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A note from William Rubel

The fabulous July/August issue of Stone Soup has just been published online. I encourage you all to take a look, and add Stone Soup to your summer reading list. If you are going to be travelling, why not do what my daughter does: download the Stone Soup app to a mobile device. That way you can store up a collection of current and past copies in one place before you go and read whatever you like on a tablet while you're on the move.

Summer Creativity

As summer vacation begins in earnest I encourage all of you to set aside some time every day to be creative. I have been making a drawing a day for the last couple of weeks -- my own Summer resolution. Summer is also a good time to work on big projects. One of the other things I've been playing with recently is stop motion animation, which I've been experimenting with using the camera in my phone. I know you won't all have your own phones, but this is kind of fantastic experiment that might encourage your parents to lend you theirs!You will also need a simple program to help you. The one that I got for my daughter is called Stop Motion Studio. There is an Apple version and an Android version. The program costs a few dollars, so you will need to discuss getting it with your parents, but my advice to your parents is that this is a very good program and well worth the price.

Making Your Stop Motion Animated Film

I would start out hand-holding your camera and also working from homemade stands. If you really get into it then a dolly, which helps you move your camera more smoothly than you can do by hand, is helpful. They are are little expensive to buy, or you could make one with one of your wheeled toys.Using lego, playmobile characters, dolls or toys, or drawings are all practical ways to get started telling stories through stop motion. To start with, just practice making something move. You take picture of something -- anything -- it can be a glass on a table -- move it a short distance, take another photo, move it again, and so on, until you have told your story on moving pictures. Its easy!At Stone Soup we would be interested in seeing your story, or even an interesting film of abstract movements. As creating stop action is a slow process, I'd focus at first on dramatizing a story or a visual idea that will be under three minutes.I am not going to give you an idea for a story. But here are three ideas to get you into making something move.

1. Two objects move towards each other and then bump into each to each other.

2. A glass of water empties.

3. A drawing of a person forms on a page.

Once you get the hang of stop motion, you can create anything!

We look forward to seeing what you accomplish. Just respond to this newsletter and your email will come through to me.

Until next week,



Waiting farm scene
She rushed up to the large horse that stood tall above her, grinding hay between his strong jaws

From Stone Soup January/ February  2000


By Annie Strother, age 12
Illustrated by Camille Hebert, age 11

The wind whispered through the long grass, blowing it gently into a lullaby of soft sounds. The grass rustled and the lake stirred as the setting sun dripped down the sky and below the stretch of trees that marked the horizon.The stains it left were stunning. Pinks and oranges smeared across the sky. They dripped lazily down the great sky, leaving behind a vast carpet of deep blue, intense and enveloping. As a myriad of stars became visible and bewitching with their bright twinkles, a little girl walked down the pathway to the dock.She pulled her hair back from her face and let the wind lift up the ends of it and toss it playfully. She was a very small girl, about five years old or so, with long red hair and freckles dotting her face. She had green eyes that shone like the tops of lighthouses, beckoning and beaming with a welcoming glow... read more

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