him. He didn’t hate learning, more the opposite of that, but so many noisy children and frustrated teachers got tiring after a while. He was a quiet, timid, scared little mouse that recoiled whenever someone approached.

Aubin had had a love of nature and animals since he was born and a tendency to take refuge in make-believe worlds. He learned to read quickly and was soon consuming thick novels at a teenager’s level. He had a vivid, active imagination and often slipped into it, forgetting everything except the goings-on inside his head.

Since Mr. Tupper was a truck driver and away much of the time, the homeschooling rested in his wife’s hands. She did a good job, and soon Aubin and his brother, Forrest, were academically ahead of most kids their age.

When Aubin was ten and Forrest was five, their family moved to a different acreage, this one bigger, beside a lake. In the midst of a scattered farming community, there was a school within walking distance, which the boys would hopefully attend and make friends at.

To any stranger meeting Aubin he would appear mysterious, different and would probably provoke their curiosity. It was impossible to forget his appearance—wavy, red-gold hair tossed about by the wind; wide, thoughtful, clear, blue eyes and a fine-boned, small, yet strong and healthy figure, which resembled a deer when he sprinted across open fields. His physical being hid his personality; which surfaced only when he was alone, in nature.

Aubin was rarely seen without Forrest, a mischievous little boy always running off and needing to be found. He was the best friend Aubin had.

That is, the best human friend. When the Tuppers moved to their new home they brought with them the rest of the family: Annie (Mrs. Tupper’s horse), Jake (Forrest’s pony) and Guthrie (Aubin’s beloved black gelding); Whiskers—his companion of a gerbil—and Dan and Baily, two sleek, gray housecats. And of course Fifi, the family’s frisky border collie.

Without those animals, Aubin would have felt as if without friends. His wanting for human friends was very small, as he didn’t want to risk anything. Because he was shy, and afraid, he thought other boys would make fun of him.
*          *          *
As he and Forrest stepped out of the van that bright day in August, one when you can just smell summer on the air, his first impression was that he’d love it there. He’d loved their old place as well, and missed it after three hours of driving, but this new home looked captivating. Raspberry bushes drooped heavily over the walk, their berries full and ripe, all the way up to a large green farmhouse. .../more

Stone Soup's Advisors: Abby Austin, Mike Axelrod, Annabelle Baird, Jem Burch, Evelyn Chen, Juliet Fraser, Zoe Hall, Montanna Harling, Alicia & Joe Havilland, Lara Katz, Rebecca Kilroy, Christine Leishman, Julie Minnis, Jessica Opolko, Tara Prakash, Denise Prata, Logan Roberts, Emily Tarco, Rebecca Ramos Velasquez, Susan Wilky.

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