Young writers: Milwaukee PBS celebrates books written by local kids
For the past 23 years, Milwaukee PBS KIDS has encouraged childhood literacy in Southeastern Wisconsin with the Young Writers Contest. Kids in kindergarten through third grade in the local PBS viewing area are encouraged to write and illustrate their own books and submit them to the contest.
Here's a little bit about these special authors: the first place winners in each grade category. To see a video reading of each child's book, check out milwaukeepbs.org.
All about Character
For Tay Seisay, who won first place in the K5 category of the PBS writing contest, the best part of writing is creating his own characters.
That comes as no surprise to his mom, Majilis, who often encounters Tay pretending to be different people as he plays around his house.
Tay's award-winning book, "My Big Brother, Max" is about a girl who wants a big brother. Majilis describes the drawings of Tay's characters as "adorable, all with big heads, stick legs, triangle hair and lots of personality."
Kids who write often love to read as well, and Tay is no exception. When asked what his favorite book is? "My big brother, Max" by Tay Seisay, of course!
Inspired by science
Reading and writing aren't the only subjects that interest Pira Jordan, who won the first grade writing contest category. Pira says his book, "My chemistry book" is all about how he loves chemistry. He explains, "One day I was at my great grandmother's house, Grandma Bea. She has a chemistry toy set at her house. I played around with it. I made a drink that I called 'the drink of drinks." Then I liked chemistry the rest of that day!"
Pira even used his scientific know-how to design the pictures in his book -- along with some artistic help from his mom. Each page was made using a different design technique, including bubbles, squirt guns, bubble wrap, yarn and a lime as a stamp.
This young scientist even lists the resources needed to write a book in order from most to least important: perseverance, support (from family and friends), fun, ideas and materials.
Kian Ladd, who won first place in the second grade category of the contest, loves pugs. He loves them so much that his book, "The Pixel Pugs," is all about his favorite animal.
Kian, who loves to draw pictures about pugs and tell stories about pugs, says his favorite part of his book is "when the pugs and I are playing video games because it would just be so cool and awesome to play video games with your favorite cute animal."
Kian's mom Susan loved watching his creative process as he joined his school's writing club to write his book. She explains, "He broke his finger on his dominant hand days before beginning his book, and I wondered if we would be able to participate in Writer's Club at all this year. To see him gingerly figuring out how to hold a pencil to draw his pugs, and continuing on even though the process was slow and sometimes frustrating for him, made me very proud."
The artistic process
Emily Ohme, who not only won first place this year as a third grader, but last year as well, has a winning formula: pictures first!
Emily loves drawing and sketching, and she finds it easy to draw the pictures of her story and then add the words. Her mom says that when Emily and her older sister draw pictures, she encourages them to tell her more about what they've drawn. From there, more pictures, and a story, emerge.
Emily's book, "Ella Owl Learns a Lesson" is about an owl who travels around the country and learns that she misses her family. Emily enjoys reading about animals, and her favorite part of writing is that she can write about anything she wants.