When our kids see meaning in their work, it inspires them to branch out and create on their own. When we show them that their writing is valued and useful, we encourage them to engage in all kinds of writing. G creates shopping lists (although we don’t always purchase everything on them), he creates storyboards based on his favorite Calvin and Hobbes cartoons, and he leaves notes for us around the house. After our recent trip to Iceland, and after purchasing him his own little hand-knit elf (whom, incidentally, he named Olaf) from The Hand Knitting Association of Iceland, G eagerly announced he was going to write a story.
I am including his story here, not necessarily because he is a prodigious writer, but as an example of the power of reading, love of story, and let’s face it, an eight year old’s enthusiasm for getting on the iPad. I share his story as it was originally written with the exception of the quotation marks which I added, because he apparently didn’t have time for them. I added them to clarify the dialog considerably.
You will readily see his influences are Norse mythology, C.S. Lewis and S.D. Smith. Bill Watterson is another favorite, but is virtually undetectable in this story.
The Iceland Elves by G… Bumgardner.
Chapter 1 “James Pike”
James Pike was a good boy of the age of nine. He always obeyed the rules so one day Mary Pike, James’s mom, and his dad, David Pike, told James that they were going to Iceland. James was happy. He had been to Spain, but he had never been to Iceland. When he had packed his bags, he was ready to go. On the way to the airport James kept asking, “Are we there yet.”
“James, only five more minutes till we get there,” said James’s dad.
Chapter 2 “In the airport”
James was super excited. He just couldn’t wait to get to Iceland.
“ Come on, or we will miss are plane,” said James’ dad.
“Ok, everyone’s on the plane,” said James’ mom.
When the air plane took off James had bad feelings in his head. What if the plane goes crazy and the driver takes the plane in water?! While James was thinking about the bad feelings, he started to go to sleep.
Chapter 3 “Olaf the elf”
“Hey, buddy, you,” said a voice.
James opened his eyes, and then he let out shrill cry of an AHHH.
“ Hi, my name is Olaf.”
James saw a little man that only came up to his knee. He had a big, long hat on that was brown. He had a chipped tooth and funny teeth.
“ Hi,” Olaf said again. “I know you humans are in danger,” Olaf said. “Come on, I have fire going,” said Olaf.
“Where are we?” asked James.
“Narnia,” said Olaf.
“Na… Na… Narnia?” said James.
“Yeah, Narnia. Have you ever heard of it?” asked Olaf.
“No,” said James.
“Well, “ said Olaf “let me tell you about King Peter and Queen Lucy,said Olaf and then there was the noise of falling trees.
“ RUN!” yelled Olaf.
Chapter 4 “The Ice Lord”
“GET THEM!” said a voice.
“Hide in here,” said Olaf.
“Who were they?” asked James.
“Oh, no they found me!” said Olaf.
“Who has found you?” asked James.
“The Ice Lord. He always had me next to him in battle until he found out that I was helping the humans, so he is on the hunt for me and humans,” said Olaf.
“Then we’ve got to find King Peter!” said James.
“We can’t,” said Olaf.
“Why?” asked James.
“He’s dead.” said Olaf. “They all died 900 years ago,” said Olaf.
“Oh, “ said James.
“Come on, “ said Olaf.
Chapter 5 The Forest of Temptation
“Look out,” said Olaf.
“Why?” said James.
“It is the Forest of Temptation. Come on, and be careful,” said Olaf.
“Ok,” said James. When they were in the Forest James said, “I’m hungry. Hey, look, Olaf, the trees have apples.
“NO!” yelled Olaf. “James, put the apple down now!” said Olaf. Now, as you know, James always listened to the rules, so he put the apple down.
“But I’m hungry,” James said.
“James, remember what the forest is called.”
“Yeah, we got to get out of here,” James said. “Yeah, agreed. Olaf.
“Come on, I will lead the way,” said Olaf. When they left the Forest, they found themselves in trouble. They saw a big ocean ahead of them.
“Hey, look a boat!” said James.
Chapter 6 The Lion Himself
“Come on, kid, I don’t have all day.” said Olaf.
“Sorry, Olaf. I’m just so sleepy,” said James. “Hey, look, there’s someone on the mountain top over there,” said James.
“But,James,” said Olaf, “that mountain is 67 miles longer. Wait one second- by the lion’s mane- it’s him; it’s Aslan.
“Who’s Aslan?” asked James. And then James let out a cry of “AHHHH,” and then Olaf whipped his head around and gasped, “It’s the lion himself,” said Olaf. The elf fell flat on his face and did not move. The lion said to James, “Come on back to camp. You will be safe there.”
“But what about Olaf,” said James. “Take him with you.” And they set off.
Chapter 7 The Ice Lord’s Prisoners
“Help us!” all the prisoners yelled.
“Shut up all of you,” said The Ice Lord. “I do not like any of you, but hate the two beavers. They sing at night when I am making a plan to kill you,” he snapped at the beavers. “Listen,” he said. “If you sing one more time, I will put your heads on stakes.
“Okay,” the beavers nodded. They were very scared.
Chapter 8 Getting ready to battle
James and the lion walked into a bush about 5’ 11’’ He gasped as he saw a full camp full of people. “Hallo,” one said. “Hi,” said James nervously.
“Don’t be scared,” said Asian. “Let me go find Hago.”
“Who’s Hago?” James asked.
“He is the trainer for battle.” They walked up to a man who had six legs and four arms and two heads.
“Hello,” one of the heads said. “My name is Hago, and I am here to train you,” he chanted.
“Aslan, who is this guy?” James asked, but Aslan wasn’t there.
“Come on, young boy, let’s go train.”
Three hours passed by. James did 14 push-ups,10 sit-ups, and he practiced with a sword.
“I think you are ready,” said Hago.
Right at that second Olaf woke up. He yelled, “What happened?!”
“You fainted,” said James.
“I did?” The confused elf got up and did 28 push-ups, 18 sit-ups. James’ mouth was wide open. He gasped. Olaf trained with a dagger, because that was the only thing Hago could find that was light enough for Olaf. He trained and trained until the two were ready for battle, and then they saw the Ice Lord’s army coming up the hill.
Chapter 9 The Big Battle
When they heard Aslan’s roar they charged out to fight. Heads were being hacked off, the Ice Lord’s army was so strong. Then when they thought all hope was lost, they saw something in the distance. It was the Ice Lord’s prisoners – the fauns, the beavers, even the little mice were coming out to fight. They bit and poked with their little swords, and then Aslan jumped over the battle and on to the Ice Lord. With one gulp, he ate the Ice Lord. Olaf chopped a guy in half, James stabbed someone, finally the battle was over. Aslan had won!
Chapter 10 Goodbye Narnia
“Well, now what?” asked James.
“I don’t know,” said Olaf. “I think it’s time for the boy to leave,” said As.
“Ok,” said James. “Goodbye, mice, goodbye Aslan, and goodbye, Olaf,” said James.
Then he heard a voice,”James, James, we’re here,” the voice said. He woke up. “James, we’re in Iceland.”
James got off the plane and thought he saw Olaf’s face on a magazine, and then he saw a statue of Olaf. “I’m just seeing things,” he thought and they walked out of the airport and waited for the adventure ahead.