Let's Rodeo! 

This project is something that I am very passionate about. When I was first pondering over different ideas for my Girl Scout Gold Award I decided that in order for this project to be as successful as possible, it had to center around something I cared about. When I heard about the differen problems the Homestead Rodeo Association was having with the Books & Broncs Literacy Project, I knew that this was a challenge I was ready to face. The main problem was being able to afford all the books for the children and that is where the ideas for my book began! As a voluteer and member of the Homestead Rodeo Association for many years they had grown close to my heart. This project brought together three of my passions: the HRA, writing, and art. 

How I came up with my book idea:

The previous book used for the Books & Broncs LIteracy Project was from the 1960's and needed updating. Also, since it was a story, it  did not talk about the rodeo and let kids know what the rodeo was about. I thought maybe a more informative book would be more interesting for the students. Knowing that the aim for Books & Broncs was to educate children about the rodeo, I decided to propose to the Homestead Rodeo Association my idea to create a nonfiction rodeo book focusing on a traditional PRCA rodeo.  Not only would my idea help to educate children about the rodeo and the events at the rodeo, it would also help HRA save money on purchasing books and get more money to pay for other expenses like busses so that the students could attend the Kids Day event at the arena. Click on the pdf to the left to download the book for FREE.

Writing Let's Rodeo!

With everything mentioned above in mind, I was left with how I should go about writing the book. I studied many childrens books, as well as the old book used for the Literacy Project, and noticed that they were not often written in verse. This seemed like a good way to go and my challenge.

 

Right away, I began planning based on the different events at the PRCA rodeo. Then, drafting the ideas behind each of the different pages and recording the ideas into verse. Sometimes lines rhymed and sometimes they didn't. It took me many hours of going over and over each page. Plus, rewriting and rewriting before I was able to, with the help of my editor and mom, finalize the writing portion of the book. Although sometimes it became frustrating as I agonized over finding the right words, writing has always been something I really enjoyed. The next step: illustrations! 

Illustrating Let's Rodeo!

As a senior in the art magnet at Coral Reef Senior High, I was no stranger to another art challenge. My teacher, Mr. McKinney, was good at doing that! Although, I primarily drew animals, such as horses, it was never the easiest thing for me to do. Even though I was an art student who draws well, it did not mean that I could draw everything well! 

 

I got to work right away working on the illustrations. The drawings were detailed and difficult at times. I just had to keep practiciing. I decided to go with scribble sketches and leave them in black and white so that the first graders, who this project targets, could color the pages however they liked --- in the lines or outside the lines --- traditional colors or contemporary. Once I finished all of the illustrations for the different events the book was reviewed a final time before I was able to declare it finished and ready for the next year's literacy day!