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Axie Axolotl

Some words are above tiers 1 and 2, so I tell a little about the characteristics of axolotls, explaining complex words within the text.

Photo of John HOFMEYR

Written by

A child named Aristotle

Owned a baby axolotl

See, its skin is all a-mottle

It can swim but cannot waddle.


"Aristotle" – try to say it

It's a name that's rather tricky

Shall we shorten; come let's try it

"Arrie!" – So; that's not so freaky.


Axolotl, also, is a complicated name

Naming axolotls could become a party game!

Arrie named his axie simply "Axie" ('cause it's tame.)


A lot like a lizard

But more like a fish

Handle him gently;

He's easy to squish.


In water it can breathe, or air

Put it back into the tank!

Only briefly out of water

To the depths it gladly sank.


In the morning Arrie went

To feed the axolotl

Juicy bugs and big fat worms

Were Arrie's way to coddle.


What a funny word is "coddle"

It's a word that's rather rare

Simply think of it like "cuddle"

It only means to take good care.


Axies cannot walk, you know

At least, not on the sand

Even though they have four legs

They're swimmers and can't stand!


One day Axie had the urge to

Take a walk around the garden

But Axie feared not being wet

It thought: "I BEG YOUR PARDON‽"


So Arrie became tearful

Saying "How can I be cheerful

While Axie remains fearful?"


The axie was pleased to be back in its tank

Swimming and eating and simply carefree

Returned to the water, it tried, to be frank,

To be best axie that Axie can be!

Describe the intended vision for your early childhood book manuscript in 1-2 sentences

CAREGIVERS are entertained by the opportunity to explore words and concepts with the children through the metaphor of a most unusual animal. The various rhyme patterns and differing metre from verse to verse allows them to 'ad lib' additional rhyming words if so desired. KIDS are entertained by the fact that unusual words are elucidated within the text of the book. The multiple rhyming words in some verses allow for even the very-young to practice articulation of multi-syllable words.

Share your suggested book title

Axie Axolotl

PLEASE USE THE VERSION OF THIS QUESTION AT THE TOP OF THE SUBMISSION FORM: Share a draft of your manuscript (250 word limit, not including title).

A child named Aristotle Owned a baby axolotl See, its skin is all a-mottle It can swim but cannot waddle. "Aristotle" – try to say it It's a name that's rather tricky Shall we shorten; come let's try it "Arrie!" – So; that's not so freaky. Axolotl, also, is a complicated name Naming axolotls could become a party game! Arrie named his axie simply "Axie" ('cause it's tame.) A lot like a lizard But more like a fish Handle him gently; He's easy to squish. In water it can breathe, or air Put it back into the tank! Only briefly out of water To the depths it gladly sank. In the morning Arrie went To feed the axolotl Juicy bugs and big fat worms Were Arrie's way to coddle. What a funny word is "coddle" It's a word that's rather rare Simply think of it like "cuddle" It only means to take good care. Axies cannot walk, you know At least, not on the sand Even though they have four legs They're swimmers and can't stand! One day Axie had the urge to Take a walk around the garden But Axie feared not being wet It thought: "I BEG YOUR PARDON‽" So Arrie became tearful Saying "How can I be cheerful While Axie remains fearful?" The axie was pleased to be back in its tank Swimming and eating and simply carefree Returned to the water, it tried, to be frank, To be best axie that Axie can be!

How has this book been informed by early childhood language development research and evidence? (response minimum 250 Characters)

CAREGIVERS are entertained and informed by the opportunity to explore words and concepts with the children through the metaphor of a most unusual animal. The various rhyme patterns and differing metre from verse to verse allows them to 'ad lib' additional rhyming words if so desired. See the uploaded concept draft of the work: "Axie Axolotl Rev1.pdf" Caregivers are encouraged to motivate children to try the enunciation of complex words above Tiers 1 and 2. The text refers to this. After the first few reads, caregivers can encourage children to recite the text in unison because the entire document is written in rhyme, albeit with different metre and number of lines from verse to verse. If the child expresses interest in the printed word, carers can point out the capitlisation of the name in some cases and all lower-case in others. Then discuss: are we referring generically to an axie, or to Arrie's pet: "Axie", capitalised. (I expect three years old is still too young for that?)

Please describe any familiarity you may have with Philadelphia and its residents? (optional question)

All I know of Philadelphia is what I've read on the internet. However, my hometown is also a large modern city. My country, like the USA, is also "young" compared to European and Eastern civilisations. I speculate that the inhabitants are city-wise but interested in the great (and small) outdoors. Unusual pets provide a microcosm of this. Philadelphia Zoo has salamanders (a related species) in its amphibian section but I have not been able to establish with certainty whether it has axolotls. If yes, that's a major bonus.

How have you crafted this manuscript to resonate with and/or reflect the experiences of those living in urban contexts? (optional question)

Axolotls are indigenous to only two lakes in Mexico; they are nearly extinct in the wild. However, they are interesting aquatic pets and there exist multiple captive breeding programmes. Therefore urban environments are now axolotls' primary habitats. While it may not be age-appropriate to emphasise the following it can contribute to kids understanding of life in the wilds: Eat or get eaten. Axolotls are voracious feeders; they take live prey (especially insects and worms) eagerly. An outing to see glass tanks holding axolotls is a natural follow-up. A zoo which has an amphibian section should be the first target. Check first that they DO HAVE axolotls. Second could be the pet shops.

Location: Country

Johannesburg, Gauteng Province, South Africa

Location: State or Department

Gauteng

Location: City

Johannesburg

Website URL (optional question)

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/John_Hofmeyr This is my portfolio of techno-commercial publications.

Multiple Choice - Have you been previously published (online, self-published, and print included)?

  • Yes

If yes, please list titles and publications.

Three examples of my techno-commercial work: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/302589208_Verification_and_Implementation_of_Synergy_between_Vermiculture_and_Biochar_from_Subsistence_to_Commercial_Scale https://www.researchgate.net/publication/329428393_Biochar_Activities_in_South_Africa_Full_Text https://www.researchgate.net/publication/294667241_An_Approach_to_Evaluating_Biochar The complete works are available via https://www.researchgate.net/profile/John_Hofmeyr

Do you have an agent?

  • No

How did you hear about the Challenge? (optional question)

  • OpenIDEO announcement email

What best describes you? (optional question)

  • I am/we are creatives, writers, or artists

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Hello there. With four more days left to go, I hope you are ready and done all you have to do and said all you had to say, I hope to get some feed back from you,

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