Kindergarteners of Shirley Hills Elementary School in Warner Robins, Georgia, are additional proof that love for reading and writing still exists in this age of cartoon TV and computer games—and this love definitely knows no limit, not even age.
The young students—already published authors at ages five and six—looked dapper as they exited a limousine and walked on red carpet during a book-signing event that their school hosted for their collaborative children’s book, Barky the Mouse.
Carson Stanley, one of the kindergarteners and the son of a second-grade teacher at Shirley Hills, thought about Barky’s story while spending time in his mom’s class after school one day. Lara Stanley, Carson’s mom, said he got some paper and started writing while waiting for her class to end. He was not able to finish the story, so he shared his ideas with his classmates about a mouse and a monster who took his cheese. The class enthusiastically took part in completing Barky’s adventure and created illustrations to go with it as well, making it a truly wonderful shared experience the kids will never forget.
Ashley Watkins, one of the kindergarten teachers, was very happy when she saw the product of the kids’ efforts and combined talents, so she shared the story online. LitFire Publishing learned about it and eagerly decided to sponsor the publication of the story’s paperback, donating all the books to the class.
The book signing caught the attention of prominent figures in Warner Robins, including Mayor Randy Toms and Houston County schools superintendent Mark Scott, who both attended the event.
What these kids have achieved so far—writing and illustrating a book and having it published—really impressed Scott, who acknowledged the lesson that this experience could teach the children. He also recognized the involvement of other members of the community who made the event possible, especially the teachers.
“These teachers have found a way to link success and reading,” said the school’s superintendent.
Aside from autographing books, the children entertained the guests as well when they read the story out loud during the event, which can be considered as one of the greatest highlights of their very young careers.
One student who illustrated the sky in the book referred to the event as the “most important day of my life.”
Watkins is hopeful that with this notable feat under their belt, her students will develop more confidence to explore the world and seize every opportunity to be great. “It is important for them to realize that you can’t put an age on what you can accomplish in life,” she said.
By adult standards, these children are too young to understand the complexities of the world, but in their innocence, they are astute enough to know that it doesn’t take much to enjoy most of the best things in life, like reading and writing.
Barky the Mouse is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, and at LitFire’s bookstore.