These pictures tell fascinating stories

KidsPost readers let four famous paintings inspire them

Correction: An earlier version of the paragraph at the bottom of this story incorrectly indicated that painter Vincent Van Gogh was French. He was Dutch, or born in the country called Holland or the Netherlands. This story has been updated to reflect the change.

August 7

Back in June, we wrote about children’s author Ted Macaluso, whose stories are spun around famous paintings. We asked KidsPost readers to make up their own stories, using some of the paintings shown below.

We were really impressed — but not surprised — at how creative you were. You had some awesome descriptions: a lake that was “deep and misty blue,” children “bouncing on the soft sand” and a sea that glittered “like stars in the moonlight.” There was a lot of action, too. In one story, a crab pinched a dog! In another, two girls were put in jail for keeping a pet that wasn’t theirs. (Don’t worry. They were set free and even got to keep the dog.)

Some storytellers cleverly worked the artists’ names into their tales. Well done, everyone! We selected three of your stories to share.

– Marylou Tousignant


Katelyn Chen, 8, of Great Falls (Family photo)

Eduard Manet's "Tama, the Japanese Dog" 1875. (National Gallery of Art)

Emily was in Venice with her cousins. She was sure she wouldn’t have fun because her mom would drag her to tons of museums. As they hurried through an alley garage, Emily spotted a stray Japanese dog. The Biglin brothers, who owned the garage, told her not to touch it, but Emily wanted to so much! Her mom called, “Emily!” so she reluctantly left.

The next day at the beach they were playing when the ball rolled in the canal.

“Oh, no!” she cried. The Biglin brothers, who were racing in boats, stopped and dove in.

“We’ll get it for you,” they said. But the dog swam out of nowhere and grabbed it! It swam to shore and dropped it. “Hooray!” the cousins cried. They had a blast playing with it and named it Tama. Emily’s parents agreed to adopt it! Turns out Emily’s trip was great!

Katelyn Chen, 8, Great Falls


Anuj Khemka, 9, of Arlington (Family photo)

Thomas Eakins's “The Biglin Brothers Racing" 1872. (National Gallery of Art)

My five daughters and my wife, Hannah, wished me good luck as I hurried out of the car with my paddle in hand. I ran quickly toward the ocean, where I saw my canoeing partner, Gerard, waiting for me. I scuttled down the hill and we got in our canoe. The announcer yelled to start, and the race began!

For the whole race, Gerard and I raced ahead of eight canoes, but one canoe stayed ahead of us. With 20 meters left, I accepted defeat.

Just then I saw my girls Sarah and Lucy building sandcastles. I saw the rest of the children playing ball. I saw Hannah cheering me on. They all would want me to win. Using all my effort, I gave the oar one last push. We zoomed ahead of the leading canoe and crossed the finish line.

Anuj Khemka, 9, Arlington


Kathleen Wallace, 12, of Bowie. (Family photo)

Mary Cassatt "Children Playing on the Beach," 1884. (National Gallery of Art)

The man sat on the beach, watching a family race sailboats on the ocean. The man flashed back to many years before — a hot summer’s day, two canoes, he and his brother racing, his family watching from the shore. His two sisters couldn’t have been much older than the girls playing in the sand beside him now.

Suddenly a dog’s bark brought the man back to reality, though not for long. Now he recalled kneeling in front of a Japanese dog named Tama, having just been told that the dog was his. Then, the boy had thought that he could never be happier than he was at that moment.

Opening his eyes, the man realized this was not true. He gazed down at his daughters, 2 and 4, happily playing together with sand buckets. With great conviction, the man knew that now he was the happiest man in the world!

Kathleen Wallace, 13, Bowie

Contest inspiration

Ted Macaluso’s book “Vincent, Theo and the Fox” was the inspiration for KidsPost’s Art Story Contest. Macaluso came up with the story as a way to explain the works of Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh to his son, Mark, who was 5 at the time.

To read more about the story behind Macaluso’s book, check out KidsPost’s article at wapo.st/1pee0Ug.

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