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Children's writing: description of a person - Ted, the bookseller


Using the picture of the elderly bookseller, Ted, as a prompt, our wonderful writers (ages 8-10) have put pen to paper and in one session (from seeing the image to then discussing content, language and structure), have produced some remarkable writing. The children have very kindly agreed to share their writing to help others. These are first drafts, so have not been revised yet.

** Please keep scrolling down to see all of our writers' work! **

Ted, the bookseller - by Amila

Thank you, Amila, for sharing your writing with us. You have used wonderful figurative language to create vivid descriptions of Ted. I can't chose which parts of your writing I admire the most, but I am very fond of, 'his sapphire eyes are set into the deep folds of his skin...' and ' ... the 79-year-old man floats into a world of paper and typed words.' Thank you!

Ted, the bookseller - by Amila (from the original longer piece and re-written in under 10 minutes still keeping to a similar structure)

Ted, the bookseller - by Amaira

Thank you for sharing your work, Amaira. You have created a wonderful image of Ted and his bookshop; this is achieved through careful language choices and your structure. I really admire your sentence, 'The books just call us to them as if we are under an unbreakable spell.' Personification and simile in one sentence - fantastic! Also, your strong adjectives add to this personification: 'Ted's wrinkled, gnarly hands tell the story of his life.' Thank you for sharing with us!

Ted, the bookseller by 'R'

Thank you so much for sharing your writing! You lead us in to Ted's world so well with great choices of description and careful observations. For example, '...his legs knock against each other. He is the human version of his rickety chair.' As I am swiftly coming to learn about you, your writing is peppered with understated humour; it is a joy to read.

Ted, the bookseller - by Raphi

Starting with a a double prepositional phrase, 'Beyond the garbage bins and through the silent alley...', really draws your reader into your writing, Raphi. I feel as if I have taken a journey already. The personification of the door bell chime is remarkable: 'The cramped shop I stroll into is guarded by the ringing chime above the door.' Thank you for sharing this wonderful piece of writing.

Ted, the bookseller - by Summer

What a vivid picture of Ted you built here Summer! Writing is just like that - building with bricks. The bricks you used here are so perfectly chosen and build a wonderful image in our minds:  'Quietly, he would pick up the books and read for hours' and 'His skin was crumpled and he smelt like dusty paper' and 'Every day he would push himself out of his ancient, dusty chair ...' Fantastic! Thank you very much for sharing this lovely writing.

Ted, the bookseller - by Greeshma

Aside from your wonderful, complex contrast between Ted, the arrogant man and his sadder side and your empathy for him, I keep lingering on your final sentence, Greeshma. I imagine it would make all readers stop and think. You have left a line, then written the very short sentence, 'He deserves better.'  It hangs there, in isolation. Wow! Now, that's an ending! What a fabulous technique. 

Ted, the bookseller - by 'T'

Wow! The 'silent bookworm' is an excellent metaphor for Ted. It tells us so much in two words. I really like the contrast between Ted (and his environment) and the chattering children, whom he tolerates. The deep wrinkles in his forehead and his hands, which look like wrinkled shirts, build a wonderful image. Well done and thank you for sharing this super writing!



The Bookseller - by Alicia

Thank you for sharing this wonderful writing, Alicia. You have written at length and included so many impressive language features. These descriptions of Ted are so vivid (using powerful adjectives and simile): 'I see Ted walking slowly towards his old shop with one wrinkly hand on his back, another wrinkly hand in his old, over-sized filthy fleece jacket' and   '...he is reading with concentration, with no reaction, as if he is travelling in his mind with the writer through the crispy pages.' Thank you!