Thursday, February 11, 2016

Gracie’s Valentine Surprise (Valentiny Writing Contest)

Okay, I am doing this. Yay! Here is my picture book story for Susanna Hill's First Annual Valentiny Writing Contest. I want to thank Susanna for everything she does for writers and I would like to express my thanks to everyone participating and giving their time/prizes to this event. I had fun writing this and can't wait to read the other entries. Good luck everyone!

Gracie’s Valentine Surprise (214 words)
By Laurie Treacy

“Don’t be grumpy. It was just a game,” Mom said.
Gracie didn’t answer. She didn’t like losing.
“It’s Valentine’s Day. Smile. Spread love around, sweetie.”
Gracie scowled.

Meanwhile, a bunch of eyes watched as she climbed aboard the school bus.
“Gracie’s lost her smile,” Belinda Bat chirped.
“It’s around here,” Chris Caterpillar clicked. “Somewhere.”
Terry Toad croaked, “I have an idea!”
“Group meeting!” Mikey Macaw squawked.

Gracie’s stuffed animals jumped off her blanket,
and window sills.
They huddled together in the middle of the room.

That evening, after Mom kissed her good night, Gracie peered around.
Something was missing.

What happened to Mikey?
Belinda wasn’t beside her.
What about Terry?
Chris and….
Where were her stuffed animals?

Gracie leapt from her bed.
She peeked behind pillows,
sifted through drawers,
rummaged around her closet.

Where could they be?

Gracie raced to open her playroom door.
Could they be in there?
She flicked the light on.


All of Gracie’s forty-two stuffed animals
stood in a semi-circle
holding up cards they had made.

Cards of different shapes,
sizes, and colors,
decorated with crayons,
paint, glued-on pasta and more.

Every card had a picture of her.

“Happy Valentine’s Day, Gracie! We love you!”

Gracie smiled. Who cares about winning? She had love.


  1. Laurie,
    I love the language and phrases in your story. My favorite is

  2. Is your description of Gracie looking for the animals and describing the cards. I like the ending too.

  3. Susan, thank you for your kind words. I based Gracie off of my two daughters when they were little. :)

  4. Great kid appeal here. Nice work!

  5. Love the stuffed animals cheering Gracie up. :)

    1. Thanks, Jen! There's something special about stuffed animals:)

  6. So believable for losing to make a child grumpy! And so nice that her stuffed animals loved her enough to do something special to cheer her up! Thanks so much for this sweet story, Laurie, and for joining in the Valentiny fun!

    1. Thanks, Susanna! You are such an inspiration to us! I always enjoy reading your books and your blog. :)

  7. It is a sweet story. Any child would instantly love it.