Encouraging Early Literacy and Children's Creativity
It is not often I have the privilege to interview a 10 year old whizzkid, avid reader, book reviewer, black belt in Tae Kwando, to mention but a few of Erik’s talents. I asked Erik how he became interested in reviewing books?
Erik: I have always loved reading and I read just about anything I can. I got the idea to write reviews about the books I read when my grandmother told me she was shopping for a book for me for my birthday and she didn’t know what to buy. She said a kid saw her looking and suggested that she get “The Strange Case of Origami Yoda” by Tom Angleberger for me. He said it was a good book and that I would like it. My Grandmother listened to the kids and bought the book for me. I thought it was a great book! Then I thought that if my grandmother would take the advice of a kid in a store, maybe people would read reviews that kids write and it could help other kids and grown-ups find books they like. I told my parents I would like to write reviews in newspapers, but my Dad suggested a blog as a place to start.
Me: What are 3 of your all-time favorites?
Erik: I really like many books! I think my all-time favorite is “Redwall” by Brian Jacques, followed by “Tentacles” by Roland Smith (it is the second book in his Cryptid Hunters series) and “The Son of Neptune” by Rick Riordan. There are so many other books I really like and have read more than once, but these are the ones that I think of as my favorites.
Erik: “Redwall” is a great book about faith in yourself and it has a very good plot. Matthias was a very brave mouse who found the armor of his hero, Martin, the mouse who helped build Redwall Abbey. Matthias uses the armor to save Redwall Abbey from evil rats. It is an excellent action-adventure story and the characters are great – heroic and cool good-guys and horrible, disgusting bad-guys. The world of Redwall is described so well I can see the whole thing in my head. Brian Jacques was a great writer. I was very sad when he died last year.
“Tentacles” is about Marty and Grace, now living with Grace’s dad (Marty and Grace thought they were siblings but it turns out that they are cousins) and they go on his big “refitted haunted boat” to try to catch a live giant squid (Travis Wolfe, Grace’s dad is a cryptologist)! However, Noah Black wood, Grace’s grandfather, wants to take Grace, steal the squid (if they get it) and take the precious cargo on the boat. I like the idea of the series, finding creatures that are thought to be extinct or myths and all that, but I really enjoyed this one because I read a lot about giant squids and that they really exist, so this fiction book about a giant squid really interested me. The plot was exciting and full of action and adventure. Just my kind of book.
“The Son of Neptune” is about Percy Jackson, and his new friends, Hazel and Frank. Percy barely remembers anything about being a demigod (Greek – son of Poseidon), and somehow he finds himself in a Roman camp. Here, he is put on a quest to get something for his group at the Roman camp. Along the way, he regains his memories meets the Amazons (who run Amazon.com, of course). I love all books with Percy Jackson in them and this was no different. It was full of humor, action, and was an awesome read. I especially like this book because it has Roman and Greek mythology clash. I thought that was a pretty cool idea. I also like how it teaches you about Roman and Greek mythology. I am always up to learning new things!
Me: What is your favourite kind of plot?
Erik: I love pretty much every genre, but I love Fantasy Fiction the most, closely followed by Action-Adventure stories. I like it when authors create worlds and settings that I can picture in my mind. I also really like plots where I learn about other cultures or history too. I like to learn from stories.
Me: Would you like to be a writer when you grow up?
Erik:Yes, I would like to be an author when I grow up, but I consider myself a writer right now (I guess a beginner). I am writing a book about these small aliens that accidently crash-land on Earth (or, as of in my book, “Ear-th”) and try to survive. When I grow up, I really want to be an inventor and create things, but I think I will always want to write too.
Me: Why is writing important to you?
Erik: I think writing is important no matter what you do. It doesn’t matter what kind of job you have, you’ll always have to write something. I think I would like to be a published author someday also. I have always loved books and I thought to myself “Why not try to write my own book?”, and then started that journey of a thousand words with that single thought. I have been working on that book for a year or two now. The reason I want to be an inventor when I grow up is that I like making new things with my hands. I like knowing how things work. I think I would also like to help people around the world with my inventions. I have some ideas about how to help clean the environment using nanotechnology.
Me: Tell us three nice things about your sister!
Erik: UGH! *cough – cough* … She’s nice, pretty, and really smart! Whew. OK seriously, my little sister (when she isn’t bugging me) is very smart. She works very hard at everything she does. Josie (my sister) never gives up on anything. I learn a lot about perseverance from her. She is a good friend too.
Me: What other hobbies do you enjoy?
Erik: I really love to build with LEGOs. I am a part of a LEGO robotics team in the Junior LEGO League. I have been studying Taekwondo for close to five years, and have just started to train Karate and Jujitsu too. I like to swim, fish, camp (especially roasting marshmallows on a campfire and making s’mores), play outside, ride my minibike and bike, draw, think about books and think about new book ideas.
Me: Do you like music?
Erik: No. I don’t like music. I LOVE IT! It is a great way to soothe you and make you think, even if it is hard rock music (well, hard rock wouldn’t soothe me unless if I am five miles away from whoever is playing it).
Me: What’s your favourite?
Erik: My all time favorite types of music are classical and disco. I really enjoy listening to classical music and following the melodies in it. I think I always liked disco type music. My parents told me I used to fall asleep to the Saturday Night Fever music when I was a baby. My favorite song of all time is a 50’s song called “Cupid” by Sam Cooke.
Me: What is your favourite historical person?
Erik: I think Abraham Lincoln. I’ve read a lot about him and I wrote an ABC book about his life. He was a very interesting person. He had a good life story.
Me: What countries would you like to visit and why?
Erik: I would like to visit Australia because they have so many cool animals, coral reefs, Aborigines, and because New Zealand is really close to Australia I could visit there too! I think I would also like visit South Korea because I have learned some things about that country through my Taekwondo training and I am curious to see the actual country. I’d love to visit Japan, France (I am taking French lessons), England and really anywhere! My parents told me that one of the nicest places they ever went to was Sweden and I’d like to go there too.
Me: Glad you would like to come to England Erik! That is where I live and it is pretty cool!
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore and my favotire song
Meet Erik on hos own fabulous blog: This Kid Reviews Books