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Story competition: Larry’s Beak

2015 March 29
Story Illustration Competition!
Calling all nannies and their charges…
In order to promote literacy and story time, Smart Nanny Solutions is running a competition for nannies and their charges to take part in over the Easter holidays.
Agency owner, ex-nanny and mum of two, Louise Burgess has written a children’s story (picture book style, aimed at children aged 3 years and over). She is posting her story here for nannies to print off and read with their charges over the Easter holidays and would love some feedback from the children and the nannies about what they think of the story – good or bad!
The story doesn’t have any illustrations, so as an extra bit of fun, your charges can draw a picture/illustration of their favourite part of the story and email it to
The winner will receive a £10 Waterstones book voucher and will have their picture published on the Smart Nanny Solutions website, Facebook and Twitter page. They will also receive a Smart Nanny Solutions mug for their nanny!
  1. Print off the story ‘Larry’s Beak’ (below)
  2. Read it with your charges
  3. Nannies and/or children: what did you think of the story?
  4. Children: Illustrate your favourite part of the story
  5. Nannies: Take a picture of the child’s drawing and email it to along with any feedback about the story.
Deadline: April 20th 2015
Entry is FREE.


By Louise Burgess

Poor Larry the seagull, he’d had a bad week.

It all began on Monday when he couldn’t find his beak.


‘Ark!’ shouted Larry through the hole in his face,

his lovely, pointy, yellow bill was gone without a trace.


‘My looks!’ he cried ‘My handsome grin! this is really rotten,

without a beak my face looks like a little puckered bottom!


‘What will people think?’ He thought. ‘What will the neighbours say?

They’ll point and laugh and call me names’ He dribbled in dismay.


‘I can’t and won’t be seen like this!’ Larry wiped his eyes,

‘No fear, i’ll head down to the pier in search for a disguise’


So Larry sailed on the breeze to the pier, for his first stop

was ‘Mr Snoop’s Emporium’ (A novelty joke shop).


Now Mr Snoop’s was perfect if you liked to play a trick,

there was everything from plastic poo to puddles of fake sick!


Mr Snoop took one look and produced, in a flash

a pair of thick rimmed glasses with a nose and moustache


Larry was ecstatic ‘This look is quite becoming,

I’ll strut my stuff along the pier and folk will see I’m stunning!’


Alas, the specs kept slipping down with every step he took,

they ended up around his neck (not the coolest look).


‘Oh bother!’ bellowed Larry then he threw them off the pier,

he sulked beneath the moonlight and shed a single tear.


On Tuesday Larry flew about unsure where to go

but as he settled on a bench a kind voice said; ‘Hello’.


The nice old lady’s name was Pearl and to Larry’s great relief,

she took pity on his problem and gave him her false teeth.


‘You can borrow them today’ she said ‘I’ll get along just fine –

I don’t need my gnashers to lick a 99!’.


With that she plunged them in his face – which took him by surprise!

(They felt a little slimy and rather big in size).


‘Shank shu’ He said politely, spluttering a bit.

He didn’t like to tell her that they didn’t really fit.


Off went Larry on his way with a wild toothy grin.

Then, when Pearl was out of sight, he popped them in the bin.


Larry was disheartened. He wandered all night long.

Instead of flying home to roost, he paced along the prom.


On Wednesday Larry tried again, To the pier he promptly flew

and at the stall for face paints, slyly jumped the queue.


Now ‘Snazzy Jazz’ was clever, she was talented and arty

but her repertoire was suited to a children’s birthday party.


Larry wasn’t interested in hearts upon his cheek,

a wicked witch or tiger face, he just wanted a beak!


Larry almost wept with joy, he had a beak once more,

and for a while he was happy- until the rain began to pour.


Huddled in a shelter Larry caught his own reflection,

the smudge of yellow down his front was less than beak perfection.


The sun came up on Thursday and Larry hadn’t slept.

He missed his beak so very much he’d sat all night and wept.


He had become so desperate, shape and size no longer mattered.

He marched straight in to ‘Chippy’s’ shouting ‘Sausage! Jumbo! Battered!’.


Now Larry wasn’t famous for his wild fashion sense

but a sausage for a beak? this look was quite intense.


It worked for a while and no one seemed surprised

when a sausage eating seagull flew before their eyes.


Alas, there lay the problem, for he tried with all his might,

yet when Larry felt quite peckish he just had to take a bite.


So the sausage did shrink as the day grew long.

It made a tasty snack but as a beak it was wrong.


Poor Larry spent another night below the pier just bobbing,

in the shadows on the waves. His eyes grew sore from sobbing


Red eyes and missing beak Larry was a mess.

It was early Friday morning and he didn’t look his best.


Larry waddled aimlessly, he felt at such a loss

until he saw the neon sign for ‘Big Jim’s Candy floss’.


‘Aha!’ Cried Larry loudly. ‘Things are better than I feared.

If I can’t have a beak then I’ll have a candy beard!’


Big Jim was quite the stylist. His candy floss quite stiff.

Soon Larry had a goatee beard with sideburns and a quiff!


Larry perched upon the pier all puffed with pride and glee,

the wind blew through his candy hair as he gazed out to sea.


He headed for the bandstand and rocked and rolled all night

but he didn’t look so fetching in the early morning light.


“Matted feathers, sticky head, What’s become of me?

I’ve hardly slept a wink all week Or been home for tea.’


‘I’ve had enough, my beak is gone, I’ll just have to face it.

I’ve tried so many different things but nothing can replace it.’


His search had been a failure and he was unimpressed.

Larry sulked on Saturday now feeling quite depressed.


By Sunday he had given up so flew back home to rest


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