Amid punch and dainty cookies with pink icing, a group of young authors recently was feted for the debut of their first published books.
Fans of the first-grade authors - family and friends - crowded in the Lower School library at Augusta Preparatory Day School to hear excerpts from the novellas about their young lives.
"I touched a stingray and my mom was scared but my dad was not," said Rebekah, reading from her book which recalled her family's trip to Sea World.
Her favorite part of the book project, Rebekah said, was drawing pictures to go with her story.
Librarian Frances Redmond, said pupils have been writing and illustrating the books for about 12 to 13 years. This year, however, the pupils used Easy Books Deluxe, a new computer program the school purchased this year, to create their books, said technology instructor Joyce Howard.
Cindy Foster said she was impressed with her son Mike's book, My Special Family.
"I can see he really put a lot of effort into the book and into the drawings. In the book, he talks about the trip to see his grandma in Michigan and playing in the snow," she said flipping through the book and pausing at a page which read, "I love my family. We do fun stuff together."
First-grader Carson Jackson's book was titled My Family and Me.
"Mine is dedicated to my brother because he likes adventures, and my family because we go on adventures all the time," said Carson, showing off her book that describes a trip to Disney World, a ride on a roller coaster and a ring-toss game.
Librarian Carol Kinnaird said the book project "connects them with books" and teaches the various parts of a book. The project, she said, also teaches them to focus on one idea, to use their creativity, organize their book and stick with the long-term project.
"The pictures also have to match the words on the page, which for a first grader is not always a natural process," Kinnaird said.
The long-term goal is to instill an appreciation of books.
"When they are 25 and reading a book, maybe they will remember what they went through with this project and appreciate what a writer goes through," she said.
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