Monday, September 21, 2015
Miss Priss: On and Off the Court by Judy Phillips and Brenda Nichols
MISS PRISS: ON AND OFF THE COURT is book one in the new tween chapter series by Mom’s Choice Award winning writer-illustrator Team, ‘Brenjudy’. On and Off the Court introduces Priscilla Penelope Paxton (Miss Priss), a ten year old whose interests and curiosity land her in, sometimes, sticky situations. A unique coming-of-age story bound to bring giggles and enjoyment to all its readers as Miss Priss encounters and overcomes a slew of challenges, even the one that will continue to grow—self-awareness. The book features full color illustrations.
Title: Miss Priss: On and Off the Court
Author: Judy Phillips
Illustrator: Brenda Nichols
Publication Date: August 20, 2015
Publisher: Tadpole Press ...4 Kids (a division of Smooth Sailing Press)
Recommended Ages: 8 to 12
Priscilla Penelope Paxton is a witty ten year old whose inter-ests and curiosity land her in, sometimes, sticky situations. Dance classes, Girl Scouts, school assignments, friends and hanging out at her family's drug store, and the local Piggly Wiggly would leave any other person with no time for any-thing else. Yet, the thrill of basketball and joining the Little Dribblers finds its way into Miss Priss' heart. Though this interest will prove to be a dream that requires overcoming the greatest of challenges; Mom’s opposition. A task that will require ingenuity, perseverance and a little help from some loved ones.
I go into the restroom locking the door behind me. I take care of business, if you know what I mean, and wash my hands really good since I’m working in the store and the sign reads: Employees Must Wash Hands Before Returning to Work. As I’m opening the door to return to work, the doorknob falls right off. I swiftly catch it in my hand before it hits the floor. Not knowing what to do, I panic. The restroom happens to be at the very rear of the back room, and even if I bang on the door, I don’t think anyone can hear me. Yelling is not an option, either. The air conditioning unit sits right beside the restroom and makes all sorts of racket the entire day. The worst part is the old, musty, moldy smells of that room. I begin to sneeze with all the smells crushing all around me, and then I begin to cry.
I hear the school counselor’s lesson in my head in the midst of my crisis, and it plays over and over again. You can handle this. You are okay. You can handle this. You are okay. You can handle this. You are okay. I take a look at my watch–fifteen minutes have passed. Surely, someone will notice I’m not cleaning those toy shelves anymore and come looking for me. I sit down on the yucky floor that looks like it hasn’t been cleaned in years, and decide to just wait. Eventually, someone will need to use the restroom and will rescue me.
Boredom sets in, so I decide it's time for some entertainment; for my opening act: The Paper Spinner. I start by putting the first few squares from the roll of toilet paper into the toilet and flush. That toilet paper spins fast on the roller. I flush again, 'and the crowd goes wild.' Bursting into laughter, I bow for my imaginary audience. Watching that toilet paper spinning while flushing takes my mind off the trouble I’ve gotten myself into and I start feeling better about the situation, but when the water in the toilet bowl begins to rise, things don’t look so funny anymore. Oh, no! It’s going to overflow! What to do? What to do? What to do?
I watch as the water flows over the top and down onto the floor. Then I notice a knob near the bottom of the toilet and give it a try. I turn it as fast as I can and slowly the water stops flowing. My heart is racing so fast I think I’ll faint.
I hear something. Footsteps. Hooray! I’ll be saved from this stinky, and now, wet place.
I begin to yell, “I’m in here. Help me! Open the door.”
No answer. No more footsteps.
“HELP! Get me out of here!”
Finally, I hear footsteps again. It has been thirty minutes since I got trapped.
Someone tries to open the door. “Help me! I’m stuck in the restroom.”
“Priss?” I hear Miss La’Merle say. “Are you okay in there? We’ve been searching all over for you.”
I am so happy to finally hear someone’s voice. “The doorknob in here broke off, and I can’t get out. And, something is wrong with the toilet,” I add with a bit of broken hesitation. Though, I conveniently leave out the part about my participation in the problem with the toilet. No need to share all the details.
“Just hold on, Priss, I’ll go get your dad.”
Footsteps walk away from the door. I begin to panic, again.
Footsteps finally return. I calm down. I’m hoping to get out of here fast, as I begin sneezing again.
“Miss Priss, what happened?” Dad asks from the other side of the door.
Oh brother, I have to explain all over again what happened as Dad begins to jiggle the outside doorknob. He then asks Miss La’Merle to bring him a screwdriver.
“Dad, I’m sorry I broke the doorknob; I wasn’t trying to do that.”
“It’s not your fault, Miss Priss. These things just happen. We’ve needed to replace this old doorknob set for twenty years, anyway.”
Jeez, Dad! Thanks... Leave it to me to get stuck in here. Somehow, I don't feel so bad about the toilet, now.
Sometimes, my dad can be so calm and cool about things.
(We chose this excerpt because it was so much fun to have Miss Priss trapped in a stinky bathroom. Both Brenda and Judy had experiences locking themselves in a bathroom as a child, and recall the feeling of panic. This excerpt reveals Miss Priss’ exuberant imagination as she attempts to distract herself from the reality of what has happened.)
Judy Phillips is an educator with over twenty years of experience and is currently a counselor at Samuel Houston Elemen-tary School in Huntsville, Texas. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas and a Master of Education degree in Coun-seling from Sam Houston State University. Phillips volunteers locally with university students through local ministries and mentor programs.
Brenda Nichols was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and is an educator at university level, with over twenty years of experience. She is currently the Head Women's Basketball Coach and Professor of Kinesiology at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. Nichols holds an Associate of Arts degree from Western Texas College in Snyder, Texas, a Bachelor's degree from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, and a Master's degree from The University of West Florida in Pensacola, Florida. Nichols volunteers locally by mentoring students and through motivational speaking engagements at schools and various civic organizations.
Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 PayPal cash prize, winner's choice Giveaway ends: September 28, 11:59 pm, 2015
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