Sunday, 24 February 2013

Emeth's first book

They have this simple graphics program that Emeth likes a lot at school. So I got it up and running here, prompted by him wanting it to make some birthday cards with it. The program really is (like a lot of "educational" software sold to schools) quite crude in a lot of ways -- but it does have one great virtue: it hooks up to a decently sized, searchable, clip art gallery online.

To my surprise, Emeth skipped entirely the obvious way of navigating through the categorized picture folders of clip art thumbnails and went straight to the "search box" and started typing in words to find the pictures he wanted. He found some stuff, but not as much as he wanted. So I figured, since he's searching with text, why not just use Google? He actually already knows (at 5 years old) how to use Google quite well, actually. He taught himself how to use it to find his beloved minecraft pages and videos long ago! So I just had to teach him how to grab the pictures from google's image search and get them into his art program. (It basically involved him dragging the pictures from the right place in the web browser into a temporary local folder, and then dragging them from there into his document.)

So with that all figured out, and unlimited images at his disposal, he started cranking out Portal 2 themed "cards" for everyone. These quickly turned into something like cartoons, when he started adding story-like captions around the pictures. "Kick! Ahhh! terret!" (That last word is his spelling of turret -- a Portal 2 obstacle) And so on. (Anyone who knows Portal will relate.)

Anyhow, after a few days of that, Emeth suddenly decides he wants to write a book with this program. I think we figured this would just be a multi-page "card", like he had been making already, full of pasted pictures and a bit of text. But no, he decided it was going to not be a picture book. After some hours, he presents us with the following multi-page epic autobiography. (You can click in the page images to enlarge.) Keep in mind, he's only five years old, in kindergarten, and this was done with no help, entirely independently (in fact he adamantly refused to let anyone else in the room while he was working)... 

(I censored the school and phone number details. And "Picshers" = pik-shers = pictures, in case you didn't get that word.)

He followed this up the next day by making a 5 page book (3 pages of solid text, plus cover page, and final page) entitled "Life Cycles" (of fish, lions, birds, cows, people, dogs, and other creatures). The pages, as seen above, aren't full size letter pages, but still... we're pretty amazed.

Istra also wrote a story the other day. She writes with a pencil on paper. Her story is called "The Dumb Cat". It's a drama  about a cat who makes questionable decisions.


  1. Hi Emeth I really liked your story. You are doing so well! Keep up the good work. Maybe you will have your booked published some time.
    love you Aunty Belle

  2. Emeth I was most impressed with your writing and the fact that you like to be funny. I look forward to reading more of your works

  3. Annie Halliwell28 Feb 2013, 18:18:00

    I think that is the best book ever! I like that you like to be funny because I like to be funny too. Maybe one day we can be funny together.
    We are so proud of you and your sister. Look forward to your next book. Love Annie