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Canutillo Elementary kindergartners write, illustrate and publish children’s book

Canutillo Elementary kindergartners write, illustrate and publish children’s book

If you ask the students in Canutillo Elementary Kindergarten teacher Kaitlynn Escontrias’ class what their favorite book is, the answer might surprise you.

It’s not a Dr. Seuss classic or a bestseller like “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein.

No. For many of them, the answer is “Amazing Animals,” a new picture book they wrote, illustrated and published themselves during this past school year that just ended last week.

“I had seen teachers on social media do something like this with their students and thought it would be a great project for our new readers to take on,” Escontrias said. “We debated about the subject for a while and we determined as a class that we loved animals and we wanted to write about it.”

The published book, which just arrived into the District last week, features stories written and researched by each kindergartener. Every page tells the story of a different animal using interesting facts and whimsical writing.

Kindergartener Jayden chose to write about grasshoppers, noting: “I am grasshopper. Birds try to eat me. I spit to scare them. Grasshoppers fly away.”

Escontrias said she worked with each kindergartner to flush out the stories.

“This was a great exercise in writing. I told them they had to go deeper than just ‘I like grasshoppers,’” she said. “Their response was amazing.”

Once the stories and illustrations were edited and finalized, Escontrias used a self-publishing company that specializes in student work to have the book professionally printed.

“It’s amazing to see this book come to life and to know that our tiniest of students were responsible for it,” Canutillo Principal Andrea Esparza said. “I just know that working on this book will instill on them a lifelong love of books and reading.”

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