The contest started back in October when the materials were delivered to the Redmond elementary schools and distributed to the 4th grade teachers. The art and writing contest is curriculum oriented for easy integration into the classroom.
Writing and illustrating workshops were conducted in the classrooms on request. Eager students practiced replacing weak words with stronger words in sentences and illustrating a scene from a short story. Many thanks to authors Paty Jager and Kai Strand and to illustrator K.C. Snider for their time and expertise.
After the 150 entries were collected, a team of volunteers led by Mary Krakow narrowed the field down to 27 top picture books. The final judges then closed themselves into a room to review the 27 finalists. They designated honorable mentions as well as chose the winner and runner-up. They were looking for a complete, well-told story with compelling illustrations that added even more to the story. Not an easy task from so many strong entries. Thank you to Julie Bowers from the Redmond Library, illustrator K.C. Snider and children’s author Kai Strand for being the final judges this year.
Family, friends, students and teachers gathered at a reception held at the Redmond Library. Linda Barker did a fabulous job organizing the event and the Friends of the Redmond Library provided a terrific spread of punch and goodies. All of the finalists and honorable mentions were honored with a certificate and their books on display.
The runner-up, Aspen Geisen, read his fun adventure, Monkey Madness. Aspen attends Tom McCall Elementary. He dedicated his book to his family and friends and Mrs. Zistel and Mrs. Renz. Monkey Madness has descriptive language, humor and adventure. The illustrations add to the story with strong character definition, consistency and great detail.
The winner, Aryana Foster, read her winning entry, The Mystery of the Missing Clown. Aryana attends Central Christian School and asked if she can grow up to be both an author and a professional softball player. In The Mystery of the Missing Clown, three friends who are attending the Dingle Berry Circus step in to solve the mystery of Bongo the Clown’s disappearance. They doggedly search the circus until they find him and return him to enjoy his act. The colorful illustrations are eye catching and add to the storyline. They have great details, like the little mustache on the elephant trainer and the feathered hat on the lion tamer.
Both children did a fantastic job reading. They also signed copies of their books for those in attendance. Their appearances aren’t over yet. They will be reading their stories at an upcoming COWG meeting as well as at a Redmond Rotary luncheon. If you are unable to attend any of the readings, their books will be available to check out through the Deschutes Public Library System.
Thank you to the teachers and staff at the schools that we received entries from: Central Christian, Tom McCall, Sage, and Vern Patrick.
The Central Oregon Writer’s Guild would like to thank all the people involved in the 4th Grade Book Contest. Our co-sponsors; The Redmond Public Library, High Desert Society of the Arts, Redmond Rotary Club. Supporters; The Friends of the Redmond Library, C & L Printers. Volunteers; Elsie Rochna, Anita Lanning, those who visited classrooms, our two judging teams, everybody who helped sort and deliver to the schools. We hope we didn’t leave anyone out. Everyone’s participation is crucial to a successful contest for these students!
If you would like to be involved in next year’s 4th Grade Book Contest, contact Kai Strand at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-550-8836 or Elsie Rochna at email@example.com or 541-923-0896.