Betta Buddies (A Cartoon Activity Craft Extravaganza!!!)

Amy’s “Cartooning 101” for Kids (and Grown-Up Kids) Flyer

A flyer I just made for teaching kids cartooning.  I will be teaching a workshop at the Young Author’s Conference in Ogdensburg, NJ on Saturday March 31st, 9am-12pm.  I am planning on offering private lessons to children for basic cartooning and storyboarding/writing skills in the Northern NJ area!  This is so exciting!!! : )

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What a fun day!  Here is my certificate for teaching a session:  (More pics of the Event to come!)

The Frog and the Crane: A Fable

I wrote this fable in college for my English Comp II Course……I have edited it over the years (5 times!!) – punctuation, grammar, juicy adjectives, active verbs……and still decided to keep it realistic.  Read on and you’ll see what I mean.

 The Frog and the Crane

by Amy Lynne Bate

One fine summer day, Frog lay sunning on his lily pad, awaiting the arrival of Crane. Every day, Frog would sit quietly and watch Crane descend from the sky, feathers whipping back and forth, lighting upon the Pond waters with ease. This caused a great deal of envy for Frog, for he wished every waking moment that he too had wings, like Crane.  To be able to fly away from this boring-sort of Pond and find new adventures. Although Frog knew he would be easy prey for Crane, his wanderlust caused him to feel quite bold on this day.

Suddenly, yet with the grace of an angel, Crane lighted upon the Pond, and commenced to feed in its shallow waters. Frog watched as Crane skimmed the water with his fine, long beak, scooping up fish and various plant life, gorging himself on the Pond’s wonderful morsels. “Why should Crane be able to eat whatever he wants and travel to the world outside the Pond, while I just sit here, on my boring-old lily pad?  I’m going absolutely nowhere.  The only joy in my day is occasionally zapping a bug with my silly, sticky tongue!”

Frog’s envy consumed him, and on this day, he became bolder and bolder by the minute.

After a time, when Crane could possibly eat no more, Frog jumped as close as he could toward him. Crane, whose belly was quite full and a bit too heavy to fly was relaxing in a grassy nook on the bank of the Pond. After carefully assessing his enemy, Frog began to yell:

“Crane! Crane!! CRANE!!!

Crane looked around (for Frog had such a small voice). He spied Frog through content, sleepy eyes.

“Well, well….Frog! What gives you the courage to come right up and dare to speak to me?” said Crane.

“You have eaten quite enough and cannot possibly have room for me in your belly.  So now I come to you to ask you: how I too, may fly like you??!” replied Frog.

Crane laughed to himself. With a very serious tone, Crane replied:

“Why, Frog, it is so easy and obvious! You just need some feathers to be able to fly! Collect them from the Pond Bank, bind them to your front and back legs, go to the highest branch you can climb. Then, all you have to do is jump with those perfectly suited legs of yours and you will fly across the Pond and beyond!!”

Frog was very excited. He went right to work, gathering any bird feathers he could find. He stuck them to his slimy, sticky skin and carefully scaled the wiry branch of a mangrove tree. He inched out to the end, and summoning all his courage, he jumped.

“Look, Crane, look!!! I am flying, just like you! Now I can eat whatever I wish and see new places and…….”

KER-PLUNK!!!!!

Those were the last words Frog spoke – in mid-air, from the highest branch of the mangrove tree – until he plopped right back into his home, the Pond.

Crane had already been waiting for his opportunity and he directly waded into the water and scooped Frog right up in his beak.

“Please, Crane, please don’t eat me! Surely you are full! What can I do to save myself?  All I wanted was to be just like you!” pleaded Frog.

GULP!!!

And Crane, with Frog in his belly, settled down for a nap before his next journey.

Moral:

#1)  Be happy with what you’ve got, for you may lose what you already have.

#2)  Sometimes, life stinks!

#3)  Don’t trust everyone, they may be out to get you!

**Would you read this to your children?  No “happy ending”???  It’s called “LIFE”, and that’s why I kept the surprise ending.**

Current Past Stuff: Halloween 2011

This cartoon I made especially for my daughters last Halloween (2011).  Yes, that is actually exactly what they look like (and very similar to their Cartoon-Mom Character, Tao! ; )  I drew another 4-Frame (see in more recent posts) which was published in the Sparta Independent right before Halloween, I just took out the “Stella & Lena In….” heading.

Early Works: Circa 1993: “Jambo And Dao/Tao’s Trials of Life”

This is the first cartoon in this (albeit short) series.  The idea behind it was the “fantasy life” I wanted at 19 years old:  to move down to St. Croix, escape society and make money by corn-rowing tourists’ hair or painting seashells…..believe it or not, that dream didn’t come true!  In essence, the cartoons were a way for me to “escape mentally” from my turmoils of having to grow up.  Actually……I really never did!