CU professor publishes children’s book

by Tahira Carter

Cameron University Education Assistant Professor Dr. James Hawkins paid tribute to his profession with the publication of his new children’s book, “Daddy, Tell Me a Story about the First Day of School.”

The book, which debuted on Aug. 2, has a targeted audience of children between the ages of four and eight who are preparing to enter the school system for the first time or who have recently started school.

“The events cover a first day of school and hopefully will help parents and children understand that school is a friendly place that is filled with learning and excitement,” Dr. Hawkins said.

Dr. Hawkins has been an educator for most of his life and was able to use his experience to create a piece of literature that would relate his love of education and help keep children interested in learning.

“The profession is demanding but the high from seeing the learning light go on is worth more than all the gold in Ft. Knox,” Dr. Hawkins said.

A great deal of the book’s content is based on personal experiences Dr. Hawkins had during his first day at school. Experiences that no doubt laid the groundwork for what would later become his profession.

“I have been in school, either as a student or a teacher, since I was 5-years-old. The reason that I am, or any of us go, anywhere in life is because of what we learned, for the most part, from our teachers,” Dr. Hawkins said.

Also highlighted in the book are underlying themes such as time organization and a proper balance of academics, family life and extracurricular activities.

Inspiration for the writing style came from fellow author Tim Russet. Russet’s book “Wisdom of Our Fathers” is a tribute to fathers based on the experiences of everyday American citizens.

“I thought we should have the same kind of book that pays tribute to our teachers,” Dr. Hawkins said. “I wanted to tell a series of stories much like my father told me and much like I told my two sons about life.”

“Daddy, Tell Me a Story about the First Day of School” is Dr. Hawkins’ first attempt at writing a children’s book and, with the knowledge that only three percent of manuscripts sent to publishers actually become published books, he is pleased with the outcome of the endeavor. Dr. Hawkins said that this book is the first in a series of other “Daddy Tell Me a Story About…” books which would include topics such as a child’s first baseball game and first fishing experience.

Tate Publishing & Enterprises also offers alternative ways to enjoy the book. With each purchase an audio version and a digital version will be available. Parents and students will have the opportunity to choose the format that best suits their needs, whether it be the paperback edition, as an ebook or to have the audio version read to them in animated voices

Parents and students will have the opportunity to read the paperback edition or have the audio version read to them in animated voices.

Dr. Hawkins received his Masters in Education from the University of Oklahoma and completed his Ph.D at Mississippi State University. He has been an Assistant Professor at Cameron University since fall 2005.

A book signing for “Daddy, Tell Me a Story about the First Day of School” is scheduled to be held from 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 17 at the Full Circle Bookstore in Oklahoma City.

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