I recently told Nathan that my brother Cavan had just had his first real art exhibit, and showed him pictures of the event; Nathan was intrigued. The next day, I read him the Caldecott-winning illustrated storybook of the legend of St. George and the Dragon. That did it. He suddenly lost interest in his long-time dream career as a "driver," and now says he is an artist and wants to attend an art school.
When I mentioned to Nathan last month that the school library was holding a contest for the best fairy tale, he was inspired and immediately created an original story of his own. He told me his ideas, and I jotted them down, giving him simple guidance like prompting, "What will be the problem the characters must solve? All stories have a problem." When he finally had his story straight, he set to work on the illustrations.
I don't think he had much competition, but his book won! He earned a certificate, a Ranger Rick bag, a couple sheets of stickers, and a free copy of The Usborne Encyclopedia of Animals. Below are scans of all the pages.
As a bonus, I am also including here scans of another book he made -- this one was a class project.
Bugs are tiny.
Bugs annoy us. Bugs crawl and fly.
Bugs eat plants.
Nathan is so pleased with his work, and I'm so proud of my creative little guy!