Thursday, August 14, 2008

G.Robin Smith - "The B Book"

Welcome to the on-line version of "The 'b' Book".

You are welcome to share this with anyone you know.
You are welcome to print out as many copies as you would like (please do not edit)
You are welcome to sell those copies, if you want, and donate the money to a good cause (I favor the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, or Five Rivers Fundraising - a non-profit support group)

The copyright stays with me, however. my email is for questions or more information.

The PDF of the book is available on-line for free:
It has prettier type faces than the version below. There are not many pictures, however, in either copy. The idea is you and your child(ren) put in the pictures (think Old Magazines)... it's called "family activity time" and can be fun.

Looking for more free, fun stuff that's educational? Try

People are sometimes suspicious of "free" things. It's understandable. This is a whim. I just hope it makes some people happy.

The text of the book follows, for those who just want to read it in ascii.

Best, GregRobin

The “b” Book

B b b b b b b b

Things that are found
the World Around
that start with
our sound
of ‘b’.

By GregRobin Smith (├ędition sans d'illustration)

A Family Activity Book. You and your children supply the pictures this book needs by cutting them out of old magazines, drawing them, taking your own pictures, etc. then paste them in. Enjoy making this YOUR book.

The Be-ginning
Note to this Draft 5.1, August 2008.
This is a book for Children – from pre-readers on up - and to the people who read to them. I hope you all enjoy it. I hope you enjoy this for yourself, while reading it to your child, while your child reads it with you (even just the ‘b’ parts) points to the items in their world that start with “B”, drools on it, etc.
I hope that it leads you both to explore the commonalities of our world and learn, or remember, many of the things that we have in our lives that just about everyone else knows about, too.
Your thoughts on what works for you, what keeps your child’s attention, the length, the complexity, etc. help in preparing the final manuscript. So please tell me your favorite, or less than favorite parts. I cannot promise to use every suggestion.
I can promise to be grateful for any constructive critique.
Write me at

Some other sites with educational and fun material: to build vocabulary and for school programs and links to the various things I am doing. for my wife’s education company for Celtic inspired music by my wife and I. my sponsor & one cool Hardware company.

© 2008 G.Robin Smith. Seattle Washington.

Babies are a special Gift.
Blessed are they every one.
All start small,
grow up too swift,
In learning, loving,
Never done.
Brooms are for sweeping
from Room unto Room.
They clean Streets and Gutters.
They clean Night to Noon.
They brush out the Cobwebs.
They sweep out the Dust.
A Broom for the House is simply a “must”.
A Broom to get married* in past Time’s a Fact.
A Broom when you’re harried
will scoot out the Cat.
*In many cultures, a newly wed couple jumps
over a broom as part of the ceremony.
A Building’s a Home, an Office, Hotel.
A Temple, a School, or a Mill, so I tell.
We can build it from Brick,
or from Wood, or from Straw.
We can form it from Mud
or from Snow, or from Sod.
A Building’s a Barn, or sometimes a Shack,
a Store, or an Outhouse, a Hut for your Yak.
They usually have Walls
and sometimes a Ceiling
It better have Floors, though,
to stand on, I’m feeling.
A Building’s a Building, but a Home is the best.
I hope yours is happy, if so you are blessed.

Balls around the World are known.
Kicked and hit and pushed and thrown.
Tennis, Cricket, Foot and Fetch.
Base and Basket, Hurley, Catch.
The Planet Earth’s a Ball you know
but bigger than the ones you throw.


Bags of Holding hold and carry.
Bags called Purses, Sacks, and Duffels.
Bags hold Corn, and Sand, and Berries
Bags hold Kerchiefs (they hold Snuffles)
Saddle, Satchel, Suitcase, Tote…
That’s all I wrote.

Bridges take us from Here to There
without ever moving
one Foot or one Pier.
Bridges span from Land to Land
so we can go wherever we plan.


Poems, Prayers, and Songs of Praise
Ballads rhyme the Words we raise.
Sung and strummed,
performed and hummed.
They remind us what’s to come.

There are dozens of ways for people to marry.
But most feature, with pride,
a Groom & a Bride.

Shiny Rings and Bracelets, too
Baubles, Bangles, gleaming bright.
Made of Gold and Silver - Ooooohhh
Wear them on, and in, and through.

A Brick will do the trick,
be it thin, be it thick.
To build a Wall or a Well.
or a Steeple for a Bell
To make a Bridge or an Oven,
you will need many dozen.
For a Tower or some Roads
you will need many loads.
For a Porch or Bar-B-Que
you will need quite a few.
First, to make them, you must bake them.
But be careful not to break them.
Once a-bed, you cannot wake them.

And it’s very hard to rake them.
A Bard is a Teller,
a Reader, a Singer.
A Speaker of Tales
of Mountains & Whales.
They dance, they sing,
they play, they rhyme.
They take you back
& forward in Time.
But best of all: the Bard you hear
gives you a Story that you can share.

Ban Sidh (Banshee)
A Ghost. A Spirit. A Haunting thing.
In creepy Tales we hear Them sing.
Also Fairie, Fae, & Sprite.
They walk the Shades
of pale Moonlight.

There’s no better Deal
than a healthy Morning Meal.

They’re woven with Reeds,
with Grass and with Wood Bark
With Cloth and with Hair,
and Bones from a Shark.

Barrels, Buckets, Baskets, Boxes,
Bottles, Bags and Bowls
(What can go in them to make them all lighter? Why “HOLES”!☺)\

Each bundles a Burden
from Rocks to Fresh Fish
In Bin, Bale, or Beaker,
whatever you wish.
From Beets for your Dinner
to Boots for your Feet
or anything, really, to have or to eat.

Barrels hold! That’s what I’m told.
Barrels have rolled
From Days of olde
in Ships and in Stores.
From Trains & Trucks,
to Docks, & Decks,
on Dollies & Dories,
on Lorries, through Doors.
From Crackers to Pickles, Pickaxes and Swords. Oils, Nails, Snails, Ales,
Ciders, Syrups, and Ropes in Coils...
Barrels hold! (That’s what I’m told.)

Everywhere there’s long Hair
Braids will plait their way in there.
Hold in place, keep it neat
with Ribbons twining Flowers sweet.

Breads are like Ice Creams -
they come in all Flavors.
And for all that I’ve had,
there’s none of them bad.

Large as a Condor,
or small as a Sparrow.
One thing’s for sure,
they’re wide-spread, not narrow.
Flying, and perching,
singing, and more.
Birds are admired,
sought after, adored.
Penguins to Emus,
the Ostrich, and Wren.
All Birds - of - a - Feather
even the Hen.

A Boot holds a Foot
(and has throughout time).
But please do not ask
WHY they don’t rhyme.

A Bath is for bathing
in Rivers & Tubs
Waterfalls, Sprinklers,
& Rub-a-Dub Dubs.
We clean and we scrub.
We clear and we wash
with Buckets and Sinks,
in Hot Springs with Rocks.
We pour on the Water
and rinse off the Dirt.
And afterwards, sometimes,
have a clean Shirt.

Our Planet is mostly Water.
Some of it cold, some of it hotter.
Icebergs & Hot Springs,
Puddles & Seas - all have an Edge,
and Beaches are these.

Bazaars, like your Markets,
Souks and Garage Sales,
have Sellers and Buyers,
Bananas and Hay Bales.
Buffalos, Beachwood,
Bureaus, and Birdseed.
Bazaars have most
everything you need.

Look! A Book.
What have you heard?
With Pages & Pictures,
with Ink & with Words
It takes you, talks to you,
from left or from right.
A Book is your Friend,
from Morning through Night.

Belts girdle, bind, and buckle.
If they break, then we may chuckle.
Belt - it’s easily spelled.

Boats float. Of Wood, that’s good
and Metal and Plastics
of Concrete and Baskets.
Tree Trunks and Birch Bark,
Fiberglass, Steels.
Boats must have Hulls
and those must have Keels.
Water is handy, and
some have some Sails.
But floating is one thing
that each Boat entails.

Barbers cut what we re-grow.
Like the Grass that Grown-ups mow.
While they shave, cut, trim and snip,
a Barber tries not to slip.
So now I lay me down for slumber
In Hammocks ‘tween two Trees asunder.
In Crib, on Cot, on Mat, and Air Bed
All I want’s a place for my Head.
“To sleep, perchance to dream” it’s been said.
Just let me lie in a nice, safe, warm Bed.

I think Beans are keen.
From Folk Tales to Dinner
they’re always a Winner.
Lima, String, Fava, Snap, Bush, and Pole,
Beans are just simply so wonderful.
Beans can be little. Beans can be long.
Beans taste good right up 'til they’re gone.
They’re green and they’re white,
they’re brown and they’re black.
You can turn them to buttons
for jeans, coat or pack.
Eat them, cook them & bake them at noon.
But never assume they’re JUST a Legume.

We weave them on Floor Looms.
We keep them in Bedrooms.
We, under them, sleep.
Wrap in them, our Sheep.
Place under our Saddling.
Sit on them when paddling.
They’re warm, and can toss you.
As Antiques, they’ll cost you.
As Heirlooms - a Treasure,
their Worth’s beyond measure.
A Blanket of weaving
is Beauty, you know.
A natural Blanket is one we call Snow.

Bananas to Flowers, Presents to Dinner,
Kept together for hours or years.
We use them & use them & use them again.
Boxes sure are versatile Friends

Bells give out ringing from large down to small.
Bells all like singing from Towers so tall.
From Hand Bells to Church Bells
& Door Bells, and Sleigh.
Wooden and Metal, they call out their way.
Cow Bells & Sheep Bells & Cat Bells, & more.
They each ring their Voices: a Sound we adore.

Bees & Bugs & Butterflies

Bees & Bugs & Butterflies
are in brown Dirt & in blue Skies.
Spreading, from the Flowers, Pollen.
Help recycle things when fallen.
Look up under & inside things.
See their Legs?
Look! Some have Wings.
But be careful, some have Stingers.
Don’t go poking with your Fingers.
Beads & Buttons
The Button & Bead are traded & sewn
With some made from Shells,
Clay, Wood, Stone, or Bone.
They hold on our Cuffs,
are Jewelry, or Cash.
Both Beads & bold Buttons
are always a smash.
These Seed Beads & Bugles,
from Stone & from Metals,
are made in the shape of
A Rosebud or Petals
or anything, really
(the Artist deciding)
but Buttons & Beadings
are NOT made for hiding
(except for the fun Game
of “Hiding the Button”
but like most of living
there’s always exuptions.)
On Necklaces, Earrings,
& Clothing, adorn.
They always are pretty
wherever they’re worn.

And one last ‘B’ word, important the world over: Benjamin Franklin, Printer,

who helped improve our understanding of the weather, the science of navigation, gave us new instruments (musical, household, and scientific) led groundbreaking research in Electricity, and led many successful efforts towards civic improvements. He helped promote the idea that we, the people, could be responsible for our own lives and government and contribute to the world in meaningful ways. He was born close to 300 years ago and left gifts for us all. May we do the same.


I would like to thank many people for their support: Pauline (Mom), Harry (Dad), Sue, John Edward, and David. Cym, my Bride, Buddy and 1st Editor, and Emily, her Daughter. Additionally, my Bardic student Bronwen, my Uncle Bill Ashley (a NASA experiment he built sits on the surface of Mars!) Sharon Clarke, Tara Fen, and the rest of my Family and Fans. Also, Benjamin Darling for his insightful suggestions (, Dr. Margaret Read MacDonald for the truth about Storytellers ( The Smiths, Ashleys, Hulshofs, Earlys, Durhams, Barneys, Stephens, Maiers, and Faulkers. The Center for Learning and the Brain, University of Washington and Dr. Tobey Nelson (from whose teaching all the good science represented here is based). AND Bob Herald, John Wilson, Marv Carstens, Thomas Hogan and all of my school teachers, Ken Burnett and William Hardwick, and everyone who reads these words.
My effort is by your work, and your questions, inspired

Printing courtesy of Hardwick & Sons, Inc.

-30-= ###

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