By Jenni Culkin
Adolescents from the Three Village Central School District were asked to use their creative talents to write or illustrate a children’s book to the Emma S. Clark Memorial Library and the results are in.
They launched the first-ever Helen Stein Shack Book Award to showcase the young writing and artistic talent, calling for teens in the Three Village school district to create a children’s picture book.
In the library-sponsored contest category for grades seven through nine, Leah Cussen won the grand prize with her book, “Lenny the Lion.” The book told the tale of a lonely lion who leaves his family in search of a new one because he feels like he doesn’t belong.
In the end, the lion learns that his family loves him the way he is, despite any differences they might have. Anny Weisenberg and her book, “Red Boots for Rainy Days” as well as Samuel Kim and his book, “Freddy the Fish and the First Day of School” both received honorable mentions.
For grades 10 through 12, Wendy Wahlert and won the grand prize with her book, “Lilabet.” In her book, a little girl who lives in a black and white world has a love for colors. She embraces what makes her unique and shares her color with everyone.
Kiera Alventosa and her book, “Heal Our Mother Earth” as well as Sarah and Karen Jiang and their book, “Pengy Goes on an Adventure” both received honorable mentions.
“We are so incredibly impressed with the high caliber of some of the entries — the vibrant colors of the artwork and the way they wrote with young children in mind,” said Lisa DeVerna of the library. “The two grand prize winners even had wonderful lessons built into their stories.”
The winners will be recognized at a reception on April 26 at 2 p.m. at the library. A $500 scholarship will be awarded to both of the grand prize winners.
All of the winners, including the honorable mention winners, will have their books bound and made into an e-book.