Little authors are celebrated in a big way

It’s not every day that someone becomes a published writer — and that’s especially true of second-graders.

So, staff members at Land O’ Lakes Christian School weren’t about to let the moment pass by without a good bit of fanfare.

These second-graders in Christy Hoynoski’s class wrote a book called ‘If I Were An Animal.’ The children are, (front row, from left): Savannah Wrenn, Laurelai Marano, Kylie Matkin, Sarina King, Kinsley Wooles and Esteban Lowe. The others (back row, left to right) are Hadasa Smith, Keenan Morais-Silva, Maya Vidal, ErikSebastien Capellupo, Isabelle Loscalzo, Colin VanderVere and their teacher, Christy Hoynoski. (Courtesy of Land O’ Lakes Christian School)

The children in Christy Hoynoski’s class were celebrated in a big way at a party in the school’s lunchroom on the day their book, “If I Were An Animal,” arrived at the school at 5105 School Road in Land O’ Lakes.

There were balloons and a red carpet that was bedazzled by stars — each bearing the name of a child author.

Each of the 7- and 8-year-olds stood at a podium, reading their stories and showing off their illustrations.

Parents and grandparents came to the school to honor the children’s accomplishment, and the party featured a book-shaped cake and snacks with literary themes.

It was a big day for the second-graders, and the glow was still showing weeks later, when they talked about the stories they wrote, with a visiting reporter.

Mrs. Hoynoski, as the children call her, came up with the idea of creating the book after hearing about a free publishing kit offered by Studentreasures Publishing.

This is the cover of the book written by students in Christy Hoynoski’s second grade class at Land O’ Lakes Christian School.

The idea was to make writing more fun, the teacher said.

The children considered a variety of possible books they could do, such as “Second Grade Inventions,” “If I were a President” and “When I Grow Up.”

In the end, they voted to create a book about animals.

Besides allowing the second-graders to practice their handwriting skills and showcase their artistic abilities, the project also gave them a chance to exercise their lively imaginations, too.

For instance, in this book, there’s a zebra with rainbow-colored stripes and a white bunny with black polka dots.

The animals have interesting diets, too. There’s a pig that eats candy, a whale that eats broccoli, a horse that eats grapes and an owl that eats ice cream.

Second-graders make their way into the school lunchroom at Land O’ Lakes Christian School to celebrate the publication of their book, ‘If I Were An Animal.’

The kids also thought outside of the box when naming their animals. There’s a wolf named Snowflake, a bird named Jewel, a bobcat named Rosie and a cobra named Cutey.

The students said they enjoyed writing their stories and drawing their pictures, and, of course, they were pleased to see their work in print.

It’s a project the second-grade teacher said she’d recommend to other teachers.

“It really got them excited about writing,” she said.

Writing is an important skill, the teacher added, because it’s a skill her students will need throughout their lives.

Published May 23, 2018

ErikSebastien Capellupo shows off his illustration of a story he wrote about a cheetah, named Lightning, that can run 1 million mph.

Hadasa Smith shows off one of the stories she wrote and illustrations she did for ‘If I Were An Animal.’ She wrote about a zebra with rainbow-colored stripes and a bobcat named Rosie.

Savannah Wrenn reads one of the stories she wrote for a book created by Christy Hoynoski’s second grade class at Land O’ Lakes Christian School.


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