"Duncanville Reads" Welcomes Authors, Illustrators into Classrooms

Elementary students heard from award-winning authors and illustrators during the second year of "Duncanville Reads" celebration hosted by district librarians.

Elementary students heard from award-winning authors and illustrators during the second year of "Duncanville Reads" celebration hosted by district librarians.

"Duncanville Reads" is a two-day event - January 14 and 15 -  where authors and illustrators visit the district’s nine elementary campuses and share their knowledge of literature. They also share the creative process behind writing and illustrating a book. As part of the district’s commitment to literacy starting in early childhood, "Duncanville Reads" provides students with firsthand experience detailing how books, stories and illustrations are created. Many of the authors and illustrators encouraged the young students to start writing books now, having written books themselves in elementary.

Author and Illustrator Carolyn Dee Flores at Alexander Elementary School The "Duncanville Reads" program continues to grow thanks to sponsors Dr. Michael Miner and Dalton Lott, and our community partenership with the Duncanville ISD Education Foundation.

This year, the district expanded their commitment to provide transportation services for students in grades 6-12 to attend the North Texas Teen Book Festival on Saturday, March 7.

Below is a list of authors and illustrators who participated:

Carolyn Dee Flores (pictured) is an author and illustrator from San Antonio, Texas, who started writing and illustrating her own books when she was in the second grade. She is now working on her 12th children’s book.

Nancy Churnin is the author of eight picture book biographies and has earned multiple national and international awards. Her books have made several state reading lists including New York and Texas. She is a native New Yorker and has a new book coming out in February 2020.

Carmen Oliver is the author of the children's picture book series “Bears Make the Best Buddies” and other picture books. She’s also the founder of “The Booking Biz”, a children’s booking agency that brings authors and illustrators to schools and libraries. 

A.G. Ford is an illustrator from Frisco, Texas who has more than 30 published books including New York Times Bestseller “Barack” and “What Color Is My World?” Mr. Ford showed students one of his first drawings from when he was six years old and his illustrations as a professional, encouraging them that they will only get better if they keep trying.

Lupe Ruiz-Flores is the author of six award-winning bilingual children’s picture books. She told the students that she grew up loving the library and still enjoys it. Ms. Ruiz-Flores read her bilingual book “The Woodcutter’s Gift” or “El regaló del leñador” to students who then identified parts of the book’s story structure, such as story setting, conflict and main character. Her daughter, Carolyn Dee Flores, is an author and illustrator who also spoke during Duncanville Reads.

Bethany Hegedus is a former educator turned children’s book author. She is also the founder and creative director of The Writing Barn, a writing retreat and workshop in Austin, Texas. Her books include the award-winning “Grandfather Gandhi and Be the Change: A Grandfather Gandhi Story.”