‘Booky fun’ sparks teens’ childhood imagination

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Allison Whitman

Students in “Booky Fun” dive into the creative world of making children’s books.

Allison Whitman, Contributor

“The Man on the Moon” written by Alice Ma, a junior, is about the journey of a girl who loves the sky. One day she looks up and sees the man on the moon, and she wants to go visit him. 

Ma wrote her book as a part of “Booky Fun,” a class where students created self-illustrated books with cheerful pop art.

Together, teachers Mrs. Megan Martin and Mr. Ryan Call created a class that encompassed the creative process of writing and making a children’s book. 

Mr. Call, an English teacher, said that the class is “a reminder of how important playfulness and creativity are in our lives.” 

Students started the creative process of making a children’s book by brainstorming potential ideas for their stories. 

Ma felt that the brainstorming session really allowed her to be creative because everything was allowed. 

“I feel like this isn’t something that I usually do, and doing this for the first time is enlightening,” Ma said. 

When Gayle Robertson, a freshman, began her process of storytelling, she took inspiration from books written by Eric Carle, an American author and illustrator of children’s books.

Once an idea sparked, the creative process took off. Students learned about how to create unique plots that would appeal to younger readers. 

The next step was to design the drawings. Learning the importance of colors and object placement was a key factor in creating their books. Students learned basic qualities of picture-book making. Once the pictures were completed, all that was left was to bind the pages together. 

Both Ma and Robertson said that they were most looking forward to reading their books to the Lower School students. However, pandemic protocols caused a change in the original plans from going in person to the Lower School to sharing the stories online.  

Research has shown the many benefits of reading books to kids. Some of the benefits are children’s opportunity to soak up new vocabulary, ability to increase their imagination and grow their curiosity.

The students who took this class left with a greater appreciation for children’s book writers, and the time and effort it takes to publish children’s books. 

“It’s a lot harder not to take ideas that have already been taken,” Robertson said.