While walking Una about a week ago, I came across one of my most interesting finds in a while. It is a booklet called "My Very Own Drawing & Story Book 1," in which a boy of indeterminate age has written and drawn about his life. It had fallen out of a bag of garbage, one of several that a tenant had left behind upon vacating an apartment located over a hair salon.
The cover has the boy's name on it, which starts with a "K." On it, K. has also doodled and practiced some letters and numbers.
I'm not sure how old K. is, but he's clearly at the very beginning stages of reading and writing. Although every once in a while, an adult hand seems to have added a word, most of it is uncorrected. The words are phonetically sounded out, with a certain accent, and reading it is like translating a foreign language.
The first internal page features a drawing of an oval-shaped object with two spindly legs, with radiating lines that cover a partially erased stick figure. Above the drawing, it reads: "I lrn to rit piner in I lrn to rin piner gon", or it might be intended to read "I lrn to rit in I lrn to piner rin piner gon." The best I can figure it that the first portion might mean, "I learn to write and I learn to" but I can't parse the second portion.
Underneath the picture, someone has written "Superhero ABC," which seems to be the name of a book. Afterwards, K. has written, "I like The Boc I im The Go Din" and signed his name. The first part clearly means "I like the book." Not sure about the second section. Maybe "I am (in) the garden"? And try as I might, I can't figure out the picture, although it could be a very stylized image of someone in a pool.
The next page is a drawing that K. later X'ed out. It sort of looks like a tall building with shapes coming off the left-hand side (flames?). To the left is a shape that might also represent flames. To the right is a square-looking vehicle with some sort of fluffy substance on top. Is this a memory of a fire and the fire engine arriving to help (perhaps using foam)?
All over the page, K. has practiced a swirl that might be intended to be the letter "e."
The next page has K.'s name at the top and then a drawing of an adult and a child next to a house which is by a road. He's written streams of numbers on the side. It reads underneath: "I im gone to ieure in my mom gone to in my dad gone to in my sir gone to." I figure this is supposed to mean: "I am going to (UNKNOWN) and my mom (is) going, too, and my dad (is) going, too, and my sister (is) going, too." Whatever "ieure" means, it's someplace (or something) that makes K. very happy.
Page five has a very abstract drawing at the top, seemingly formed by letters, such as "X," "O," and "P." Underneath it is written the number "5" and then, "Zoie m Zoie." Perhaps Zoie is the name of a girl K. knows. Or maybe his "sir" (sister)?
Page six features a drawing of a happy adult and a happy child next to a small house with the sun shining brightly overhead. It reads underneath "I hip I Bee god." I could be wrong, but reading it aloud, I think it might mean, "I hope I be good" or maybe "I happy I be good." Either that or K. has a very inflated view of himself: "I hip. I be God."
I'll end on this exultant note for now and pick up with more pages another time.
Children hear words differently than adults.