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Southlake Style

Young Dragons Write, Design and Illustrate a Book

Apr 21, 2016 07:57AM ● By Audrey Sellers

The creativity of two students at Old Union Elementary is now in print for all to enjoy. Lydia Amstutz and Mateo Gutierrez, both age seven, wrote and illustrated the book, Mr. Pig and The Turkey On The Road. The two, who are students in Laura Hudgeons’ second-grade English class, were inspired after hearing a story about a Dr. Smart Pig.

From there, the students’ creativity took off. That’s what Hudgeons, who has taught in Carroll ISD for 21 years, enjoys most about teaching young writers. “They have such enthusiasm and great imaginations,” she says.

The book is based on Mr. Pig and his adventures. In the debut book, Mr. Pig flies to London. The students have plans to create an entire series, with the next book, The History of Mr. Pig’s Family, already underway. Additionally, Gutierrez has written a Halloween-themed edition, Mr. Pig and Porkenstein. He’s the main author and contributed some illustrations, and Amstutz is the main illustrator.

After the students shared the book with their class, family members took it to the next level. Amstutz’s mother made several copies for the school, and the child’s grandmother obtained the ISBN number to have the book published. It’s available on Amazon in both English and bilingual (English and Spanish) versions. Gutierrez’s mother helped produce the Spanish version, Señor Cerdito.

“They wrote an incredibly bright story,” Hudgeons says. “I’m fortunate to have them in my class. It has been a highlight of my career, and I cannot wait to see where it goes from here.”

Southlake Style asked the students about the journey and their future aspirations. Here’s what they had to say. 

Southlake Style: What do you want to be when you grow up?

Amstutz: I’m not sure but I do play softball, and I love to illustrate children’s books.

Gutierrez: I want to be an author or a scientist.

SS: What was it like working together on the book?

Amstutz: I felt funny working with a boy at first. And I felt good when my grandma published it.

Gutierrez: It was great. Starting to make Mr. Pig made Lydia and I friends.

SS: How does it feel to be a published author?

Amstutz: Awesome!

Gutierrez: It was really exciting to have it published. Our teacher Mrs. Hudgeons thought we should publish it, so she inspired us to do it!

SS: What did you enjoy most about creating the book?

Amstutz: When we came up with the idea of Mr. Pig (Albert Einstein Pig). And drawing the pictures.

Gutierrez: I enjoyed lots of other people reading and liking Mr. Pig! Our class enjoyed it too!

SS: What would you say to other kids who are interesting in writing or drawing?

Amstutz: Go for it! Don’t be afraid. Believe in yourself!

Gutierrez: Never stop reading! If you want to write a book, read lots. Reading books from other authors can inspire you to write your own!

SS: Anything else you’d like to say?

Gutierrez: Writing is so much fun but it takes work to do it.