Duplication; Disclaimer

Online Journal of
"The Looneys Love Regional Literature" (1998)

project based at the Joseph Lee Elementary School in Boston, Massachusetts





Visit the itinerary and titles for read alouds to Looney Larry, Looney Lester, and Looney Lisa."


February 16 - 20, 1998 - - Ironton, MO

Arcadia Valley Middle School
- Ironton, MO
5th graders of Ruth Petsel

Missouri titles suggested for read alouds.


Tuesday, February 10, 1998


After school today a box showed up in my room and when I saw that it was from Hawaii I was surprised! I didn't expect Larry to arrive so fast. Since all the students had left, Larry came home with me for the night. The weather wasn't very good. It was rainy and windy and chilly.

On the way home, Larry told me that he much preferred the weather in Hawaii. I had to admit that I agreed with him. When we got to my house, I introduced him to my husband who is also a Looney Lee! He also met my three cats. They thought Larry looked a lot like dinner!

Larry and I had a relaxing evening. We had a nice dinner, watched a little TV and then got into the hot tub. Larry and I compared stories about our recent surgeries (I could still see Larry's stitches). I gave him a nice basket to sleep in for the night.

We got to school the next morning and met all my class. We were very excited and glad that he had come to visit. Larry went off to social studies with Logan. He then met our DARE officer and learned about staying away from drugs. He wanted his picture taken with Officer Tony and Darren the Dare bear and Tiny, our class tiger.

After that he came to reading and we read the white washing the fence chapter from "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" by Mark Twain. Several of us shared stories about trips to Hannibal, Missouri where Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) lived as a boy. ["The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" ] Then we read a little bit of Eleanora Tate's book called "Front Porch Stories". Ms Tate was born in northern Missouri and our book is autographed by her. She met one of our teachers last week.

Right before lunch another package arrived and it was Looney Lee Ladybug! What a surprise. We had quite a commotion in the hall when Lee and Larry got together. They almost got in trouble because they were so excited.

The journals of all the children who have been lucky enough to escort Larry around are finishing up their journals and they will be along shortly. We are taking good care of your friends.


Tuesday, 17 February 1998 12:04:57 +0000


I don't think there was a serious injury but Larry did have some stitches in his stomach. I gave him a Tylenol and he feels better. I think he can carry on. My class is in the computer lab right now writing letters to you about all of the adventures we have been having. Larry and Lee have traveled a lot of miles around this area. I'll try to get more out to you at lunch.

Mrs. Petsel in Missouri





Tuesday, 17 February 1998 15:14:30 +0000


Subject: Missouri Adventures

Dear Ms. Duby's class,

Here are some letters from the students in my class. We've been having a great time with Larry and Lee!


Wednesday, February 11, 1998

First Larry and I went to social studies and learned about slaves and the Civil War. In science we learned about drugs in DARE. In music we sang and watched a movie. Then at lunch it was somebody else's turn to take him.

Logan C.


Wednesday, February 11, 1998

Wednesday I carried around Looney Lee Ladybug. We played on the computers and typed. We even made graphs in math and had a good lunch and all the way up the elementary lunchroom we froze.

Randi J.


Thursday morning, February 12

Hi. My name is Brittney. I got to take Larry Lobster home with me last night. We got to my house at 3:20. We had to have supper at 3:45 because I had gymnastics. Larry suggested that we have fish and french fries for supper. We were sitting at the table waiting for my mom to cook supper. Larry said he was bored. I said I was too. We decided to play Nintendo 64. I don't know why he didn't want a sea creature, but he picked a mouse. After we played Nintendo for a while, we went to eat supper. Supper was OK. Larry loved the fish.

Then Larry met the parakeet while I got ready for gymnastics. My mom took me and Larry to gymnastics. On the way there Larry kept looking out the window. He loved the old houses we passed. When we got to gymnastics, I introduced Larry to everyone. They thought it was cool to see a lobster that traveled around the U.S. Larry sat on a blue post while we worked on our routine. He thought it was cool when I did my back flip with no hands! Larry wanted a snack when we went to the lobby. I told him I wanted one too but I didn't have any change. Then we went home. It was dark out but Larry still looked out the window. One time a car went by and almost blinded him! I put some sunglasses on him. Then he was happy. When we got to Missionettes (church) we got ready for our Valentine's party. Larry fit right in with his red color. We had oreo cookies, red Kool-aid, Cheetos, potato chips and Reeses. Larry just loved the Cheetos. After that we went home. I introduced Larry to all the other animals. He made friends quickly. That night we took pictures of me and Larry. Larry slept with the cat I got from church camp and a dolphin. We woke up at 7:00 for school and Larry put on his raincoat. Then we left. He was excited to see Lee Ladybug. She went home with Cliff. Then we drew names to see who would take Larry around and Kevin got to. I told Larry goodbye and gave him to Kevin.

Brittney C.


Thursday morning

I took Lee home Wednesday night. She and I sat down and she asked me, "What can I do?" I told her we could do anything she would like to do. She has met my Mom and Dad. She also said she would like to see if I had any other animals. We are going to play Nintendo. Then we went to get my hair cut with my mom. She has not met my sister yet. I got in the shower and my mom was watching her for me and she told me what she did while she waited for me. She sat and talked with my other animals. I got out of the shower and we listened to some music. Then we watched a movie about animals. Then we watched the Simpsons. My sister came home and said she likes Lee. She said she wished that she could do something like this. She is falling down laughing at this. She is getting in trouble.

We did not want to get up this morning. We stayed up all night. We picked out my clothes and we are going to eat and watch TV before we leave for school.

Cliff D.


Hi! My name is Chanda. I'm taking care of Looney Lee Ladybug today in Social Studies. We are learning about the Civil War. We got a line from a poem and we have to draw a picture to go with our line. In science we worked on our stuff for our science fair projects. In reading and spelling we had a pretest. Looney Lee didn't do so well. She spelled export like this--xport. (We just finished reading "The Pinballs"!) After that Mrs. Petsel read to us. Looney Lee enjoyed that. At gym Lee and Larry got to watch us and a sixth grade class play kickball. They both liked this. My team lost by 1 point. It was18 to 17 but we didn't care. At lunch today Looney Lee got to eat fish sticks and grapes. She liked the grapes best. Lee and Larry got to meet a fifth grade girl named Amanda. She is in a wheelchair and she loved Larry and Lee. After she held Lee she turned her upside down and counted her legs. She enjoyed Larry, too, but I think Lee and Larry enjoyed it more. During part of study hall she took a nap. Larry and Lee are both with someone else now so bye-bye.

by Chanda


Friday, February 13, 1998

My name is Kate T. I got to take home Looney Lee last night. This is what we did. When I got home, Looney Lee helped me with my homework and then we got some snacks. Looney Lee had cookies and loved them. When we finished the homework we went bike riding. Looney Lee got to ride on the handlebars. Looney Lee was kind of scared but that didn't last long. Soon it was dinner time. Looney Lee and I ate in the living room. Looney Lee had a taco without lettuce. Lee hates lettuce. When we were through we played Sega.

Looney Lee liked the racing. Lee won second place out of 8. Looney Lee and I were having so much fun. Soon it was bedtime. I put Looney Lee gently inside a basket lined with silk. Looney loved it! In the morning Looney Lee had to go back to school. What a fun time with Looney Lee.

by Kate T.




Thursday, 19 February 1998 05:53:25 +0000


Subject: Continuing Missouri adventures

Dear Ms. Duby's class,

Larry and Lisa continue their adventures in the Show-me state. They are enjoying their reunion here. Here are some stories of what they have been doing.

Hi! My name is Deanna. I took Larry home on Thursday, February 12, 1998. While Larry was with me, we did a lot of fun things. We did our homework and then we got ready to go to pommie practice. Larry learned how to do our routine. It took a lot of practice, but we finally got it down pat. After we got back from practice, we ate at McDonalds and went to visit my grandparents. Larry and I spent the night with my grandparents, but Larry got scared and went to sleep with my grandma and grandpa.

Deanna O.



Hello. This is Mrs. Petsel again. Larry and Lisa went home with me for the long holiday weekend. We wanted to sleep late Saturday because we were so tired from our exciting week, but there was so much to do. We went to Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park on Saturday morning. Larry and Lee had their picture taken at the overlook by the Black River. The Shut-Ins are an unusual rock formation where the Black River runs through a narrow canyon-like formation. They thought it was pretty. Then they went rock climbing. It was dangerous and Larry's claws came in handy when Lisa slipped. They made it to the top of the cliff! Then we stopped and picked up some information about our local area and it is in the mail to you.

Next we were off to Elephant Rocks. The rocks are really as big as elephants. Larry and Lee again had some rock climbing to do and hiked on the trail around the rocks. I loaned them some hiking boots. There is an old rock quarry at this site and the granite that comes from this area is famous around the world.

Our next stop was the Fort Davidson Historic Site. An important Civil War battle was fought here. Every three years there is a reenactment and about 30,000 people come for it.

Our last stop for the day was the Taum Sauk State Park. Taum Sauk is the highest point in Missouri and when we climbed to the top of the fire tower, Larry and Lee thought they could almost see Boston! It was finally time to go home and rest after all that exercise.

On Sunday we went to St, Louis first. We had brunch at a Shoney's. Both Larry and Lee ate too much! They met one of my daughters. She attends Washington University which is right next to the St. Louis Zoo. We drove through but didn't have time to stay. We showed Larry and Lee the St. Louis Arch and Busch Stadium where the Cardinal baseball team plays. They weren't impressed since the Cardinals are not their favorite team. We still had to go to Cape Girardeau. On the way we stopped at Ste. Genevieve, the oldest settlement west of the Mississippi. At last we got to the city of Cape Girardeau. We again saw the Mississippi River and went to the Kent Library at Southeast Missouri State University. I wanted to show Larry and Lee a mural that was painted by a Missouri artist who also did paintings for a book I will tell you about a little later. We visited a large book store and read some neat books while we were there. Lots of kids were there and they got to meet Larry and Lee and hear about their story. We finally went home after a quick stop at a Steak'n' Shake for a hamburger and fries. We were glad to be able to rest!

Monday we just kind of hung around most of the day. We watched a little TV. The weather hasn't been too good here so we really couldn't do much outside. Monday night Larry accompanied me to a girls' basketball game. While I had gate duty Larry and Cliff (from my class) went into the gym and watched the game. They had a good time. Then it was time to go home and rest before it was back to school on Tuesday. We had a wonderful visit!

Mrs. Petsel



Friday, 20 February 1998 06:19:56 +0000


Subject: More Missouri adventures

Dear Ms. Duby's class,

As our week comes to a close, we are sorry that our new friends will be leaving us. We have really enjoyed their visit. Larry and I found a few more books we wanted to share with you. Some of the ones on the regional literature list are out of print and may have been hard to find. Here a some others you might enjoy.

"Pioneer Girl: The Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder" by William Anderson and illustrated by Dan Andreason, published by Harper Collins, 1998. This is a brand new book that just came into the book store last week. It tells the story of Laura's life and has beautiful pictures. Laura's home in Mansfield, Missouri, is a couple hours away from here and it is a wonderful place to visit if you get the chance. The museum has Pa's fiddle, the glass dish Laura saved from their home, and her original hand-written manuscripts.

"Water Mills of Missouri Ozarks" by George Suggs, Jr., illustrated by Jake Wells, pulished by University of Oklahoma Press, 1990. Missouri's rivers supported many water mills in the last century. The paintings and illustrations in this book are by Jake Wells, a Missouri artist. Larry and Lee saw one of his large murals at the Kent Library at Southeast Missouri State University.

"Lewis and Clark in Missouri" by Ann Rogers, published by Meredco, 1993. This is an historical information book with lots of pictures. It is a good resource for anyone studying the westward expansion.

Patricia McKissack is an author who lives in St. Louis. She has written several books. Two of our favorites are "A Million Fish... More or Less," which we used in math class when studying estimation, and "Flossie and the Fox" which reminded us of "Little Red Riding Hood."

I hope you enjoy these. Here is another journal entry from one of my students.


Wednesday, February 18, 1998

When school was over, Larry and I went to my mom's office. I told Larry that my mom was the principal. He asked me if it was neat having your mom as the principal. I told him that it was OK. We waited in my mom's office for awhile. Then Larry asked me why we were waiting. I told him we were waiting for my sister, Lindsey, because she had to go to baton practice. Finally she came and we got into the car. Mom said that she needed to get some gas and while we were there we could get a snack. I got some candy stix, Coke-flavored bubble gum and some root beer. My sister got the same. On our way to St. Louis I shared my candy with Larry. Later when we were passing the Busenbark Carpet store, I saw my favorite car in the world, a Dodge Viper. I think that it was Larry that caused the good luck for me to see it. We finally got to St. Louis. Then we dropped Lindsey off and waited for about an hour in the parking lot. When Lindsey came out, we went to the Waffle House. When we got there, there were some gang members with blue and green hair, pony tails, earrings, leather, and chains. We ate our food and got out of there as fast as we could. Then we got in the car and went home. Larry said he was tired and I agreed. So we went to bed.

by Josh S.


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