It's World Book Day! To celebrate 25 years of World Book Day, Ranil Jayawardena MP launched a short story competition for all primary school aged pupils in North East Hampshire, with the theme of ‘the natural environment’.
Ranil said, “Thank you so much to all the children who sent me their stories. It was great to see their imagination and creativity, and the children clearly understand the intergenerational importance of our environment. It was difficult to select just three winning entries, but I'm sure that after reading them you'll agree that they are especially brilliant and the standard of writing was exceptionally high.”
“The top three entries will be given a £30, £20 or £10 WHSmith Achievement Reward voucher, kindly donated by The WHSmith Trust, to spend on stationery and books which I hope will inspire the children to write many more fantastic stories in the future. Thank you once again to all who entered, and I look forward to running this again next year!”
Read the winning stories below:
1. 'Picnic with Mr Oak' by Jason (Heatherside Junior School)
'One sunny Sunday, my friends James and Pete invited me to have a picnic in Oakley Park. Excitedly, we cycled with some sandwiches and apples in our baskets. When we reached there, we looked around to find a perfect spot for our picnic. On the edge of the small cliff, there was a picnic area surrounded by strong, beautiful oak trees. Ah…! That’s how Oakley Park gets its name.
One tree was taller than the others. So tall that my house seemed tiny compared to it. Our neighbour, Mr. Craig, said it was about 50 feet tall. I think this tree has been here for a long, long time, maybe as old as Grandpa. He told me he is a decade short of his first century (ninety years old). We called this old tree Mr. Oak. We plunged ourselves down under Mr. Oak, took out our sandwiches and started munching away hungrily.
Birds whether big or small, loved the tree. Beneath the green, shady leaves, we could see countless bugs and moths. Beetles burrowed under the bark, and some bored holes into the wood. Two squirrels ran playfully along the branches above us. What a beautiful sight! Furthermore, it gave us such a cool shade from the hot sun. Lying on the ground amidst the piles of fallen leaves, we stretched out our arms and moved them in a sweeping motion, making leaf angels. Aah, we could stay there forever.
Under the tree, there were lots of acorns lying around. After lunch, we went on to play ‘who can collect the most acorns in five minutes’ game. As I went behind the tree collecting the acorns, a squirrel came along. We exchanged glances. At that moment, I thought it would be nice to give one of my acorns to the squirrel. It snatched it gratefully and ran up the tree. Counting the numbers of acorns - James got twenty, Pete got twelve and I got twenty- four acorns. ‘’I’m the winner!’’ I exclaimed.
Time flew by, faster than lightning. We had such a lovely time. We picked up our rubbish and cleared the site. Mr. Oak waved cheerfully at us. Goodbye Mr. Oak! We cycled home as the last ray of the sun was setting in the horizon, looking forward to returning to see Mr. Oak again soon.'
2. 'The city of Green' by Emily (Dogmersfield Primary School)
'Once there was a city that was cold, miserable and poor. There was no colour apart from grey and black. It was as if the city was drained of feeling and had no one to turn to for help. It was like the place had been blocked off from the rest of the world years ago. The few rich people who were unintelligent enough to come here, were selfish and rude. Kids like me had to try and make a living from stealing whatever we could from the pitiful people who had fallen into poverty’s trap.
One drizzly morning when I was walking along the streets the way I always do, I decided to look up at the sky and plead for a better future. As my eyes gazed upwards, I caught sight of a long-lost colour. Green! For a moment I thought that my eyes were playing tricks on me but when I looked again, I felt convinced that I had seen it. At the very top of a towering block of flats, an old lady seemed to be watering... no it couldn’t be. Flowers! Yes, I could see them distinctly now all different colours; orange, purple, red.
She looked down at me and we locked eyes for a moment and by the look on her face, she could sense my shock and admiration. Then, before I knew what was happening, she turned and vanished. My mind whizzed for a moment as I stared at the beautiful flora that lay above me.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the double doors opening and the little old lady that only seconds ago was standing 250 feet above my head, was standing right next to me and it felt like I was standing next to my saviour, my hero, though I hadn’t ever seen her before.
“You are forgiven,” she whispered. I stopped and stared at her for a moment before saying:
“For what, why, I don’t understand.”
“I said that you have been forgiven. I watch you every day committing crimes just to keep yourself alive. I have a present for you that could help you with survival. Until you have found your confidence, I will let you stay with me as long as you use this gift wisely.” she explained. She held out her wrinkled hand and inside her palm lay 4 hazelnuts and 5 acorns.
“Plant these and they will help restore faith in the world. I have never found this city’s true saviour but now I feel that I have made the right choice.” she said in a wise voice. I took the magic from her and walked away into the darkness leaving her behind.
The next day, I planted all of the nuts that the lady had given me. After a week there were green shoots sprouting; hope was being restored.'
3. 'Plastic pollution to a seal' by Emily (All Saints Junior School, Fleet)
'After storm Eunice me, Wave, a young seal pup found myself all alone having lost my mum and I wasn’t sure what to do. Suddenly there was a shout from somewhere behind me and someone picked me up and wrapped in something soft and comfy and I fell asleep.
I woke to find myself in a small enclosure at the seal hospital with people looking in at me and they seemed to want to help. They fed me and they helped me to get stronger and one day, I wasn’t given milk but fish which I ate and it was surprisingly good. They gave me another and I ate it up in seconds. After a while I got use to this kind of care and I was ready for the nursery pool.
They took me to another enclosure with water this time with two other seals. At first, I was a bit scared, but I realised they were a bit scare of me. After a while I got to know them, and their names were Banana and Pumpkin. Turns out Pumpkin came to the sanctuary wrapped in a fishing net and Banana had swallowed a plastic bag. We all made friends and did everything together. Three times a day they would throw fish in, one at a time. All of us would race to the fish and try to catch it first. To us it didn’t matter who caught the fish we would all share it. We had great fun until Banana had a terrible seizure and she was moved into a sperate enclosure.
Feeling sad, Pumpkin and I were moved into the convalescence pool with a group of adult seals. We got to know them slowly, learning how to interact with them and knowing when they wanted to play. The problem was they didn’t always want to play so some of the time it was just us pups playing together, and the adults couldn’t replace playing with our friend Banana. One day Pumpkin and me were feeling sad about Banana and we were talking about the good times we had with her when suddenly, Banana was put back in the pool. We swam and asked her if she was ok and told her we had missed her dearly. Finally, our trio was back together.
One morning, very early all three of us were taken out of our enclosure! We found ourselves being carefully placed into the travel crates. We were driven to a quiet location and let out on the beach and all three of us swam away together
Therefore we should be more responsible reducing the use of plastic and being better at recycling it'