Author of the Month - Emma S.

Author of the Month - Emma S.

By Emma Gutierrez / March 08, 2023

March’s featured author is Emma who wrote the story “Just an Otter Day.” Emma’s got a great story and absolutely amazing illustrations in every story she writes, and this one is no exception! Emma was the GRAND PRIZE winner of the 2022 Rainbow Resource Summer Book Contest. A huge congrats to her! Check out the story that won her the prize below.

We meet Silas the otter as he is having all kinds of snacks delivered to his house by Tait the delivery cat. It wasn’t even all the snacks that he had ordered, Tait is going to have to return to deliver the rest. As Tait leaves he says, “In the meantime, you should get a bigger house! I know of a cabin for sale not far from here.”

Silas agrees with Tait but as he admires the pile of snacks, he realizes he may have spent all his money. Silas decides he has two options. Number one is to find ways to earn some extra money and buy a cabin for him and his snacks. Number two is to eat all his snacks today since they won’t fit in his house. But if he ate them all today… he might not fit in his own house!

Ava Mouse hobbles past (she’s an older mouse) and asks if Silas is looking for any extra work. Which works out for Silas, and he decides he’ll go with option number one today. Ava Mouse leads Silas to the shed with the old mower. 

“It’s a bit rusty, but that spunky thing can bite!” warns Ava Mouse. 

“He’ll have to catch me first,” says Silas. 

As Silas moves forward he trips on the mower’s wheel but is able to catch the handlebar. He starts the mower which darts forward but with no handlebar!

The mower starts chopping and hacking at the lawn, grass clippings going everywhere! Ava Mouse amusingly watches Silas running after the mower from her porch. After all, she did warn him! The mower suddenly spins and is going straight toward Silas. He yelps and runs backward and doesn’t see the tree. Ava Mouse yells and warns him. Silas is able to swerve just in time, but the lawnmower goes right up the trunk of the tree and is only stopped by the branch!

The lawnmower was definitely stuck, so there would be no more lawnmowing for today. Ava Mouse tips Silas for the entertainment in place of the lawnmowing.

Silas wanders downtown to look for another job. He smells a delicious scent and closes his eyes. Next thing he knows, he’s bumping into the back end of a deer hanging out the doorway of Pudgy Cupcake. It was Nolan, who says “I was distracted by the smell of Clara’s cupcakes and forgot to tilt my head. Now my antlers are stuck!”


All of sudden, Silas sees a flurry of brown feathers come out from between Nolan’s legs. It’s Clara the chicken! 

“Can you help me get him unstuck?” she asks. As Silas makes his way into the shop by ducking through Nolan’s legs, he sniffs and smells the cupcake-y air. 

Nolan says, “Uh oh, his eyes are glazing over like that time he entered the cookie shop – when there was a cookie shop.”

Silas was so excited as he yells “CUPCAKES!” and then chomps into the yummy treat. “Wait!” yells Clara. 

Turns out they are volcanic Guava Lava cupcakes that shouldn’t be eaten indoors. KA-BOOM! The red guava filling explodes from the cupcake and Silas goes hurtling through the air toward the door where Nolan was stuck. Silas soars into Nolan’s chest, knocking him backward, and freeing him.

Clara comes out of the bakery and gives Silas a few dollars for his help, although he did leave her kitchen a complete disaster.

Silas makes his way to the park. There would be a festival and fireworks show there later that night. The longears sisters, Anna and Lea, were decorating for the event. Time for the next job!

Anna, the younger bunny sister, hands Silas a balloon but they decide that’s not quite the right job for Silas as he can’t seem to take it seriously. So they ask him to hang the banner instead. Silas makes his way up the ladder to hang the banner in place. 

“Watch out!” Ava Mouse yells out. “The beast is on the loose!” 

The mower has made its way to the park! Silas hears the wood of the ladder splinter as the mower cuts through the bottom of it. 

“So this is what gravity feels like,” he thinks to himself as he heads to the ground. Unfortunately, as he and the ladder fall, so does the box of nails he was using. All the balloons that Anna and Lea had blown up popped. At the same time, in the distance, you can hear that troublesome mower making its way to undoubtedly cause more trouble.

Ava Mouse sits down and asks Lea and Anna to hand her some balloons to help blow up some new ones. Option number one isn’t panning out so well for Silas. “Maybe I should eat all the snacks today.” He thinks to himself.

Mayor Trent, the stout woodchuck, comes over. He has the perfect job for Silas: fireworks! He asks Silas to be in charge of launching the fireworks for the show tonight. At sunset, Silas makes his way up the hill and looks down at Ava Mouse helping Lea and Anna with the last of the balloons as they bite into the now infamous Guava Lava cupcakes. Mayor Trent’s voice comes in over the walkie-talkie in Silas’s pocket. 

“Whenever you’re ready,” he says.

Silas lights the fuses and they go off, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! He hears a honk from a horn and it’s Tait the delivery cat with the remainder of this order. He leaves several pickle jars next to the otter, but as Silas stands and backs up, he bumps into all the jars. Next thing you know, the jars are flying through the air and all the lids have popped off. The fireworks are blasting up into the sky and taking the jars and pickles with them. BOOM! The pickles explode and rain down on the festival crowd. Oops!

Of course, this is the perfect time for that pesky lawnmower to come back! Silas and Tait run to find safety, but Silas’s foot gets tangled in the lighted fuse of the rocket for the grand finale. He shouts as he flies through the sky. KA-BOOM! The fireworks explode and the soot-covered otter falls to the ground. He stands up a bit rattled but is able to give a grin to the crowd as they erupt in cheers!

Mayor Trent comes over and says, “Never have I seen such a spectacular show!” 

Brenna the chipmunk approaches with a big sack and drops it at their feet. “I want to give this to show my appreciation,” says the Mayor. He opens the sack and reveals gold nuggets! Silas couldn’t believe it!

The next day, Tait delivers the rest of the snacks to Silas’s new cabin. “I have a busy day of making deliveries today,” says Tait. Turns out that someone had donated quite a bit of money. It was enough to order a new riding lawnmower for Ava Mouse and tools for the construction crew to widen the doorway to Pudgy Cupcake that poor Nolan had gotten stuck in.

Silas waves goodbye to Tait and says to himself, “Option number 1 is complete!” Next up, time to eat all the snacks in one day!

Thank you, Emma, for sharing your story with us! We love reading and seeing the characters you create across all your stories. Your stories always put a smile on our faces!

Keep reading to find out what Emma had to say in her interview!

Read the Full Interview:

Where did you get your Lulu Junior kit? Who gave it to you?
My mom bought the kit for me through Rainbow Resource Center.

Where did you get your idea for your story?
I wanted to write a humorous story, and I decided to base the main character off of my eight-year-old brother, Silas. Silas loves silly things, snacks, and otters; so I took these ingredients (along with several others) and developed the story around them.

How does it feel to be a published author?
After spending a lot of time working on writing and illustrating the story, it's nice to finally see it all put together in a published book.

What's the one piece of advice you'd share with another young writer?
One verse from the Bible that stands out to me is 1 Peter 4:10, which says, "Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms." If you love to write, keep working at this gift and don't give up on it! Your hard work will be worth it in the end, and your writing can come as a blessing to others.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
When I'm not writing or thinking of stories to write, I like to draw, crochet, do activities with my family, play with my bunnies, and memorize Bible verses.

Do you prefer writing or illustrating? Why?
I really love both writing and illustrating, and I don't think I can decide which one I like more. I really enjoyed writing about the characters in Just an Otter Day, and bringing them to life through illustrations was extra special.

What's one of your favorite books?
The Bible and the series The Epic Order of the Seven by Jenny L. Cote are my top favorite books.

How do you like to set up your writing/drawing space?
I like to write and draw in my room, but on a nice day I may sit outside somewhere and work. When I worked on the final pages for my book, I worked at my desk.

What inspires you to write or draw?
My siblings are the ones who inspire me the most to create things. I love to make them smile through my stories and illustrations.

What do you want people to remember about your book?
I created this story with the intention of bringing smiles and laughter to others, so if that smile or laugh leaves a lasting impact on someone else, I couldn't ask for more.