Hayden Matthew Irvine says he loves to read because "it just gives you an adventure."
The Hayden 7-year-old was one of seven children who received prizes as part of Hayden Public Library's Young Readers' Award program. Winners received award certificates, a book and gift certificates for Off the Beaten Path Bookstore in Steamboat Springs.
The library celebrated the readers Friday afternoon in a ceremony for the 3-year-old program, which was started to honor the memory of Hayden resident Bern Giannini. The children, who were nominated by the library based on their involvement this summer, each chose a book to discuss in an interview with Giannini's friends and family, Library Director Ana Lash said.
The other winners were Thalia Carbajal, Daylon Frentress, Trent Gabel, Michelle Gutierrez, Shjon Petersen and Abi Velasquez.
Abi, who was one of the top winners, spoke about "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane" during her interview. The 12-year-old said she likes chapter books of all kinds - and she's now reading the book again. It's about the adventure of a china rabbit that falls off a shipwrecked boat.
Daylon read about the adventures of Jack and Annie in "Vacation Under the Volcano," part of the Magic Tree House series. He said reading about the two children was fun.
"I like that I get to learn really cool things," he said.
Matthew's book of choice was "The Whingdingdilly." It's about a dog, he said, that gets changed into a crazy creature with the parts of a bunch of different animals.
"It was just funny because he wanted to be a horse, but he didn't get to be a horse," Matthew said.
The culprit in the wacky incident? A witch in the forest, naturally.
Every child who was nominated won a prize, Lash said. Gift certificates, which were donated, ranged from $15 to $50. The children range in age from 6 to 12.
The youngest, Shjon, said she read a book called "Wet Dog!" for her interview. The long-haired girl, whose voice didn't rise above a whisper, said the subject matter of the book matched the title just fine. Shjon said her favorite book is "Creatures of the Desert World," a pop-up book.
And why does the 6-year-old read?
"Just to relax," she said.