Manny's Blog

a blog for kids and kids at heart


Manny and Justin Are Brave

Mom turned in my story for her writing class.  Her teacher gave her some ideas.

“A good idea, but I wonder if there is not too much dialogue here. The theme is strong, and the characters solve their own problems. It’s good to see Justin gradually unfold and become a little more confident. I imagine this story may be more successful if the emotions were more intense — a greater contrast between the fear and the joy. It’s an idea worth polishing, and it may have potential.”

This is our third draft.  You will have to imagine that the park is full of kids.

The sun warmed the spring air.  Justin and Manny hadn’t played at the park for six months.  They ran ten blocks to the park without stopping. Sounds of children laughing and squeaky swings filled their ears.

On one side of the park parents watched little ones play in the sand. Toddlers climbed the big steps up the little slide while parents held them as they scooted down slowly.   Justin got in a swing.  It felt tight.   No one pushed them higher than the sky.

“This swing doesn’t go very high anymore,” complained Justin.

“This horse tips all the way to the ground,” complained Manny.

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Bigger kids lined up to go down the slippery slide.  They played on the big teeter-totter, and climbed on the huge ship, and swung on the tall swings that reached up to the tips of the trees.

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“Let’s go on the slide, Justin.” Manny said.

“It’s a long way up there.”  Justin remembered he didn’t like going on the baby slide by himself.  He saw how fast this kids slid down the big slide.  On the baby slide he could hold on to the sides and go slow.

“Look other kids are going on it.  You’re not afraid are you?”

“I don’t,” Justin started to say he didn’t want to go on the slide.

“Let’s just climb to the top and look,” Manny persuaded his friend.

Justin and Manny waited in line. Soon it was Justin’s turn to climb the steps. Justin stood on the fifth step and looked down.

“This is high,” he turned around and told Manny.

“We’re almost there.  Keep going.  I’m behind you.”

Kids shouted, “Hurry up little boy.”

“Come one!  We want to slide.”

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Justin got to the top.  He turned around and asked Manny to go first.  Manny sat at the top with him.  Justin wanted to cry.  Manny reached out and took his hand.  Justin pulled it away and turned away.  His cap blew off and landed in the sand.

“My cap!  I want to go back down on the steps.  It’s too high and slippery.  I will go too fast.”

“Push him!” the bigger kids shouted.

“Don’t be such a baby!  Go on the baby slide, baby!”

Two kids climbed up to the top step.  Manny reached his arm behind Justin to keep the boys from pushing Justin down the slide.

“Let’s go back down, Justin.  I’ll go first.”

Manny stood up, turned around and squeezed down one step at a time. Justin followed him.  The two big kids on the top step shoved past Justin and went down before Justin could get down one step.  Kids crowded past him rushing to take their turn to slide. Finally they got to the bottom, and jumped off. They picked up Justin’s cap and tried different toys.  They tipped on the teeter-totter. Justin hung on tight.  Manny fell off.

“Are you hurt, Manny?”  Justin still felt shaky, but he didn’t feel like crying any more.

Manny laughed.  ”Sand is made for falling, Justin.  It’s fun.”

Justin went up and let go.  He fell off.

“Did it hurt, Justin?”

Justin laughed.  ”Sand is made for falling, Manny.”

Next they climbed on a ship pretending to sail around the park.  They turned wheels. They shouted into their loudspeaker fists.

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“Land ahoy!”

Manny jumped overboard and pretended to swim in the sand.  Justin worried.  Manny’s hat came off and filled with sand.  Justin saw Manny jump and laugh.  He remembered the cool sand when he fell off the teeter-totter. Justin jumped off the front of the boat and landed in the soft sand.  He pretended to swim to the beach and play in the waves, too.  His hat came off and filled with sand.

“Were you scared, Justin?” Manny asked.

”Nope!” Justin answered.

Moms headed home with their toddlers.  Older kids left, too. Justin looked at the slide.

“Do you want to try?” Manny asked.

“Maybe,” Justin answered.

Manny and Justin climbed to the top of the slide.  No kids came up behind them.  They sat a long time looking down.  The chilly wind blew Manny’s cap blew off.

“I’m scared, Manny.”

“Me too.  Remember the teeter-totter? asked Manny.


“Remember the ship?” asked Manny.

“Yes.  OK, I’m going first.  Don’t push me.”

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Justin slid down the slide. He landed in the soft, cool sand. He laughed so hard he couldn’t move.

“Come on down, Manny.  It’s so fun!”

Manny landed face down in the sand.

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They laughed and laughed.

“Let’s do it again, Manny!”

So Manny and Justin went up the stairs and down the slippery slide until almost dark.

“I will not be afraid now,” said Justin as they walked home.

“We both are braver.” Manny agreed.

“Maybe we will sky dive tomorrow,” said Justin.

“Maybe,” Manny answered.


Manny’s Writing Challenge: Slats

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Justin and I found slats everywhere we looked in Würzburg, Germany.  Maybe you’d like to write a picture about the slats we found, or maybe you have some slats of your own.  Here is a writing contest with no rules.  What can you do with slats?  Here are some more pictures of Justin and me in Würzburg.   Mr. and Mrs. ET took these pictures this summer.  The temperature today is 40 degrees F, 7 degrees C.  It is partly cloudy today.  It sounds just like home.

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“Würzburg is a city in the region of Franconia, Northern Bavaria, Germany. Located on the Main River, it is the capital of the Regierungsbezirk Lower Franconia. The regional dialect is Franconian.”  Franconian sounds kind of like Draconian to me.  It makes me think of Dracula.    What do you think of Wuerzburg?  Notice I spell it with an e instead of two dots over the u.  Sometimes it is spelled with an o as in Worzburg.

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Now you know exactly here we are.  Würzburg is now known as the “City of Knowledge.”  In 1042 the sixth institute of higher learning started in Wuerzburg.  I read about it on Wikipedia. Other things happened there, too, that weren’t so smart.  Between 1626 and 1631 Bishop Phillip Adolf burnt between six and nine hundred witches.  Würzburg is only 75 miles away from Nuremberg.   I also learned that in Nuremberg Allied Forces  held a series of military tribunals to prosecute the Nazis who murdered over six million Jews during World War II.  Adolf Hitler headed the Nazi regime from 1933 until he killed himself in 1945.   I will study more about this in school.  I’m glad my mom didn’t name me Adolf.   Here is my favorite slat picture.

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This next picture is cool because I see a ghost in it.  I bet it’s one of the witches that died in 1630.  She’s wearing a witch’s hat.  Can you see it?

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So what do you think?  Can you write something about my slats pictures?  Do whatever you want.  Tell your friends and have them write me a story or a poem.  I love to read what you write.  🙂


Manny’s Writing Challenge: Friends in Frankfurt

Justin Beaver (JB) and I are friends.   I live in California, and JB lives in Australia.  We write blogs and talk to each other almost every day.  We decided to write stories about our travels, but there are so many ways to write a story.  We got confused.  Would you help us write a story?

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Story requirements:

  • 500 words or less
  • use at least one picture
  • Title:   Manny’s Writing Challenge:  Friends in Frankfurt
  • Topic:  Stuffed animals, Manny and Justin Beaver travel to Frankfurt, Germany.
  • Plot:  Manny and Justin have a whole city to explore and don’t know where to go.
  • Genre:  You might write a fractured fairy tale, poetry, story of noises, naughty behavior, or even non-fiction, or something else if you like
  • Your story should have a theme.
    • Is this a story about character traits, like honesty or manners?
    • Are Justin and I developing self-esteem and growing up as they travel?
    • Did we have an argument?
    • Did something scary happen and we act bravely?

Please use these pictures taken by Justin’s mom, Mrs. Eternal Traveler.  If you want to add more pictures you can.  Make sure you give credit for them.

Publish your story on your blog, or send it to my mom,, or post it in the comment section, if you want.

Please link back to my blog so that other people can read your story.  I can’t wait to read YOUR stories about ME!

You can use my widget.  I made them in several sizes, and you can post them on your website. Be sure to link back to my website in the URL of the picture so that others can join the writing challenge.

Manny's Writing Challenge

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Manny's Writing Challenge Widget

I will try to create a new challenge for you each week on Sunday.




A Dab of Cologne

I couldn’t get enough of Cologne, Germany.  You know I loved riding the choo choo in Cologne.

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Justin and I also enjoyed a boat ride on the Rhine River. that runs through the city of Cologne.

We could see all the important buildings from the boat.

We could see all the important buildings from the boat.

It wasn’t as hard to stay on the boat as it was on the choo choo train.  There were tables and chairs.  We tried them all.

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The first one was too hard.

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The next one was too soft.

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The last one was just right.  And we sat there for the entire trip.

Ninety-five percent of the city was bombed in World War II.  In almost 70 years they have rebuilt the city and restored some of the old buildings and the bridges.  Most of the bridges were originally built in the early 1900s, so they were newer when they were destroyed than they are now.

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In 1965, Cologne was the first city to have a freeway all the way around it.

I hope you enjoyed my little dab of Cologne.  Just a touch behind the ears should do it.


Brussels, Where Manny and Justin Joined Chocoloholics Anonymous

Mom wrote a great article on how to do short posts, so I’m going to try to do that, too.

Summer is a great time for teddy bears to travel. I went with the eternal traveler, Glenn and Justin Beaver to Brussels, the largest city and capital of Belgium.  Belgium is in Europe where everyone travels by high-speed rail.  In California we travel by high-speed car, and we get in trouble.

Brussels has a population of 1.8 million people in the metro area.

Brussels has a population of 1.8 million people in the metro area.

It’s nice riding trains for several reasons.

I'm bigger than Justin, so I sat by the window so the sun would get in his eyes.  (hehe - That's what I told him, anyway.)

I’m bigger than Justin, so I sat by the window so the sun wouldn’t get in his eyes. (hehe – That’s what I told him, anyway.)

1.  They have tables you can sit on top of and look out the window.

How much is that Teddy in the window?

How much is that Teddy in the window?

2.  You can see yourself in the reflection off the window to make sure you don’t have chocolate in your teeth.

Chocolate is brain food.  My brain is in my tummy.  You can tell how smart I am because my brain is so big.

Chocolate is brain food. My brain is in my tummy. You can tell how smart I am because my brain is so big.

3.  You can eat the best chocolate in the world if you are in Belgium.   If no one recognizes you while you eat them, you can belong to the Chocoholics Anonymous Club.

"No, Chief.  We haven't eaten any chocolate recently."

“No, Chief. We haven’t eaten any chocolate recently.”

You can read about Justin’s take on our adventures on his website.

What would YOU have told the Chief?