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November 23, 2007
Gap gets a local cutie

Dylan 4.jpgNow I ask you: Is this the cutest little boy you've ever seen? Yes, I know. All parents think their babies are darling, but Dylan Barnhart is contest cute.

At only 14 months, Dylan, who lives with his family in El Dorado Hills, is one of five little boys selected as finalists in Gap's search for four new faces for its babyGap and GapKids ad campaigns. The casting call elicited more than 800,000 entries, and Dylan made the judges' cut.

His mother, Nicole Barnhart, chatted with me after receiving the good news. "I’m very excited. It's been pretty crazy, so I really haven’t grasped it yet."

The family received a call the week of Nov. 5 to notify them that Dylan was a finalist in the category of babies ages 4 and under. Last Friday, the Barnharts headed to San Francisco for the Gap photo shoot. That's Dylan (left) in one of the outfits selected for his pictures.

Nicole says he was a little overwhelmed by all the attention.

"There were a lot of people fussing over him," she says. "And there were fans blowing and flashbulbs flashing. But he didn’t cry or fuss. He was looking from person to person. He didn't even mind changing outfits a couple of times. Dylan was a trooper."

Gap's description of Dylan, which obviously came from his mom, reads:

"He's a magician in training. He can turn his face and hair red if you give him a bowl of pasta with tomato sauce."

Says Nicole: "He manages to get all the pasta in his mouth, but there's red sauce in every crevice of his face and head!"

Of course, when asked to describe her youngest child, Nicole says he's the cutest thing in the world.

"I love his bald head and his little cinnamon-roll cowlick. He's got a round face and bright blue eyes, which he got from my husband. He's the happiest baby -as long you feed him."

Nicole was prompted to enter the contest after voting in it last year. When she saw the casting call this year, she entered Dylan.

"It's so easy to submit a photo and the prizes are great. Though I never thought I would get a phone call!"

The Barnharts have another child, Kaitlyn, who is 3. The entire family, plus relatives who live in the Bay Area, went to the photo shoot.

The 20 finalists are pictured on the Gap's Web site. Voting continues until Dec. 15. The four winners will be announced Jan. 28 on the "Rachael Ray Show."

What do they get?

A year's supply of babyGap or GapKids clothing and a Kodak digital camera prize pack. You'll also see their cute faces plastered in store windows nationwide early next year.

Nicole is already getting the word out. "I've gotta tell everyone we know. That's why e-mail is a wonderful thing!"

If you'd like to vote for our local toddler, just
click here.

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