Batesville Intermediate School hosted a 2-day visit from author Susan Stevens Crummel, author/illustrator Janet Stevens, and author/illustrator Dorothy Donohue. The three women who have collaborated with one another on over a dozen children’s books, many of which are bestsellers and award winners, were at BIS together on September 26 & 27, 2019. On Thursday, all students participated in two 45-60 minute programs with sisters Janet and Susan together and Dorothy on her own. Students were amazed as they watched Dorothy Donohue’s simple cut-paper shapes morph into 3-dimensional characters with varying personalities depending on how the shapes were arranged. They were fascinated with Janet Stevens’ 5-foot bear that she drew to student specifications that was done in a matter of minutes and enthralled as Susan Crummel had them playacting characters and scenes, loving her zany antics that brought joy and fun and highlighted the cleverness of the wordplay in her books. Thursday was a busy day with multiple presentations, mid-day book signing, and photo sessions capped off with a Family Night event that evening. Approximately 50 people attended the evening event at BIS. The local bookstore, The Bookshelf, was there selling books. Book-themed refreshments were provided by a high school Family & Consumer Science class. FACS teacher Barb Hartman’s child development students got to hone their recently studied knife skills by chopping and dicing several pounds of watermelon, in honor of the Stevens and Crummel’s recently published, The Donkey Egg, and a crudités platter in honor of Donohue’s Veggie Soup and Stevens’ Caldecott winning Tops and Bottoms.
Friday, Sept. 27 held workshops led by the artists individually. All students attended Crummel’s writing workshop at one of three sessions and a smaller number of students attended art workshops. Approximately 100 attended Donohue’s cut-paper workshops and the same number attended Janet’s drawing workshops.
In the end, all 475 BIS students attended three presentations and a lucky 96 students saw the artists four times in two days! The excitement for books, reading, writing, creating, and telling a story was palpable in the building.