Eighteen kids, ages 5 to 11, entered the Tall Tale Writing Contest. All entries had lots of action! The contest was held to highlight the books the library received from the We the People Bookshelf that focused on Picturing America. One of the books, Mary Pope Osborne’s American Tall Tales, gave staff the idea to see if the kids of Grand Rapids could tell some “whoppers” and they did. Winning tales, included many exaggerations, a main character who was bigger than life and had super-human abilities, a plot that was funny and impossible, a main character that solved a problem, overcame an obstacle, and/or defeated a bad guy, and lots of action! Three winners each received $10.00 gift certificates to Pooh’s Corner bookstore.
Here are the winning entries:
By Logan, 5th grade, Walker Charter Academy.
One cold, winter day, in the back roads of Juneau lived a poor, young man named Hugo. People called him Huge Hugo because he was 32 feet tall. As he was walking down the street, he came across a sign that said, “Pie Eating Contest this Wednesday. Winner is awarded $100,000.”
When he was absorbing all of this as he read, he wondered if he could come. It said that it was Wednesday, that would be one day away.
One day later, Hugo sat on the chilly bench, ready to eat. His fork was in his right hand. His other hand was clinching the pan containing the first pie. He looked at the other contestants. They, too, were ready. Huge Hugo now looked at the official who was holding a bullhorn and ready to shout into it.
“The pie eating contest is about to begin! Pie eaters, are you ready?” said the official.
“Yes,” the contestants replied.
“On your mark, get set, go!” screeched the official.
“Wow! Look at Huge Hugo go! He is on his 6th pie and the contest just started. He has only 4 more pies to go, ” said an audience member.
The audience chanted, “7…8…9…10,” as Hugo ate his pies.
“Huge Hugo has won the pie eating contest, ” said the official. ” He is being awarded a trophy of a pie and the grand prize of $100,000.00,” the official said enthusiastically.
“Wow! Yeah!” screamed the audience in the background.
Bird Brain Bill approached Huge Hugo and said angrily, “Hey, Hugo, you don’t deserve to win. Do you know who I am? I am Bird Brain Bill, the reigning champion. Now I have lost to a 32 foot creep. I’ll get my revenge. Keep that in mind, Hugo.”
Hugo was sitting on a bench in the city. Bird Brain walked up to Hugo and said, “Sorry, I was so mean. I will give you something to try to cheer you up. Come over here. It is behind this tree.”
Huge Hugo and Bird Brain Bill walked to the tree. Bill took out a shiny metal thing, but Huge Hugo didn’t know what it was. “Hand me your wrist, ” said Bird Brain. Click. Bird Brain Bill attached the shiny thing to the wrist of Huge Hugo and a tree.
“Where is the special thing,” questioned Hugo.
“Ha, I tricked you, and now I am going to pour concrete on you!” said Bird Brain.
“No, you don’t!” said Huge Hugo as he ripped out the tree, when Bird Brain was pouring the concrete. Then they started fighting. Swoosh, they stepped in the cement and they spun around the cement so fast and formed Mt. McKinley.
“You are going into space, ” said Hugo Hugo. Huge Hugo tied Bill to a rocket and a hunk of concrete. WEEEEEOOOOH! The rocket screeched, after Hugo lit the rocket. It soared up into the sky and formed the moon. Huge Hugo lived a long life, after he sent Bird Brain to the moon.
“Bendy Boy and Mr. Metal”
By Mykel, 5th grade, Homeschool
There once was a man who could stretch his body at least 1,000 times around an elephant. His name was Bendy Boy and he protected Solidville from harm. One night Bendy Boy was taking a walk to make sure nobody was doing harm. He saw that his arch enemy, Mr. Metal, was robbing a surfboard shop a mile away. He used his bendy abilities to take 10 yard strides and got there super quick, but when he got there Mr. Metal was gone. The only clues were a broken window and a business card.
Back at Mr. Metal’s lair, Mr. Metal was talking to himself. “I can’t wait to surf at my private beach tomorrow.” There was a big bang and Bendy Boy jumped in. “How did you find me?” yelled Mr. Metal.
“You left your business card.”
“I wondered where that was,” said Mr. Metal.
“You’re coming with me,” said Bendy Boy.
“Yeah, what did you expect?”
“I’m not coming.”
“Yeah, you are,”
“Did you say something?” asked Mr. Metal.
“Yikes!” yelled Mr. Meta. “Boom! Boom Bang! Ahhhh!” screamed Mr. Metal. Because there in front of them was a humongous elephant!
“Don’t shout. It will upset it,” whispered Bendy Boy.
“Too late, look!” said Mr. Metal. The elephant was charging. It trampled Bendy Boy. Since he was bendy, he just squished. “Ha ha ha,” laughed Mr. Metal. Crunch, the elephant stepped on Mr. Metal, but since he was made of metal he was just dented and weighed down. “Get off me, you elephant, get off me,” said Mr. Metal. But the elephant stayed put.
Bendy Boy asked kindly, “Will you please get off me, Mr. Elephant?” The elephant lifted his right foot and released him, but kept his left foot on the ground. Then Bendy Boy told the elephant to lift his left foot and the elephant obeyed. Bendy Boy quickly tied himself around Mr. Metal acting like rope. Soon Mr. Metal was being driven to jail in a police car. Bendy Boy had saved the city again.
The Gigantic Spider
By Justyce, 5th grade, Harrison Park Elementary
One day in Spider Town, there was a mean evil man named Dr. Scary. Dr. Scary was trying to perfect a growth potion that he made. He already tried it on many animals, but it didn’t work. This time he was sure that he got it right, but he wanted to try it on a spider. Not just any spider – a fat widow spider. He went into the back room and took out a cage of black widow spiders. He put on an anti-spider bite glove to take the spider out carefully. He took out the fattest spider in the cage. He placed it on the table and dropped a bit of the potion in the spider. Suddenly the spider grew an inch bigger each second! Finally the spider grew so big that the whole building broke into pieces. The spider ran all the way downtown. “HELP!” the whole town screamed. “SOMEONE SAVE US! PLEASE!”
Finally someone called Bigfoot Jones. (They call him that because he has a really big foot. ) He stepped up and offered to squash the spider. When he caught up with the spider it was eating Town Hall. “HELP!” he heard again. He walked until he was behind the spider. Slowly he lifted his foot, SQUASH, was the sound everyone heard. Everyone that was around was splattered with spider guts.
Even if they were covered in spider guts, they surrounded him and said, “Yay for Bigfoot Jones!” They kept on repeating that over and over, but they didn’t know that the spider had babies before she was killed.
While Dr. Scary was rebuilding his laboratory, he found the spider’s nest. “Uh, oh,” he said to himself, “while the spider was in my lab, she had her babies. That isn’t good news. I must warn the town!” So he ran off to tell everyone.
The town was horrified, but it was too late. The babies had already hatched. They were already growing bigger.
“Bigfoot Jones, Bigfoot Jones!!!” the town was screaming. “Help!! Help!!”
“What is the problem?” asked Bigfoot Jones.
“The spider had babies and they are growing bigger by the second!. Come see for yourself. Oh my, oh my.”
Bigfoot Jones lifted his foot once more and SPLAT, SPLAT, SPLAT!!! All the spiders were dead. And everyone was covered in spider guts again.
“Thank you, Bigfoot Jones. Thank You!!!!”
Once again Bigfoot Jones saved the day.