My kid’s been really into Drew Daywalt’s The Day The Crayons Quit, a funny and intriguing book about crayons that don’t want to color anymore. It was started around two months ago when she and her friends at school acted out a play based on the story (she was the white crayon by the way 🙂 ). Since then, she couldn’t stop watching the video and re-reading the book. Last week, she came up with an adaptation story of the original one. It’s a kind of fan fiction. I must say, of course, that the idea and the intellectual copyright belong to Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers (as the illustrator). My kid is just writing her version of the story. The book itself is really recommended for young readers. Find more about the book here, and here or watch the video here.
Once upon a time there was one child that loved to go to the rainforest. And one day he saw two big old trees. The big old trees had lots and lots of animals living on them so the little boy went home and told his mom and dad about them.
But when he went back the other day, he didn’t see one of the old trees so he asked everybody, but nobody cut down the tree so he went back to the forest and asked the animals.
One of the animals knew who cut down the tree so the animal pointed to the man and told him that the man was going to cut down the other old tree. The little boy told the man not to cut down the tree because it’s the home for so many animals. If he cut it, the animals would be sad. So the man left his saw next to the old tree and went home.
PS: My daughter said it’s a story about responsibility and taking action in regards to environment.
As a freelance writer who is also a full time mother, I receive lots of requests (or pressures to be precise 😀 ) from my own kid, to write children’s stories for her. I personally think that writing stories for kiddos are way much harder than for adults. Kid’s stories require certain degree of imagination which I’m too old to have. Haha. So, instead of just writing stories for her, I asked my daughter to collaborate with me. To my surprise, she’s quite into it and she often comes up with good ideas.
Early this year, we worked together on a story entitled “Paman Toto yang Pelupa dan Pesta Ulang Tahun Lala” (The Forgetful Uncle Toto and Lala’s Birthday Party). It was all her idea and she even did the illustration for the stories. I was just helping with the narratives and story development. She was so excited about this and she asked me to send it to a kid’s magazine in Indonesia (which I did). However, until now, we haven’t received a single reply from the magazine telling us if the story would be published or not. I think that’s a common practice in Indonesia. Most publishers (or in this case magazine and newspaper) are too busy to reply email from writers regarding the status of their stories. Some say this is because of the enormous number of stories they receive on daily basis. Other say that they are just too lazy to reply, haha, or that replying email is not part of the office culture so they don’t take it too seriously. I don’t know which one is true but my kid is bit upset knowing that we haven’t received any news from the magazine.
I told her that there’s a huge chance our story won’t be published (for various reasons) and that it is a common part of being a writer. I also told her that being rejected doesn’t always mean that our story is so bad. Sometimes, it is just a matter of finding the right media/publisher. And even if our story was not good enough, we can always rework on it and try different media. Writing is a long process. We shouldn’t give up on the first attempt. She was just saying “okay” and I was bit heartbroken to see her sad so I told her that we can still post her story in my website, so at least, it can be read by the visitors.
So here it is, the kid’s story my daughter and I wrote months ago. This will be the beginning of my project with her. We decide to make collaborative works together and post them under the category Kid’s Stories in my website. Some of the stories will be in Bahasa Indonesia, some of them will be in English depending on the idea from my kid since she will be the mastermind behind this project 😀 . Do not expect regular update though as my kid is a moody thinker and I am even a moodier one. 😀