This was a cute story that I'm sure children would enjoy if it were read to them.
Your paragraphing was well-done, and I hadn't noticed any spelling errors. There were a few things, however, that I feel could be changed for the betterment of this piece.
The phrase a chuckle echoed around the small cavern is vague, especially if this is a story that is meant to be read to small children. You may want to mention that this is in the girl's head, so that the young child can process what a cavern is, as more young children won't know what you're talking about. Also, the reference to Bilbo with the word "he" is incorrect, as you haven't mentioned him before in the paragraph. Therefore the word "he" in the second sentence should be replaced with the name "Bilbo."
A chuckle echoed around the small cavern in Jamie's head. Bilbo was feeling mighty pleased with himself.
I feel that the third sentence in your fifth paragraph is a bit sketchy as far as young-mind comprehension goes. A young child probably doesn't know what "exhilaration" means, so you may want to try to be more rudimentary with your language. You may want to use words like excitement, joy, happiness, pride, or anything along those lines. Also, "the innocent child" is a bit much as well, maybe if you write "innocent Jamie" or simply "Jamie" instead, it would be more child-friendly.
It was always a great [joy, excitement, etcetera] to get innocent Jamie to listen and obey what he told her.
The final sentence is a bit of a mess. You referred to the present tense thrice within the sentence, and I'm not sure that I like the end phrase that it is okay to do these things. The phrase doesn't sit well with me, simply because it's giving the child that is interpreting the story a subconscious thought that it is okay to do those things. I think that you should re-write that part of the sentence. I mentioned that you referred to the present tense thrice as well; you used the word "these" when talking about "these days" at the beginning of the sentence, you said "that it is okay" at the end of the sentence, and referred to the actions (things) as "these things" at the end of the sentence. Also, the word "and" after the word "wrong" seems like it would be better if it were the word "so," as "so" is more supporting than the word "and."
Children those days were taught the difference between right and wrong, so it was more difficult to persuade them [to do things that they knew were bad].
You may have noticed that I placed a phrase in brackets. The reason being for that is, it's a suggested substitute for the original end phrase, but it it obviously at your discretion to decide.
The first sentence of this paragraph contains a word that I feel is too advanced for a young child's r'epertoire of words. The word "crevice" is the advanced word of which I wrote. I don't think that a young child will know what a crevice is, so perhaps you may want to simply leave the original first sentence out completely and use the original second sentence as the first.
Again, you referenced to Bilbo with the word "his" in the original third sentence without having mentioned him before in the paragraph. Remember that when you begin a new paragraph in a story, you're beginning a new line of thoughts. A new line of thoughts that is seperate (however relative) to the previous paragraph calls for a new reference to each character. "The small child" in the previous sentence works, simply because you have not simply said "the child" as the child could be any child, but you described the child as you have previously described Jamie; as a small child.
Within the same sentence, you also made a grammatical error. The sentence is a fragmented sentence because of one word that was, most probably accidentally, left out. The word "was" fits between the words "nose" and "crooked." Also, the word "teacups" is incorrect, because without the apostrophe, "teacups" is the plural form of "teacup," while in the context of your sentence, you are looking for the possessive form of "teacup," which is "teacup's." There are two ways that you can go about giving possession to the teacup. You can either add an apostrophe between the "p" and the "s," or you can rephrase your words so that the handle is described as, quite obviously, the teacup's handle.
Bilbo's nose was crooked and shaped like a teacup's handle.
Bilbo's nose was crooked and shaped like the handle of a teacup.
The second to last sentence in this paragraph is also grammatically incorrectly. The word "clinging" is the reason for this. The syntax for a sentence that you would use "clinging" in, would be to use a comma for a pause within the sentence.
Another thing that I suggest is that you replace "the child's" with her name (Jamie), simply because at the young and impressionable age that this story was written for, a young child is more likely to refer to a person as "her" rather than "Jamie." Implanting names more often in children's stories teaches the child to refer to people by their names more than by an indirect noun. You may have noticed that, in published children's books that you may have read or looked at, names of people and things are often repeated many times throughout the story for that very same reason. Very rarely are you going to see "that thing," "the object" or even a simple word of ambiguity as "it" in a children's book that's been published.
"His long thin fingers clinging tightly to a strand of the child's hair, he swung down her back hollering like Tarzan."
"His long thin fingers clinging tightly to a strand of the child's hair as he swung down her back, he hollered like Tarzan."
The difference between my sentences and yours, is the "ing" ending, which, in this case, is representing the participle of the past (though it's naturally a present-participle suffix).
Above are two options that you can use in place of your original sentence. Another example will be provided without using the word "clinging."
His long thin fingers clung tightly to a strand of Jamie's hair as he swung down her back, hollering like Tarzan.
His long thing fingers clung tightly to a strand of Jamie's hair as he swung down her back and hollered like Tarzan.
There are a couple of things that I don't like about the last sentence of your sixth paragraph. First of all, it's grammatically incorrect. To be grammatically correct, you need a comma after the word "himself."
Pleased with himself, he deserved a break.
The other thing that I don't like about this sentence, is that by saying that Bilbo deserves a break for being naughty, you are inadvertently saying that Bilbo has done well, and that this is how a child is to act if he wants to be rewarded. Bilbo may feel that he deserves a break, but he certainly hasn't truly earned one. You should make it a point to mention that.
Pleased with himself, he felt that he deserved a break. Being sneaky was hard work.
I added the second sentence, because the word "sneaky" is often a word that a child knows as something that he shouldn't be, therefore he knows that Bilbo has not truly done well, and that his break is only self-imposed and in no way earned on good merit.
The first sentence refers to Jamie as "the child" in the first reference to her. Another negative to continuously referring to the characters in a children's story with phrases like "the child" or "the small child" is that it can present a certain insecurity in the child that is comprehending the story. Ambiguity as far as names of characters gives the child an impression that children need names only necessity-based, and that they should only use names when using supreme references. It also takes away from the intimacy between characters in the story, telling the child that the story is being read to that personal relationships should be yardstick-distant.
Bilbo looked at Jamie as she lay on her bed.
The next two sentences I don't like as they are written at all. The first sentence refers to a subject that hasn't yet been established, and the second sentence is a fragmented sentence; all you have is a subject. My suggestion is that you combine the two sentences together so that they make sense, but also so that they aren't so complex for the child to understand. Also, the phrase "believes exists" was written in the present tense, though the rest of the story was written in the past tense.
The sight that Bilbo cherished the most was not only a child in trouble, but even more, he cherished the sight of a child in trouble for blaming someone that nobody believed existed.
The next sentence is incorrect in that is refers to a smirk that was never mentioned before, though it was stated as a continuation of a previous state; "still with a smirk spread across his face." Also, there aren't very many young children that know what a smirk is. You should stick to young vocabulary like "evil grin" or something of the like.
Also, you don't have to go into such detail. The phrase "smirk spread across hsi face" is superfluous. Children's stories and books are written, if you haven't noticed, with very little detail. Most of the time, the most description that a child is given is "the red ball" or "the spotted dog," this leaves the child much room for expansion of his ever-roaming imagination. The word "ventured" is also a bit of a grown-up word for this being a chidlren's story, not to mention that the word "towards" is grammatically incorrect; a mistake that is so often made. The word "towards" is not supposed to have an s at the end of it; the grammatically correct way to write it is "toward."
I think, as well, that the sentence after the mentioned sentence should be combined with the mentioned sentence, simply so that it won't be so cluttered.
[i}With an evil grin on his face, Bilbo walked toward Jamie's desk where he knew that there was always a snack laying around.
Grinning evilly from ear to ear, Bilbo walked toward Jamie's desk where he knew that there was always a snack laying around.
The next sentence indicates Bilbo's thoughts. This means that you should begin a new paragraph. Thoughts, however not as distinct as dialogue, should be treated like dialogue; thoughts begin a new paragraph, and if someone else thinks something, a new paragraph is started thus. I also think that instead of simply the single quotations, that you should italicize the text within the quotations to seperate it more.
The phrase "eyed off" looks strange to me as well. You may want to extract the word "off" or, even, change the whole phrase to be "looked at" for the child's sake. I don't think that, either, Bilbo would be looking at the freshly shaven pencils, but the fresh pencil shavings, as it would be blatantly obvious to any mother that there were bite-marks on her child's pencils that seem to have come from a matchstick sized man.
" 'Yummy, yummy, yummy,' Bilbo thought to himself as he looked at the fresh pencil shavings. "
The first sentence is more like a thought or a command rather than a sentence that goes with the story. I suggest that you place the sentence as Bilbo's thoughts, or make it an action that leads into the rest of the sentence by combining the first and second sentences of this paragraph. I also feel that you should take more steps for Bilbo's return to Jamie's ear. You have him going directly from the desk to a chair to her ear, but didn't mention him going to the chair in the first place. Also, you used the word "towards" twice in this paragraph.
Going back to work, Bilbo took a run off of the tall desk to the chair. With a mighty spring from the chair, he bounced toward Jaimie.
The word "precision" is a bit advanced for the level of reading that this story claims to be. The sentence itself doesn't make sense anyway, because it isn't with perfect precision that he aims, but that he aims with perfect precision, as to be perfectly precise isn't to aim but to be dead on, though he can aim perfectly precisely. You also make no mention of Bilbo actually re-entering Jamie's ear.
With great aim, Bilbo flung himself right into Jamie's ear.
Again, the use of the word "canals" in the next sentence is a bit advanced. Maybe the dark fort or something of that sort would work better.
The dark fort inside of Jamie's ear was a pleasing sight.
A minor change can be done with the second sentence of this paragraph. I suggest that you simply add "of Jamie's ear" at the end of the sentence.
“You want cookies.” Bilbo whispered down the long passage of Jamie's ear.
Since this is a children's story and should have some sort of moral, I think that you should mention the effort to do good. Also, you mention the word "small" a lot in this story because it is about a child. I don't think that you should commercialize the word so much, because you're making the characters, to the child that is reading/listening to the story, not-so-life-size, therefore unreal to the child.
“No” A Jamie's inner voice answered, trying to fight to do good. “I will get into trouble.”
I think that you should try a different word for "persuade." The reason why I say that you should keep large language out of children's books, is that if a child is too busy trying to deduce the meaning of a word, he isn't going to understand the story because he will be distracted.
Also, don't be afraid to include your actions and your dialogue in the same sentence.
“No you won’t,” Bilbo said, “Trust me.”
"No you won't," Bilbo said, "I promise."
I don't like how this sentence is. I just don't like it, it looks and sounds odd to me. There isn't, for instance, a mention as to why Bilbo has to steady himself or anything. Also, since Bilbo takes joy in causing mischief, he would smile or something to show his victory.
The sudden jolt of Jamie moving almost made Bilbo fall, but he smiled instead as Jamie moved toward the kitchen.
The phrase "the girl was arguing again" can be altered so that this paragraph can consist of one sentence. Also, "the girl" is so impersonal, it makes me think of the book I read called "A Child Called 'It'" about a boy whose mother called him "the boy" and, obviously, "it."
"But they're up so high," Jamie argued again.
This paragraph needs a total re-write. Children's stories are supposed to have a moral not for the parents, but for the children themselves.
As it stands, the moral of your story is that parents shouldn't punish their kids when they do something wrong if they have someone to blame it on that may or may not exist.
You should have a moral that explains the values of doing good like "Just because the voice in your head says that it's okay, doesn't mean it makes it right. You should listen to the voice of your parents and do what's right before you make the decision to do wrong." Of course, the wording and phrasing would be different, but at least it doesn't teach children to blame others and think that they can get away with it.
I gave this piece a 1.5 rating because it needs a lot of work. The characters in this story were much too distant from one another for a children's story. You need to work on your language in your children's stories, because it is simply too complex. Think of it this way; if you had/have a five-year-old sibling, would he be able to understand every word in the story? Remember that description doesn't need to be minimal, but it shouldn't be imagination-intensive either. Also, make sure that the moral of your children's stories is a good one. As it is right now, the moral of the story isn't very good at all. When writing your story, be sure that the consequences of everything you write won't affect the young mind that is comprehending it in any harmful way, even in the slightest bit.
Forever be inspired.
This review was written by a member of the
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