CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. -- When Ellen Curry sat down to write a book for her two daughters, she had no idea she would create a world she could share with children everywhere. But that is exactly what she did with her new children's book Mr. Cumberbun Has Lost His Song. Curry is the Media Specialist at Washington High School in Charles Town. As an educator, she wanted to give kids a positive message through her story. As Mr. Cumberbun the frog looks for his lost song, Curry said he learns to try new things and ask his friends for help. She hopes that message will resonate with children and families who read her book.
"There's always some way, somehow they can learn something new, they can try something, they can improve upon what they know," she said.
Curry shares that message by demonstrating how Mr. Cumberbun relies on help from other animals who live in his forest. The other animals help Mr. Cumberbun on his journey and teach him new things. Curry said the inspiration for the characters and setting came from her home in Harpers Ferry, where she often takes walks and enjoys nature.
"That's why I chose the animals I did because I thought it was reminiscent of where we lived."
And Curry's work seems to have already inspired some of her students. Washington High School Key Club students traveled to South Jefferson Elementary to read the book to students there and share Mr. Cumberbun's story. Curry said that she wrote the book hoping that children could be reading it to one another.
"I really wrote this for five to eight-year-old range," Curry said. "So the five-year-old can read it to the eight-year-old, and the five-year-old will be challenged by some of the vocabulary that's in there."
Although Mr. Cumberbun Has Lost His Song is Curry's first book, she doesn't think it will be her last. She believes there may be more tales to tell about the frog. Curry's book is available through the publisher, Blue Balloon Books, and Amazon.