Seven-year-old youngster I’deyah Ricketts is the author of the recently published children’s book Where are the Animals which she wrote when she was only 4 years old.
by Jordane Frazier Defender Contributing Writer Seven-year-old youngster I’deyah Ricketts is the author of the recently published children’s book Where are the Animals which she wrote when she was only 4 years old. “I love writing and I wanted to write about animals because I know children love them and I do too,” the youngster told the Defender. The book also features a companion activity and coloring book. Ricketts will be in the third grade at South Loop Elementary this fall. She continues to create a buzz in the Chicago area with her writing and her charming smile. In December of 2009, Where are the Animals was released by AuthorHouse Publishing. Since then, the attention-grabbing sweetheart has held many different events to promote it, including book signings, appearances and events she created called Reading Fun Times. With Reading Fun Times she makes appearances at churches, daycare centers, and schools where she reads to kids in her light yet comforting voice in grades Pre-K to second and engages them in fun and educational activities regarding reading. “One time after I finished reading my story there was a boy who wanted to go home with my book and when he couldn’t he cried,” said Ricketts. She has found herself to be a source of inspiration, too. “And when I asked some kids what they wanted to be when they grew up, after reading my story to them they said authors,” she said. The bubbly youngster had learned to read and write before she began preschool and has been doing so ever since. “I was reading and writing at a very early age” she explained. Ricketts is proud of the support she gets from her mother, Karen, younger brother Josiah, and her father – who’s also her manager –Michael. “They’re my inspirations because they support me and believe in me,” she said. Although Ricketts enjoys both writing and reading her biggest joy is teaching and being a role model for children. In fact, she said she wants to be a teacher when she grows up. “It’s fun teaching kids” she exclaimed with a smile. Still the petite, outspoken youngster is a kid first. When she’s not writing books and reading to children, she’s very active in swimming, baseball, cheerleading and dancing. “If I could tell kids anything it would be to follow their dreams and that they could be anything in life if they know how to read” she said. Copyright 2010 Chicago Defender