The Perfect Christmas Tree

My short story was published last year in Smartypants online magazine. The rights have reverted back to me and this is the perfect time to share it. Enjoy!

The Perfect Christmas Tree

By Deborah Dolan Hunt

          “This is my favorite day,” shouted Johnny.

          “We need to stay together,” said Mommy.

          “Someone needs to watch Chewy,” said Daddy.

Meg giggled. “We can’t let her knock down any trees this year.”

          “I’ll watch her,” said Brian.

          “Can we start with the fluffy ones first?” asked Meg. “They’re my favorite.”

           Chewy led the way.

           “Wow!” said Johnny. “I like this one.”

           “I like that one,” said Meg. “It’s so soft.”

           “They’re too small,” said Brian.

          “You always say that!” said Meg.

          “Can we go look at the big trees?” asked Brian.

          “Yes,” said Mommy. “We need to look at some more before we decide.”

           They walked down the other path. Chewy stopped and sniffed everything.

          “This one is perfect,” said Brian.

           “I like that one,” said Johnny.

           “These are too big.” Meg stamped her feet.

            Chewy jumped up and tried to take Meg’s mitten.

            “Silly puppy,” Meg patted her head. “We can play later.”

            “This is the perfect tree,” said Brian.

             “We still need to look at the really wide ones,” said Johnny.

              It started to snow as they walked.

              “I love snow,” said Meg.

              “Maybe we can build a snowman later,” said Brian.

               Johnny shouted. “I found the perfect tree. It can fit all of our ornaments.”

               “But it might not fit in the house,” said Daddy.

               “I wish we had a bigger house,” said Johnny.

               “We need to decide soon,” said Mommy as she looked up at the sky.

                Meg pouted. “I want the fluffy one.”

               “You got to choose last year,” said Brian. “I want the big one.”

                “I never get to choose,” said Johnny. “I want a wide one.”

               “Please stop this, or we’ll have to come back next week,” said Daddy.

                “Where’s Chewy?” asked Johnny.

                 Brian gasped. He was still holding the leash, but Chewy was gone.

                 “We’ll never find Chewy in all of this snow,” cried Meg.

                 “Maybe we should split up,” said Brian.

                 “Good idea,” said Daddy. “You and Johnny come with me, and Meg you go with


                   It was getting very windy, and the snow was falling harder.

                  “Chewy, Chewy, where are you?” they all shouted.

                   The farm was almost empty, but Chewy was nowhere to be found.

                  “What are we going to do?” asked Meg.

                  “We need to keep looking,” said Brian.

                   “I’m so cold,” said Johnny. “Can we get hot chocolate?”

                   “Yes,” said Mommy. “We can keep looking on the way.”

                   The hot chocolate helped warm them up, but everyone was sad.

                   “Where can Chewy be?” We’ve searched all over,” said Meg.

                     Brian jumped up. “I think I know where she is!”

                    Everyone ran after him.

                    “Look!” shouted Johnny.

                    Chewy was laying under a tree that was not too big, or too fluffy, or too wide.

                    “How did you know where to find her?” asked Johnny.

                     Brian giggled. “This is the same spot where she knocked all the trees down last    


                    “Chewy, you picked the perfect tree again,” said Meg.

                      Everyone agreed.


The Little Witch (Halloweensie Contest)

The Little Witch
by Deborah Hunt
97 words

The little witch rubbed her goosebumps.
She grabbed her glow-in-the-dark pumpkin.
She flew out the door.
Being a witch, she could conjure up all kinds of treats.
But trick or treating was much more fun.
“Trick or treat,” she cackled.
Mrs. Wolf smiled. “Hello little witch. I have some goodies.”
“Thank you! I have a trick for you.” The little witch waved her magic wand.
A puff of purple smoke surrounded them.
“Meow, meow.” The black cat purred.
Mrs. Wolf gasped. “How did you do that?”
“I’m a witch.” She hopped on her broom and flew away.


The 11th Annual Halloweensie Writing Contest aahhhrrrooooOOOOO!!!

Susanna Leonard Hill

Witch’s wart and wing of bat! It’s time for. . .

The 11th Annual Halloweensie Writing Contest!!!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is halloweensie-pumpkin.jpeg

~ for children’s writers ~

write a 100 word Halloween story appropriate for children (children here defined as 12 and under) (title not included in word count) using the words glow-in-the-dark, goosebumps, and goodies.

  • Your story can be poetry or prose, scary, funny, sweet, or anything in between, but it will only count for the contest if it includes those 3 words and is 100 words. Get it? Halloweensie – because it’s not very long and it’s for little people 😊
  • You can go under the word count but not over!
  • Title is not included in the word count.
  • Also, being super clear for this year, glow-in-the-dark counts as 1 word (even though it looks like 4 😊)
  • You may use the words in any form…

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What A True Friend Would Do


Deborah Dolan Hunt PhD RN
Deborah Dolan Hunt Author Interview

No Dinosaurs Allowed teaches young readers about friendship and acceptance in this fun picture book. What inspired the idea of using a dinosaur to tell this story?

I have always been intrigued by dinosaurs and have visited the Museum of Natural History many times. I also used to read “If the Dinosaurs Came Back” by Bernard Most to my children and have always wanted to write my own dinosaur story. One day I started to think about how much fun it would be to have a dinosaur as a best friend but he would be so big and maybe some people would not accept him because he was different. And even though Bobby wants to go to the party he will not leave Teddy the Dinosaur behind and that is what a true friend would do.

The art in this book is wonderful. What was…

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No Dinosaurs Allowed


No Dinosaurs Allowed: (B) by [Deborah Hunt, Ashleigh Heyns]

No Dinosaurs Allowed follows a young boy named Bobby and his dinosaur friend named Teddy. They both head out to go to a party and meet several people along the way, but everywhere the places they go are not suitable for a dinosaur as big as Teddy. He is too big for the birthday party, he is too scary for the animals at the zoo, and the library does not allow dinosaurs. With nothing to do, Bobby and Teddy are starting to feel left out. What are they going to do?

This is a charming and poignant children’s book that teaches a wonderful lesson on inclusivity and making adjustments for others to fit in. While Teddy is first turned away from many activities, later on he is invited back to those same activities after they have made some minor adjustments. This is a fantastic way to show children how to…

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9 Days until the cover reveal of No Dinosaurs Allowed!

No Dinosaurs Allowed is a story of friendship and acceptance. Bobby tries to take his friend Teddy the Dinosaur to a party, the library, and the zoo, unfortunately, dinosaurs are not welcome. Finally, they go to the park but there are no swings or slides and only one little boy. But Teddy saves the day by allowing the little boy and Bobby to use him as a swing and slide.

Eventually, a group of children joins them. On the way home, the zookeeper invites them to come back the next day because the zoo animals want to meet Teddy, and the librarian has moved storytime to a larger room so now Teddy can fit, and then the birthday party mommy invites them into the backyard for cake.

This picture book is 398 words and is perfect for boys and girls ages 4-8.


5-Star Review of Dale Earnhardt: Destined to Race!!!!

Review #1: Review by Joe Wisinski

Reviewed By:

Joe Wisinski

Review Rating:

5 Stars – Congratulations on your 5-star review! Get your free 5-star seal!

Reviewed By Joe Wisinski for Readers’ Favorite

Dale Earnhardt: Destined to Race by Deborah Ann Hunt is the story of the racing legend’s life. It’s written for children and tells about Earnhardt’s life briefly, yet enough to acquaint readers with who he was. The book starts with his early life and delves into the most important parts of his career. In addition to Dale Earnhardt, Sr., the book provides brief biographies of his children and grandchildren. The author also writes about the safety measures that were put into place after Earnhardt’s fatal crash in 2001. She also provides the background of auto racing and even informs readers about how the financial arrangements between racing teams, sponsors, and advertising work. For those who want to know yet more, the book provides an extensive list of references.

I knew little about Dale Earnhardt, so I chose to review this book specifically because I wanted to learn more about him. Because Earnhardt died in 2001, I think most children would be in the same position, not having much knowledge of Earnhardt. This book will acquaint them with the man who won an amazing 76 races. Dale Earnhardt: Destined to Race should also inspire children because author Deborah Ann Hunt writes about Earnhardt’s “determination and drive” and the fact that he “always regretted dropping out of high school.” What I liked best about this book is the author didn’t shy away from writing about Earnhardt’s aggressive driving style. But she notes that fellow drivers respected him. There’s a lesson for everyone there, and in fact, this children’s book provides many good lessons for both children and adults. I recommend it.