South’s Greatest Kids 2018
Photography by Angela Hopper
From sandy toes to salty curls and sun-kissed cheeks the greatest kids of the south show off their abilities to play pretend, stomp sand castles and eat sweets as they gave us a glimpse of their beach bum personalities.
Kori Ann Talley
You might say I have an adventurous streak, but that’s just how I am. Yes, during one game of hide and seek my sister Zoey found me in the washing machine, but that’s my style. I like posing for the cameras, dancing and cooking up pretend fare in my gourmet play kitchen. My name is a twist on my dad’s name (he’s Corey) and I love pizza, dumplings and candy.
I might be just 17 months old, but I’m pretty sure I already have this life thing figured out. The key is to live large, something my parents tell me is part of my larger-than-life personality. I love hanging out at my family’s jewelry repair shop; I’m kind of a celebrity there. I was named for my Greek grandfather, but mostly they call me Johnny Boy. My favorite things to do are as follows: watching the Count on Sesame Street, going outside and just getting crazy and cracking myself up by making growling noises.
I don’t know what the big deal is about growing up - I’m 2 years old and I’m pretty much a grownup. I even have a job - I love checking out customers on my toy cash register. It’s pretend, but I’m told I have a big imagination. At the end of a long day at the register, I like to unwind with some PJ Masks, a ride around the block on my scooter, a plate of mom’s spaghetti and some cuddle time with my dogs.
Almon Dail Jackson
I know that most toddlers are considered messy, but I’m not like most toddlers. I love to vacuum, and my cleaning set is one of my most favorite toys along with my golf clubs. My folks named me after my great grandfather, who I think is where I get my love of cleaning from. He used to clean the moon until it shined, which I guess is why my parents are always saying he was a moonshiner. I’m so clean I even eat my dinners in the bathtub! I love my dog Chloe who is my best friend because she always gives me something to clean up after.
Khaki Ellen Murray
I was born as a leap year baby, which suits me just fine because I am anything but ordinary. I love the Georgia Bulldogs and Chevy trucks, and I’m not afraid to get a little loud cheering on the dawgs with my daddy or riding my four wheeler around. That said, I’m also a true Southern belle, the kind of girl who is never without her purse, even while taking care of the animals on the farm. My favorite dinner is pizza and cheese quesadilla, served with another UGA victory.
John Bennet Jerigan
It’s hard to stand out when you’re the youngest of three, but it’s worth it to be the star of the show. I’ve always liked the spotlight, singing and dancing and even playing a mouse in a performance of “The Nutcracker” this year. My mom said she named me for her favorite entertainer, Tony Bennett, which is a name I like way better than “Ben Ben,” which is what my siblings are always calling me. When I’m not on stage I like swimming, climbing trees, and waiting for my siblings to finish their Lego creations so I can knock them down.
I may be just 3 (turning 4 in December) but already I know how to get a laugh. Telling jokes, mispronouncing words like “misappeared,” it’s all part of the show. I was even getting laughs in utero, putting my foot in my mouth for every ultrasound. I’m not just a future class clown, though. I’m an adorable princess. A funny, adorable princess.
Everyone is born for something, and I was born for speed. As soon as the sun goes up, I’m at full throttle, playing with my favorite toy trucks and trains or watching my favorite show, “Dinotrux.” I’m a total daddy’s boy, although mom always adds “for the moment,” whenever daddy says that. Daddy and I talk about cars and go mushroom hunting, which I always enjoy. I like to think of myself as a helper, always offering to water the plants or give kisses for “ouchies.”
Lailah Marie-Faye Overstreet-Mosley
My mom and dad say I’m the light of their lives, and gave me a name that encompasses both sides of the family, since I’m a balance of the two in a way that makes me unpredictable and unique. Mostly, they call me by my nickname “Lay-Lay.” I’m on the All American Gymnastics bronze competition team, but when I’m not doing that you’ll find me out riding dirt bikes and four wheelers. I’m not all rough and tumble, though. Sometimes I just like to get all dolled up and go shopping or unwind with my favorite Christmas movies.
Claire Elise Corbin
If there’s one thing I love, it’s lighting up a room with my smile, my dimples and my outgoing personality. But it’s not my only love - I’m also totally devoted to the arts even at the age of 2. I’m always singing songs, dancing and acting out my favorite scenes from “Frozen” and “Moana.” My passion for the arts even starts with my name - I was named for Beethoven’s “Für Elise.” After a weekend spent entertaining, I love going to brunch with my family where I tend to grab a snooze under the table.
+9 Play or Eat Activities for the entire family.