Author, canine stars of "Doggie Tails" series visit Sand Springs school
BY KIM ARCHER World Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
11/20/12 at 7:30 AM
SAND SPRINGS - The loudest cheers, ooohs and aaahs were for the appearance of Spike, a fluffy blond Pomeranian who spun in circles and growled in play when his owner touched his tummy.
"He's as wild and crazy as y'all," said David M. Sargent Jr., author of the "Doggie Tails" series of children's books featuring his own dogs.
On Monday, Sargent brought the four real-life characters from the series with him to Angus Valley Elementary School in Sand Springs to meet students and to explain how they can write their own stories based on who and what they see around them.
"Wow! He is crazy," 4-year-old Ashley Prince said as Spike growled on cue.
Sargent, a Prairie Grove, Ark., native with roots in Oklahoma, travels with his canine friends Spike, Tatum, Emma and Daphne to share the dogs' antics as spelled out in the book series.
He introduced each dog, described its individual characteristics and told stories.
"Top dog Tatum is the youngest and smallest," Sargent said. "She is 6 years old. And she actually thinks she is queen of the universe."
Sargent brought out the black-and-tan wire-haired dachshund, and students cheered.
"If we don't treat her like the queen of the universe, she makes our life very miserable," he said, holding her like a baby. "She is nothing but a really big baby. Tatum, if you think you're a really big baby, too, raise your hand for us."
Tatum raised her leg and paw straight into the air to squeals of delight.
Sargent then asked students to close their eyes while he put Tatum in costume. Students laughed after opening their eyes to find Tatum wearing a tiara.
Each dog had its own special tricks. Tatum worked the teeter-totter. Emma, a short-haired brindle piebald dachshund, sang in her howling voice loud and strong.
"She has become a little diva," Sargent said.
Daphne, a black-and-tan dapple long-haired dachshund who has regained the use of her back legs after a fall, was able to run through a tunnel on command.
"She doesn't have a mean bone in her body," Sargent said.
"How many of you think those are true stories?" he asked the children after reading a book about Emma chewing his shoes and shredding the trash.
Most of the students raised their hands.
"They are all true," Sargent said. "All the books about my friends are true."
He told the students that they, too, could write about anything they want, about anything they see around them.
"When you sit down to write, look around for characters for your stories," Sargent said. "You can use the pictures in my books as inspirations for your own stories. You can talk about the emotions or frustrations they make you feel.
"You can use your imagination, too."
Original Print Headline: Elementary school goes to the dogs
Kim Archer 918-581-8315
Children's book author David Sargent, who writes the "Doggie Tails" book series, holds Daphne as he speaks to students Monday at Angus Valley Elementary School. CHRISTOPHER SMITH / Tulsa World
Angus Valley Elementary students cover their eyes Monday as they wait for children's book author David Sargent to change his dog Tatum's costume. CHRISTOPHER SMITH / Tulsa World
Author David Sargent reads to students Monday at Angus Valley Elementary School in Sand Springs. He encouraged the children to write stories about what they see around them. CHRISTOPHER SMITH / Tulsa World
David Sargent, who writes the "Doggie Tails" book series, hands Tatum to pre-K teacher Wendy Paden as he speaks to the children Monday. CHRISTOPHER SMITH / Tulsa World
Children's book author David Sargent holds Spike, a fluffy blond Pomeranian, during a presentation Monday at Angus Valley Elementary School. CHRISTOPHER SMITH / Tulsa World