REIDSVILLE — A 9-year-old avid reader who hopes to become a well-read author and a veterinarian already has taken the first step toward meeting one of those goals.
After recording her experiences watching a caterpillar morph into a butterfly in a daily journal, Logan Brooke Perkins, converted those notes into a paperback book, “A Word From The Caterpillar: I Don’t Want To Be Stuck In A Jar!!!!!”
Not only has she published her first book, but the Wentworth Elementary School fourth-grader is working on several other books but is uncertain which she wants to see in print next. Her goal is to publish three books before she is 10.
Daughter of Scott and Ashley Perkins, Logan began reading before she started kindergarten. The Perkins family are members of Thompsonville Baptist Church. Logan also enjoys riding horses and has a menagerie of dogs, rabbits and miniature donkeys.
She reads constantly, Ashley said, adding she often has to force Logan go outside to play.
“I love her reading, but sometimes I have to tell her to get up and be a little active,” Ashley said. “She loves to read, and her room is full of books.”
Her mother says Logan has a big vocabulary. She now is reading the classics and chapter books like “The Black Stallion.” Logan often will read three or four books at once; her mom notes Logan has 15 books on her night stand.
When Ashley tried to move them, Logan says, “no, I’m reading that one.”
“It’s nothing for her to read a whole big chapter book in a day,” Ashley said.
Logan’s first published book resulted from a second-grade project in which each student had a caterpillar in a jar in the classroom.
Teacher Jill Dix put a small container of liquid in the jar. Each day, her students studied the caterpillars — the changes they went through, and how eventually the caterpillars turned into butterflies.
And, each day, Logan and her friends wrote about their caterpillars in a journal. Logan was “a little bit disappointed” to return to school one day and see that her caterpillar had morphed into a butterfly.
“It was different colors of brown and it was pretty small,” she said. A few days after it became a butterfly, Logan released it in a large grassy field on the playground.
After placing it on the ground, “It took a minute or two, and it fluttered around a little bit,” then, it took flight, and Logan watched as it disappeared into the sky.
As she let it go, Logan said she wondered “what is going through the caterpillar’s mind as it is changing.” That’s when she started jotting down what she believed the caterpillar may have been thinking.
A few weeks later, Logan found a caterpillar at her home in the Williamsburg Community. She was determined to watch it change into a butterfly, Ashley said. They placed it in a mesh insect cage, and Logan instructed her mother to add a container of sugar water. They kept it replenished, but Ashley was concerned that Logan would be disappointed if nothing happened.
“My initial thought was this isn’t going to do anything,” Ashley admitted. “I came out one morning and it sure did.”
It was more of a moth than a butterfly, Logan said, but soon, it was winging its way to join its friends.
As Logan’s story developed, Dix suggested to Ashley that she should have the book published. Logan’s art teacher, Wanda Pruitt, helped with ideas for illustrating her book.
Then, Ashley had the book formatted and sent it to the publisher.
The first copy arrived just in time for Logan’s birthday on June 29, 2018. Ashley wrapped the book, and placed it in with the other packages at her birthday party.
As Logan opened the bag and pulled out the book, her friends were exclaiming, “It’s your book!”
Logan knew it was being published but had not seen how it turned out. Her expression was “priceless,” her mother said.
“I was very surprised and excited,” Logan said, “I was in awe,” she said.
The young author was recognized by the Rockingham County Board of Commissioners in October. Logan received a certificate of outstanding Achievement, a Rockingham County lapel pin, and a huge applause of support from the audience.
Since it became available through the Amazon Direct Publishing program last September, her book has sold nearly 300 copies. Logan hopes to have her next book ready for publication by spring.