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My submission about ice cream

Idea for a storybook to engage children about systems

Photo of Neysa Angeles

Written by

Donny looked so sad. His mommy said,

“Donny, you look like

There’s a cloud over your head.”

This made Donny wonder: “Mommy where do clouds go?

Where do they hide

When it’s sunny outside?”

Mommy laughed and replied:

“Tiny clouds gather

When the sun is out

So small you cannot see,”

They grow big and fat,

Like bumblebees.

And when the sky goes dark,

And clouds are big and grey,

The clouds will fall apart

And gently turn to rain.”

“The rain falls to the ground

And feeds the waiting earth

That grows a sea of grass

Not too slow, and not too fast.”

“The grass is eaten by a cow

In a farm not far from here

And in time the cow makes milk

For you and I to drink.”

“Milk is also part

Of your favorite treat

Something sweet you like to eat!

For you see the milk makes

The best part of your ice cream!”

Mommy laughed and said,

“So Donny now you know. That is where clouds go.

They come to earth from the sky

The rain that makes the grass green.

Cows eat grass and make milk

That goes in your favorite treat.”

“Oh mommy!” Donny cried,

“May I please have some ice cream?”

Mommy smiled and said,

“Ask again in  a while

When clouds have passed overhead.”

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

The story is intended to encourage children and caregivers to engage in further dialogue and perhaps learn new ideas together. It is for the caregiver as much as it is for the child.

Share your suggested book title

Cloudy Ice Cream

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

This manuscript was written following the guidelines regarding the Tier 1 vocabulary list. It also uses a rhyming scheme as suggested by the Cox Campus community to help build a reading brain. It introduces multiple concepts and different environments which, as mentioned by Alison Gopnik in the resource list, helps build mental intelligence and agility. As per the Milestones of Early Literacy Development chart provided by Reach Out and Read, Inc., this book is intended primarily for 12 months to 3 years. It has basic single-word pictures for the child to point at, and uses a rhyming scheme. It tells a short story to put the pictures and concepts together. The caregiver can talk about the pictures in the context of the story; or in a larger context of their daily lives, their community, and their environment.

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

I am not familiar with Philadelphia but I have lived in Chicago in a very urban environment. I did visit Philly and got the impression its urban neighborhoods are similar to certain neighborhoods in Chicago.

Location: Country


Location: State or Department


Location: City


Tell us more about you / your team

I suppose I'm just an ordinary person. I wanted to submit something to this challenge because I feel strongly about the difference in experience between low-income people and those that have enough. When I was young, my parents took me to slums to make me aware that that such lives exist. I kept that connection with me in recognizing both the common joys and unique disadvantages children from such communities have. I feel there are more struggles to find opportunities for success; starting from a very young age. I wanted to write a story that would encourage curiosity and growth, while acknowledging not everything is sunshine and ice cream.

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

Sorry about the pictures. I’m not an artist but I’d be happy to work with others (perhaps urban artists) to produce better-quality art. Maybe even a Basquiat-type look, but that may be too much.

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)

  • OpenIDEO announcement email

What best describes you? (optional question)

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


Join the conversation:

Photo of Jennifer Buis

Neysa, well done! Earth science and helping children understand where fun cones from! All children or most love ice cream! Children, parents and caregivers are going to love reading your story! Best wishes!
Jennifer Buis
Author of Buddy Goes To Clark Park in West a Philadelphia

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