She’s not primarily an illustrator, but Susan Stevens Crummel is as animated and engaging as the books that she writes. Crummel, the author of 17 children’s books including Texas Bluebonnet Award winners “And The Dish Ran Away With the Spoon” and “Help Me, Mr. Mutt,” visited McKinney ISD on Friday, February 25 to share literature and laughter with the students of Glen Oaks Elementary.
Glen Oaks librarian Wendy Dickerson invited Crummel to speak. It’s part of Dickerson’s effort to foster a love of reading in her students. “I am so about kids enjoying reading. That is my sole purpose.”
Crummel, who made appearances at more than 130 schools last year hopes that one thing her visits accomplish is to encourage kids to write more on their own. “Story ideas are happening all the time, and story writing doesn’t have to be just a school thing,” she said. “They can be creative and write at home because what they write is them. They can save it forever and elaborate on it and make it into a book or whatever they choose to do.”
Crummel said that, many times, students get so much pressure about writing for tests that they forget to write for fun. “Their creativity can just come out — especially when there’s not all that pressure going on.”
Fun, creativity, laughter — the perfect ingredients for engaged readers and writers.
All were served in heaping portions during Crummel’s presentation.
About her visit at Glen Oaks, Crummel said, “The kids are great! I love the older kids because they come in with a pre-set thing about picture books sometimes — a little bit aloof, and then they realize just how much there is in a picture book — a good one — that they can enjoy.”
Whatever age group they fell into, the students of Glen Oaks Elementary exited the library smiling and excited — about reading. And, that’s something we can all get excited about.
After Crummel’s presentation to the 1st and 2nd graders, Dickerson reported, “I had a little girl walk up and say, ‘That is the bestest [sic] author ever!’”