Z Is Just A Kid

This childrens book grabbed my attention when I’ve learned it was written by a 4 year old kid.

The kid’s name is Zayden Ramos or “Z”.

The Hunters is the perfect book for an early reading boy (or girl) from ages 4 to 8 (and even beyond) as it tells the story of Steve Hunter and his friends who try to save the Earth from “the bad guys”………….. or an alien invasion from a planet called Orania.

Part children’s book and part graphic novel, The Hunters was written by 4 year old Zayden “Z” Ramos, who just turned 5 recently,  and beautifully illustrated by award winning comic book illustrator and Alexandra Trese creator Kajo Baldisimo, who brought The Hunters to life with primary colors and vivid action scenes. Kajo himself started drawing early—at age 14 he was already working on Filipino komiks.

I would have loved to see “more vibrant” colors as I really thought the colors of the illustrations were a bit “faded” (lack of a more appropriate adjective) Or is it just me? After all, it’s been years since I last read a comic book.

The illustrations itself were amazing, and reminiscent of Marvel and DC comic books, and would have been more spectacular if it had better colors that would attract “kids” more (if their target is between ages 4 to 8). But I really don’t mind as it was still amazing as it is!

The Hunters is Z’s story entirely—editing was limited to the reordering of scenes and deletion of extraneous material.

I knew it was really written by a kid because the book kept using sentences with the same “bad guys” word at the very beginning of the story. It kept repeating the same words unlike those written by master comic book writers with their melodramatic and highfalutin lingo. Simple words truly from a kid for a kid. But the character names and places of their origin were very creative, like a guy named Piotr, which I think is from Moscow, or was it Russia?

Usually kids his age are just starting to read. Z is definitely a voracious reader.  His parents revealed that when Z was still a baby, they would read to him every day—they would point out the words on the page so he could match the sound to the letters. At age three he started reading phonetically. It was a quick transition from alphabet books and almanacs to superhero graphic novels.

He also has a fantastic memory. He can tell you which stock photo has appeared in which other books.  He also knows three languages. Well, Chinese is admittedly still a challenge but he’ll most probably sail through it because he wants to be a polyglot and is currently very keen on learning French. Z doesn’t watch TV, except when he goes visit his cousins, so he has plenty of time for reading.

A family friend, the distributor of Brainy Baby, noted his reading habits and suggested that he write a book. When Z heard of the offer he was not particularly eager. “They’re going to pay you P1,000,” his dad said. “Okay,” said Z, then aged four. He got to work on his first story, with his father acting as secretary.

The result is The Hunters, an illustrated story about a group of young experts who build their own high-powered weapons and vehicles, and other hi-tech gadgets to defend the earth against “the bad guys” ……………or alien aggressors.  It’s an international team, with members from Rio de Janeiro, Moscow and elsewhere.

The Hunters is filled with adventure and basically everything young boys, and girls, would like. After all it was written by one of them.

It would have been a real treat if it was also drawn or illustrated by Z or another kid, or at least a teenager. That would have been such an impressive creative team!

Kid geniuses of our new generation!

Below are photos I took from National Bookstore. The book is also available at Powerbooks and Bestsellers branches nationwide. It is published by Powerhans, the distributor of Brainy Baby in the Philippines. The book sells for P169.75.

I would love to see my kids accomplish the same thing…Now, if only I also had a family friend who’s a book distributor or works for a publishing company….HHHmmmm

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