“While the horrible effects of bullying are long-lasting and damaging, giving each other strength and hope impacts just as much, if not more.”
This Pink Shirt Day, the Story Crew reflect on their experiences with surviving bullying and how they coped. First up is Michaela, a multidisciplinary creator based in Scarborough and our Communications Lead.
Josh, an enormous congratulations on the recent publication of your first graphic novel, The Good Fight, with words authored by Ted Staunton. We all felt incredibly privileged to watch you on this journey and are thrilled to celebrate with you now!
The Good Fight centers on fictional character Sid, who navigates through the pages as a Jewish boy growing up in an immigrant neighbourhood of Toronto’s 1930s, culminating in the historic Christie Pits riots, which became a symbolic victory for Jews and immigrants across Canada.
How was this book dreamt into being? (Feel free to include any information that feels relevant, inspiration, meeting Ted, political happenings today)
Ah, thank you for the kind words! The support I’ve had from being part of the Story Planet community has really meant a lot to me while working on this project.
The origins of the story lies with Ted, who from what I understand had been inspired after reading a book on old pickpocket tricks. And the idea came to him to do a story about kid pickpockets in the 1930s. Which, over time, morphed into this idea to pair that story with this huge moment in Canadian history, the Christie Pits riot. Toronto was a likely place to find a band of kid pickpockets at the time, and the riot was a defining moment of that era, a point where the marginalized communities of the time were forced to confront open and violent prejudice.
Meanwhile Ted and I met at a writing conference, and happened to hit it off. And Ted pitched the idea to me to take his idea and collaborate on turning it into a graphic novel. I should add that Ted is a very engaging storyteller, and the more he described the project I couldn’t help but start imagining some of the visuals I could make for it. So we kept in touch, and kept the conversation going. We started sharing ideas and rough sketches over email, slowly fleshing the initial idea out further and further.
Then the 2016 American election happened. And there was this cultural shift, even in Canada, where a lot of hate speech and bigotry started being discussed openly in a pretty scary way. And for Ted and I, who had been looking at the news and politics of the 1930s leading up to World War II, the parallels felt very clear. And the project went from being a story that seemed kind of interesting, to a story that really spoke to what we were experiencing today. And a story that felt like it NEEDED to be told. That’s what drove the book forward from then on.
What was your process as an illustrator in putting together such a huge project?
“Huge” definitely felt like the word for it – making a graphic novel is no easy task! And it takes a lot of time and patience. Every artist’s process is a little different, but for me, I always find it easier to approach a project like this into smaller steps. Step one was Ted writing the whole story out as a script. Step two was me taking Ted’s script and breaking it down into pages and “panels” (the smaller drawings that make up a comics page). I then drew out a very rough version of those pages, which I shared with Ted and our editors at Scholastic. We then made some small changes here and there, based on our editors’ notes now that they could see what the visuals might be. After that came step three, where I took my rough pages and drew over them more carefully, creating a much cleaner black and white version of the book. And step four was adding colour to give it that extra “pop,” and to add any extra little details before the end.
So it was a lot of work when you look at it all together! But I would do my best to just focus on the next step in front of me, and not worry about the rest. And that made the process a lot easier to manage. (And ultimately more fun!)
How much input did you and Ted have between each other’s parts, i.e. did you provide any feedback or tweaks on the writing process, did Ted provide feedback on the illustrations?
Yes, we were very much in contact with each other throughout the whole thing! Before Ted even started writing we did a lot of emailing, and had a couple different meet-ups where we talked about the story, the characters, and what our visions for the book were. I know there are a couple of scenes Ted put in the script that were based on some of my thoughts from our early conversations, and I’m very grateful for that. And then there would be times where I would show Ted a sketch of a character, and that would change the way he would write them a bit. Or Ted would tell me an extra detail about a character’s backstory, and I’d try to bring that into the drawings. And then we were pretty actively in touch throughout the drawing process. I often liked to check with Ted that a particular expression I drew fit his vision for a scene, or to make sure I’d gotten clothing or period details right. It made the drawing process feel a bit less lonely too, haha.
What kind of research did you undertake to more accurately portray fashion, architecture, and overall ambiance of Toronto in the 1930s? It’s a drastically different city than today, after all.
Oh yes, very much so. The big difference between a historical project like this and something set in the present day (or even the far future!) is the amount of research required. Ted and I spent a good amount of time looking through photos in the City of Toronto Archives and the Ontario Jewish Archives for reference, and I took a few trips with just me and my sketchbook as well. We looked at a ton of books and photos from the period, to try to make sure we got all the little details right. You can look at the acknowledgements section at the back of the book for a list of some of the books we pulled from. And then I also looked at a lot of old catalogues and fashion magazines! All the photos from the period were in black and white, but the magazines were in colour, so it gave us a better idea of what some of the clothes looked like.
Which parallels, if any, do you see between Sid’s story today and those whose cultural and ethnic identities (including Jewish) are still discriminated against?
Our hope is that readers will be able to see a lot of parallels. The hate speech leading up to the Christie Pits riot was primarily targeted towards Toronto’s Jewish and Italian populations, but they were far from the only group of people who suffered descrimination at the time. And the same, sadly, remains the case today. When things feel uncertain, people are often quick to jump to an easy answer. And hatred is easy. Blaming people who seem different from you is easy. We keep seeing the same monster pop up over and over, targeting different groups, wearing different clothes. And we have to keep rejecting it. That’s what “The Good Fight” really comes down to. The story is set in the 1930s, but we hope it will have a lot to say for readers today. We’ve fought this monster before. And we have to continue to confront it, and say no, this isn’t the way.
At Story Planet we work with students who may be at the beginning of a lifelong love or career in writing and illustration. What would your advice be for anyone starting to draw, and how to improve and practice the craft?
The first thing I always want to say is keep drawing, keep practicing. The more you do something, the more you work at it, the better you usually get. Then the second piece of advice, which I think should be paired with the first, is to remember to have fun! Drawing is always best when it feels like play. There’s never a “right” or “wrong” way to draw. So find the style of drawing that feels the best for you. And then keep exploring! There’s always something new to learn or try. I think if you can pair those two approaches together, you’ll never go wrong.
What can we expect from you next? Any other projects in the pipeline?
It’s still a little while off, but I do have my next project lined up. It’s another graphic novel project set in a similar time period, about what it’s like to live through a major moment in history. And then after that, I think what I’d enjoy most is to create a graphic novel all on my own, where I both illustrate and write the whole thing. And I have a couple of different ideas on what that book might be. Although we’ll see. I still really enjoy collaborating with other writers. So if another opportunity to work with someone like Ted pops up, there’s a chance I might push my solo project a little further down the line.
Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us. We’re so fortunate to be able to work with you at Story Planet and can’t wait to celebrate The Good Fight even more, and all your future projects!
By Angelina, Grade 5 | Submitted on November 20, 2021
Trigger Warning (TW): homelessness, child abuse
Today, my dad, mom, sister and I all went to pick up my sister’s new desk and for a Downtown tour. We went past many clothing stores and restaurants. We saw mostly Chinese, Korean and Japanese restaurants. I also saw other homeless adults. We ate lunch at a Chinese restaurant at 12:10. We had delicious Congee!
After we finished our lunch, we went to drive past the CN Tower. My sister kept on complaining about why she can’t go up the CN Tower. We told her that going up the CN Tower was expensive. We could probably go next month. But not this month.
On our way back home, I saw something really terrible that made me have a funny, weird feeling in my stomach. It wasn’t what I ate though. Here is what I saw. I saw a homeless child in a pile of old clothes and blankets. There was an old man with a boom in his hand. I didn’t hear what they were saying but I saw that the old man was making the child feel unsafe, uncomfortable and disturbed. The child threw a rock at the old man, and this is what made me have butterflies in the stomach. The old man started to slap the child with the broom. This happened when we were approaching Dundas. On Spadina Ave. I wanted to help, but there was nothing I could do about it yet. I’m only 9. That made me think about the other children out in the streets, homeless, and being bullied by other people. My mother told me a bit about what that man’s life might have been like.
Still, when I grow up, I would want to help the kids with that life. I hope that the world will grow friendlier and more people will help homeless people. Let’s do something about this. Be kind and respectful to people around you. Let’s work together to make this planet a famous and wonderful world!
Linh, an enormous congratulations on the recent publication of your first chapbook, Visiting Gales, with illustrations by Christie Wong. Some of us from Story Planet were honoured to attend your online launch party, and witnessed the beautiful collection of gentle creativity from many people looking to evoke the mood of the chapbook. We’re all incredibly grateful to witness your embarkation of a career as a writer.
Visiting Gales is a collection of two short stories that ask, through memory and fiction, what composes childhood, growth, and independence. Young characters weave within their relationships to find answers to their evolving selves and environments, where changes are shaped by commonplace occurrences alongside miraculous unknowns.
How were these stories and this chapbook dreamt into being?
The two stories for this chapbook, “The Robins” and “Down Feathers”, were born in my creative writing class at U of T four years ago.
At the time, I was only writing creative nonfiction — not because I preferred it but because I hadn’t yet figured out my fiction voice and was still scared to admit I wanted to write stories for a living. So when the time came for us to write our final project for this class, I thought, “I’ll just stick to nonfiction.”
That’s where “The Robins” was born. It was inspired by a robin’s nest in the eaves-through of my family’s home many years ago. That summer, we saw the birds teaching their babies how to fly, and when the little ones flew away, I thought the parents’ mourning cries were the saddest thing I ever heard. It really stuck with me, so I decided to write about that. I changed all the names and POV, called it fiction, and handed it in.
Fortunately, my creative writing professor was too sharp. She read it, and said, “I know this isn’t fiction. I can tell in the writing voice.” No matter how hard I argued, she refused to let me turn in anything short of a real fictional story.
So I tabled “The Robins”. It would go through many rounds of edits and rewrites in the following years and finally return to its roots as a personal reflection on childhood and growth. I asked my trusted editor, Jasmine Gui, to review it before I submitted it to The Soap Box Press.
Instead, for class that year, I wrote “Down Feathers” on the subway to school, specifically between Runnymede and Spadina stations on the TTC in Toronto.
All I had to go off was the first line that just came to me: “Lyra was seven when her wings grew in.” And a line from Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s short story, “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings”. The line was an offhand comment in his story, mentioned briefly, about a “Portuguese man who couldn’t sleep because the noise of the stars disturbed him”.
So those two lines informed that entire story. I had no plan. I just wrote. It came out remarkably easily, almost fully formed, and honestly, I loved it. I knew from the start it was special, and “Down Feathers” will always hold a special place in my heart, because it opened the door to my fiction writing again, which is so much of what I write now.
Then last August, I was browsing several websites in search of a home for some of my stories. I found out The Soap Box Press was publishing chapbooks and became excited at the prospect of putting together a bigger project with more creative control.
When this idea came to mind, I approached Christie, sent her five short stories that I had floating around, and asked for her thoughts on what stood out, whether she’d be interested in illustrating, and which stories she thought would work well together. We chose these two for their similar themes and submitted!
Can you tell us a little bit about your relationship with Christie?
Christie and I have only recently met in person, after our chapbook was released! We were introduced by Jasmine Gui, founder and editor of Project 40 Collective in 2019. My personal essay, “Cracks in the Wall”, was published in LooseLeaf Magazine Volume 7, and Jasmine thought that Christie would be a good person to illustrate it. Little did she know of the creative chaos she would unleash! Or maybe she did. Jasmine is a genius.
Since then, Christie and I have worked together on a number of projects, from workshops to illustrated pieces. We have a beautiful working relationship built on profound trust. She is a creative amplifier, and I always feel excited and energetic coming off a call with her. Our skills complement each other well. It’s fabulous to have that artistic push from someone so talented.
These stories evoke a lot of emotions about growing up, finding your place in the world and redefining what that world can look like, as an individual and within a family. What was your inspiration for this?
The idea of growing up has always been something I’ve struggled with, probably because I read too many fantasy adventures as a child and desperately wanted my own. I spent a long time resisting that I might not get to fight dark lords with secret magic powers. When I inevitably grew older, I began reflecting on what the idea of “growing up” actually means. I don’t have an answer, but these stories are my explorations of the feelings involved in that question, of which there are many complex ones!
As an English major, I studied children’s literature in my undergrad and wrote my thesis on portal fantasies as a way of understanding maturity and responsibility. This is further informed by my experience as an immigrant. This intersection of childhood and home are central to much of my work presently and going forward.
As you touched upon, as children, we often have this sense of “growing up” as being a big discovery or fantasy in life, when in reality the realization otherwise can be challenging. What would you hope your writing could leave for others, both young and old, to deal with this notion of growing up?
Personally, the message I want to weave into my stories is one that’s helped me reframe my own relationship to fantasy. While I initially wanted to escape as a child, I later became more interested in the return to our world and how fiction allows us to see everyday occurrences in a new light. After all, magic does exist. We see it all the time in small gestures and grand phenomena; it just might look a little different than in the stories. That doesn’t mean it has any less power or ability to effect meaningful change. I wrote about this realization many years ago on my blog.
In “Down Feathers” specifically, it was important for me to show adults of all sorts who, like Lyra, keep their wings throughout their lives. I don’t want to see adulthood as the loss of any wonder or magic. We do have the ability to preserve that beauty, though of course, doing so is a privilege for many.
That said, I still hope readers interpret my work in any way that speaks to them, especially in ways I can’t predict.
What was the process of working with The Soap Box Press to release the chapbook?
It was so smooth! I loved how much creative freedom we got. All the art, from cover to illustrations, are Christie’s. None of my words were changed without my consent. We got a say in every step, including the layout. I feel a lot of ownership over the project, never once like it’d been taken from my hands.
Tali Voron, the founder and publisher, has supported us wholeheartedly in our unconventional and ambitious release of this book, including our stacked launch and workshop that followed. She’s a skilled facilitator and organizer, always ready to jump in and say yes to our wild ideas.
Alongside yourself and Christie talking about your creative processes, your launch party featured people across the creative spectrum, including a dancer, painter, meditation guides, and musicians. What inspired you to set it up this way?
Honestly, Christie was a huge driving force of this event. Her wide-ranging and incredible creative connections made it so easy to gather everyone we wanted to join us in performing. We knew we wanted to share the celebration and feature other artists. At the same time, we wanted a community-like feel. It ended up being the perfect night with an amazing turnout.
Personally, I love seeing my words take on different artistic forms that I’m not skilled in, which is why working with Christie is so great. She sees things I don’t, in a whole new medium. To see my stories interpreted through dance, music, and meditation, was mind-blowing and heartwarming. It wouldn’t have been nearly so special without Alena, Anda, Rosie, Jess, Vicky, Justine, Jazmin, and Julia. We got to celebrate them all!
At Story Planet we work with students who may be at the beginning of a lifelong love or career in writing and illustration. What would your advice be for anyone starting to write, and how to improve and practice the craft?
It sounds trite, but reading and writing are the only ways to excel at this craft. There’s no shortcut! More specifically though, the practice of freewriting is essential. I’ve been intentionally honing my ability to sit down in front of a blank page and write whatever comes to mind for nine years now, without getting stumped by a need for perfection or inspiration. So much of writing is doing it badly and doing it over again; I’m on draft number four of my book right now, and the first one was awful! It’s not about talent. I wish I’d known that as a child. You are a writer if you write. That is enough.
Pursuing a career in the arts, especially for racialized youth without industry knowledge or connections, can be a tumultuous path, but it is possible and incredibly rewarding. I love the work I get to do. It’s definitely challenging, but I’ve tried to prioritize creative projects in my life (mostly because I don’t know how to live any other way), even when working minimum wage jobs for years out of school. Maybe fame and fortune will follow, but that’s definitely not how it starts and not what I’m counting on. I’m still very much in the grunt work stages yet loving it.
What’s next for yourself and your life as a writer?
I am off to the University of Cambridge to pursue graduate school! My one-year program is called Arts, Creativity, and Education, and I’ll be focusing on the role of play and storytelling in decentering whiteness in learning spaces. My last degree tied in well with my creative practices and writing, so I’m very excited for what this adventure holds.
I also have some super exciting writing news on the horizon that I can’t yet share publicly. It involves my debut novel, which is a middle-grade portal fantasy featuring an 11-year-old Vietnamese-Torontonian protagonist! I can’t wait to talk about it more, so stay tuned!
In the meantime, I have two creative non-fiction stories to be released later this year! “Death and a Wind Farm” will be published in the next issue of Living Hyphen magazine, and “The Christmas Lamp” will be published in The Soap Box Press’s anthology, “The Hyphenated Generation”.
Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us. We’re so fortunate to be able to work with you at Story Planet and can’t wait to celebrate Visiting Gales even more, and all your future projects!
One day William, Benjamin, and Mia got lost in a forest and found a magic cave and inside were many books. They picked one up and they wished they could go where the story was and then they accidentally went inside the book.
The book was about a very large forest and the friends need to go on a mission to find a magic harp. When one person plays the harp, whatever the other person thinks begins to happen.
A human with a very, very small heart, four times smaller than a regular heart, put the harp inside a hole which had a tunnel. Where it was deepest is where the harp was. But there was a booby trap that had freezing rays and fire guns.
Inside the cave there was a riddle on a piece of wood that led the kids to the hole.
When they got there they read the riddle again and it said, “The hole is full of traps. Go with your bravery, never stop with your heart.”
The bad guy followed them, but he stepped on the freezing rays and, ‘bzzz’, got frozen. The friends bent down so they didn’t get frozen too, and passed the fire guns, but Mia and Benjamin got hit by the fire gun and were toasted!
Willam grabbed the harp, and Mia and Benjamin began to sing together while Willam played.
“I wish, I wish I was back home uh, uh, uh uh uh…”
They all got home and the bad guy came home too and his mom waited for twelve hours for him to be unfrozen. The bad guy never set booby traps again!
One morning, Bob Sam Junior woke up and ate a cake for breakfast (which they made themselves). They then went back to sleep, woke up, made a cake, ate the cake, and went to bed again. They did this three times before getting up for the day. So it was a pretty typical start of the day for Bob.
It was 8 a.m. by the time Bob Sam Junior finally left their house, and they had to open their bakery for 9 a.m.. Bob Sam Junior went to open their bakery for the day, letting the other chefs in. Bob Sam Junior then started working on their computer, while the other chefs began to prepare the day’s food.
By the time Bob finished their computer work, it was time for lunch. They called up their friend Panda to ask if Panda could sneak Bob food from the Golden Panda Buffet (which was located right next door). Panda put together a takeout container of salad, and snuck it out to Bob Sam Junior. But Bob Sam Junior was STILL hungry, even with all the cakes they’d eaten that morning. They wanted to sneak into the restaurant to eat EVEN MORE of that delicious Golden Panda Buffet food!
Bob started to sneak into the Golden Panda Buffet. But just as they took their first step, they accidentally stepped on the foot of Panda King—the owner of the Golden Panda Buffet, and Bob Sam’s younger brother!
Bob Sam Junior heard the sound of the gummy volcanoes erupting. They looked outside and saw a volcano bursting out of the ground! So Bob Sam Junior immediately knew they had to get to their secret bunker to stay safe.
Bob Sam Junior’s bunker was made out of sponge cake, so any gummy lava would just bounce off the sides. But what Bob Sam Junior didn’t know was that Panda King had made a hole in the side of their bunker. The bunker had been sabotaged! The gummy lava started leaking into the bunker! And Bob Sam Junior fell into the hole!
Bob Sam Junior started quickly baking a cake as they were falling, and threw the cake into the gummy lava. The cake fell into the lava, and the gummy lava started retreating. The lava didn’t like the cake!
Some of the lava touched Bob Sam Junior and Bob Sam Junior became enraged. They started furiously rage baking, making cakes fueled by the power of their rage!
Their rage cakes were perfect and started pushing the lava back. When the cakes and lava combined, they made EXPLOSIVE LAVA CAKE! The cake exploded, sending Bob Sam Junior and the lava flying back. But as the lava pulled back, it revealed something that had been hidden inside of the gummy lava…Bob Sam Junior’s parents!
Bob Sam Junior’s parents stepped out of the lava.
“Mom?” Bob said. “And Dad?!”
Bob’s parents said, “Thank you for saving us from the lava. There’s something we need to tell you. Bob, your name is actually not Bob, it’s Kronos! And you have powers you might not have known about!”
They also took out a costume for Bob Sam to wear, now that they knew the truth.
Bob Sam Junior ate one of the remaining pieces of cake to gain jumping powers. Bob Sam Junior ate another cake to get fighting and healing powers. Then another piece of cake to gain flight, invisibility and speed powers. And their rage baking abilities grew even stronger.
Bob Sam Junior, using their new powers, started baking lava cakes and brought them to life. These animated cakes started saying, “Eat me! Eat me!”
And Bob Sam Junior planned to use them to help people and fight bad guys. Bob Sam Junior also made some really good cakes to hand out to nice people (and Bob Sam Junior also used the animated cakes to finally get into the Golden Panda Buffet).
Bob Sam Junior has two lives now: one as the famous baker Bob Sam Junior and another as the hero Kronos! Bob Sam Junior flew around the world with their parents to help people and compete in baking competitions. They traveled all around the world—even to Canada!
Joy and Rain were two best friends who lived in Cloud City. They were both nine and first met at the zoo. Joy lived on a farm and Rain lived near the Blue Bridge. Joy was very nice. Rain was very nice, but a little mean. They both had rainbow hair.
It was a bright sunny day with three rain-bows in the sky and Rain and Joy were hanging out at the zoo. They went to look at the animals and to get some treats. The first thing they saw was the jelly elephant. Joy and Rain knew they had to be careful or else it would fall apart because it was made of jelly.
Rain went to look at a very cool animal. He didn’t tell Joy so she was lost without him.
Joy was so sad that she left the zoo only to walk back in and look for Rain everywhere. While Joy was lost, Rain realized that he was lost too. Since there were no clouds, Rain made the sky all cloudy so Joy could find him. When Joy saw where all the clouds were coming from, she knew where Rain was.
When Joy found Rain she was so happy to find him she exploded candy everywhere. But then, all of a sudden, they didn’t want to be together again. They waited a little and then hugged. They went to get lunch. Rain got spicy noodles and Joy got cotton candy. Then they went home because they didn’t want to get lost again. They hung out at Joy’s house. Once they were home, Rain decided that the clouds should go away. Rain said he was sorry because he could not bring all three rainbows back into the sky. Joy told him it was fine and she brought the rainbows back.
One day Rain had some bad news. He had to move away because his street was too crowded. Also all the robots, the mummies, and the ghosts from other streets kept coming to bother him. But he had a surprise for Joy: spicy noodles! He knew she had never had them. Their friends Candy and
Thunder came to the dinner party. Then Joy told Thunder that Rain was going to move away, but Thunder already knew. Joy was scared to try the spicy noodles. She took only one noodle and her eyes were all red and candy came out of her ears.
In Cloud City everything was destroyed and the clouds turned red. Since Rain had cloud power, Rain made the sky cloudy and covered the sun with his clouds. Then they made a fence to protect everyone from the sun. People got super cold because there was no sun, so they gave the fence two features: it could turn the city a little cold or a little warm.
On top of the gate there was a big shield covering the whole city. The burning sun could not go through it. On top of the shield there was a candy buster. In case the shield breaks, people can throw candy at the sun.
Joy wanted to help, so she took her rainbow powers and covered the houses with rainbows to keep them safe. But people started thinking about leaving the city, so Joy used her secret candy canyon, which could help warm areas if she used the glitter from her pocket. As the city got colder, Joy used the candy canyon and the glitter did its magic. The Gem Tower was forever changed and destroyed because Joy forgot to cover it with a rainbow and the burning sun was able to burn it.
The fence they made to protect the city was like a glass wall and nothing you did could break it. But one day it broke. The city was about to have on another fire, but the plants from Joy’s farm had grown so tall they protected the city and it never ever burned again.
Also, some people from Cloud City left and never returned.
It was hard to come to terms with the end of Cloud City.
Alicia was an 8-year-old human who was secretly a superhero at night. She was super strong and super powerful. Her most secret power was lava rainbow where she shot lava out of her wrists. Her best friends were her pet blue bird and robot named Carl. One day Alicia was studying math. She liked math. Alicia got stuck on a math question, so she called her pet bird, Luna, for help. Luna was very smart.
When Luna got to her room she didn’t know the answer, so Alicia called Carl. Carl had four arms and he was excellent at math. When Carl got there he solved the problem, so Alicia was good.
Then it was nighttime, that’s when the evil ninjas came out. The ninjas were always trying to destroy the world. They slimed the city and threw stink bombs that made people go to sleep. The slime was also smelly.
Alicia wanted to save the city with Luna and Carl. Alicia fought the ninjas using her lava power and her water power. Her lava power made everybody melt. Her water power was very cold and it froze ninjas.
Carl was a robot, so he didn’t fall asleep when the ninjas threw their stink bombs— that made him very powerful. Luna had moon power that helped people float and walk on air. Luna had space bombs that could help everybody not to fall asleep, or heal their injuries.
Luna saw the ninjas with her special eyes (she lived in space, so she could see everything), and she told Alicia. The ninjas were sliming things and Alicia used her water power to freeze everyone. Next Alicia, Carl, and Luna went to the beach.
It was National Friendship Day in United City. There was a giant party at the beach. People were eating cake, and drinking juice—those were things the ninjas liked to do! Alicia, Carl, and Luna invited the ninjas to join the party! Luna put friendship dust on the ninjas. Her friendship dust was pink with a little bit of red and it sparkled. Also, it smelled like chocolate chip cookies.
The ninjas felt very happy to have joined the party. The ninjas suggested that characters from United City’s neighbourhoods combine their powers to protect the city.
So, Charlie, Charlie and Ely and Alicia combined their powers.
Suddenly some sun liquid fell from the sky and onto Alicia’s volcano house. The sun liquid brought new bad: Sun Bad Guys! The Sun Bad Guys were wearing black and white striped t-shirts, black pants, black shoes, and black hats. Alicia used fire to fight the Sun Bad Guys. Alicia held a torch to the Sun Bad Guys eyes and they melted back to the sun. When the Sun Bad Guys got back to the sun, they looked back down at United City and saw the party. The party looked awesome and fun, so they went back!
Alicia saw the Sun Bad Buys and thought, what are they doing back here? Alicia said the Sun Bad Guys could stay at the party if they agreed not to use their powers. Luna used her friendship dust again. The smell of chocolate chip cookies made the bad guys extra nice.
Everybody danced together on the beach.
Alicia played these songs: “All The Love In The World”, “Havana”, “Back To Love”, and “My Favourite Things”. The ninjas and the Sun Bad Guys flossed. They ate chocolate bars and drank orange juice. The ninjas ate cupcakes and slime pizza. Luna used her magic to make lots of rainbow balloons fall from the sky. Then, everyone in the city exchanged friendship presents!
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