Sunday, February 28, 2010

What a great visit!

Last week at school, we were lucky enough to have Susan Stevens Crummel visit our building and give an author presentation. We used to have an author visit every year and we've since decided to save up our money and splurge on a really great author every two or three years. When our librarian, Jill, told us that Susan was coming to our building, I didn't know much about her. Jill read one of her books each week when my kids came in for library check out.

Many of her books are about dogs. Of course, I liked that! Her presentation was over an hour long & the kids were engaged and excited the entire time. That's hard to do! I was laughing, I was interested in hearing what she had to say ... and I walked away wishing that I had some writing and/or illustrating skills!
Here is Susan with one of the many puppets that she brought to act out parts of her stories. Susan is the author and she partners with her sister, Janet Stevens, or Janet's best friend, Dorothy Donohue, to finish the artwork in her books.

Aunt Betsy & cousin Minnie were nice enough to get some books for Ellen. We took them over yesterday & she was happily flipping through the pages. Both books had doggies on the covers and Ellen waved hi to the dogs! :)

Here is the first book, Help Me, Mr. Mutt! It's a book where dogs have written to Mr. Mutt to ask for advice on all their "people" problems. Check out the autograph!

Here is a sample of one of the letters. Overdressed in Oklahoma writes, concerned about the amount of clothes that his owners are dressing him in.

And here's the funny reply. Be sure to click on the picture to look at the graph that compares the breed of a dog vs. how often they are dressed up!

I loved the illustrations in this book! The yarn in this illustration looks so real, that I actually touched the page. Janet punched holes in her original artwork & laced the yarn through. Then it showed up like this in the book!

Minnie got City Dog, Country Dog for Ellen. It is about a book about 2 dog friends (based on City Mouse, Country Mouse). The City dog, Henri T. LaPooch lives in Paris and his friend, Vincent Van Dog lives in the country.

The book has lots of French in it, which I thought would be fun for Ellen. This book has illustrations made out of all cut paper. They also looked like they were 3D.

Here is an example of the "real" artwork in the book and the letters that Henri & Vincent wrote back and forth.

Here are the two dogs visiting in Paris, at the Moulin Rouge. In the end, they realize that they like their lives better in their original homes, but they will continue to be pen pals.

If you're looking for new books for your little one ... or a dog lover ... be sure to check out Susan's books! Some other great ones are The Great Fuzz Frenzy and All In One Hour!


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Anonymous said...

I LOVE Help me, Mr. Mutt!! So does my class...very cool that she was your visiting author. We had Louise Borden this year and she was fantastic!

Bets said...

Julie ...
You can tell your kids these trivia facts about Mr. Mutt.
Susan used to be a HS Math teacher. Look at the numbers in the address in his letters. The zip codes are palindromes & all the street numbers are square numbers.
All the dogs on the opening page are dogs in Janet's neighborhood. 2 of them are Janet's dogs: I think the one in the birthday hat on the left, and for sure the sheepdog on the right in the bandana!

4 Magic Words said...

You're a great writer!

Artwork? Stick with photographs!

Like all you do!

RachelC said...

Susan came to our school last year. I thought she was a great speaker and she taught the kiddos a lot about the writing process. They still remember how her editor would mark up her stories.

Bets said...

Rae - That was one of my favorite parts, seeing her writing all marked up. Don't know if she said it last year, but Susan & Janet wrote a story based on their editor, The Little Red Pen (because she loved using her red pen to mark up the book. It's a story about desk supplies, and I think it comes out this year. It sounds REALLY funny! I was laughing out-loud when she was telling about it.