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Fawn in a clearing
“Fawn in a Clearing.” Chalk drawing by Meredith Rohrer, 10, published June 2019, illustrating “The Four Seasons” by Grace Jiang, 11.

A note from Jane Levi

Summer journals

Last summer, William challenged our readers—adults and kids alike—to keep a summer journal. Let’s make it an annual tradition! William suggested lots of approaches: It could be a record of what you are doing, your impressions of any new experiences you are having during your break from school routines, or a place to capture your dreams. It could be the book where you think thoughts and develop them by writing them down or where you write notes on what you are reading. Perhaps it is a sketchbook. Maybe it’s a place to work on poems, fragments of writing, or even whole stories. Sometimes it could just be a central place for a to-do list, or notes to jog your memory, and a note of a new favorite recipe. It might be, like my own notebook, a combination of all those things! It’s your journal—it can be whatever you want it to be. Our message is: use the summer to make a resolution to start a journal, or enrich it if you already have one.

You can use any kind of book or notebook for your journal. You probably have something already lurking around your house. Or perhaps you’ll find an inexpensive book in a local stationery store—or a fancier one at a bookstore, museum store, or somewhere you go on a  summer outing. We have a few blank and lined notebooks and sketchbooks in the Stone Soup Online Store, currently at half-price (from only $2.50) to encourage you to get started!

Like last summer, if you would be willing to share a few pages with us and with your fellow Stone Soup readers, send us a photo or a scan of a few pages and we’ll feature them on our website. Submit your photos via our Bloggers category on Submittable, and use the words “Summer Journal” in your title. We look forward to learning more about what all of you are up to this summer!

Store problem fixed

We discovered today that our online store’s credit card processing wasn’t working properly, and we have fixed it. If you tried to purchase a subscription within the last week or so and couldn’t get the transaction through, please try again. Everything is now up and running—including our new print subscriptions delivered worldwide. We will start mailing the July/August print issues next week, so get your subscriptions set up now!

This week’s featured art and poetry

This week’s featured art and poem are teasers designed to encourage you to read our June 2019 issue. We loved Meredith’s beautifully worked chalk drawing of a fawn in a clearing, with shafts of light filtered through unseen trees. The fawn seems to have just noticed that we are looking at it—ears pricked, neck curved, a sidelong look. What will it do next? Will it run away? Or can we imagine it might trot toward us to feed from our outstretched hand? This apparently simple artwork really stimulates the imagination. What does it make you think and feel?

Emma paired the fawn with Grace Jiang’s evocative poem about the seasons, which carries us from fall though winter, spring, and summer, and back to fall again from a woodland animal’s perspective. Perhaps, like Grace, you’ll have time over the summer to think about the natural world around you and the behavior of the animals in it as they, like you, enjoy the season and prepare for what is coming next.

Happy summer, and happy journaling. As always, we cannot wait to see what you make.

Contest reminder: write a book!

Summer is prime time to work on your entry for our summer contest: book-length writing in all forms and genres by kids aged 14 and under. (We have extended our usual age limit for this contest.) The deadline for entries is August 15, so you have two whole months to keep working on perfecting your book, whether it is a novel, a collection of poetry or short stories, a memoir, or other prose. There will be three placed winners, and we will publish all three winning books in various forms. Visit our contest page and Submittable entry page for full details.

25% discount on Stone Soup books through the end of June

Summer vacation is a great time for reading, and our series of themed anthologies (the Stone Soup Books of...) are a great place to start. Don’t just take our word for it: we’ve been getting some great reviews at Good ReadsLibraryThing and Amazon!

We’re offering a discount code for all of the Stone Soup Books of... that is valid through June 30 in our online store. Enter the code READSUMMER19 for 25% off your purchases.

Highlights from the past week online

Don’t miss the latest content from our Book Reviewers and Young Bloggers at Stonesoup.com.

Haeon Lee offers listeners a transporting clarinet trio that explores the sonic chaos of life in New York City and how it relates to the tranquility of an open sky above. Titled “Right Beneath the Clouds,” Haeon describes her inspiration thus:

“Skyscrapers, bridges, Central Park, and construction outlined the melody of my piece, given to the clarinet. Shadows and overlaps between these structures formed the cello and piano parts for the first movement.” Read more and listen here.

Check out Summer and Yelia’s “Balancing Technology” podcast, where they interview their school’s tech specialist and librarian on the complexities of children’s relationships with technology. They discuss technology’s impact on social development, the benefits of access to such a versatile resource, and the importance of moderation and boundary-setting.

From Stone Soup
June 2019

The Four Seasons

By Grace Jiang, 11
Art by Meredith Rohrer, 10


A golden leaf falls on Little Deer’s nose,
he jumps around playfully,
“Fall has come! Fall has come!” he calls.
His father bellows, “We must go find more food
or the cold white sheet will bury it all!”

Little Fox jumps around in the white powder,
that once had millions of flowers in it.
Now it is cold and wet.
He whines to his mother, “I must go play with Brown Bear!”
His mother whispers, “You must wait till spring.”

Spring has come!
Little Horse is only a month old,
yet he jumps as high as his mother.
“Look! Look! I see a bush of daffodils!”
He prances over to the bush and sighs, “Spring is here.”

Two happy birds sing,
“Summer has come!
Food is plentiful,
but we must eat lots
because fall is soon to come.”

It is fall again,
Little Deer has grown up.
Now he has his own mate and child.
A fawn calls, “Fall is here! Fall is here!”
He smiles at the fawn and calls,
“We must go find more food
or the cold white sheet will bury it all!”
He sounds just like his father.

Read the rest of the poetry and stories in the June 2019 issue at Stonesoup.com.

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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