What were children in the Conshohocken Elementary School library doing with a pot, an apron, a dish towel and an oven mitt on their heads? They were recreating part of visiting author Susan Stevens Crummel's book, Cook-A-Doodle-Doo.
Mrs. Crummel spent most of the week before Thanksgiving in the Colonial School District, sharing her books and experiences as an author with the children in all of the District's K-3 elementary schools: Conshohocken Elementary, Plymouth Elementary, Ridge Park Elementary and Whitemarsh Elementary. During her presentation, the author acted out excerpts from several of her books with puppets and through videos, talked about drawing inspiration from family pets and had the children identify literary elements like setting, main character and point-of-view.
"I enjoy watching the kids react and get inspired," said Mrs. Crummel. "I love to see the look on their faces when they connect to some of the advice that I give them or share some of the secrets in the books."
The New York Times Bestselling Author has written more than a dozen award-winning children's books, including The Great Fuzz Frenzy, Jackalope, the Ten-Gallon Bart series, and Help Me, Mr. Mutt! Mrs. Crummel often teams with her sister, illustrator Janet Stevens or cut paper artist Dorothy Donahue.
"[Mrs. Crummel] works together with her sister or with one of her sister's friends on making books," said Hannah Craytor, third grader at Conshohocken Elementary School. "It's cool to know that she's not the only one making the books, she has other people helping."
Editors also play a role in helping the author create a book, and, as part of the presentation, Mrs. Crummel shows two draft of one of her books with the editor's notes and equates the process to how teachers give suggestions to help students with their writing.