Greetings, Bob's Skull Sweat, I am reviewing this today as a judge for the "Writing 4 Kids Contest" .
In 750 words or less, write a scary story or mystery that includes the following words:
First of all, my reviews are intended to be helpful and encouraging, not hurtful in any way. Use what you feel works for you, and leave the rest.
Easy to understand
Followed the prompt
Plot / Internal Conflict / Goal: Little Snake has never hunted for food so Momma Snake takes him out to show him how it's done. When Little Snake disappears, Momma Snake is worried that Tom Cat or Wild Dog might discover him, ending her son's life.
Characters: Momma Snake and Little Snake steal the show here with background characters such as Tom Cat and Wild Dog. Wow. Very well-done with your characters! I am very impressed by the detail in your descriptions of all four characters which you show the reader instead of just tell. Momma Snake is a great mother figure with her concern over Little Snake, and her patience.
Dialogue: Your dialogue flows nicely and naturally. Excellent. I especially like the elongated Ssss in words such as Yesss and Sssorry. Very snake-like!
Setting(s): The story takes place mostly in the rose garden, which you describe its surroundings nicely. Your added descriptions of the garbage cans spilled by the raccoons were well written. The visuals through the eyes of the main characters are awesome, and just detailed enough that it shouldn't overwhelm a child's interest.
Paragraph 2 - “Sssorry, Momma Snake, Sssome noise ssscared me.” This has a couple options for you to consider: 1) Just uncap the S in Sssome, as it's preceeded by a comma, so it's not a new sentence. “Sssorry, Momma Snake, sssome noise ssscared me.” or 2) Divide this into two sentences by replacing the comma with a period. “Sssorry, Momma Snake. Sssome noise ssscared me.”
Paragraph 6 - Tom cat should be Tom Cat to stay consistent.
Paragraph 11 - Momma Snake to get scared. You might consider replacing to get with a verb such was or felt or better yet, show she was scared or worried. Maybe Momma Snake worried. Or whatever you think.
Paragraph 16 - his very one first meal mouse Did you mean his very first meal mouse without the word one?
Paragraph 17 - It darted into Little Snake’s open fanged mouth. There's really nothing wrong with this sentence, but you might consider It darted straight into Little Snake’s open fanged mouth without realizing it. Just something to think about.
rattling hissy fits
silently on fur padded feet
all teeth and claws
tumbling garbage cans
one twist and snap of their jaws
slither and glide
His tail whipped in the air
~to name a few!
I think my ultimate favorite is: “Mice.” Momma Snake tasted them with her tongue on the evening breeze.
Final thoughts: Well done, Bob! You definitely have a gift for the Children's Genre. I love how you don't actually tell us the snakes are rattlers, though we know they are because of sentences such as Momma Snake became rattled. Her tail shook out loud. You've also covered all the sensory details: sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste. I commend you on this as it's not always an easy task to achieve, nor to remember to include. I don't know how serious you are about publishing, but if you are, I believe you have the talent for it! Very impressive! (Also, from now on I'll look at snakes differently... as mice-eaters. By chance do they eat ground moles, too?
Best of luck in the contest, Bob!
Have a great day and...
K e e p on W r i t i n g !