Jeannette teacher writes children's book starring son
When her son Alec was in third grade, an ordinary interaction gave Sandy Shaw an idea for a children's book.
Shaw, who has been teaching in the Jeannette School District for 21 years, said the day Alec missed the school bus they had a conversation that stuck with her for years. She had to drive Alec to school that day and they arrived just behind the bus.
“I asked him ‘Where does the bus driver go during the day?' And he said, ‘I don't know, Mom, maybe he gets his groceries,'” Shaw said with a laugh.
For some reason, over the years — Alec is now an eighth-grader in the Greensburg Salem School District — the conversation and Alec's funny answer kept coming back to her. She kept thinking of a variety of adventures a bus driver could have while the students are in school and how those adventures could translate to a children's book.
Last summer, through the Xlibris self-publishing company, Shaw finally turned those ideas into a book.
“Back then he was just being a quirky little kid,” said Shaw. But that quirky little exchange has turned Alec into a cartoon character throughout the book's illustrations. “I sent them a picture of Alec and they turned it into a cartoon character.”
In “Do you know where the bus driver will go?” Alec's character imagines all sorts of adventures for his bus driver throughout the day. The adventures include trips to Paris, an African safari, taking a dinosaur for a ride and becoming a super hero.
“As a teacher, there are a lot of talking points,” said Shaw, who now teaches kindergartners at Jeannette McKee Elementary. She said when she reads the book to her students they ask all sorts of questions about the places the driver goes and it gives her a jumping off point to talk about some of those places.
Shaw believes the book could become a series featuring different people and the adventures they might have during their days. Future books will also feature Shaw's older son, Austin, who is a sophomore at Greensburg Salem High School.
During a book fair last fall, Alec was on hand with Shaw and the duo autographed copies of the book together. Shaw's students were very impressed to meet Alec in real life.
The next book will focus on either where teachers go or where the principal eats his lunch. She has dozens of ideas for where the series could go.
Shaw lives in New Alexandria with her husband, Jeff, their two sons and their cat, Sunny.
Shaw, daughter of Albert and Peggy Dent of Jeannette, is a 1986 Jeannette High School graduate. Over her 21-year career, she has taught first grade, second grade and kindergarten. Staying involved in the Jeannette community was important to Shaw when her family moved.
“The kids here are so wonderful and the community is great,” said Shaw.
The book is available at www.barnesandnoble.com, www.amazon.com and they are available autographed and at a discount by emailing Shaw directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Send an email to Shaw requesting a copy of the book and instructions on how it should be personalized.
Kristie Linden is an editor for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at email@example.com or 724-838-5154.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Burnett’s stellar start paves way for Pirates’ victory over Diamondbacks
- Spirit Airlines lifts fortunes of Arnold Palmer Regional Airport
- Rossi: Penguins’ best bet is on Martin
- Rossi: Rutherford falling apart, too
- Penguins president: General manager, coach won’t be fired
- From injuries to front office, Penguins’ season didn’t lack drama
- It’s business, but not as usual in Pittsburgh
- Elites, media & character
- High risk, reward with 1st-round quarterbacks in NFL Draft
- Hip science: Rock-star physicists make tough concepts easier to understand
- Experts: If health insurers’ safeguard goes broke, consumers could pay