At the circus museum in Baraboo, Wisconsin.

Hopping Fun Creations




DIMMI (Tell Me)

While researching a book about Leonardo da Vinci and his inventions, I came across a charming detail. Here and there in the margins of his famous notebooks, he scribbled the Italian word dimmi (DEE-mee). Some scholars suggest that he was just testing the ink in his pen.

They might be right. But my creative gut says there's more to it than that. The word translates as "tell me" in English, but its meaning can be far more engaging. To Italians, the word stands in for: tell me, say something, ask me, explain it to me, I'm listening, can I take your order? . . . engage me in conversation.

Who was Leonardo engaging when he wrote, "Dimmi, why does the moon shine?" Or, "Dimmi, why are there fossils of sea creatures on mountain tops?" His own genius mind? His fellow inventors? His creative muse? Maybe the list even includes us—his future readers.

In this single word, I've found a bridge between my life as a science writer and as a language-loving cultural junkie. As a writer, I share and seek stories about engaging exchanges with people from around the world.

So, dimmi.

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ARCS and Review Copies
for the Readalicious! Books for Tweens blog

Louise Hopping accepts ARCs and review copies of books aimed squarely at tweens (ages 10 to 12.5), fiction and nonfiction, for consideration on her Readalicious! blog. Note that she limits her posts to books she highly recommends and all submissions are nonreturnable.

Louise Hopping
c/​o St. Michael School
11311 Hubbard
Livonia, MI 48150

All the material on this website is copyright © 2000-2018 by Hopping Fun Creations. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to visitors to download, print, and use the "Freebie" reproducibles free of charge for educational use only. Reproduction, reposting, or distribution in any form or media is prohibited without the written permission of the copyright holder.

Stories & Games

Born-Digital Products
Science and nature games, activities, animations, and more for ages 6-9.
A digital story told in narrated episodes, interactive journals, and social media.
Mayan Mysteries (Dig-It Games) is a narrative video game about archaeological adventures, with puzzles to solve and mini-games to play.
Children's Books
Read the sad, moving tale of a peace-loving leader who lost his land, many of his people, and his life-long fight to keep the peace.
The true science adventures of Diane France, forensic anthropologist. NSTA Selector's Choice, AAAS/SB&F Subaru finalist, starred reviews!
Adriana Ocampo found her path to science adventure through space-traveling robots and crashing asteroids! (FREEBIE science quizzes.)
The Body as Evidence (Autopsies) and Crime Scene Investigation!
Outdoor fun for 6 to 8 year olds.
Tornadoes! and Hurricanes! are my two best-selling books with 1.6 million sold!
A must-have card game set for English language (ESL/EFL) and language arts teachers and tutors. (FREEBIE ESL materials.)
My top selling game book!
Lively games and activities about grammar, vocabulary, and dictionary skills.
Great American History Games, 15 Primary Source Activities (plays, games, readings, and more) and more!
Race from Earth to Mars, an orbiting target, by fixing malfunctions and answering intriguing science questions. Endorsed by astronaut Jack Lousma.