BY PATRICIA KELLERWEST MILFORD — Mary L. Moore and Cheryl Crouthamel, the author and illustrator respectively of the recently published children’s book "Mommy Fix It Up," visited Apshawa Elementary School last month to share their book with kindergarten and first grade students during a special reading/writing workshop session.
The pair read their book to the students, answered questions about the book and illustrations, and then set the students on their own writing and illustrating journeys: by having each write about something that their mom or another “fix-it-up” person in their life helps them with, and also to illustrate it. The students then took turns reading their stories aloud and proudly showed their classmates their illustrations.
“The book reading went great and the kids seemed to enjoy the story," said Moore. "Additionally, the children were wonderful and really came up with some fun story lines and illustrations during the workshop.”
Moore lives in West Milford with her husband, two young sons and their dog, Maizy.
"Mommy Fix It Up is geared for children 1 to 7 years of age as well as mothers of every age," said Moore. "The story pays homage to the ultimate handy person, solver of problems and overall superhero to all kids...their Mommy Fix It Up. Through familiar scenarios the story shows how Mommy Fix It Up just seems to have the perfect solution for every childhood tribulation. The vibrant illustrations engage children and parents will enjoy sharing this endearing story with their little ones. Mommy Fix It Up is not necessarily just mothers...it can be a grandma, an aunt, a friend or any positive female role model that has helped you through life's challenges.”
Moore said writing has always been a passion of hers, and "Mommy Fix It Up" is her first children's book to be published.
Crouthamel also resides West Milford with her husband and three small children. Originally from Long Island, Crouthamel started her own freelance illustration business after retiring from the New York City Police Department in 2004 where she worked as a graphic artist. Crouthamel is now using her skills and talents in pursuing her lifelong love of illustration, is an award-winning illustrator, and reportedly “spends most of her time in her home studio illustrating children’s books, educational materials and whimsical children’s illustrations.”
The two not only shared their published story with the young students, but also served as concrete, real-life examples of successful role models for the students to emulate, with the message to always pursue their dreams and goals.
Moore hopes some inspiration was passed along.
“Hopefully we inspired some of the budding writers and artists at Apshawa Elementary.”
More information about “Mommy Fix it Up” can be found on their website, www.mommyfixitup.com, or on their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MommyFixItUp.
For more photos from the day, go to westmilfordmessenger.com.