Discover Acclaimed Author M. M. Allen's Wishapick: Tickety Boo and the Black Trunk!Excerpt
The Possum Family
What a heavy load riding on my back
There are nine of them just imagine that*“I’m Dr. Tumalum’s dental assistant, Miss Bailey,” said the beautiful skunk. She pointed to the wolf asleep in the chair. “This is Winston. He’s here to get another tooth pulled.” “I’m Lilly. I’m here to find my brother Jack. He opened the trunk in our hallway, and now he’s disappeared. I don’t know where I am or where he is. Can you help me?” Miss Bailey gasped and stepped back. “You’re Jack’s sister? We didn’t know he had a sister. No one expected you.” Tears welled up in Lilly’s eyes. “I got into the trunk to find Jack.” “I didn’t mean to imply that you’re not welcome,” Miss Bailey replied.
“You are. It’s just that we’re in a desperate situation, which we hope—” “Hello. We’re here!” Something bubbly rushed into the office. Lilly who was partially hidden behind the front door, saw tiny possums bouncing and jabbering, a total of eight, hanging onto the back of a bigger possum. “Mrs. Tumalum,” said Miss Bailey, “I want to introduce you to Jack’s—” “Wait just a moment,” said Mrs. Tumalum. She looked at the salts in Miss Bailey’s paw. “Smelling salts—ghastly.” She shook herself, which caused a ripple effect, and the tiny possums jostled about. “Where’s the girl?” Mrs. Tumalum sniffed the air. The little possums pointed at Lilly as they wiggled about, trying their best to get a good look at her. Miss Bailey said, “She’s right behind—” “Pardon me, Miss Bailey,” Mrs. Tumalum interrupted. “Children, you’re old enough now to drop off—soon, I hope! Twelve days on my back—that’s enough,” she muttered under her breath. She sighed. “Children, quiet down and quit squirming about. Everyone will get a chance to see the girl. Miss Bailey, where is she?” “I’m over here,” Lilly whispered into the room. The possum children stopped chattering. Unexpectedly one of the little possums dropped off and fell flat on the floor. “George, my firstborn, you’ve done it!” Mrs. Tumalum smiled. “Look how handsome you are, and such a fine young adult!” She nodded at Miss Bailey and looked over at Lilly. “There you are.” Lilly’s eyes had followed George as he plummeted to the floor. She thought he looked just like a dust mop. The firstborn possum made a face at Lilly and grinned at his mother. The other possum children laughed, then hollered and pointed at him and then at Lilly. George rolled about on the floor and stood up for the first time. He hopped up and down to get a better view, and in doing so, he accidentally hit Miss Bailey’s arm with his tiny nose, and the vial of smelling salts in her paw fell to the floor. It burst into small pieces as it hit. The pungent smell that enveloped the office made the possum children yelp and cry out. They all played as if they were sick from the odor. Some held their noses, several stuck out their tongues, and the others held on to their stomachs and moaned. “Ghastly,” cried Mrs. Tumalum. She raced to throw the door wide open and raise the window sash. Lilly pinched her nose. The seven possum children squirmed about on their mother and wrestled among themselves. Lilly shook her head and gulped in the fresh air from the window. She sneezed loudly. The room went quiet. George climbed onto Lilly’s arm, and Lilly giggled. “I’m George,” he said. Lilly squeaked, “Hi!” The young possums broke into peals of laughter and swayed back and forth on their mother’s back. Mrs. Tumalum, now being pulled in seven different directions, shook her whole body like a drenched dog trying to dry off. The silliness of the children hanging tightly to their mother’s back, while being shaken made Lilly laugh. “I’m Lilly,” she said with a broad smile. “Lilly—what a pretty name,” said two blushing possums together. “Will you be our friend?” Then, in a mishmash of young voices, all the little possums cried, “Lilly!” They tugged and pulled at each other and urged their mother to get closer to her. Lilly noticed the grimace on Mrs. Tumalum’s furry face. The antics of her children made their mother stretch her paw around and rub her lower back. Miss Bailey encouraged the burdened mother to sit down on the dentist’s stool. Mrs. Tumalum sat down as Miss Bailey cleaned up the mess from the smelling salts. There was another cacophony of noise as the children proclaimed how utterly unfair it was that George got to hang on to Lilly. George stuck his tongue out at his siblings. Lilly laughed at his funny face, which caused the seven little ones to reach out to swat at George. He jumped from Lilly’s arm to the floor. Then he dodged and moved around the stool expertly and, with glee, evaded all their tiny paws. Mrs. Tumalum arched her back and spoke sharply. “George, stop your silliness!” Miss Bailey fondly reached for a couple of the possums’ outstretched paws then gently stroked several of the children’s tiny backs. This slowly put a stop to the frenzied actions of the possum children. Mrs. Tumalum’s face changed as her scrunched, wrinkled brow softened. Lilly asked, “What are your names?” “Oh, splendid!” cried several of the possums. And in a jumble, the tiny possums called out their names in a scrambled chorus that no one could understand. “Please,” said Miss Bailey, “settle down. Your father will return soon. He and I have a tooth to pull.” Mrs. Tumalum stretched out her legs and stood up. “Children, in order, please hang straight, and call out your names. Be quick about it as we must not be late in getting back home for your kip.” Lilly interrupted. “What’s a kip?” “A kip...you don’t know a kip?” And the possums all started to answer at once. “Enough! Quiet, children! Lilly, where you come from, a kip is a nap. Now children, hang straight—tell Lilly your names. Be clear. George, you begin.” George, now hanging upside down on Lilly’s arm, righted himself. Sitting perfectly straight like a good soldier, he blurted out his name. “I’m George.” Then the others called out, one after the other: “I’m Shiloh” (with a sweet, melodious voice); “I’m Blossom” (smiling through her creamy complexion); “I’m Free” (making a grand gesture with her hands as if she could fly); “I’m Cowboy” (his arms dangled, as he hung on to his mother with his tiny toes); “I’m Harrison” (in a highpitched voice); “I’m Apple” (with a redfaced giggle); and, with a stately bow that almost cast her to the floor, “I’m Bree.” Mrs. Tumalum looked around and called out, “Where’s Sarie?” Almost like magic, a wee head popped out of the folds of Mrs. Tumalum’s fur. She hung herself perfectly straight on her mother’s tummy and sweetly called out, “I’m Sarie.” Then, as though they had practiced forever, they cried out in perfect unison, “We’re the possum famalee.” “Nine!” Lilly laughed in delight and grabbed George and hugged him. He turned red in the face. The possums squealed with excitement as Lilly patted each of their tiny heads. Lilly looked at Mrs. Tumalum and pointed to the huge wolf asleep in the dental chair and said, “This is Winston.” Again laughter broke out among the possums. “Yes, everyone in Wishapick is familiar with Winston and his bravery. We depend upon his leadership. But we can certainly do without his teasing,” said Mrs. Tumalum. “Now children, hang tight and don’t fight, as we need to dash off.” She edged herself closer to the open door. “Lilly, follow closely,” said Mrs. Tumalum. “We don’t have far to go. George, bring up the rear to make certain Lilly doesn’t make a wrong turn.” Excerpt from Chapter 8 MM Allen
Soundtrack Clip*Lyrics – Deborah Wynne
If you cannot see the audio controls, your browser or device does not support the audio element. You can Listen to the Possum Family clip from the Wishapick Soundtrack here.
About Wishapick: Tickety Boo and the Black Trunk
Darkness. Utter blackness. Was this why his mother had refused to let Jack unlock his father’s old trunk? It had been two years since his dad had died, and all Jack could think about was examining whatever treasures were stored inside the beloved trunk. But when he finally lifted the lid, he didn’t just fall in—he fell through it into a pit of rattlesnakes! Trying to recall his mother’s stories about “the Breath of All Good Things”—anything to shed light on his current situation—Jack wishes he’d paid better attention rather than mock the tales as childish myths...and that he’d waited to enter the trunk with his sister, Lilly, so they could at least face this together. Like L. Frank Baum’s Oz and C. S. Lewis’s Narnia, M. M. Allen brings to life the fantastical world of Wishapick—a land of courageous animals ruled by a cruel rattlesnake king who has condemned the villagers to live without light. Chosen as the reluctant hero to save the villagers, Jack must face terrifying creatures and overwhelming odds if he wants to help his new friends—and return home himself.
"... a breathy and fantastical storytelling style, imaginations will flourish and the tale will be enjoyed by kids ages 812 who enjoy the genre of fantasy.”—The Children's Book Review
Wishapick: Tickety Boo and the Black Trunk is available on Amazon.
Fun StuffWishapick Soundtrack Be sure to check out the companion music CD, Wishapick, for purchase or download from DeborahWynne.com
Book Club Questions Get to the heart of Wishapick by downloading this set of book club questions: Wishapick by M. M. Allen: Book Club Questions
About M. M. AllenM. M. Allen, author of the acclaimed children’s picture book Let’s Play Ball, is the mother of two adult children and aunt to twentythree nieces and nephews, including ten greatnieces and greatnephews. MM is a former teacher and university lecturer. She has also worked extensively in marketing and communications with varied businesses and nonprofits. MM lives in a picturesque northern California town where she enjoys writing, tending to her rose garden, and caring for her West Highland terrier, Pip. www.Wishapick.com | Facebook
About Deborah WynneComposer and lyricist Deborah Wynne created a companion CD of songs to accompany Wishapick: Tickety Boo and the Black Trunk. Wynne’s primary talents lie in choral singing, stage musicals, and composing. Her musical projects include the 2013 album Strands of Gold and 2007 musical Moment of Truth. She is an active singer and composer in Santa Barbara, California, where she lives with her husband and their two shelties, Sparkle and Gracie. DeborahWynne.com
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Wishapick Tour Dates
Thursday November 5 2015 The Children's Book Review Tour KickOff & Giveaway
Friday November 6 2015 The Review Wire Book Excerpt & Soundtrack Clip
Monday November 23 2015 On Starships & Dragonwings Book Excerpt & Soundtrack Clip
Tuesday November 24 2015 Valerie's Reviews Book Excerpt & Soundtrack Clip
Tuesday November 27 2015 Batch of Books Author Interview with M. M. Allen
Saturday December 5 2015 The Fairview Review Wishapick Book Review
Thursday December 10 2015 Inspired by Savannah Wishapick Book Review
Tuesday December 15 2015 Just Another Mom Wishapick Book Review
Wednesday December 23 2015 Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers Author Interview with M. M. Allen
Sunday December 27 2015 Little Miss History Author Interview with M. M. Allen