February’s featured Author of the Month just so happens to be one of the winners of Rainbow Resource’s Summer Writing Contest! If you are a regular blog reader, you may recognize the name! Emma was the overall winner of RRC’s 2019 Writing Contest.
For the 2020 contest, she was one of the first-place winners in the 15-18 age group for one of the best adventure stories. Big congrats to Emma! Now let’s get into her story!
We are introduced to Tait, the raccoon, who wanted to find the perfect birthday gift for Lily. He had two days before the party to find it so he set off on his adventure. He started at the zoo where he could ask many of the animals for their ideas.
The first stop on the journey was the Arctic Tundra. Tait was small enough where he could wiggle through the fence. As he made his way in he landed on what felt like a pile of snow. Tait was busy trying to figure out why it didn’t feel cold on his feet when all of sudden something moved beneath him. He had landed on a sleeping polar bear!
Tait didn’t stay long enough to find out what the polar bear had to say. He ran off to the next area. As he was making his way in, something crashed into him. It was an arctic fox who was chasing her ball. They introduced themselves and Tait found out the fox’s name was Lea. Lea asked what he was doing at the zoo. Tait told her how he was on an adventure to find the perfect gift.
Lea was so kind and offered up her own ball as a gift. Tait refused as he couldn’t take her toy and decided to keep looking.
Next stop, the African Savanna! He snuck his way in between the fence. He spotted a watering hole and started to make his way over but was stopped in his tracks as he ran straight into an elephant’s back leg.
As you can imagine, the elephant didn’t really know what had even crashed into her and kept on moving. Poor Tait could only see the elephant’s foot right on top of him ready to flatten him to a pancake! He was able to save himself and move out of the way just in time. He told his new elephant friend, Ava, that he was on the search for a birthday gift. Ava offered up her water hole but Tait thought it was a little too big for their forest home.
He visited the peacocks, giraffes, red pandas, and a squirrel yet no one could come up with the perfect gift.
Tait was so exhausted as he ended up in the softest of grass in the monkey enclosure. He called out to them asking if they had any ideas but he couldn’t hear a response as he had completely fallen asleep from his long day.
He awoke the next morning to the sound of chewing. There were two monkeys in front of him eating breakfast. One monkey threw a banana over to share with Tait. Tait found out their names were Trent and Nolan. He asked if they knew what the perfect gift was that he could give to his friend. Their obvious answer was, of course, bananas! They gave one to Tait and he decided it was time to make his way back to the forest to make it in time for Lilly’s birthday party. Tait seemed a little discouraged because he felt that it wasn’t going to be the gift that Lilly wanted.
All the forest friends showed up at the party and it was finally time for Tait to give his gift. He explained to Lilly that it was a banana and that she could eat it. Lilly took a bite, she loved it! It was soft and sweet. She offered some to Tait to try as well.
Lilly gave Tait a big hug and whispered to him “It’s perfect.” Turns out Tait was able to find the perfect present after all!
Emma has written another great story! Excited to see what she writes and illustrates (her drawings are amazing) next!
Keep reading to see what Emma shared with us in her interview! We learned the main character’s name in her story came from her little brother, Tait!
Read The Full Interview
Where did you get your Lulu Junior kit? Who gave it to you?
My mom got me the kit from Rainbow Resource Center so I could participate in their story contest.
Where did you get your idea for your story?
After writing a story about my siblings last year, I decided to do it again. I had my brother, Tait, go on an adventure in a zoo so he could meet lots of different animals – and so I could use even more sibling names!
How does it feel to be a published author?
Wonderful! I love seeing all of the pages finally put together into one book.
Who did you dedicate your book to and why?
I dedicated my book to my adventurous family and my adventurous bunnies. I dedicated it to them because I wrote it for them and the whole book is about animals with their names.
What’s the one piece of advice you’d share with another young writer?
My advice comes from the 1 Peter 4:10 “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” For encouragement: Phillipians 4:13 “I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.”
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
When I’m not writing or thinking of stories to write, I’m either drawing, doing stuff with my family, playing with bunnies or memorizing and quizzing over parts of the new testament.
Do you prefer writing or illustrating? Why?
I love both writing and illustrating, but I’d probably have to pick illustrating as my favorite – I found drawing Tait the raccoon’s world lots of fun.
What’s one of your favorite books?
The Bible and the series The Epic Order of the Seven by Jenny L. Cote are my top favorite books.
How do you like to set up your writing/drawing space?
When I write, I work anywhere that’s comfortable – more often than not that place is my room. When I worked on the actual pages for the book, I did most of that work at the kitchen table.
What inspires you to write or draw?
I’ve always loved drawing cute animals (I especially like drawing bunnies) and I like to write stories for my younger siblings to enjoy.
What do you want people to remember about your book?
I wrote it for my little brother Tait and the rest of my family, so as long as they enjoyed my work, that’s good enough for me.