Showing posts from February, 2011

"Mother, Am I Normal?"

Yesterday my eighteen-year-old son with autism was wiping off the kitchen counter. He stopped, blinked a few times and said, “Mother, am I normal?”

I looked up from my laptop, surprised. He’d never asked me such a thing before. We made eye contact. I scanned my brain files for the correct response.

“I mean, what does normal mean?” he asked. “Does it mean medium? Or good? Regular? Or average? Or ordinary?”

One of his favorite things to do is to search for the meaning of words . He’ll frequently ask me for definitions, and is especially interested in classifying words with similar connotations.

But this was a profound question he was asking. What DOES normal mean, anyway?

“I suppose normal means regular or ordinary. Average," I said.

I thought about my son in his early childhood. He would scream in frustration at his inability to communicate his wants and feelings. In those days, I was an overwhelmed young mother with small children, trying to deal with what felt like his…

How (And WHY) to Book Kristyn Crow for a School Visit

1. Email me at

2. Introduce yourself and let me know what you have in mind…a large group assembly, individual classroom visits, a literacy night, etc.

3. Request my detail sheet if you’d like references, price ranges, etc. I am willing to work within your school’s budget.

4. I’ll get back to you ASAP. A conversation has begun! We’ll set a date and time and go from there.

5. Why? Your students will be entertained with an animated PowerPoint and a lively discussion about what writers do, how picture books are made, and how rhythm works in language. I know how to work a crowd of kids--I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve to make them laugh. An author visit is a HUGE boost of energy to your literacy program. I’ll read three of my books, and your students will play instruments along with the book refrain in a huge rhythm symphony. It’s learning and having fun at the same time. The students don’t just listen, they participate interactively.

6. Contact my r…

The Really GROOVY Story of the Tortoise and the Hare

Available March 1, 2011~The Really GROOVY STORY of the Tortoise and the Hare ( Albert Whitman, Inc. , illustrated by Christina Forshay ) is the traditional tortoise and hare fable, snapped up with a groovy beat. It is new rhythm breathed into the old tale. As a writer, I can tell you it was grueling work—one of the pieces I worked longest on. It has sets of three rhymes per line, a hoppin’ beat with an anapest meter. I worked on it for over a year.

Don’t misunderstand the intent of the book. The word “groovy” in the title is not a nod to the 1970s. (Although if it makes you smile, groovy.) This book is about movin’ and groovin’, hippin’ and hoppin. It’s about shaking your tortoise shell or your fuzzy cottontail as you hear the words of the story. It’s about little hands clappin’ and little feet stompin’. It’s about movement and rhythm and language with a beat. It’s about involving the reluctant or early reader interactively in the story. Word-play and humor.

When I visit schools, I brin…