Donald Crews


We are learning about Transportation now, and my bookshelf is full of books about trains, planes, buses, boats, and cars.  Of course we have a Donald Crews shelf — with Truck, Freight Train, and Sail Away on it.


Princess finished her journal page this morning, then took Freight Train off the shelf and brought it to me.

“Teacher, what does this say?”

“Freight Train,” I told her.

“fff,” she said, pointing to the letter F.

“Yes, that’s right, that’s the word Freight.  Freight starts with F.”

“Duh, duh, duh, ” she said, pointing to the D. 

“Yup, that’s D.  D is for Donald.  Donald Crews wrote the words and he drew the pictures.  And you know something else about Donald Crews?” I asked.


“He has brown skin, just like you do.”

“I LOVE this book!” she yelled, and clutched it to her chest.


5 thoughts on “Donald Crews

  1. I really enjoy reading your blog as it reminds me of my daily occurrences in my own classroom. However, after reading this entry I was bothered by the fact that you had to draw attention to the author’s skin color. Why did you feel it necessary to do so? You had a great teaching opportunity when you discussed the print/ letters in the book. Why did you have to extend your lesson by highlighting his race. In my class, we don’t discuss race as we see each other for who we are not by the color of our skin.


    • Ms. Tina, I referred to the author’s skin color in a one-on-one conversation with Princess, because I thought she might want to know that children’s book authors come in all colors. My students have seen pictures of Mo Willems (white) and a few other authors (alll white), and I wanted to make sure that Princess knew that writing children’s books is not the exclusive province of white people.

      We do talk about race, from time to time. Mostly to puzzle over the labels of “white” and “black,” because white people aren’t really white, and black people aren’t really black. We have multicultural crayons in the classroom, and try to hold them up to our skin colors to find which ones match us, and discover in the process that there are a whole range of colors represented in our classroom.

      That’s all.

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