Today is Family Literacy Day, a national initiative held annually on January 27 to raise awareness of the importance of reading and engaging in other literacy-related activities as a family.
To mark this important occasion, we’re publishing a story–unedited–that was written by a seven-year-old Ottawa youngster named David Johnson. David’s imaginative and detailed yarn highlights the benefits of taking the time, every day, to read, write and do literacy-related activities with your family. His communication skills are excellent. Enjoy!
The Adventure of the Congo
Text and Illustrations by David Johnson
Chapter One Entering the Past
It was a sunny day to ride a boat when two people named Brianne and Dave were paddling in search of a dinosaur which was sighted two weeks ago, so they decided to go looking for it. Suddenly, Dave noticed that the water ahead of them was moving fast. They were hitting the rapids!!! Just then, the entire boat splashed underneath the water and kept on going. They then noticed they were not in the lake anymore. They were now traveling in a tunnel. They kept on going until they popped out of a hole in the cave. They fell right into the water and started swimming out of the cave and into the rain forest. To their surprise, there was supposed to be a road right where they were swimming. They climbed on to the land where giant ferns lay on the forest floor.
Chapter Two The First Dinosaur
They started walking into the rain forest. Brianne found a dinosaur footprint and soon they went silent. The bushes started moving. Dave quickly opened them and saw…….
a Triceratops! Brianne saw it was lost so she put him in her backpack. They kept walking hoping to find a clear space to build a boat to find a way back to their time using the water hole.
Chapter Three The Crocs
They started walking towards the lake with their new friend. Dave said, “According to my book, a type of crocodile named Deinosuchus was very common around that area.” When they got to the lake the ground began to shake (not a poem) because he was right!!!! Giant crocodiles started popping out of the lake everywhere. Soon they were surrounded by bus-sized crocodiles. They tried to hit them with sticks and rocks but they just bit them. Suddenly, when Brianne kicked a stick the giant crocodile turned around to protect the other crocodiles. Dave and Brianne jumped on to the tail and started running as fast as they could. The monster crocs kept catching up but they kept on running anyway. Brianne’s hand was almost bitten off and Dave’s leg almost got ripped off. Meanwhile, the Triceratops stayed in the bag safe. They kept running until they lost them. Just to be sure, they jumped over a cliff and tore off the edges.
Chapter Four Night of Flight
By the time they had got back to the caves, it was getting dark. They started making a tent with ferns, wood, rocks and mud. They got out their little Triceratops and all slept closely together just to protect each other but especially the baby. Everyone was sleeping by midnight when, all of a sudden, everything started shaking. Just then, Dave and Brianne woke up. A giant head had popped into the cave opening and tried to collapse their tent. It’s wings were struggling to get inside. All of it’s body was visible, but it was stuck. The cave was going to collapse when Brianne and Dave found a way out. All they needed to do was jump into the river which could spring them out of a waterfall. When they got out and splashed into the river they thought that they were safe but that changed. A giant flying reptile started coming towards them at an alarming speed. Brianne was trying to get away but Dave held her hand so she was not going anywhere. The reptile got so close, it was only five metres away from them. Just then, they jumped right out of the way and the flying reptile got stuck. They ran as fast as they could but then the bad part came. The creature got out!!!!!!! It kept on going chasing them until it got tired and flew away. Brianne and Dave felt tired too but since their camp had collapsed, they slept in the middle of nowhere.
Chapter Five Mama Triceratops
The next day, they went out to explore. The baby Triceratops was getting worried but Dave and Brianne were trying to cheer him up. They found a field where they had a picnic. Dave said to Brianne, “I have the feeling that we will find our little guy’s mom very soon.” Brianne agreed. Just then, Dave heard footsteps. He looked in the distance and he saw many Triceratops. A hundred or more were wandering around the field everywhere. Dave and Brianne had a good feeling that the baby’s mom was in there. Just then, the Triceratops started heading towards Dave, Brianne and the baby!! They saw a rock high and big enough for all of them to fit. When they got on the rock, the Triceratops came and they waited to see if the baby recognized his mother. They waited and waited and waited and then finally he recognized one of them and jumped in!!!!! Brianne and Dave said goodbye and kept on going.
Chapter Six Afternoon of the T-Rex
While they were walking Dave was picking up signals from beneath their feet and it said there were caves. Suddenly, the ground started rumbling and boom!!!!!!! the ground exploded. At first, Brianne and Dave thought it was just volcanic movement, but as it cleared, they could see a giant dinosaur head rise up. The most terrifying part happened. The dinosaur started chasing them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Just then, a friend named Cameron came and said, “The police sent me here to see what was happening.” Then, he shot out a bomb and the dinosaur exploded. Another dinosaur came, then two more started chasing Dave, Brianne and Cameron with all their strength. Cameron shot another bomb but only one died. The ground started cracking and they had to run away. Cameron shot out three bombs at the same time. There was a loud explosion so big they all fell but grabbed on to a rock and started climbing. When they reached the top, they looked down at the ground that had cracked and kept on hiking towards the forest just in case another T-REX attacked.
Chapter Seven Forest of Edmontosaurus
As they neared the forest, Brianne was finding footprints of the Edmontosaurus. When they got to the forest, it was getting to be late. All of a sudden, shadows appeared. They all looked up and saw an Edmontosaurus. Just then, more and more Edmontosauruses popped out. The entire forest was filled with Edmontosaures. Brianne, Dave and Cameron took many photos while the Edmontosaures slowly walked by. Brianne, Dave and Cameron were happy to have seen such beautiful creatures.
Chapter Eight Day of the Brachiosaurus
They found a hill where they could sleep for the night. The next day they went to the other side of the mountain where there were lots of green and fresh ferns and a young forest with a little stream. Just then, a loud thump could be heard from the bushes. A gigantic head rose into the air and you could see a Brachiosaurus. Soon, a bunch of heads rose up and started walking towards them and surrounded them. They seemed to be migrating but it was the middle of summer. Cameron, Dave and Brianne saw the Brachiosauruses were all hungry and probably looking for new feeding grounds. The dinos kept on going until Brianne, Dave and Cameron were out of the forest. They watched the last remaining members of the herd until they were out-of-sight. They started getting to work.
Chapter Nine Revenge of the Raptors
They started pulling out plants so they could make room for the boat. Just then, Cameron said he saw something move. Dave said it might be a lizard and kept on working. Then Brianne and Dave saw something move at the same time. A couple hours later, Dave went to go find something to eat. When he was gone, he heard strange noises. While he was picking berries, he saw something move again. He turned around and saw…..velociraptors!!! They were heading towards him. With no time to lose, he sprang up into the air and ran as fast as he could right out of the forest. Just as he was getting to camp, he tripped. The raptor was too close to him to stop so it tripped right over him and fell on a rock. Just then, Dave got up and a raptor jumped towards him. Without looking, Dave punched him with a stick and the raptor fell down. Dave warned Brianne and Cameron and they all ran away. When the raptors were out of sight Dave, Brianne and Cameron covered themselves with mud and the berries they had picked. They ran to a stream and hid inside a broken tree. The raptors came but did not find them. When they were gone, Brianne, Dave and Cameron all went back to camp. They were safe once more.
Chapter Ten Mosasaurus Lagoon
The next day, they went out to explore and they were starting to make a map so they knew where their camp was. As they walked, through the forest, Brianne and Dave took photos and Cameron practiced his tricks from StarWars. Then they got to a lagoon and Dave decided to go swimming and teach Brianne how to swim. Dave put on his swimsuit and Brianne put on her swim clothes and started swimming. Little did they know that creatures lurked in the lagoon that ate giant sharks. A giant back of a creature rose up and plopped back down. Brianne said, “I cannot swim!” Dave only had one choice. Hold Brianne all the way back to shore. He put Brianne on his shoulders and swam as fast as he could. The mosasaurus was right behind so one stop would mean Dave and Brianne were mosasaurus lunch. He told Brianne, “I started swimming lessons when I was two years old. I am twelve right now.” Just then, Brianne fell, but when Dave was about to get her she grabbed on to his waist. Suddenly, they got to shore and clambered on to the rocks. When they got to the sand, the monster exploded into the air and almost caught them but he didn’t.
Chapter Eleven Plesiosaur Beach
They hiked out of the lagoon and discovered that the lagoon was connected to a beach. Since they were attached, Dave didn’t go swimming because of the mosasaurus. It was getting hot so they put on sunscreen because Cameron had a huge sunburn. Luckily, it didn’t affect him that much. Suddenly, a gigantic neck rose from the water. It went back down and on to the shore. Dave thought it be nice to touch it so then it wouldn’t hurt them. Kind of like a dog but Cameron accidentally got out his gun instead of camera. He shot it right beside the creature and the plesiosaur burst out of the water aiming at Cameron. Cameron moved out of the way just on time. The creature tried a second time but missed again. Then Cameron jumped in the water and started swimming towards the caves. The monster chased him but a vine was attached to his tail. It poked it’s head into the cave and Cameron was trapped. Meanwhile, Dave was controlling the vine while Brianne climbed on to the creature. Then, she got out an ice cube from the first-aid kit. She pressed it on the skin and poked the plesiosaur with a needle. There was a loud roar sound and the creature exploded out of the cave. A few rocks fell but Cameron managed to jump out. Carefully, he swam all the way to shore.
Chapter Twelve Return to the Future
Dave and Brianne asked Cameron, “What was it like face to face with a plesiosaur?” Cameron said, “It was amazing, but they had stinky breath.” They kept on going into the rainforest when Dave got really excited, “I know how get back to our time,” he yelled. Cameron and Brianne just stared at him. Dave explained, “First, we need to find the jaw of a T-Rex in the fields. Then, we need to make controls. Last, we train the raptors so they can control our sleigh and we can go back to our time.” Brianne thought that was a good idea but Cameron wanted to ride a spaceship from Star Wars but when he remembered there were none of those from that time, he said it was the best idea possible to do. Everyone got to work. Brianne trained the raptors and Dave designed the sleigh while Cameron made the sleigh. Finally, they were ready for lift-off. Dave got out flames and put them behind the sleigh. They got on board and Cameron pulled the rope. Then, they were off! Dave was in charge of the raptors and Cameron told Dave which control to press. Suddenly, they splashed into the lake and into the caves. They got into the water hole and boom! They were traveling through space and time. Soon, they exploded out of a waterfall connected to the caves that were starting to rust. They got on to land and kept on going. Then Dave started controlling and they slowed down until the sleigh stopped. They got out and ran in the jungle. Soon, they found some cabins and the people who worked there brought them in and Dave, Brianne and Cameron told their story. At first, they didn’t think Dave, Brianne and Cameron were telling the truth but in the next few days raptor sightings were common around the area. Three years later, they opened up a dinsosaur zoo and the park was named The National Dinosaur Park.