Hee-Haw-Dini and the Great Zambini

Harry Houdini was known for near-death escapes. The sibling authors’ grandmother shared stories of meeting Houdini. She gave them their first magic book too.

Reading the book jacket, I learned more. Kim Kennedy and Doug Kennedy had a family donkey on the farm, who was known to take items from a person’s back pocket and then hiding behind a tree. These memories triggered the idea for the book.

Knowing these idea snippets, the introduction correlates. The illustration shows a donkey and mouse sitting under a tree talking. I believe in letting kids know how ideas come to life. An every day happening, such as a pet, living on a farm, created a story. The kids could be like Kim and Doug.

The story begins with the two friends practicing magic tricks day after day, persevering through disbelief from the other animals. A “one-day” story highlights the magic in a dream, the prize from persistence.

Savorings for reading and in writing for Hee-Haw-Dini and the Great Zambini:

  • Power of 3 – words in a series; scenes in three
  • Other Verbs for Said – honked, squeaked, grunted
  • Community Building – believing in a dream, persevering
  • Made up Words – “unlock-o-maneuver”
  • Story from memories
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