Originally Published: February 25, 2010 10:01 p.m.
Perseverance is the key to winning, according to Aumber Brown, who drew the top entry that will grace the 2010 Yavapai County Fair book cover.
The 16-year-old home-schooled sophomore was "pretty surprised" when her 14-year-old sister, Ashley, screamed, "You won!"
"Ashley, after checking the messages on the phone and hearing the news, sounded like she had won the lotto," their mother, Brandee Brown, said.
Aumber (pronounced AM-ber) said she had received some honorable mentions in years past but was never a winner.
Aumber receives $50 as the winner, and the Brown home school gets $100 to spend on art supplies.
Aumber, who hasn't taken any art classes during her home schooling, likes to draw horses. She has been drawing since she was a young child.
Jack Brown Jr., her father - a woodcarver - said Aumber is taking after his father, Jack Brown Sr., who did pen and ink drawings. Aumber's four sisters also like to draw and paint.
Her winning pencil and watercolor entry shows a sheep, cow and rooster dancing to the 2010 fair's theme, "Baa, Moo, Cockadoodle-doo!" in front of a rising star.
Aumber said the family dog, Mia, ate her entry just before she was going to submit it. Her mother said their dog also has eaten other pieces of Aumber's homework.
After getting over what Mia had done, Aumber spent the next two days redrawing her entry. This time she added a star behind the animals and drew a mouse on the cow's tail.
She said, "This entry is the best one so far." The judges agreed, and chose her artwork for the fair book cover out of 144 entries students submitted from across the county.
Aumber said she hopes to sell some of her art in local shops.