What’s Story Critters All About?

Extraordinary true experiences – using pets, pests, predators and prey as the focus – generate upbeat and humorous short stories to read just for fun.  The author’s lifetime exposure to a wide assortment of animals in varied environments makes for unusual entertainment.  Young and old will enjoy her adventures, grimace at her mishaps and sympathize with her losses.

Most are designed as a two or three page short story – some up to five pages – double spaced for clarity.  Certain stories are written as a series giving readers another purpose to continue reading to know how it all turned out.  Older children using a drama voice and a sense of humor could read aloud to younger ones who have yet to learn to read or have difficulty reading – with both age groups benefiting greatly.

At the end of each story is a brief comprehension part with vocabulary and/or a puzzle plus photos from the author’s extensive personal collection.  Folks unfamiliar with some words and rural or animal terms should find the author’s vocabulary list helpful.

Individual Story Critters are easily downloaded as a PDF (3.0 MB or less) to whatever device children and adults choose and even printed if they wish.  Teachers can do likewise.  Geography buffs can appreciate the free one-page PDF download with two maps showing where the author has lived with her critters.

Story Critters Teaches Literacy

Typically, Teachers Teach and Authors Write — yet, this teacher can also write.  With decades of teaching and private tutoring under her belt and still ongoing, the author has found that for today’s students and many adults, reading even for fun has become dreaded and a lost art.  Reading is a seven-lettered word but is now often perceived as if it is one of the forbidden four-lettered words.  Today, reading is viewed by multitudes in America as a punishment handed-out for no good reason.

… igniting a spark for continued interest in reading by practicing to become good at it!

Students at all levels are frequently given whole books to digest and regurgitate – sadly, without the time or training to accomplish such a goal.  Their lives are packed full with multiple activities every day.  During the school terms volumes of homework are piled on top of that.  Unless one reads on a regular and preferably daily basis including during the summer (the training), one cannot readily read an assigned entire book (the marathon) – much less comprehend it – nor likely get it read by the due date.  Poor reading skills are a major factor leading to overall academic failure and other negative issues when formal schooling is completed.

It is time to set Story Critters loose on the world . . . these are manageable bites.  To fulfill teachers’ and parents’ demands to read a minimum of 10-20 minutes a day is exactly what Story Critters is about.  It is an attempt to lift the stigma of what has been a painful endeavor by turning it into something fairly easy, mostly fun and certainly memorable within a short time frame – igniting a spark for continued interest in reading by practicing to become good at it!

Meet the Author  ~  Marbea Lane

Marbea Lane Author Image

As a means of engaging her students when the math lessons bogged down, the author began telling tales about her critters.  She turned the stories into funny math word problems for them to solve.  The students began to focus on the details in the story because they were interested.  With the encouragement of her students who loved the stories and the insistence of her sons over the years to record the tales of her life, the author decided to write them down for her boys and also to share with the public — these are things about which many people of all ages might have little or no knowledge.

Having lived in 26 cities in 12 states plus two years in Japan – as well as having traveled through 24 more states, including Alaska and Hawaii – plus making trips across Canada and into Mexico – the author has had immense opportunities for learning about creatures both in captivity and in the wild.

She has resided in the desert of New Mexico since 1996 with her human and other types of family members.  Her three grown sons have homes of their own with assorted critters in residence . . . the tradition continues.


Bachelor of Arts – Linguistics

Masters Credits – Linguistics

Foreign Languages – Conversational Skills:      Japanese, German and Spanish


Classroom Teaching:  12 years full-time equivalent;  Tutoring:   15 years full-time

Teaching Style:

Utilizing linguistic expertise, she approaches every subject, math and algebra especially, as a foreign language with understanding the grammar, syntax and vocabulary as vital to students’ learning.

Teaches students old-school English Diagramming to sort word problems and thus, be able to solve them.  Methodical step-by-step processes; focus on concepts not memorized patterns.

Integrates visual, tactile and auditory methods into all subjects for all students of all ages.  Students read aloud to all their numbers and words while writing everything down for short and long-term retention.


To recognize and assess discrepancies between what a student seems capable of doing and what the student actually is doing – then adjust accordingly.


To teach students how to teach themselves using their best learning styles.