Always up for a challenge, I set myself a good one last week: 48 hours to create a unique book for a person I knew nothing about.
Just to put things into perspective because tight deadlines are not something most people enjoy, my son just started a new school and as any good parent knows, birthdays are the best opportunities to meet new people that you share at least one thing in common with – school. This year has not disappointed with three birthdays on the first two weekends of the year.
With the first birthday just two days away I figured this was the perfect opportunity for the Creative Righter to practice what he preached and produce a unique book for someone’s special day. I had no idea who Dan was or what he looked like. I just knew he had invited my son to his party. I quickly messaged his mother who was kind enough to fire back a few details about what Dan loved/hated and played with.
- Dan’s about to turn 5
- Dan loves football, swimming and Ninjago
- Dan’s favourite food is Chocolate and marshmallows.
- Dan does not like vegetables or fighting
- Dan has 5 pet fish named Leopard, Tiger, Chucha, Pinki and Pizza
- Dan’s superpowers would be super speed and invisibility because he loves to hide.
That was enough for me to get down to work on some creative writing. I could have done more if time was on my side but from what I heard, Dan was very happy with his book so that’s all that matters.
Below is what I managed to come up with. If you would like to offer someone their own unique book or message and need help finding the right words, contact email@example.com
Dan The Man
Dan walked into his new classroom for the first time. It was full of children doing all sorts of things. Some were running about, others were singing and the rest were playing. The teacher did her best to catch two children running in circles without bumping into another child stacking brick after brick into a wobbly tower. In the eye of the storm sat two calm children drawing. Dan walked over to take a look at their colourful pictures. The boy was drawing an endless squiggle whilst the girl opposite filled in a shape with a dark brown pencil.
“What are you drawing? Dan asked.
“I’m drawing spaghetti. It’s my absolute favourite. Yummy!” said the boy.
“I’m drawing my dog, Boxer.” replied the girl without looking up as she concentrated hard on colouring the fur.
“Do you think dog’s like spaghetti?” Dan wondered out loud.
The two children stopped to think.
“Obviously they do. Spaghetti is the best!” said the boy.
“Boxer eats my spaghetti but my Dad says it makes him fart.” said the girl with a sigh.
This made Dan laugh. If there’s anything worse than dog poop, it’s dog farts. They smell so rotten.
The girl asked Dan, “Do you have a dog?”
“No, I have five fish,” Dan answered. He ran through each fish’s name: Chicha, Pinki, Pizza…
“Pizza? I like pizza too. It’s my second favourite thing to eat.” The boy said.
“I love chocolate!” Dan said with a smile. “And marshmallows,” he added.
“What are the last two fish called?” the girl asked. She had finished her drawing of her dog.
“Leopard and Tiger,” Dan answered.
“You have sharks?!” the boy exclaimed excitedly.
Dan was about to answer when the teacher started to make a shushing sound and wave her arms to get the class to calm down and take their seats. There was a spare seat at the table so Dan sat down.
Just as the teacher called out the register the Headmistress walked in. She had curly white hair that matched the curly white fur of the poodle she held under her arm. The little dog barked and made everyone jump. The girl sighed, “Ooh, isn’t he cute?”
The Headmistress spotted the three children and headed towards their table. “Lovely pictures children,” she began. “Listen class, please join me in welcoming young Daniel. This is his first day at our school.”
Dan didn’t want everyone to stare at him so he blushed and stared at the poodle instead. The poodle barked again.
“Daniel is our friend!” the boy said with a smile.
“Well, how about that? You are making new friends already. Well done! Now I must take Mr. Noodles for walkies.” Mr. Noodles was the poodle. “Have a wonderful first day everyone!” The headmistress gave a little wave with her free hand and then turned to exit the room.
“If we are friends, we need to know each other’s names. I’m Sam – short for Samantha,” the girl said with a nod.
“I’m Ben – short for Benjamin,” said the boy nodding too.
“Well I’m Dan – short for Daniel,” Dan concluded.
After lunch, the children went outside to play. Ben grabbed a ball and passed it to Dan. Dan loved football so he quickly caught the ball with the end of his foot and started to dribble through the other children before passing it to Sam.
“Wow! You’re good!” said Sam impressed.
As Dan, Sam and Ben formed a triangle and passed the ball between them, they didn’t spot a pack of 5th Graders heading their way.
“‘Av it!!!” Shouted one of the older boys as he took a running kick at the ball.
Whoooosh! The ball disappeared into the distance.
The 5th graders broke into laughter and cheers. Dan, Sam and Ben watched in horror as their game came to a sudden halt.
“What did you do that for?” exclaimed Dan.
“Whoops… Did I do that? I must be a better footballer than I thought!” The 5th grader smiled and winked at his friends. The three of them towered over the kindergarten pupils.
“What’s your name?” asked the 5th Grader.
“Dan…” Dan said sheepishly.
“The Man!” shouted Ben.
“Dan The Man? You’re not a man. You’re just a little boy,” said the 5th Grader with a chuckle.
“I just turned five,” confirmed Dan.
“Yeah, and five is half of ten and ten times ten is one hundred!” Blurted out Sam.
Sam’s quick calculations were too much for the 5th grade bullies to comprehend. You could almost hear their brains over heating.
“Yes, I’m Dan The Man,” said Dan with new found confidence.
“… and he’s got a plan!” Sam jumped in again.
“Oh yeah? What’s your plan, Man?” asked another 5th Grader pointing a finger at Dan menacingly.
Dan did not have a plan. He stared at Sam and Ben for help but they just stared back eagerly to see what he would say. Dan had to think fast. Dan remembered his Ninjagos and how they always found a way to beat Lord Garmaddon and his skeleton army. Then it came to him, he knew how to get rid of these bullies.
“Ninjago tornado!” Dan shouted and swung his arms open and began to spin as fast as he could.
“Tornado!!!” shouted Sam and Ben in unison as they began to spin too.
As the trio span in circles, the 5th Graders didn’t know where to look or turn. Suddenly their legs were getting battered with little slaps from the spinning ninjas.
“Oi! Ow! Ouch!” whimpered the bullies as they twitched left and right to try and avoid the counter attack.
After a dozen spins, Dan slowed and stopped. The 5th Graders were rubbing their bruised thighs and one of them looked like he was about to cry. The leader went as red as a beetroot and beamed at Dan in anger.
“Come here you little pip squirt!” the boy bellowed as he lunged towards Dan.
Dan imagined he had invisibility superpowers as he darted from side to side to avoid the 5th Grader.
“Run!” screamed Ben as he and Sam moved back.
Dan jetted off across the playground with the 5th Graders in hot pursuit. Thanks to all the football he played, Dan dodged and swerved through the crowd and gained a good lead on his pursuers. He looked over his shoulder and saw that the leader of the gang was still hot on his heels. Suddenly Dan spotted the Headmistresses’ poodle, Noodles, crouched in front of him. Dan took a massive leap and launched himself over the cowering creature. He landed on the other side and kept running. The dog let out a little bark and ran off in search of the Headmistress. The 5th Grader wasn’t so lucky, he stumbled and fell. His body hit the ground and Dan watched as the bully slid across astroturf on his chest.
Time stopped as everyone in the playground stared at the commotion. Dan reached his friends who hugged him.
“Well done, Dan!” Sam said squeezing him in her arms.
“You really are Dan The Man!” said Ben giving Dan a pat on the back.
Just then they heard the 5th Grader whine, “Argh!” He was wiping himself down but he had brown mess all over his hands.
“That’s funny, there’s no puddles or mud in the playground?” wondered Dan.
“That’s NOT mud…” said Sam pointing at Noodles who was happily yapping in the Headmistresses arms.
The 5th Grader had tripped and fallen into a fresh dog poop left by Noodles the poodle and the stinky brown pile was smothered across the bully’s chest.
“Urgh! You stink!” said one of the 5th Graders as they joined their leader. They all pinched their noses and took a step back. Noodles the poodle barked again and everyone started to laugh at the bully.
“Now we know what’s worse than dog farts!” said Sam.
The bell rang and Dan and his friends headed back to class laughing all the way.
Eat your greens
Dan loves the colour Green
But that does not mean
He’s ready to eat anything!
Vegetables are the absolute worst
If there’s any on Dan’s plate
His mouth stay’s pursed.
Chocolate first! Marshmallows next!
This is what Dan loves best
He’s not bothered with the rest
There’s just one thing Dan ignores
What veggies are really good for?
And why you need to eat them more?
They are full of vitamins and things that help you grow
Have you ever tried tomatoes
With fresh spinach and avocado?
The flavours are amazing and taste great
Vegetables add awesome colour to your plate
Unlike a boring brown steak
Your body is like a machine
Meat and fish provide protein
But the vegetables keep everything clean
So next time you visit the market
If you see veg don’t walk past it
Make sure you choose something green and drop it in your basket