ONE DAY I WENT RAMBLING

“A young collector repurposes found junk, bringing his scoffing peers along on a flight of fancy.” —Kirkus Reviews

 

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ONE DAY I WENT RAMBLING

Written by Kelly Bennett
Illustrated by Terri Murphy

Bright Sky Press, May 2012
ISBN: 978-1-936474-06-6

Writer's League of Texas Book Award Winner

Character Building Counts Silver Seal Winner

When Zane goes rambling, his friends call him crazy and refuse to play along. After he finds a shining star, it doesn't bother him when his friends try to tell him it's just a hubcap. Undaunted, Zane uses his finds to create a secret project that piques his friends’ curiosity. After watching him ramble around the neighborhood, finding magic in the ordinary, his friends are drawn into his imaginative game.

Reviews

As an elementary school librarian who reads books aloud to children every day, I can see this one as a book that will capture their attention because there is substance here that will connect with their prior knowledge to make this book worthy of their time. I predict that this title to be on several award lists this year. Readers are challenged to use their imaginations to repurpose and recycle objects that they own or discover on their path. The illustrations, created by Terri Murphy, and names of the characters are multi-ethnic featuring children of all races. The expressions show joy, contentment, and pure fun as they “ramble” around the neighborhood. Even the kid who makes fun at first is motivated to join in the fun.
— http://www.texaslibrarian.com/reading-strategies/one-day-i-went-rambling-by-kelly-bennett/
“In our overly-connected 21st-century lives, we need to pull the plug and encourage the kiddies to explore their imaginations instead. Illustrator Terri Murphy ingeniously imbues Zane's beckoning world (so rollickingly created by award-winning writer Kelly Bennett) with sparkly rich colors and a delightfully multi-culti cast…” — from Smithsonian "BookDragon"


“Zane is a truly loveable character with a huge imagination and strong spirit… He marches to the beat of his own drum and gets all of his friends marching and having fun right along with him on his imaginative journeys; finding interesting odds and ends, then creating stories about them.
“Not only is this book a great read, but can also be turned into a fun game you can play with your children. We have played the Rambling game several times outside and even inside on rainy days!
“This story is wonderful and the illustrations are outstanding. One Day I Went Rambling is definitely a must have for your children's library!” —from Real Moms, Real Views



“A growing concern among parents is the way video games and electronic devices not only keep kids indoors, but ill-serve the development of their imagination, a key factor in creativity. That's why I liked One Day I Went Rambling... for those ages 5-8. It is about a boy who finds all kinds of things while playing outside and how his imagination converts them into things like a pirate's magic ring. This is a great book for the very young.” —by Alan Caruba, from Bookviews


Additional Reviews


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Author Read-Aloud on YouTube!

About Creating This Book

FYI:  Rambling is like walking only better! A ramble is a long, lazy, keep-an-eye-out-for-interesting-thing-a-ma-jigs-treasures-what's its-whose its- sort of walk made famous by poet, Henry David Thoreau.    * I've quoted the beginning and the ending stanzas of ONE DAY WE WENT WALKING. If you're curious about what's in the middle, you'll have to seek out the poem for yourself—if you get stumped, send me a note and I'll tell you where you can find it.

FYI:  Rambling is like walking only better! A ramble is a long, lazy, keep-an-eye-out-for-interesting-thing-a-ma-jigs-treasures-what's its-whose its- sort of walk made famous by poet, Henry David Thoreau.
 
 * I've quoted the beginning and the ending stanzas of ONE DAY WE WENT WALKING. If you're curious about what's in the middle, you'll have to seek out the poem for yourself—if you get stumped, send me a note and I'll tell you where you can find it.

Writing It

It was all because of that poem.

A rhyming poem by Valine Hobbs called One Day When We Went Walking. I found it when I was little — maybe 5 or 7. It's in my all-time favorite collection, The Tall Book of Make Believe compiled by Jane Werner.

I read and reread that poem so many times, I still have it memorized. It begins like this:

One day when we went walking,
 
I found a dragon's tooth,
 
A dreadful dragon's tooth....
"
A locust thorn," said Ruth

I felt as though that poem was about me. I used to find things too, and imagine them to be magical, wonderful, exciting other things. But, but, but…the ending of the poem always bugged me. The last stanza reads:

Next time that I go walking-
 
Unless I meet an elf,
 
A funny, friendly elf-
 
I'm going by myself! * 

I loved the ending because the person in the poem doesn't give in, but instead decides to keep walking and finding things. At the same time it bothered me because the only way the main character thought she could continue to play this imaginative finding game was to go alone—or to go with an elf (although who wouldn't love to meet an elf?)

One day — years and years and years and years and years after first reading that poem — I decided to do something about it. I said to myself, What if. . . What if, instead of going off alone, there was a way to draw friends into playing this imagination finding game? Abra-ca-dula metza-ca-bula! With Valine Hobbs' poem as inspiration, I created One Day I Went Rambling.


 

Illustrating It

Terri Murphy, who also illustrated Dance, Y'all, Dance, loves to ramble. Who better to illustrate One Day I Went Rambling

Here's Terri hard at work on the illustrations for One Day I Went Rambling.

Here's Terri hard at work on the illustrations for One Day I Went Rambling.

Here's her bulletin board of tissue paper sketches of the illustrations. 

Here's her bulletin board of tissue paper sketches of the illustrations. 

Wishing you could see more? Me, too…. 

Pssssssssssssssssssssst, I will let you in on a secret: Terri sneaked a certain reptile into each illustration…

Can you find it? (You'll need to get the book so you can look...)