BALTIMORE (WJZ) — With all of our stay-at-home time, people all over Maryland have been finding unique things to do.
A 4th grader at Baltimore International Academy decided to publish a book. The subject matter really hits home as we find ourselves spending more time with in close quarters.
Graysen Luthye’s characters may not seem very appealing on the surface.
She told WJZ “It all started with a rat.”
But it is a cute little rat and a cute little skunk.
Tell Me a Reason Why: A Skunk and Rat Story is a picture book for children with a lesson on friendship.
It was a collaborative effort, born out of a rut, written by a daughter and her dad.
“We were stuck in a rut around our house and trying to figure out what to do and since me and my dad liked writing stories we wrote a story with characters Skunk and Rat and it turned into a book,” Graysen said.
In the book, Skunk is feeling unsure about whether she is lovable and asks her friend Rat, “Rat, do you love me?”
Rat answers, “I do Skunk, I really do.”
“We want to encourage young readers to learn about friendship and the power of words because in COVID-19,” the 10-year-old author said. “It’s real hard to show your friends that you love them, so you can tell them that you love them with words.”
In this case with words and pictures. Justice Lanclos, a Fine Arts student at Morgan State University, illustrated the book.
“When I was younger, you would always find me with a book underneath my arm of some type. That was a thing – either a children’s book or a sketch book – so it was either one of the two, like, which one were you going to get that day,” Lanclos said.
Being a Baltimore native working with a Baltimore International Academy family is added significance for Justice.
“If you’re from here, you have your own idea and if you’re an outsider you just kind of see what’s on the news so it’s kind of nice to be part of something that more reflects the positives of the area rather than the negatives.”
Graysen’s dad, Curt told WJZ why he invested energy in the book.
“Definitely during COVID-19 trying to do homeschooling and school from home, this was an added little project for us to work on together and really helped us fill that time up with something productive,” he said. “We’re excited that it has really come together in a nice little book.”
For information on how to get the book go to: https://www.skunkandrat.com/