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CREATORS Tyler Donovan (at right), a senior at Episcopal High School, wrote a dual-language book that began as a project in French class. Her classmate, Amiri Scrutchin (at left), illustrated the book. (Photo: Scott Cunningham)
Le Prince Gâté began as an eighth-grade French class project. The assignment was to write a fairy tale with a moral lesson. The story of a spoiled, selfish prince who learns the importance of sharing and kindness was born. After eighth grade, I forgot about the story for a while.
Near the beginning of my junior year, I began to fancy the idea of publishing my story. However, it needed some serious revision, as well as illustrations. I spent months debating the best way to create drawings for my book. One day, in 11th-grade English, Dr. Brad Telford gave us a drawing quiz where we had to sketch scenes from the novel we were reading. I half-heartedly began my sub-par doodles when I peeked at the desk next to me to see that my friend Amiri Scrutchin had created some incredible sketches. I had found my illustrator! Amiri kindly agreed to take on the task of bringing my characters to life.
Originally, the book was written in only French. Amiri did not speak French, so I went back to the book and translated each page. I realized that I wanted the book to be easy to understand and enjoy for more people, so creating a dual-language story made sense. A few months after I sent Amiri the translations, he produced the perfect illustrations.
From working with Amiri, I learned collaboration, communication and time management. Amiri and I complemented each other because we put our strengths together to create a fun and hopefully enjoyable book.
My hope is that kids will read the story in both French and English and gain an appreciation for a different language, which will hopefully encourage them to be more accepting of people from different backgrounds. I hope that the story can show the beauty of diversity and being kind to others.
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