Clarenville-based author and musician, Darrell Duke visited Riverside Elementary Dec. 3-4 to share a few short stories from his first children’s book, "Crunch and Munch: Volume 1".
“These were stories that I told my girls at bedtime when they were young. The characters are all local pets and animals from our neighbourhood.”He also shared his inspiration for this book with the students.
Duke’s daughters, nine-year-old Jessica and 10-year-old Emma, both students at the school, illustrated the book. Crunch and Munch: Volume 1 is Duke’s fifth published book and his second under his company, Stagehead Publishing.
The girls, alongside their dad, read some of their favourite stories to the students and displayed their illustrations.
“As far as we know, Emma and Jessica are the youngest-ever published illustrators in the province, and quite likely, in the country as well,” Duke said.
The students enjoyed the stories and had many questions and comments about the interesting characters, including why Crunch and Munch, two lobsters, live in a shed.
“The answer to that,” said Duke, “is told in a story in the book called ‘Poppy Russell and the Lost Natives.’”
Duke’s visit was multi-purposed.
Not only was he invited to promote his new children’s book, which is available locally, on Amazon and at Chapters, but he hopes to inspire young people.
The 101-page book consists of eight stories which, aside from humour and interesting characters, contains lessons to be learned and insights into the province’s diverse history.
“My visit here was worthwhile this week. Several students have told us that we’ve inspired them to write their own books and stories. That’s what this is all about.”
With a show of hands, it was evident that there are many students who enjoy writing and drawing.
Duke and his daughters encouraged them to follow their dreams and to build their talent as authors and illustrators as well.