Children’s book author Susan Stevens Crummel visited Crockett Elementaryrecently to share the joy of reading with students. She and her sister Janet Stevens, who also illustrates the books, team up to create the stories.
After 31 years as a high school math teacher in the Ft. Worth area, Crummel started her second career.
“My sister made me do it,” Crummel said. “She had a deadline to write and illustrate a book in four days, and she needed my help.”
Stevens, who lives in Boulder, Colorado, has written and illustrated 70 books, and Crummel has written 18.
Students in each grade level at Crockett prepared for Crummel’s January visit starting in November.
“I read at least one book to each grade level, and they had activities to go with it,” Diana Truesdale, Crockett librarian, said.
Crummel’s presentation was interactive, and the students thoroughly enjoyed it.
“It was incredible!” said Truesdale. “She had kids come up and play the characters, and she told them what to say. She also talked about the writing process and how it takes about two years to publish a book – one year working with the editor and publisher and another year for illustration. She really made a connection with the fourth and fifth graders when she showed them her rough draft with editor’s notes on it, since they always have to revise their writing.”
A favorite book was “Cook-a-Doodle-Doo!” In this book, selected by students for the 2001 Texas Bluebonnet Award, Big Brown Rooster makes strawberry shortcake with his friends – Turtle, Iguana and Potbellied Pig. “My Big Dog” appealed to the younger students, while “The Great Fuzz Frenzy” was the favorite of the older students. Some of the books are available in the Crockett library, and others were purchased by the students.
Librarians Monica Flores at Dr. Antonio Bañuelos Elementary and Karen Trujillo at Stephen F. Austin Elementary also arranged for Crummel to speak to their students.