Children’s book author David Sargent interacts with students at Morgan Academy Thursday morning. -- Dennis Palmer

Author engages Morgan students

Published 1:12am Friday, March 9, 2012

Children’s book author David Sargent visited Morgan Academy bringing along his furry friends, much to the delight of Morgan’s elementary students, who laughed and squealed as Sargent’s dogs, Emma, Vera, Daphne and Spike performed tricks.

Sargent, who has authored more than 50 books about his dogs, didn’t write his first book until he was 29-years-old.

“I never knew that this was going to be what I did,” he said. “The first book I wrote, I wrote it as a joke to my mom. It was about Vera holding Buffy down and pulling her hair out.”

Through the years Sargent’s dogs have always traveled with him, being the focal point of his presentation to the many schools he visits each year – which in 16 years now numbers over 4,000. He said his books allow children to use the many illustrations in them as a departure point for telling their own stories about their pets.

“They’re told to write about what they know, but when someone else comes in and says the same thing as their teachers, then they go ‘ah,’” he said.

Morgan Academy librarian Harriett Teel was contacted by Sargent’s publisher, Ozark Publishing, about Sargent doing a presentation at the school.

“They sent me some things online I looked at and I thought he’d be good because he has books and dogs and our kids love both,” she said. “All of his books are about his dogs and they’re real simple with illustrations and include things such as character development.”

Teel said Morgan stresses reading with more than 200 students in the second through sixth grade involved in the school’s accelerated reading program, which involves children reading books and then taking tests to gauge their reading comprehension.

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