Ruby Gonzalez

Artist

12

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New Backyards

Unit 1 and Unit 2: My favorite childhood picture book is The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. I love the simplicity of the characters and of the illustration. The message of giving 100% of yourself without wanting anything in return is priceless. 

 

Unit 3:  the concept of this book came from traveling as a nomad. When you travel full time your "backyard” changes constantly. For a kid, I think it’s a great idea to represent the traveling destinations as new backyards. Instead of using your imagination to take you places, you take your home with you to the places you travel.

...

My first draft 

“Say goodbye to your friends Gemma, you will see them in a few weeks” said mom 

“Bye” said Gemma 

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The RV took off to explore new Backyards. 

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“I wonder what tomorrow’s backyard will look like” pondered Gemma 

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“Grab your winter gear, you are ice climbing” announced mom

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“Ice climb? I’m scared of heights” proclaimed Gemma 

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“If you can walk up a ladder, you can ice climb” mom reassured Gemma 

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Gemma climbed to the very top of Matanuska Glacier with the biggest smile on her face.

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“I’m getting hungry” whined Gemma 

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“We first have to wait in this very long line. The wait will be worth it. You will get the prettiest ballon and the biggest donut you have ever seen.” Mom promised Gemma

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“This donut is bigger than my face” shouted Gemma with delight 

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“I’m getting sleepy” admitted Gemma 

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“Try to stay awake just a little longer. The bats are hungry and they will be making their way out any minute now.” Mom reassured Gemma

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“Look!” shouted Gemma. “I can see the bats coming out of their cave”. 

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“Today, You get to ride your favorite animal. The locals call it, mutton busting” announced mom

“I get to ride a sheep? That’s so cool” said Gemma 

“Try your best to not let go, but if you do, laugh and enjoy the show” 

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“Don’t let go, don’t let go, don’t let...

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...go! Shouted Gemma 

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Gemma landed on the hay, laughing but unable to move her right arm.

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While doodling on her cast, Gemma asked, “how much longer? I miss my friends” 

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“We have one more backyard to explore before we return to your friends.” Said mom 

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“Its a little dark, but I’ll be by your side the whole time” said mom

“Ok” said Gemma 

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Gemma closed her eyes, to imagine what total darkness looked it. She took a deep breathe in.

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She slowly opened her eyes to the magical scene that surrounded her. 

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Thousands of glow worms slowly started to reveal where they live.

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“I’m so proud of your adventurous heart! You conquered Alaska’s Matanuska Glacier, you ate the biggest donut from the Donut Bar in San Diego, you visited the bats at Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico, you survived the Mutton Busting race at Houston Rodeo, you got a cool arm cast, you visited the glow worms that live at the Dismals Canyon and best of all, you get to share these stories with your friends.” Recapped Mom 

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“Hi, I’m back” said Gemma 

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I feel the story is missing something. Any feedback would be appreciated! Thank you!

 

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