We asked children aged between 5 and 11 to write a picture book of 200-800 words featuring animals as part of our Bedtime Story Competition. The standard of entries we received from all over the country showed us just how much children love to express themselves and share stories through reading and writing, so we thought we would share the shortlisted entries
Once upon a time there was a little boy Edward who only liked the company of animals. He loved all animals, but especially timid ones like flies, geese, mice and worms. When he wasn't outside with the animals he was finding out facts about them on the computer.
He told his sister 'did you know flies have no teeth?'
'Shush,' said his sister. 'I'm on the Internet. I'm tweeting.'
What Edward didn't realise is the birds were looking through the window and saw the whole thing. The next day, they all reported back to the other woodland animals.
'But what is a Tweet?' asked the squirrel.
'It's a message. You write a short message and upload it to the web'
'The web,' said the spiders, interested.
'Yes,' said the magpie. 'You just write sentences about what you're doing. You have to keep it short though.'
So the next day, they wait! ed until the family were in bed, scrambled in through the window and tried it.
'We're going nuts for the acorns in this wood,' wrote the squirrel.
'Sun's out - fantastic flying weather,' wrote the cuckoo.
'Ow sore beaks. Tough bark today,' wrote the woodpeckers.
Overall the tweets were a success. The next day the animals were keen to try again.
'I wonder if we could tell people about things that are coming up?' Said the badger. So they did.
The foxes tweeted. 'Are you a goose? Are you cold? We have a very warm oven, you'd be welcome to climb in.'
The owls tweeted: 'Are you a mouse? Do you want to fly? If so meet by the oak tree tonight.'
The birds tweeted 'If you are long and pink and wriggly and your home underground is too damp and cold, come out and we can scoop you into our beaks to fly around and find new ones."
The animals' fun came to an end when the small boy in the house, Edward, logged on and discovered the messages. The boy thought 'oh no! The poor animals. This has to stop!' He resolved to stop it. The next day, he went with the worms to their holes and filled it full of water.
"What are you doing? " asked the worms, dismayed.
"Don't worry, follow me and you'll be safe," replied Edward.
After he'd dealt with the worms Edward ran to the house . When he got to his room, Edward pulled away his curtain to reveal a mouse hole.
"Max, Amy, Carl come out quick, the Owls will be here any minute now and their going to eat you all up!" the mice all scurried into his open draw and fell straight to sleep.
Last, Edward ran to the fox holes and unplugged the ovens. When the foxes stuffed the geese in their oven and nothing happened, the geese thought it was very funny and the foxes cheeks turned bright pink with embarrassment ! When Edward's mummy found three owls searching for mice in his room she was not impressed. The birds had terrible colds when they stuck their beaks in the worm holes, expecting nice, juicy worms but actually reviving horrid wet beaks.
The next day, all the wet , bedraggled or embarrassed animals gathered round the boys house.
"We are sorry for trying to eat your friends ," they chorused
"Well, I hope you learned your lesson" Edward said.
"We have !" they yelled. "Can we be your friends now?" asked the sorry animals.
"Of course you can," agreed Edward and as they ran off to play with each other they were the happiest on Earth.
What they didn't notice , was the spiders sneak into the house and tweet on the web 'party at our web , all flies invited!'