- The Washington Times - Monday, November 3, 2008

MOUNT SAVAGE, Md. | Students in Lisa Watson’s first-grade class have found themselves as characters in a unique book by best-selling children’s author Robert Munsch.

Thirteen of Miss Watson’s students at Mount Savage School this fall wrote to Mr. Munsch, asking such questions as how he became an author, what his favorite book was and whether he would visit their school.

In early October, Mr. Munsch sent them a unique book in which Miss Watson takes her class for stroll and they come upon “a man sitting on a park bench holding a picture book.”

The man tells the youngsters that he cannot think of a child to use in the story. The character Abby, based on 6-year-old Mount Savage School student Abby McLaughlin, asks whether she can be part of the book.

There was a catch. Abby said all of Mr. Munsch’s books have “crazy stuff.”

In this book, the writer “picked up Abby, folded her and flattened her and stuck her into the book.”

The storyline continues with Miss Watson thinking it’s “a great honor” to be in a book. However, Abby wanted out.

Recently, the real Abby recalled the rest of the story and how her classmates tried to help her escape from the book.

Dayna used her fingernails to try to pry out her friend. That failed, so Levi, Logan, Jordyn and Geoff tried pulling apart the book. Then Aidan tried to photocopy her out of the book.

“But I was still in the book,” Abby said. “He only copied a picture of me. …They standed on me, they sitted on me [and] it doesn’t work.”

Caleb Carney, 6, had a brainstorm.

“I change the ending,” he said. “I put the writer in the book.”

According to the story, the book went on to became one of the most popular in the school library because it was the only one that jumped up and down shouting “Help! Help! Help!”

Caleb might have had an advantage because his 14-year-old sister, A.J., is writing her own book.

“It’s not published, but my sister’s making it,” he said.

Miss Watson said another Mount Savage teacher had her students write to Mr. Munsch and received a quick reply. Because of the success her students experienced, they’re certain to write him again, she said.

The book is not sold in bookstores. Mr. Munsch said the book is made from a template and is used for the many classes that write to him.

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