Watermelon story for preschool

Wilbur the Watermelon

Farmer Brown lived on a little farm.  He was very poor and worked hard to make ends meet and he was often in debt.

One morning he went down to the field to see how his crops were growing.

In one corner of the field, he had a small watermelon patch.  He grew each baby watermelon with love and care. Can you imagine his surprise when he saw in one part of the patch, an enormous watermelon.  He could not believe his eyes.  The local farm show was offering a cash prize of £100 – for the biggest watermelon in the district.  If he could win this prize, all his problems would be solved.  Quickly he replanted the baby watermelon in his green house.

He was quite sure that with care, he would have an enormous specimen.  Farmer Brown called his watermelon ‘Wilbur’ and he pampered and fussed over him.  The neighbouring farmers soon heard about Wilbur, the Giant.  But Farmer Brown refused to show them inside his green house.  “You will have to wait for the show in two months’ time.”

Every morning the good farmer could hardly wait to see his special watermelon.  He rushed out to the green house huffing and puffing – so eager was he to see how Wilbur had progressed.

Sure enough, during the night, Wilbur had grown bigger and bigger. Every night he put on more weight.

The time for the show grew nearer and nearer and by that time, Wilbur was absolutely enormous.  However, all the attention he was getting, made him very swollen-headed.  In fact, he wasn’t quite sure whether his large size was due to normal growth or just swelling.

The next day was the day of the show. Bright and early, Farmer Brown loaded Wilbur into a special extra-large fruit case filled with a straw lining.  This was to prevent Wilbur from bruising, as he was jostled about in the back of the rickety old farm truck.

At the market it was obvious who was going to win.  Everyone gathered about Wilbur and he was put in the place of honour.  Farmer Brown was then given the prize.  Wilbur and his master beamed with delight.

Unfortunately for Wilbur, people were not satisfied just to look at him.  They had to touch and feel him. It did not take long before the proud and swollen-headed watermelon was battered and bruised.  Now nobody took any notice of him and he felt very sad and neglected.   Not a soul offered to buy him.

Poor Wilbur who, a few hours ago, had been the centre of attention, began to cry.  The tears rolled down his bruised and battered face.  “No one will buy me now” he cried.

Just then a little boy, very poorly dressed, came up to the stall and said, “I have never seen such a large watermelon before, he looks super”.  The little boy did not seem to notice the bruises, scratches and tears on Wilbur’s face.  Please Farmer Brown, I only have 5p on me, but I would so like to take him home to my sister who has never tasted a watermelon.” Farmer Brown winked at tearful Wilbur and said to the little boy: “You may have him for nothing, he is no longer in good condition.” The little boy was overjoyed and thanked Farmer Brown.  He took Wilbur in his arms and gave him a big hug.

Wilbur stopped crying and was happy again because he was going to make some hungry people happy.  Farmer Brown was also delighted because no amount of money could buy the little boy’s smile of appreciation.

Barbara Louise Gillman

Funny story about money

The travelling cent

“Hello”, little magpie, said the shiny bright new cent, as the baby chick emerged from its egg.  “I am a cent, and you have just been born, like me”.  The chick opened his eyes, looked around the nest, so neatly made of little bits of wood, straw, and soft leaves, and saw the cent.  “Who are you and why are you here?” asked the chick.  “Where is my mother?”

“Your mother has gone off to find you some food, and I am here because your mother brought me to your nest.  Magpies love shiny things and I happened to be around and caught your mother’s eye.  She popped me in her beak and brought me here – that is how I came here.”

The chick fluffed out his wings, looked around hungrily for something to nibble on.  He was a bit wobbly, as his legs were still very weak.  “Can I eat you, Cent?  I cannot wait till my mother comes back!” “Oh, no, you cannot eat me, you will be ill – rather let me tell you a story about my life, and by the time I am finished, your mother should be back with something good for you to eat.”  “All right then,” whispered the chick, snuggling up in the warm straw.

“I was made at the Federal Mint in Washington DC.  From there, I was transported in a van with many dollars, quarters and dimes, to a big bank.  I was kept with my friends for some days.  One day, a pretty lady, who was an artist, came to the bank and took me away with a crowd of my friends.  She looked at ME and said aloud, “This shiny new, beautiful cent, is going to bring me luck and will come with me on all my travels.  I hope I never lose you.”  “So, there was I, very proud and excited that I was going to be kept by her.  Most of her exhibitions were in San Francisco, which is very hilly, as it is built on forty-two hills.

My owner travelled all over the United States, showing her paintings at many different galleries, but lived most of the time in San Francisco.  I went with her on all her travels.  What I loved most, was the Cable Car, one of which was called ‘The California Line’.  I always held my breath and was nervous because I thought the car belt might snap, but I need not have been anxious because of the very many safety precautions that were taken.  The signalmen were so careful.  The view from the top of the hill is so beautiful, I felt so high up, I almost felt as if I was floating on cotton wool – we were so close to the clouds.  Do you know, little chick, that on top of that hill, you can see one of the best and ‘safest’ landlocked harbours in the whole world.  There are nearly 400 square miles of San Francisco Bay, filled with so many boats and ships, all different colours, sizes and shapes.  I once went on a strange boat called a yacht but did not like it because I was so seasick.  My mistress told me she would not take me again, because I was obviously not a sea traveller. Do you know, the fishermen sell all kinds of things on the harbour, like lobsters, prawns, crabs, and all kinds of strange fish.  My mistress bought a crab to eat.  It was so big and so funny-looking, I nearly ran away. I thought the crab might eat me.  I watched her with fascination as she ate this ‘strange sea-creature’ which she enjoyed so much.”

“Another one of my favourite trips was crossing the bay on the very long and high ‘Golden Gate Bridge’, to and from her many exhibitions.”

“My mistress took me many times to The Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park.  Here, there are thousands of different trees.  It is so beautiful there and there are many different colours of green and so many different coloured pretty flowers, you cannot believe it, you just have to see it.  One day, my mistress was painting in this lovely garden, and I was so excited by all the gorgeous colours of nature that I leaned out of her purse to see more and I landed in a smudge of bright red paint on her palate.  I shouted ‘help’ and, luckily, she heard me and took me out carefully with her brush and cleaned me up.  That was luck, or I might have ended up bright red!”

“Now, little chick, I’ll tell you how I got here.  There are many flower-sellers in San Francisco, found on most street corners.  One day, my owner bought some flowers and whilst choosing them, she bent forward.  I was so ‘nosey’ that I leaned out of her purse and fell right into the middle of a bunch of lovely Californian poppies.  There was I, again in trouble and called to her to lift me out.  But my mistress did not hear me, because I had fallen so deeply into the bunch.  Here it was so soft, and I found that I really did not mind because everything was so beautiful, and all the colours there, reminded me of a rainbow.

I must have fallen asleep and the next thing I knew, was that I was flying through the air – in your mother’s beak.  So, little chick, that is how I came to be here, lying next to you.  I do not know what will happen to me now and where I will be soon, but for the moment, I am warm and snug – so who cares!”

But the little chick was fast asleep, probably dreaming of the little cent’s many exciting adventures!

Barbara Louise Gillman

Short stories about soldiers

The toy soldier

Jackie was given a toy solder for his birthday.  He was delighted with his new toy and he called him ‘Sydney’.  Sydney was dressed in uniform that looked so real.  On his head he wore a peaked camouflage cap and he had a dark green and brown suit to match.  He wore boots, a hat, a water-bottle, binoculars and a very dangerous looking rifle.

Jackie was a very tidy little boy and just before going to bed, he would put his toys away neatly.  He would then place Sydney, who was his favourite, standing at attention like a sentry, on top of his toy box.

Not long after Sydney arrived, a strange thing happened.  Jackie woke up one morning to find the lid of the toy box open and all his toys, scattered around the room.  Sydney was most upset because he was sure that he had tidied them up as usual, the night before.

That night, Jackie very carefully replaced his toys with Sydney standing at attention, on top.

The next morning, the toys were even more scattered than before.  Jackie’s mother was furious.  She thought that he had been playing during the night without permission and had not bothered to tidy his toys.  She warned him that if this happened again, he would be punished.

Jackie did not know what to do.  He knew that he had not made the mess.  He thought and thought and thought and, suddenly, he realized what he must do.

That night, after carefully tidying up, he went to sleep.  But that night there was a difference.  He had borrowed his mother’s alarm clock.  At 12 o clock, it rang under his pillow – waking him up.

Jackie thought he was still dreaming.  He rubbed his eyes in disbelief.  He rubbed his eyes again, wiping away all the sleep, but the scene before his eyes, did not disappear.

Sydney had climbed off the lid of the toy box, opened it and told all the toys to climb out, pointing his gun at them.  They were all so scared that they ran out in all directions.  Sydney then began to play with them.  He played with the electric train, the building blocks and even Jackie’s special crayons.  After some time, Sydney became tired and stopped playing, leaving the toys scattered all over the room.

This was too much for Jackie.  He jumped out and caught Sydney by the hand and told him to put all the toys away.  Sydney was really frightened by the sudden arrival of his young master and did as he was told.

At last all the toys were back in the box and Jackie was still very cross with Sydney.  He then decided to punish him by taking away his rifle and making him sleep inside the box with the other toys. Sydney was very upset, but he had to listen to Jackie.

The next morning, Jackie’s mother came into the room to find everything, in order.  She and Jackie were both pleased.

That night, after he had finished playing with his toys, Jackie put them in the box – then he returned Sydney’s rifle and told him that he could stand on top of the box on condition that he guarded the toys like a real soldier and never made another mess.

Barbara Louise Gillman

Stories about music for toddlers

The naughty musician

Peterkin was a young and very gifted musician.  He played the piano, violin and cello.  Although he was only eight, he performed regularly for large crowds.

Everyday he would practise for hours but he had one glaring fault – he was very careless with his instruments and music books.  He slammed the piano closed and chipped the ivory keys.  The violin and cello were also badly treated.  When he had finished practising, instead of replacing them in their cases, he would throw them on the floor, breaking the strings and damaging the beautifully varnished wood.  His music books were also in a terrible state, covers torn, pages bent and many were missing.

It was not surprising that all those living in his music room, were very miserable.  They just did not know what to do.

Then one day, the books suggested a way of teaching Peterkin a lesson.  Peterkin was going to play the piano at a very important concert that night and he really wanted to do well.

The time for the concert arrived and the audience clapped.  Peterkin walked onto the stage, sat down at the piano, turned his music sheets to the first piece, and placed his fingers on the keys.

The audience was hushed and expectant.  Suddenly, an unexpected thing happened.  As the young musician put his finger on a note, it jumped off the keyboard and floated into the air. Peterkin could not believe it.  He reached for another one, but it followed the first one into the air.  Within seconds, all the keys were dancing around in front of him.  He jumped up and tried to catch them.  The audience began to get impatient and then saw what was happening.  They began giggling and laughing loudly.

Peterkin became angrier and angrier and redder and redder and was soon in tears.  He put his head down on the empty keyboard and sobbed.  He felt so humiliated.

All at once, the notes returned to their places and as they did so, they told him to take special care of his instruments and music in the future.

Peterkin stopped crying and began to play.  His performance that night was better than ever before.  He vowed then and there that he would never ill-treat his instruments again.

From that time on, he kept his piano clean and polished and always placed his violin and cello carefully in their cases after use.

Barbara Louise Gillman

Stories about toys coming to life

The mystery of the missing toys

There was once a park in a little village.  Although it was not very big, it had almost everything to make a child happy.  It had swings, slides, jungle gyms, merry-go-rounds and even a swimming pool.  After school, the children loved nothing better than playing in the little park with their toys.

One day, however, they noticed that their toys began disappearing.  This only seemed to happen when they were near a big tree at the bottom of the park.

After a while, the children’s mothers refused to buy anymore balls, bats, marbles and dolls.  Soon, the children had almost no toys left.

The children were very upset and could not understand why the toys kept on disappearing near the tree.  John, a very shy child, who always played on his own, decided to investigate.  After all the children had gone home, he climbed into the tree and waited.  He did not have long to wait.  Just before dark, he heard a little noise and looked down.

A squirrel with a big bushy tail, appeared from a hole near the tree trunk.  John waited till the little creature had scampered off, and then jumped down from the tree.  Can you imagine his surprise when he could not find the entrance to the squirrel’s hole.  He tapped near the place he had seen the squirrel but could find nothing.

Just as he was about to give up, he heard something hollow.  Scratching over the hollow area, he found a little sliding trap door.

John pushed it aside and to his amazement, found all the missing toys.  At that moment, the little squirrel returned but, before he could turn away, John caught him.  The squirrel was very scared and looked up at him with large eyes.

“Please, I did not mean any harm, I just love playing with toys.  I did not think anyone would play with me and so this was the only way I could win the children’s attention.”

John was very cross, but the squirrel looked so scared, he couldn’t shout at the little fellow.

“You know, it is wrong to take other people’s things – you must return them and perhaps the children will forgive you and allow you to play with the toys.”

“Alright”, said the squirrel – “Would you return them for me and ask the children if I could play with them?”  “Well, give them to me and I will speak to the other children”, John said.

The squirrel helped him to pack the toys into a big box and they returned them to John’s house.

The next day, John showed the other children what he had found and, of course, they were delighted.  They all cheered, and shy John became a hero.  The little squirrel apologised for what he had done and the children forgave the squirrel and gained a most unusual playmate.

Barbara Louise Gillman

Lawn mower books for toddlers

The lawnmower that lied

Larry was a yellow and blue petrol lawnmower.  He was very carefully greased and groomed and had never been left out in the rain.  He was in perfect condition. 

At night he slept at the bottom of the garden in a shed with all the other gardening tools, such as spades, rakes, garden forks and wheelbarrows.

Larry knew that he belonged to a wealthy family because the garden he had to mow, was very large.  Every day he worked on a different part of the garden.  Although he was tired when he came home, he enjoyed the outside air and loved to tell the other tools where he had mowed that day. Sometimes when he was being used near the fence, he would chat to the neighbour’s lawnmower whose name was Linda.

It did not take long before Larry and Linda became very close friends and would spend as much time as possible together.

One day as Larry was cutting the grass, he felt something hard under his blades.  He looked down and saw a very expensive gold diamond bracelet.  He decided he would keep it and give it to Linda as a present.  Quickly Larry wound it around his axle away from the blades.

That night, the chief gardener told the tools about a bracelet that the lady of the house had lost.  After he had gone, they discussed the missing bracelet amongst themselves.  The garden spade, who was the leader, asked them if any one of them had seen it.  Everybody, including Larry, said no.

Larry was very pleased that it was dark in the shed so that no one could see him blushing.

The next morning all the tools were taken out of the shed and asked to keep a special lookout for the bracelet.  Larry was wheeled out and the gardener started the engine and began to cut the grass.

As he moved, the bracelet began to loosen on his axle.  Larry now began to tremble because if he stopped to adjust the bracelet and prevent it from slipping, the gardener would become suspicious. In no time at all the bracelet slipped off the axle and caught in his blades.  There was a big crunching noise and Larry stopped turning with badly damaged blades.

The gardener turned him over.  To his horror, he found the missing bracelet wrapped around Larry’s blades.  The gardener asked him how this had happened.  Larry had to admit that he had stolen the bracelet. He was then placed in the shed in disgrace.

At night all the other tools refused to talk to him and during the day, he was all alone.  Larry was very unhappy and while he waited for his blades to be replaced, he vowed that he would never tell another lie in his life!

Barbara Louise Gillman

Children’s book jigsaw puzzle

The jigsaw puzzle

Alice and Andy were twins.  They were both very keen jigsaw puzzle builders.  The more difficult a puzzle was, the more they liked it.  When it rained or was unpleasant outside, their mother would give them a puzzle with equal numbers of pieces, and they would see who could finish first.

For their eight birthday, they were given a puzzle with 5000 pieces.  Alice and Andy could hardly wait to start this “monster”- but, by the time the last person had left their birthday party, it was too late.

They went to bed in a fever of excitement, hardly able to sleep.  The next morning, early, they awoke and cleared a huge space in the middle of the playroom and started to build.  As they placed the pieces together, the space filled up and from the picture on the box, it began to take shape.  It was a picture of a stone castle with a very high tower.  The castle was surrounded by a moat.  At the main gate was a draw bridge which was used long ago by people to cross the moat.  At last the final piece was in place and the twins stood up to look at their finished prize. 

All at once the picture began to grow and grow – until they seemed to be on the bank of the moat. Alice and Andy then heard a loud creaking noise and a thump as the draw bridge dropped on the bank on the other side of the moat.

Andy said “I wonder what the inside of the castle looks like – let’s cross over.” Alice, by now, was quite scared and hesitated, saying “Do you think it is safe?” “Come on, you coward – I am going to cross even if you do not”.  With that, Andy ran on to the draw bridge – followed not far behind – by his sister.

As they reached the gate, a helmeted guard with a sword, appeared.  “Where are you two going? “he asked.  “Oh”, cried the twins.  “We are going to see who lives in the high tower, if we may.”

“Well, seeing you two built the castle today, I cannot see any reason to stop you, but do not scare the little princess who lives in the tower.  She has a broken heart and will not come down and play.  My job is to guard her and see that no one upsets her – perhaps you can cheer her up.”

He stood back and let them in.  they could now see the tower which was very high and had many steps leading to a room at the top.

The excited twins climbed the stairs two at a time and were soon talking to the little princess.  At first, she was not pleased to see them but, after a while, realized that the twins were very good company.  It did not take long before the three of them were laughing and having a super time.  The princess was hardly aware that she had climbed down the stairs and was playing with the twins on the bank of the moat.  Everyone, including the guard, was overjoyed.  He let them ride his horse and play with his shield and helmet.  By now, it was time to go home and have supper.

The beautiful princess gave Alice a lovely handkerchief and Andy a toy knight on a wooden horse.

They waved goodbye, promising to return one day. The twins then crossed the moat and, within seconds, were back in their playroom.

Standing there, they could not believe where they had been, but they each had a present from the little princess.

They tidied up the pieces of the puzzle carefully – putting them in the box and went happily off to bed.


Barbara Louise Gillman

A collection of stories for 2 year olds

The humming washing machine

Horace was a beautiful white and silver automatic washing machine. Although he was very small, he was happy and cheerful. He liked nothing better than opening his mouth – the little glass door in front and swallowing a pile of dirty washing.

As soon as he felt full, he turned himself on and began to hum. He had two favourite tunes – a slow one while he washed, and a jolly quick one when he dried the washing.

Every morning, Horace filled the house with his lovely melodies as he washed and dried.

George, the little boy who lived in the house, was very naughty.  He was always playing with the buttons on Horace’s face, although his mother had told him to leave Horace alone.

One day while his mother was out, George began fiddling with Horace.  He played with all the knobs and switches and found the outlet pipe.  He pulled it into different shapes.   This hurt Horace, but he could only splutter and cough.  George then put some marbles into the pipe.  Poor Horace could not get rid of the water.  He huffed and puffed but he could not spit out the marbles.  Horace coughed once more, stopped humming and was then silent.

Just then, George’s mother came home to find Horace sad and out of order.  She guessed that George must have hurt Horace and was very cross.  Although she tried very hard, she was unable to find out what was wrong. – All she knew was that the happy little machine was silent and that the washing was piling up.

There was only one thing to do.  She must call the plumber.  The next day the plumber arrived and checked Horace.  It took him a long time to discover the problem, but as soon as he had removed the marbles, Horace began to hum.  Everyone was so delighted.  Horace, because he could hum – mother, because the washing could be done and George, because his mother was no longer cross with him.

Barbara Louise Gillman

Stories about ants for preschoolers

The dizzy ant

Once, a family of ants lived near a child’s sandpit.  Like most children, the ants loved exploring, but always listened to their mother when she told them to be careful or to come home. 

However, there was one exception – the youngest, whose name was Crawford.  It did not matter how often he was scolded or spanked, he would insist on going off on adventures of his own.

One day, he climbed over the wall of the sandpit and saw an enormous tube with a transparent cap at one end and a hole at the other end.  The tube was very gayly coloured in blue, yellow and red stripes.  Along one side in big letters, was written the word ‘KALEIDESCOPE”.

He had never seen anything like it before.  Crawford, however, could not resist the temptation and, ignoring his mother’s warnings, he climbed into the hole at the end.  Carefully he crawled along the wall of the tunnel.  He walked for some time until he came to a big plastic disc.  Walking all the way around it, he found a tiny little hole and slipped through.  He was now in a room filled with coloured pieces of glass and plastic.  On the wall there was a big mirror.  Crawford could not understand what all these things were doing in here.

Suddenly, the kaleidoscope began to move, and the plastic and glass began changing positions.  The little boy who owned the kaleidoscope, had decided to play with it.

Crawford was terrified.  The sun glared at him and was reflected off the mirror, straight back into his eyes.  By now the tube was turning very fast and he tried hard to avoid the flying chips.  This was not easy because the tube was turning faster and faster.  He was quite dizzy.  He so wished he had listened to his mother.  Luckily for Crawford, it was now lunchtime and Billy had to go into the house for lunch.  He put his toy down in the sandpit.

Crawford by now was so dizzy and frightened that he could not move.  Gradually he felt better and crawled slowly to his feet and began to look for the little hole in the room through which he had come.  The mirror confused him.  He began to panic, and it took him quite a while to find it.  EVENTUALLY he managed to crawl through, although he was very tired and even more scared, and ran as fast as his little legs could carry him to the eye hole and jumped out.

Crawford’s mother was worried and anxious. The little ant never missed lunch before and the whole family went out to look for him.  They had almost given up hope when Father ant suggested looking in the sandpit.  The family arrived just as poor little Crawford stumbled out of the hole at the end of the tube.

They were so pleased to see him that they all shouted “hurray” and mother did not even scold him.  Carefully they carried him home and tucked him into bed with a hot water bottle.

Barbara Louise Gillman