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My Busy Feet

We take a walk to the store, through the park and then home looking at where things are, especially if they move or make noise.

Photo of Nichole Conklin
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My busy feet greet the morning buzz

Down to the floor swish the carpet fuzz

Now in my shoes they like to stomp

Can we go for a morning romp?

    I'm dancing and moving and giggling and grooving

     Will anyone keep up with me?

Out the door the daily roar

My busy feet clomp to the store

A beetle joins but can't keep up

STOP for a worm then full gallop

    I'm dancing and moving and giggling and grooving

     Will anyone come along with me?

Jump through the door I love this store

May I please have a little more?

Outside again my feet set sail

I pass a dog who wags its tail

     I'm dancing and moving and giggling and grooving

     Will anyone show the way to me?

Ants march in and need some room

Suddenly bass makes a BOOM

Going home stomp turns to pat

Prance head held high beside a cat

     I'm dancing and moving and giggling and grooving

     Will anyone come inside with me?

Feet out of shoes stand in a pair

Climb into my favorite chair

Still for now my eyes still gleam

I romp around here in my dream

     Now I'm dancing and moving and giggling and grooving

     Will anyone show some love to me?

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

I wanted to go through a normal experience through the eyes of a toddler that all people must do as a task, but the child sees as an adventure. I hope the child understands the words, but that the art tells the harried caregivers perspective.

Share your suggested book title

My Busy Feet

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).

My vision for the art is that it tells the story from the slightly frazzled adult's perspective. To break through possible cultural barriers, I hope the illustrator can use a type of stick person so we can have facial expressions with minimal other characteristics to make the people very neutral.

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

I wanted to use as many words of place as I could make fit and also many words that reflect movement. I am hoping the illustrator picks up on this and can find a way to emphasize the locations and movements. As an adult, I moved to a different country and learned the language by submersion. This manuscript considered how helpful those words are in conversation so to have them all in one book that can include labels would have been greatly appreciated by me.

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

I hope the children find it engaging as I know not only do they like rhythm and rhyme, it's also very helpful towards early literacy. I've also included as many words of place as I could and considered a typical task that everyone shares; going to a store and walking through a park.

Location: Country

I currently reside in the United States of America, Wisconsin.

Location: City


Tell us more about you / your team

I approached this work as a mom and as a Parent Educator

Provide an example visual identity for a look and feel you might like to achieve. ( (optional question, 3-5 visuals)

I'm wanting bold colors and simple structures.

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

  • No

Do you have an agent?

  • No

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

  • Someone in my network (word of mouth)

What best describes you? (optional question)

  • I am/we are are a registered NGO or Non-Profit Organization


Join the conversation:

Photo of Itika Gupta

Hi Nichole Conklin   Welcome to the Challenge Community!
Very happy, fun and engaging read. Especially love those questions at the end of every verse that the child is asking to the caregivers around.
How might you evolve your manuscript to introduce new nudges of engagement and interaction for caregivers, to help them with their child’s learning development as they narrate the story ? You can find some inspiration in the Featured Suggestion and Challenge Resources listed on the challenge Page.

Photo of Nichole Conklin

Hi Itika,
Thanks so much for the affirmation and challenge. I have hopes of a strong illustrator to pick up a vision of this work to assist with further interaction. For example, in my mind, I see a picture of the adult snuggling in the chair with a sleeping child for the last page. Labels on the pictures are my initial response to finding a way for further interaction especially with the large stages of development for the 0-3 range. Also, in the books I've distributed lately, they have talking points on the pictures and the last page or two have been designated with lots of great info with milestones and activity suggestions. My parents have really loved those features.
I'm very happy to work with anyone who will help me improve my work. Thank you.

Photo of Nichole Conklin

I did think of a way to add a couple more questions the child would ask a caregiver without specifically identifying the role of the adult - mom, dad, grandparent, nanny, etc. Hope you like it.

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