A Holiday with Aunty Mo

by Victoria Zurakowski and Gordon Miller


Several times a year, Jo and Nicky’s family head up north to visit their mother’s sister, Aunty Mo. It doesn’t take them long to get there from Hamilton. It’s only about two hours by car to Aunty Mo and Uncle Connor’s house in Auckland, New Zealand.

There are harbors and bays all around the city and miles of beaches. From any place in the city, it is just a few miles to the water. Because of the popularity of sailing, it’s known as the “City of Sails”.

Aunty Mo is an artist and a little eccentric, so it’s always interesting. Her house is full of wonderful things from her travels. Jo and Nicky love admiring all the souvenirs and art from different countries.

Today they are having a barbecue in the back yard. All of the cousins are running around barefoot in the back yard while they wait for the food. Uncle Connor and Dad are in charge of the barbecue. Jo notices a strange burning smell in the air.

“Dad, look!” Jo shouts pointing at the sizzling sausages. “The sausages are on fire!”

Uncle Connor looks at the barbecue in a panic. Thick black smoke wafts up into the air.

“Oh no, there goes dinner.” He laughs nervously.

Aunty Mo rushes out. “Quick! Get a bucket of water!” she cries.

A sizzling sound fills the air. Mum has just poured the bucket of water over their dinner.

“It looks like it is takeaway fish and chips for dinner today.” Dad says shaking his head. He’s trying to hide his embarrassment.

“Kids get your towels. The best fish and chips are right on the beach.”

“Yay!” Jo, Nicky, and their cousins shout in unison.

At the beach, the sand is very hot. Jo and Nicky bend down to put on their sandals so their feet don’t burn. All the cousins run around leaping about. They’re happy Dad and Uncle Connor ruined the dinner. Fish and chips at the beach are much more delicious.

After dinner, Dad and Uncle Connor get the boat off the top of the car and the kids sail a little way into the bay to watch the colorful sunset.

This story is mostly about:

  • A0  A. A holiday in Australia.
  • B0  B. Aunty Mo’s house.
  • C0  C. A holiday in Auckland.
  • D0  D. Hot sand.

We learned some things about Aunty Mo’s house but most of the story is about their holiday in Auckland, New Zealand.

Aunty Mo is:

  • A1  A. A tourist.
  • B1  B. A firefighter.
  • C1  C. A chef.
  • D1  D. An artist.

The story says Aunty Mo is an artist. She likes to travel but she is not a permanent tourist. It says nothing about her cooking.

What is one thing Dad and Uncle Connor did?

  • A2  A. They made a bonfire.
  • B2  B. They destroyed the dinner.
  • C2  C. They cooked fish and chips.
  • D2  D. They burned the steak.

Dad and Uncle Connor burned the sausages. Because they were burned, they could not eat them. They had to go out for fish and chips. Dad and Uncle Connor took the boat off the car. That is not one of the choices.

You can guess that:

  • A3  A. Aunty Mo and Uncle Connor hardly ever go to the beach.
  • B3  B. The beaches are always cold in Auckland.
  • C3  C. Snowboarding is popular in Auckland.
  • D3  D. Water sports are popular in Auckland.

We know from the story that the sand was hot, so the beaches are not always cold. We also know that everyone lives close to the beach. Since they know that the best fish and chips are at the beach and the boat was already on the car, they probably go there all the time. Since it is so close to the water, other water sports are probably popular too.

Something to think about:

What kinds of water sports do you like?


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