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Ava's and Eli 's Bellies Shake Like Jelly

Two friends find a special way to have fun. The rhythm of the train becomes music with a beat.

Photo of Nina Haines

Written by

"Ava," her aunt called, "Eli's on the porch." [Art- Ava opened door went outside  to Eli]

As they ran, they saw a moving van. [Art-lived next to each other] 

Eli's lips dropped down into a frown.

(Make a frown)


"We moved down the street to the

corner," Eli said.

Eli moved to an apartment above the department store.

He chewed pieces of bread, then said,  [Art- Pulled bread pocket] 

"Will you come to see me?"

They skipped and picked 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 flowers off the porch plants.

(Count along)


They heard the tremble

of the train on the tracks.

Raindrops dripped on their heads,

into Ava's house, they both tread. 

(Where are your fingers?)

(Move fingers as if raining)


Shoes flew, 

they were each ready to move their feet.

The house shook in the rhythm of  [Art-The train close to house]

a mariachi band. 

Strum, a strum, a strum. [Art- guitar]

Hear the street beat.

They were in their stocking feet. 


Toot that horn, toot toot toot.

They twirled 10 times to the right and stepped left.

(Count to ten)


And tapped their feet to the beat.

(Where are your feet?)


Their bellies shook like jelly.

The train went past fast. [Art-train car colors, red, orange ,blue, green, yellow]

(What colors are the train cars?) 


The house stopped shaking.                                                      

They giggled so much,

their stomachs were aching.

"We'll still be friends. You're just down the block, " Ava said. 


Eli and his big sister  

walked to Ava's house, some days, and stayed

to dance.

They twirled and stamped their feet, 

to the container train beat. 

Chug a chug a, choo, choo.

( What sound can you say?)


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

A fun book to keep you hooked and make you laugh.

Share your suggested book title

Ava's and Eli 's Bellies Shake Like Jelly

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).

"Ava," her aunt called, "Eli's on the porch." [Art- Ava opened door went outside to Eli] As they ran, they saw a moving van. [Art-lived next to each other] Eli's lips dropped down into a frown. (Make a frown) "We moved down the street to the corner," Eli said. Eli moved to an apartment above the department store. He chewed pieces of bread, then said, [Art- Pulled bread pocket] "Will you come to see me?" They skipped and picked 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 flowers off the porch plants. (Count along) They heard the tremble of the train on the tracks. Raindrops dripped on their heads, into Ava's house, they both tread. (Where are your fingers?) (Move fingers as if raining) Shoes flew, they were each ready to move their feet. The house shook in the rhythm of [Art-The train close to house] a mariachi band. Strum, a strum, a strum. [Art- guitar] Hear the street beat. They were in their stocking feet. Toot that horn, toot toot toot. They twirled 10 times to the right and stepped left. (Count to ten) And tapped their feet to the beat. (Where are your feet?) Their bellies shook like jelly. The train went past fast. [Art-train car colors, red, orange ,blue, green, yellow] (What colors are the train cars?) The house stopped shaking. They giggled so much, their stomachs were aching. "We'll still be friends. You're just down the block, " Ava said. Eli and his big sister walked to Ava's house, some days, and stayed to dance. They twirled and stamped their feet, to the container train beat. Chug a chug a, choo, choo. ( What sound can you say?)

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

Evidence-based information was used from the Cox Campus Read Right From The Start. Looking at pictures interest babies while reading. Talking about the pictures with the baby adds interaction and engages the child. Also, rhythm added by rhyme to make it fun.

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

The historical site and CHOP.

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

Children have a way of making lemons into lemonade. The train is very close to the place where the children live and vibrate the house. Shaking it. Some people might find it annoying, but they put it to good use, and make it fun. There are many people that live near busy train tracks in an urban environment and they can relate to the situation.

Location: Country

United States

Location: State or Department

Pennsylvania

Location: City

Denver

Tell us more about you / your team

I'm a retired Pediatric Nurse practitioner with three grandchildren that are, six, four and one. Reading is the basis for knowledge and influences everything in life. Children have always been my priority from health to their social well being. I also have multiple sclerosis and it means a great deal to have your needs met.

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)

Inspired by (1)

Who Wants to Dance?

12 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Spam
Photo of Dawnnbooks .
Team

Hi
just reaching out to the members of my team.
Did you make the Top Ten?

Spam
Photo of Itika Gupta
Team

Hi Nina Haines  Welcome to the Challenge Community again!
Love how you story uses sounds, to add an multi-sensory layer of observations to the story.
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 Final Toolkit and Challenge Resources on the challenge page.

Spam
Photo of Nina Haines
Team

Any other suggestions?

Spam
Photo of Nina Haines
Team

Hannah thank you so much for your suggestions. It really made me think. I tried to implement the rhyming more consistently.

Spam
Photo of Hannah Holt
Team

Nina Haines ,
I enjoyed reading We Danced Often . Wow, you have wonderful sensory details. I love how the music of the city becomes the beat the children dance to. I particularly like the house shaking as the train goes by. I used to live near a train and this is exactly right. :)
Consider looking into making your rhyming more consistent. Are you going to rhyme every other line? Every two lines in a row? I like the rhyming you have not but it feels unexpected. Consider tucking the rhymes inside the lines so they become internal rhymes. Or if you really want to have end rhymes, maybe make the pattern more consistent.
Best of luck whatever you decide. Babies love dancing and this is a wonderful story about dancing through a potentially tough transition.

Best,
Hannah

Spam
Photo of Ashanti Antonio Prescott
Team

It is coming better with every creative addition to it, very soon. Hey do say something

Spam
Photo of Ashanti Antonio Prescott
Team

Now something is happening. Wonderful. Continue to play around with it to make it more catchy, kids will love it. You changed one area, but you did do the same thing to the next area where you have to enter the story the second time.
Regards

Spam
Photo of Dawnnbooks .
Team

What did the grandkids six, four and one say about this story?
I like to run my thoughts past the target audience.
They are so honest!

Spam
Photo of Nina Haines
Team

Loved it. A lot of laughing.

Spam
Photo of Dawnnbooks .
Team

You have been approved by the highest authority!

Spam
Photo of Ashanti Antonio Prescott
Team

The setting is Rich, the raindrops, the splashing of water as you run, the sound of the house as the train moves by, all those sounds can enrich your interaction with a child. Just that you will have crafted it nicely.

Spam
Photo of Ashanti Antonio Prescott
Team

Nice one Nina. Is it possible to include the beat and rhythm (I know you said is the sound of the train). But is it a fast beat a slow one. But the mood is a happy one. Good luck.