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Child finalist for magazine cover
Family entered photo on whim
kolsen 5 jd
Kolsen Chisholm gets a push from his 2-year-old sister, Ayslea. - photo by Jim Dean
Kolsen Chisholm has the look.

His pudgy cheeks, dimples and toothless smile could melt a grown man’s heart.

And it’s that baby face that has earned him a one-in-eight shot at appearing on the cover of a national magazine, “Babytalk,” a sister publication of “Parenting” magazine.

Earlier this month, “Babytalk” announced him as a semifinalist in this year’s Babytalk/Good Morning America Digital Cover Contest.

In September, the Chisholm family of Forsyth County will take an all-expense-paid trip to New York City for a professional photo shoot and a chance to compete for the glossy cover.

Mother Melinda Chisholm submitted a photo of her youngest child in June after she saw an announcement for the contest in a “Parenting” magazine e-mail.

“We entered it and didn’t really think anything of it,” she said.

In fact, the family was not aware that the 10-month-old had progressed from the top 64 to the final 16.

Then Chisholm got a congratulatory phone call that her son had made the top eight. Her husband, Nick, thought she was joking when she called him at work with the news.

But the proud parents weren’t really that surprised.

“Of course, we think he’s adorable,” Melinda Chisholm said.

After the photo shoot, judges will select the top three babies. From there, the nation will decide the winner on Good Morning America Digital.

“I think he’s got a good chance,” his mother said. “It just depends on what they’re looking for.”

The contest received thousands of photo entries from parents between May and July.

Babies had to be between 4 and 24 months old and featured in a non-professional photo.

Editor-in-chief Ana Connery said in a news release that the annual cover contest is “consistently Babytalk’s most popular program, year after year.”

“All babies are beautiful, but these eight babies have something that just pops right off the screen,” she said. “They are full of personality and have a certain something that made us ‘oooh’ and ‘ahhhh.’”

Kolsen’s winning photo was taken in early June in the family’s back yard. They had just returned from vacation and received dozens of comments about his cuteness.

Melinda Chisholm said she had entered her 2-year-old daughter, Ayslea, in several photo contests but not her son.

She captured the magic moment while playing with the children in the yard.

She put her son on a bright red push car for the first time and started to pull him across the grass.

“He just went crazy in it and thought it was so fun,” she said. “He was laughing so hard, and that’s when I started taking the pictures.”

Nick Chisholm said both of their children are “very photogenic.” On top of that, Kolsen is an easy-going baby, which could be an advantage during the New York City photo shoot.

Added Melinda Chisholm: “He loves to cuddle. He’s a sweet little guy.”

He also has an affinity for food, his father said.

Kolsen, whose first name means “son of Nicholas,” affectionately goes by the nicknames Chunky Monkey, Cole Slaw and Tank.

His pudgy little smile could soon be gracing the cover of the December/January 2011 issue of “Babytalk,” though he won’t realize it until he’s older.

“That would be such a great thing to look back on,” Melinda Chisholm said.