Kindergarten through 8th grade entrants invited
WICHITA -- Wichita's Great Plains Nature Center (GPNC) is looking for young writers and artists. Art and literature creationed by Kansas students from kindergarten through 8th grade will be featured in a book scheduled for publication in 2008.

The book -- Kansas Critters: Birds -- will focus on 26 species of birds found in Kansas. An earlier GPNC-sponsored book featuring school age authors and artists -- Kansas Critters: Mammals -- was published in 2006.

More than 1,500 entries were submitted for the mammals book. Bob Gress, GPNC director, expects even more young Kansans to participate in the book about birds.
The 26 bird species to be featured include a diverse collection, from ruby-throated hummingbirds to bald eagles.

Entrants have plenty of time to research their topics; the deadline for submission of entries is Feb. 15, 2008. Each young author or artist may submit as many as three entries. Gress suggested that kids consider submitting multiple entries because it offers a chance to learn about the unique habits and habitats of a variety of birds.

“Our primary purpose is to get kids to think, at least for a little while, about Kansas wildlife and spend time learning about the different kinds of animals around us,” Gress said. “What they learn is more important than what they win.”

Publication costs for the book are underwritten by a grant from the Lattner Family Foundation, which supports a variety of GPNC educational projects.

For more information or to download an entry form, visit the GPNC website (, phone Lorrie Beck at 316-683-5499, or email