When we are bored, we have lost interest in something. Usually we don't want to keep doing whatever it is. If something is too easy, it is boring because there is no challenge there. 


young boy with chin on hands looking bored dreamstime site:

breaking the frame

In this story, the author "breaks the frame" by having the narrator talk directly to the characters.  This is a way authors can use to break the boundary between you, the reader, and what is happening in the book.  You may have seen this when you watch cartoons--sometimes a cartoon character will turn and talk to the audience.  That's breaking the frame! 


A challenge is a task that calls for the use of our abilities. It is something that is hard to do but not too hard, just hard enough to be interesting. Learning is the most fun when there are challenges that you can solve by working at them.

hiker looking at a cliff ahead
The ridge looks like a challenge for this hiker.
Dreamstime site:


To concentrate is to focus your thinking on something, such as trying to solve a problem, and stick to it. Some people can only concentrate well in a quiet place; while others concentrate best when they are listening to music.

boy working on a kite
The boy is conentrating on his kite.
Dreamstime site:


"Distracted" is another way of saying, unable to concentrate or think clearly.  I get distracted when I'm reading and someone asks me a question--that makes me lose track of what is happening in the book.  What distracts you?

two boys playing with phone instead of working
The boys are distracted from their work by a music player.
Dreamstime Site:

The echidna is a small egg-laying mammal, also called the spiny anteater. It has claws and a slender snout and is covered with coarse hair and long spines.The echidna lives in Australia, Tasmania, and New Guinea. 
Want to learn more about echidnas?  Click here! 

echidna photograph ausemade


Noun - A fair is a fun get-together to show things, to celebrate, and to play games and compete. A county fair usually has competitions for the best animal, the biggest vegetable, or the most delicious pie. Races are often held at fairs too.

Adjective - impartial, even-handed. A race that is fair to all participants is one in which everyone has the chance to succeed.

kids racing blindfolded on hands and knees
The kids are having a crawling race at the fair.
Dreamstime Site:


A hare is a large rabbit with long ears and long hind legs for making big leaps.

Want to learn more?  Click here to find more information about hares. 

picture of a hare
a snowshoe hare
Gates, Michelle. hare03.jpg. "spring, 1999". Pics4Learning. 3 Nov 2010 <>

illuminated manuscript

An illuminated manuscript is a handwritten book that is decorated with very colorful and detailed pictures.   

picture of illuminated manuscript
a small section of an illuminated manuscript
brothers, Limbourg. creationofbirdsandfishes.jpg. 1416. Pics4Learning. 3 Nov 2010 <>


"To navigate" means to find the right path over or through a place. 

old treasure map
Use an old treasure map to navigate to the treasure.
Dreamstime site:


A racecourse is a path or track that competitors use to for a particular race. Usually there is only one racecourse, but that makes it hard for people with different skills and preferences to have an equal chance at completing the race and to find the right level of challenge. Offering different racecourses for different racers can make the race more fair and fun.

grassy race trackwith fence around
The racecourse for the horses is grass and haas a fence around it.
Dreamstime site:


Sepia is a word for brown and tan tones.  You may have seen old photographs that look brown or tan colored, that's sepia.

Click here to see some sepia colored pictures.

A picture printed in sepia colors
Slaughter, Andrea. fountain sepia.jpg. 26-Mar-02. Pics4Learning. 10 Nov 2010 <>

starting line

The starting line is a line indicating the start of a race or game. For a footrace the line can be drawn or made with tape. Horses race out of  gates that are all on the starting line. And boats often start a race over an imaginary line between two boats or buoys.

closeup of starting line with racers' hands on ground Dreamstime site:

stepping stones

Stepping stones are rocks in the water that are near enough to each other that they can be used to cross the water by stepping from one to the next.

boy walking across water on stepping stones
The boy can cross the river on the big stepping stones.
Dreamstime site:


A tortoise is an animal with a shell on its back, and it is related to turtles.  A tortoise, though, only lives on land; it cannot live in water.  

Want to learn more?  Click here to get more information about tortoises!

picture of a tortoise
Giant Galapagos Tortoise (Hood Island) - Geochelone nigra hoodensis
A tortoise with a hard, curved shell covering its back, and a long neck stretching up. The tortoise is walking through sand, dragging its belly along the ground.Kolk, Melinda. tortoise41.jpg. June 2007. Pics4Learning. 27 Oct 2010 <>


A victory is a win in a contest or race. If the race is well designed, everyone can have a victory in their own way.

kids playing soccer
The victory went to our soccer team because we played well together.
dreamstime site:


A wildflower is any kind of flower that grows without being planted by people.  You may find wildflowers in the woods, or in fields--even in a desert!

Click here to see more pictures of wildflowers and where they grow!

picture of wildflowers
orange and yellow wildflowers growing among rocks
Kolk, Melinda. ab_flowers09.jpg. March 2009. Pics4Learning. 3 Nov 2010 <>