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What's Up South Texas!: 2nd grade author inspires others to keep reading alive

SCHERTZ, Texas – A 7-year-old Schertz girl can add author to her early resume after she wrote, illustrated and had her own book published to inspire other kids like herself to read more.

Azlin Anderson, who is in the second grade, created the story "Meet Pumpkin Dog." She got the idea from one of her favorite classes.

“One day in art class we were going to draw the Great Wave but when we finished, we had extra time and my teacher told us that we could draw a silly pumpkin.”

That started a whole new idea about a dog named Bruce who lives in a pumpkin patch. In the story, Bruce spots a pumpkin that he thinks is originally a dog, and after pouncing on it, he turns into a pumpkin dog. The story goes on an adventurous journey involving a pumpkin witch and a fire-breathing dragon.

“She came to us one day after dinner and she said, ‘I wrote a book,’ and she had these pages all taped together,” said Phillip Anderson, Azlin’s father. “Just seeing the artwork that she did and the wording and the entire storyline and character development was amazing and I said ‘Man, this is something else!”

Having an extensive background with computer graphics, Phillip Anderson self-published his daughter’s book which has gained a lot of popularity.

She’s gone on to read her book to other kids, had her book placed on book shelves in her city and online, and even was recognized the mayor of Schertz at a city council meeting.

“She does inspire kids,” said Mariana Anderson, Azlin’s mother. “Every time we have a reading the kids are like ‘How old are you? Did you do that?’ They don’t believe that she is the one that did it.”

Azlin Anderson said her goal is to continue Pumpkin Dog’s journey making more book and inspiring others to grow a love and passion for reading as strong as hers.

If you know someone like Azlin Anderson who is making a difference in the South Texas community or who has a unique story, send us your tips. Contact Japhanie Gray on Facebook or @JGrayKSAT on Twitter. You can also send your tips to KSAT 12 & KSAT.com on Facebook.


About the Author:

Japhanie Gray

From the home of the Seminoles, Japhanie Gray grew up in the town of Osceola, Arkansas. She graduated as the Salutatorian of the Osceola Class of 2011. She attended Arkansas State University, where she participated in the National Association of Black Journalists and the Spanish Honor Society Sigma Delta Pi.