Sunday, September 25, 2011

FaBo World Cup Challenge Judge’s Report by Kyle Mewburn

What exciting games everyone invented this week! I thought watching the All Blacks beat France last night was exciting, but I imagine the people of FaBo2 would think rugby was very, very DULL if they had games like Filich, Elivm or Coliseum-O-Creeper on TV.

It was very hard to pick a winner because all the entries had some interesting bits.
Matilda had very precise instructions for her game of Filich. She invented lots of technical terms too - “To play the fun and exciting game of filich each team elects ten players to skim a stone into the centre of the small lake in the middle of the playing field. The first player to touch the middle with the stone will start with the blibit, while the other thirty nine players hide and spread out in the trees and field. As the players do that the leader (called the chefie in the game of filich) will chant a famous fabo2 spell on the blibit while the others discuss their tactics on the opposite team. The chant will let the blibit adapt a mind of its own and the blibit will race around in the field, trees and even some times water! Then all the players will chase after it.” Matilda even added a website link in case you wanted to play!

Arabella had the craziest setting for her game of Elivm - “The game takes place in ARABELLIALIS galaxy where each custard and banana stars has kfc on it (bribing ha ha ha) first the monkey teams are on earth and the have to make a monkey chain.”
If you wanted to play Emma’s game of Octana , you needed some interesting equipment – “You will need: A bottle of swim-a-swim; A uniform for everyone in your team; And last but not least you need the skill, courage and guts.” She also invented swirly swirlnadoes.

Dionne’s game of Beauty and the Beast had a long list of weird stuff you needed to play – “A horse, A math’s book, Foam/slime, Makeup e.g. Lipstick, A rugby ball, A cricket set, Uniform, A set of beauty and the beast questions, a cream pie, Some earing and necklaces, Station [ table 6], A camera, Nail polish, Work clothes.”
Rebecca and Emma wrote a story with their game in it. And Arabella even sent us a lovely poem. Thanks! (Arabella is moving schools soon, too. It’s never much fun leaving all your friends and starting a new school. The FaBo team wish you the bestest of luck Arabella! Keep on writing and don’t forget to tell your new school about FaBo!!)

But in the end, there can only be one winner … or, actually, in this case, TWO winners. My favourite two games this week were Spartonin by Izaak Glynn and Matthew Sansome, and Floatamot by Rebekah Gooderham. I thought Izaak and Matthew gave their game a lot of thought – they even drew a uniform and shield. I also loved the first rule – NO MERCY. While Floatamot just has to be the weirdest game EVER invented.

Both our winners this week go to Maungawhau school. Izaak and Matthew win a copy of Dinosaur Rescue each, and Rebekah gets a copy of DO NOT PUSH! If any of you already have these books, let me know and I’ll send you something else!

Otherwise, get ready to RUUUUUUUUUUMBLE!!!


Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Ballad of Dew Moon by Elena de Roo/ Judge's Report

Judges Report - Elena de Roo

There were lots of wonderful lines in the poems this week. Some of my favourites were Caroline Moratti's, "Ripe with Nights gaze, the air is filled with plum ferment ..." and Allie Hawksworth's, "The shadows flitter, under the buzzing lamp."

It's really interesting how the character's name - Dew Moon - had such a big influence on the atmosphere and tone of the poems (mine included). I loved the sense of mystery in Liv Coulter and Livy Maher's poem with the four fingered soldier, and their lovely line, "city lights glitter while candle lights flicker," and the quiet mood of Joshua Chote's last lines, " Dew Moon sees an owl flying past. / He silently falls to sleep." In contrast it was also good to find a bit of grittiness in Matthew Illing's poem, where the lane was "Pitch black and evil / and full of garbage and graffiti," and the shadows were the focus rather than Dew Moon.

Most of you forgot that we were on Planet Fabo2 this week, so well done Kendra for including Moratti Mountains and Illing Lake in your poem, and I love your last line "MO HA HA HA the shadow replies."

Another common mistake was to put in something unrelated to the poem just because it rhymed. Rhyming can be fun to write and even more fun to read aloud, but if you decide to use it, don't let the rhyme lead the poem.

Poems don't have to rhyme; rhythm, alliteration and repetition can be just as effective. In Maddy's lines, "I hear the drops in the quiet of the night / I slowly creep, down, down, down ..." the repetition of the word "down" seems to mimic the sound of the drops. Also, I love Paige Grant's use of alliteration in the phrase "Dew Moon's deep, dark, feathers rise," and the fact that she uses it twice in her owl poem. Wesley Wang's poem uses a great combination of alliteration and onomatopoeia together with a strong rhythm, to create a real sense of movement - "A leopard pounces through the dark creepy jungle. / The tall trees swish through the dark creepy jungle."

Where the line breaks come in poems can make quite a difference to its meaning and effect. I like the way Joseph Ayoade broke his last sentence into two, emphasising the last line. Dew Moon goes back home. / With no food. I also liked the way Kate's (Waimataitai School) last lines echoed the first, and her nice use of contrast "The night is young and the moon is high."

Because poems are so condensed, every word counts - titles can be an important part of them, sometimes providing the clue to the whole poem, like in Annie Sun's poem "Midnight" or draw you in to read them, like Lucy Spence's "The drifting, creeping, scary, cat."

There were lots of great figures of speech too:
My favourite simile was William Taber's "The sun rises like a cake"
My favourite metaphor was Neve Cobham's "The night is black and smooth like a blanket ..."

Favourite endings: Caroline Moratti's "Hardly daring to whisper, / The darkness stares at itself in Natures Mirror, / and unfolds" and Booke Ellis's "Owls watching above looking for tea. / Rats hiding."

Favourite beginnings: Molly Marsden's, "The night was quiet / Elves making shadows / Stars watching silently" and Tupeni Valili's "Cold was the night as the sparkling stars gleamed in the dark blue sky ..."

But there can only be two winners and one special mention. I thought since there are really no rules in poetry I could get away with having a few extras. And they are ...

Dark Night - by Bruno McCall
The Night Shadows by Matilda Clack
Both of you wrote poems that worked well as a whole, but were different from each other. I liked the way Bruno had a great idea, and wasn't afraid to experiment with line breaks and play around with words and the way Matilda gave herself a challenge, by writing in a particular style and pulled it off.

Special Mention
Night - by Emma O'Shaungnessy
I loved the way you used the moon, to join together the image of the cat with the golden coat, and the little girl with popcorn!

The Ballad of Dew Moon

The stars were sulking silently, the moon, too, hid its light
when Dew went out to track the long-lost Chocolate Moose that night
She took her flash, new, camera phone, her cloak of coal-wing feather
pulled the hood around her face, and braved the bitter weather

Intent on finding signs of Moose, she never saw the creeping
of the shadows in the corners, or the darker-darkness, sweeping
And if she had, she would have said,
"A shadow? That's not right.
It must be more than what it seems, for shadows must have light."

The shadow-men had searched for years, on planets far and wide
looking for a the perfect match to be their King's new bride
and now, at last, they thought they'd found the perfect shadow maid
mistaking Dew, in black, at night, for some exotic shade.

And all the while, she never saw the darker-darkness sweeping
or the shadows that were growing, coming closer, nearer, creeping
but she must have had a premonition something wasn't right
for she shouted to the darker-darkness
"Come on out and fight!"

The moon came out. At last Dew saw the shadows all around
she knew then, as her forbears had, that she must hold her ground
She ditched the hood and shouted out
"I have a flash new phone
Step back or I will use the torch. My name is Dew Moon Jones!"

But the darkness only grew, and drew around her, slowly sweeping,
and the crowd of shadows circled, getting nearer, closer, creeping
She couldn't even see the keypad. Which one was the light?
In the end, Dew pressed the lot – the beam was blinding bright

Twelve LED's lit up her face. The crowd cried in surprise
She seemed so pale – a ghostly ghoul. No beauty, in their eyes
The tide of shadows turned away – how quickly it retreated
and Dew, the hero of the night, returned home, undefeated!

So if, at night, a darker sort of darkness comes a-creeping,
forget about that Chocolate Moose, just concentrate on sleeping

Monday, September 5, 2011

Melindiana Jones and the Treasure of the Caroline Caves and Judge's Report from Melinda Szymanik: II

Judges Report

Wow the Caroline Caves were filled with some very interesting treasures and secrets this week. And poor old Melindiana Jones got into some really tight spots. As always, editing is the key to making your story the best it can be. Some of you definitely could have done with more commas and full stops. I thought Victor Gan’s idea of a land of dinosaurs was very interesting and I liked Caroline Moratti’s twist with Melindiana becoming tired of her exciting yet dangerous adventures. Most dramatic ending goes to Tupene Valili with this

But it was too late they had come in I was terrified what would happen to the village. The menacing creatures came into the village and attacked all of us. Right now I am hurt by being attacked one of the creatures there big jaws attacked. I have been writing this to warn the whole Planet Fabo. 2 I hope you defeat these creatures and forgive me for releasing this cre……….

Best place name was Matthew Illing’s ‘Fabomuda Triangle’. Matilda Clack had some very poetic descriptions and Liv Coulter and Livy Maher (who collaborated on a story together) wrote a very polished story. And (drum roll please) this week’s winner is Isla Jackson for a well written and colourful story.

Melindiana Jones and the Treasure of the Caroline Caves

Slashing at the thick vines with the machete she held in her right hand, Melindiana Jones took another bite of the flat bread and piranha sandwich in the other. She hated fish but they had left civilization behind days ago and piranha were the only edible and catchable thing left in the Mewburn River that flowed down to Thompson Swamp. The piranha had eaten everything else in the river except the rubber-like crocs which were indigestible, although they made great hard-wearing shoes and each of the tribes-people in Jones’s team now had a pair. Though the shoes were great it didn’t make her sandwich taste any better. Not that food back home at Hard-Vard University where she worked part time as a teacher was any better. Too much soup-in-a-cup for her tastes. Everything was bland and the sandwiches were just so…so…square. 1935 hadn’t been a very good year for Melindiana. It had been a relief to take the sea plane down to South Allerica on another adventure.
She shoved the rest of the sandwich in her mouth and took to slashing with two hands. The entrance to the Caroline Caves was around here somewhere. The map the old guide had given her was faded, with a ragged hole in the middle where it had been unfolded and folded countless times over the centuries. She’d studied it in broad daylight. She’d pored over it at night in her tent under the jittery glow of the paraffin lamp. Everything led to that hole in the middle. At first Melindiana cursed her luck that the information she needed, the last few clues that would bring her to what could be the greatest find of her archaeological career, had been obliterated by the careless hands of her predecessors. But as she’d lain in her cot the night before, checking and rechecking the flimsy parchment she’d had a brilliant idea. The hole wasn’t an accident. It was deliberate.
The closer they got to the hole in the map, the closer and thicker the vines grew. She was sure someone was following them. She had to reach the caves first. Jones ignored the delicate, fragrant orchids as she pushed forward, crushing them underfoot, releasing their delicious aroma. Sweat poured off her brow.
“Thoc!” The tip of her croc shoe hit something hard. Melindiana parted the vegetation round her foot and jumped back in horror. She’d heard all those stories about the explorers who had gone before her and never been seen again. She always just considered them idle rumours put about by the tribes-people to keep folk away. After all, the map hadn’t got lost she reasoned. But the skull at her feet told a different story. The rest of her team piled in to the back of her as she stood frozen looking at the empty head grinning up at them. A chorus of shrieks rang out from the tribes-people, and startled birds flew up out of the trees above them as everyone except Melindiana and her trusted sidekick Big Mac, who wasn’t really all that big, took to their heels and ran back the way they’d come.
“I recognize that face,” Big Mac said leaning forward to examine the skull. Melindiana took a closer look.
Livingston, I presume,” Melindiana said. Big Mac nodded. “He was always taking credit for my discoveries,” Melindiana went on. “I won’t miss him.”
“What do you think happened to him?” Big Mac said.
Melindiana shrugged. “Probably died waiting for me to turn up and find the caves for him. C’mon, let’s finish this job.”

With both Melindiana and Big Mac wielding machetes the vines fell faster and after another dozen strokes they found that Melindiana’s discovery about the map was true. A ragged blackness opened up in front of them and before they could step back or alter their course they were both falling, sucked into the pitch black vacuum of what could only be the Caroline Caves, sliding on a slippery surface, down, down down…

“ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.” Melindiana yelled.
With a whump! they reached the bottom.
“Tchsk!” Big Mac scraped a match across the sole of his boot and the sudden glow of the flame pushed the darkness back.
“Here,” Melindiana said grabbing some wood off the floor and wrapping her jacket round the top, held it to the head of the match. The fabric burst alight just as the match sputtered and went out.
They were in a vast cavern, with dry rock walls and a paved rock floor littered with old dry branches and a jumble of other stuff.
“We are not the first to come here,” Big Mac said, poking a pile of bones with the toe of his boot.
“Look,” Melindiana said, pointing to two blackwood chests by the cave wall. She rushed over and kneeling, pulled at the lid of the first box. Flakes of red rust from the iron clasp came off in her hand. Big Mac brought his machete down and the clasp fell apart under the blow. The lid creaked open.
“Documents?” Big Mac said.
“They look like…recipes…” Melindiana gasped. “Chicken fried in eleven herbs and spices…” she read out from the top sheet.
Suddenly they heard a noise: feet scuffling in the blackness just beyond the firelight. Then a figure stepped out of the gloom: a man in a white suit with a little black bow at his neck and a strange pointy beard. Before he realised what she was doing Melindiana shoved one of the papers into her back pocket. The man in the white suit grabbed the rest out of her other hand.
“I’ll take those, thank you,” he said in a posh Kentucky accent.
“Stanley?” Big Mac asked.
“No,” the man said with a laugh. “You can call me the Colonel.” And in a swirl of dust and sparks and a savoury smell he was gone.
“Not again,” cried Big Mac.
“I know,” Melindiana said. “This happens every time.” She got to her feet. “Well at least I managed to save one of the recipes.”
“What’s it for?” Big Mac asked.
Melindiana peered at the faded writing.
“Hamburger,” she said, reading down the rest of the page.
“Whatever that is,” grumbled Big Mac.
“Big Mac,” Melindiana said with a smile. “This changes everything.”

The End.