SEVEN-year-old author Isaac Price is the youngest writer ever to have entered and short-listed for the 2022 Bocas Lit Fest Youth Writer Award.
On January 7, Isaac attended the NGC Bocas Lit Fest Youth Writer Award Ceremony as a nominee.
He was given special recognition at the ceremony for being the youngest national literary talent and nominee in the history of the award for his book My Fun Pet, Hamlet the Hamster.
Isaac is a standard one student at Victory Academy of Learning in Tacarigua.
The young author said his favourite subjects are science, penmanship and mental maths and in his free time he enjoys painting, playing football and gaming with his Nintendo Switch.
“I also like to watch Sonic movies. My favourite place to spend my free time is at my grandpa and grandma’s house.”
He enjoys playing outdoors and helping them water their many plants. Isaac said going to their house feels like a vacation whenever he visits because they make his time their full of fun moments.
His love for stories and storytelling began with his parents reading to him, especially at night before bed.
Isaac said, “I like stories that have a big lesson. My father Reynold Price tells me these kinds of stories. I always learn something about life from my father through the stories he tells.”
Isaac said the story must be funny and have an interesting storyline to keep him interested in where the story is heading.
“When I was a baby I had soft books I cannot remember who gave me my first book because I have so many. My mother bought several books for me, but it was my father who bought me the book King Midas. I found that book to be the most interesting.”
Isaac also has a love for random, fun, made-up stories.
He said his father is good at those. “He would make me laugh so hard at night as he tells me the funniest stories. Right now, I am learning a lot about outer space and the human body. I got these books for my birthday in December.”
Isaac wanted to write a story because he always wanted a pet hamster. “When my aunt surprised me with my pet hamster, I was so happy. I named him Hamlet. Over time, I began to watch and learn how Hamlet spent his day and he became a big part of my life.”
At bedtime, Isaac said he would talk to Hamlet about what he did during the day.
The idea to write the story came when Isaac stayed up later than his usual bedtime one night watching Hamlet running on his wheel.
“I realised he did a lot of things we do as humans. He would store and save his food. He was a hard worker and friendly. I would share some of my own food with Hamlet and I began to see Hamlet as my little friend. When I saw how much he was just like a person, I wanted to make a story about him.”
One night, Isaac stayed up as late as 11pm writing with the help of his mother Candice Price, trying to remember all the things Hamlet did that made him so much fun to have as a pet.
“My mother encouraged me a lot, she helps me to believe I can do anything if I work hard. She always tells me not to give up.”
“It took me about two months to finish all the parts of my story because there was so much to write about Hamlet. If he did something new, I wanted it in my story too.”
Illustrator Sian Fernandez-Beharry of Snickets Studios helped bring the story to life.
Isaac said he remembers how much he laughed when he saw himself in cartoon form for the first time.
“My book also shows my real life. It was written during the covid19 pandemic when I was attending classes online, so I had more time to finish the book.”
During online schooling he got to introduce Hamlet to all his friends during Show and Tell. “When I read my own book, it reminds me of home and all the fun I have with Hamlet. I really think children will like it.”
He said, “My teachers always encouraged me everyday. At my school, we are taught to be champions and to dream big. I wasn’t afraid to enter and will continue practising my writing.”
Newsday. Written by Marshelle Hasley. Sunday 12 March 2023.