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Ziva Beaver - a children's story

by Emmzziee


Hi! I wrote this story to raise money for B-EAT. I haven't been on YWS in many years, and I'm not sure if people still review things very much here or if it's mainly just about posting work now... but it would be GREAT if I had some insight into whether this is worth £2.50! I'm not sure if it makes sense near the end, you see, and I wouldn't want to waste anyone's money. THANKS ALL :D (bear in mind, there are also illustrations in the actual version.)

Ziva Beaver

Ziva climbed onto the carousel.

“Where would you like to go?” asked the tiger.

“I would like,” declared Ziva, “to go somewhere nice.”

She clambered onto the tiger, and they tumbled through time and space like a washing machine.

THUD.

When they’d landed, the tiger shouted out, “Goodbye!”

He whizzed up into the sky, leaving Ziva all alone in a strange new place. It was full of murkiness and strange, pointed flowers.

“Oh dear,” said Ziva, looking all around her. “I’m lost.”

“That,” said a goblin, peeking at her from the undergrowth. “Is the silliest thing I’ve ever heard.”

“What is?”

“What’s what?”

“What’s the silliest thing you ever heard?”

The goblin scratched his head. “The silliest thing I ever heard,” he said, “is that I’ve gone all morning and not been fed!”

“Oh!”

“No, I’ve not eaten all day. Can you believe it?” he said. “Will you join me for tea and crumpets?”

The goblin took Ziva to a secret place, and knocked twice on a secret door.

Secret doors are wonderful things.

When you find a strange, rusty key at the bottom of your knicker drawer, you can bet it belongs to one.

“Who is it?” boomed a voice behind the door.

“It’s me!” squeaked the goblin, jumping up and down. “And I brought a – a – a guest!”

The door opened very slowly.

Ziva looked at the goblin.

The goblin looked at Ziva.

They both stepped inside, and a skeleton came to greet them. He shook her hand eagerly. It was strange, holding such a clammy, bony hand.

“Welcome,” said the skeleton. “Welcome to Horror Hotel. You’re our first guest in five hundred years.”

“We’ve been waiting and waiting,” said the goblin. “But nobody came.”

“I did,” said Ziva. “I’m very happy to be here.”

“I’m glad to hear it.”

The little goblin grinned and his cheeks went very red. “Can I get you anything? A glass of wine, perhaps. Or a scone.”

“A scone would be lovely, sir. And a glass of milk.”

****

So Ziva had her bedtime snack with a skeleton and a goblin, and they were very pleased to have her. They kept filling up her glass more and more, and it was the most delicious milk Ziva had ever tasted.

“I’m getting tired,” said Ziva. “But I don’t want to go to sleep, because I want to stay here with you for just a little bit longer.”

“You’re getting sleepy because of the milk,” said the skeleton, who was sat at the head of the table. “I think you need some coffee, dear.”

The skeleton, who seemed to have an ordering-about sort of presence, clicked his fingers, and two cows dressed in pinafores bustled up to him.

Ziva stared, because she had never seen a cow standing upright before.

One of the cows stuck her tongue out at Ziva. It was the most unusual blue colour. Ziva was taken aback. “My dear!” she said to it. “Perhaps you’d better eat one of my red gummy sweets. Your tongue is the wrong colour.”

Ziva was led down hallways underground. Everything looked curiously as though a rabbit had dug it out with its claws – However, it was carpeted with rich silk, and Ziva thought it very warm beneath her toes.

She was just beginning to feel all warm and glowy inside, and the goblin laid her down in bed.

“Would like me to sing you a lullaby?” asked the goblin.

“No thank you,” said Ziva, snuggling down into the soapy-smelling sheets.

She did feel so warm and cosy. Her toes were in slipper socks. What a nice little day she was having. She was thinking about what she would have for breakfast. she hoped it wasn’t anything with milk –

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Five hours later, Ziva woke up.

She was feeling uneasy.

She was in a little little room, and it was dark and smelly. Her bedsheets clung to her because she was sweating -underground tunnels dug out by beavers and rabbits are warmer than you think.

She got up and padded along the passageways, looking for a ghost or a goblin or a skeleton.

She didn’t trust the cows but she trusted the creepy things.

(She was strange.)

Anyway, as I have yet to mention, poor Ziva was not sure whether she was here or there. There was a gentle snoozing snoring sound coming from everywhere; yet she could not see at all.

“I think it’s time to go home now…” Ziva began. “I think it is, indeed…”

She started to run, but it was so dark, so dark… soon, she tripped, and she was sweaty and wondering what on earth to do.

“I think a little nap is in order,” she decided at last. “If only I could find the right way back to my room…”

She felt her way along the walls, feeling very uncomfortable at all of the slugs and spiders and the worms she kept touching. When suddenly –

“Ouch! My nose!”

“Sorry,” said Ziva, turning red. “Do excuse me. I didn’t see you there.” She gave it some thought. “Actually, I’m afraid I don’t see you even now.”

“that’s because you’re not looking hard enough,” said the thing that had spoken. “come on, dear. Look closer. Look closer…”

Ziva had a funny feeling that this would be a bad idea, but she was tired, and her eyes were fluttering; she thought it best to obey. Perhaps she’d find her bedroom quicker, if only she obeyed…

So she reached forward and splayed out her fingers like starfish and felt for this thing that had spoken, but now there was nothing there at all. Instead there was a slide, and Ziva slid down it, but when she got to the bottom there was a room full of glinting knives and chopping boards. The walls were painted red.

“Oh dear, I… I think I might be sick,” thought Ziva, leaning against the wall.

“Don’t be sick,” said the skeleton, coming out of a door on the other side of the room. “Please don’t. I wouldn’t know what to do, if you was sick.”

“I shan’t be sick,” Ziva decided. “As long as you don’t do anything nasty.”

“I would never!” said the shocked skeleton.

He pushed her onto a chair and got a magnifying glass and looked very closely at little Ziva. She was frightened.

“I am afraid I might be sick,” gasped Ziva at last. “If you don’t stop prodding and poking me.”

The skeleton stood back and scratched his head. He whistled, and five ghosts, two cows and a goblin came scurrying in.

“This child is going around the bend,” he concluded. “She needs medicine because she’s obviously very sick.”

“I am not sick!” she protested feebly.

“You are. You just said it yourself.”

“Oh. Yes, I suppose I did.”

“You see! Going around the bend.”

“Which bend?” asked Ziva.

“The one in which you want to stay in a world full of ghosts and scary things, but you don’t want to go to a place with cuddly mothers and warm breakfasts.”

“I want to go back there,” said Ziva at once. “That’s what I want. That’s what’ll make me better!”

“No, dear,” soothed the cow. “You need some medicine, my girl.”

The cow and the ghosts started whipping up a fruit cake; they used blackcurrants and redcurrants and soon the smell of it was wafting around this strange, glinting kitchen.

“Mmmm,” said Ziva.

They fed Ziva some of this cake, and it was indeed very good. It tasted of warmth and pleasant things.

"This cake is your medicine. It will give you what you most need," said the skeleton, leaning in close. "But first it will make your needs be known."

The cake made Ziva feel sleepy. She lay back and gave it some thought.

“I said I wanted to go home…” she began, nodding off. “But I get so sick of school and shouting and cars bleeping. I wish I could stay down here in the burrows with the beavers, even if it is dirty and smelly. Sometimes, I wish I were a beaver myself. It'd be nice and quiet, and I wouldn't have to rush around all day and bother with silly things."

It was the wrong thing to say.

You see, this was a magic cake, and it sent her tumbling through time and space!

She landed with a thud on her mother’s own warm, cosy lap. Ziva breathed her mother’s soft soapy smell. How cosy it was in her mummy’s lap. She snuggled in, cosier and cosier…

But her mummy gave a scream. She spilled hot tea everywhere and ran out of the room.

“How strange,” thought Ziva. “That wasn’t very kind.”

That night, Ziva was very thankful to be home. She usually had a bath on Monday nights, and because she was so filthy, she was looking forward to it!

She poured hot water into the tub, and added the bubbles.

She was just having a nice pleasant yawn. she dipped in her toe and tested the water, when she saw her reflection rippling in the waves and fainted.

(PICTURE OF HER LOOKING INTO THE WATER - SHE'S BEEN TURNED INTO A BEAVER!!!)

THE END.


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Sun May 27, 2018 6:05 am
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WritingPrincess wrote a review...



I liked this for a few reasons. The “be careful what you wish for” message came through bold and clear. Ziva’s strangeness makes her a very likeable character, in my opinion. Just a few hints and suggestions I have for you are below.
First line - I don’t really like this line. It sounds much too straight-forward. At this point in the story we don’t know a thing about Ziva and I think you should focus on introducing her rather than introducing what she is doing.
Plot - I liked the general plot idea of a girl travelling off to a faraway land, getting lost, finding some creepy characters and then going back home. However, the wishing surprised me (in a good way). I really liked the twists and turns in the plot.
Characters - I liked the characters. I think you could have given us a bit more information about the other characters Ziva meets, but I did like them.
Overall, a very good piece and definitely worth £2.50. Give it a good description and it will be read. I hope this helped!




Emmzziee says...


Thanks for your kind review ^_^





You're welcome.



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Wed May 23, 2018 9:25 pm
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fraey wrote a review...



Hi there Emma!

Thanks for requesting a review, and I’m sorry it took this long! I hope this helps a little.

First Thoughts:

So, this is kind of like “be careful what you wish for” which is definitely interesting enough, especially for a story meant for kids. The fact that Ziva likes the “creepy” over the “loving/comforting” also adds a neat unique piece to this story, but I’d like to see a little more of that idea developed. Something else I’ve noticed is that I have no idea as to how old Ziva is. I’m guessing pre-teen, but besides her being called “child,” it’s hard for me to really determine her age. I just like to know general age to better picture any character, including Ziva, but that’s up to your preference as well.

Content:

Okay, so I don’t especially like the opening line of

Ziva climbed onto the carousel.
for a couple of reasons. One, I want some sort of background into your main character’s motivation inspiring her actions. If nothing else, how she left her house and encountered a friendly tiger. In addition, I really want to know why she would leave her loving mother and want for something creepy as previously stated.

Another thing I’d like to address are these two lines:
”A glass of wine, perhaps” and
“I think you need some coffee, dear.”
In any sort of children’s book, I’d really recommend against having any reference to drinking or drugs, unless they’re a really intricate part of the story. Here, I’d honestly just say change “wine” to “water” and not scare away parents disliking the inclusion of alcohol in a supposed child’s novel. In addition, I don’t think kids need to already start thinking about coffee at an early age.

Finally, I want to discuss the structure/syntax of your work. Take this quote for example:
Secret doors are wonderful things. When you find a strange, rusty key at the bottom of your knicker drawer, you can bet it belongs to one.
Okay, so one thing that bothers me about this is that the view is more first/second rather than restricted third person. The other thing that stands out is that this quote uses present tense, while the story uses the past tense, save for the first person quotes. I’d say reword this quote into something more third-person, so that it relates back to the overall story a lot more clearly.

One last quote I’d like to overview is:
She didn’t trust the cows but she trusted the creepy things. (She was strange.) Anyway, as I have yet to mention.
The parentheses around “She was strange” make me think this is Ziva’s thoughts, but I don’t think you need that included. Readers can infer that Ziva is not a typical kid by that first line! In addition, I don’t think you need any first-person ideas, thus I recommend you delete the “Anyway” line.

Overall:

I do think this story is worth the money, with a few tweaks in aligning your story together. Ziva is an interesting character and I’m sure kids would be interested in her as well! Good luck!




Emmzziee says...


Hi, Killeham; I do like curry, but you can call me Emma next time ;) thanks for the thoughtful review! Overall, did you follow it ok and find the ending made sense?



fraey says...


Oops, omg. I am so sorry XD. You are very welcome! I followed it fine, and the ending was very fitting. I am happy I could I could help you, Emma!



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Mon May 21, 2018 9:56 pm
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elysian wrote a review...



hello, here as requested! I've never reviewed a children's book before so this should be fun :p

**disclaimer: I will most likely focus on negative aspects more so than positive aspects when reviewing, and this is just to help you grow as a writer! It is totally okay not to agree with something I say! Also, If I repeat anything already said, it's probably because it needs to be changed!**

Spelling:

She was in a little little room, and it was dark and smelly.


*a little room
or
*a very little

The cow and the ghosts started whipping up a fruit cake; they used blackcurrants and redcurrants and soon the smell of it was wafting around this strange, glinting kitchen.


*fruitcake

“But I get so sick of school and shouting and cars bleeping.


*beeping

Grammar:

I wouldn’t know what to do, if you was sick.”


*were

Punctuation:

The goblin took Ziva to a secret place, and knocked twice on a secret door.


*no comma after place

Ziva stared, because she had never seen a cow standing upright before.


*no comma after stared

There was a gentle snoozing snoring sound coming from everywhere; yet she could not see at all.


*from everywhere, yet

Instead there was a slide, and Ziva slid down it, but when she got to the bottom there was a room full of glinting knives and chopping boards.


*Instead, there was

I wouldn’t know what to do, if you were sick.”


*no comma after do

He whistled, and five ghosts, two cows and a goblin came scurrying in.


*two cows, and a

She poured hot water into the tub, and added the bubbles.


*no comma after tub

she dipped in her toe and tested the water, when she saw her reflection rippling in the waves and fainted.


*water and when she

Story:

This is a very unusual story, and I think it's a cool idea, however, I feel like it can sometimes feel overwhelming and complicated, especially if a little kid was reading this. Also, probably best not to mention wine in a children's story.

I would just go back through and see if you can make anything less complicated and more clear, and maybe even read it to a child that you know and see how they react.

lovely story, hope I helped!

- Del




Emmzziee says...


Thanks, Del :) great review and very helpful. Did you understand the ending ok?



elysian says...


it's kind of confusing leading up to the ending, but I understand they changed her to a beaver :-)



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Mon May 21, 2018 1:50 pm
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CurryWithACapitalC wrote a review...



This is quite a sweet and whimsical story! It gives me some Alice in Wonderland vibes, and I'm sure the illustrations would only add to this effect.
There were just a few spots where I felt like you could expand, and kind of link some of the events together better. For example, when the skeleton tells Ziva that maybe she should get some coffee, and the cows come, she is just led to a room. What happens to the coffee? Maybe you just intended for it to be that way, in which case, I think that it isn't a very big deal. Otherwise, I really loved this story!
Oh, and there are one small error (haven't quite gotten the hang of quoting yet):

she hoped it wasn’t anything with milk –
She should be capitalized.

Thanks for such a pleasant read,
Curry




Emmzziee says...


Thank you, Curry! :D I appreciate it!!



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Mon May 21, 2018 10:38 am
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aulyasela3597 says...



Beautifully written!




Emmzziee says...


Aw, shucks. Thanks, Aulyasela. I'm blushing :)




There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
— William Shakespeare