Skip To Main Content

Breadcrumb

Former Crow Island School Principal Was Children's Literacy Advocate and Author of Over 300 Books

Former Crow Island School Principal Was Children's Literacy Advocate and Author of Over 300 Books

Did you know that Bill Martin, Jr., author of over 300 children’s books (including Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and Brown Bear Brown Bear, What Do You See?) was Principal of Crow Island School from 1958 through 1961? Originally from Kansas, Martin struggled with reading from childhood through college.

His own experience of listening to teachers read aloud influenced him to become an advocate for using storytelling to influence young readers. While serving in the Army Air Force in World War II, he wrote his first book, The Little Squeegy Bug, which sold 1 million copies and was lauded by Eleanor Roosevelt. After serving as Principal of Crow Island School, Martin joined a New York City publishing company where he was editor-in-chief of the school division before becoming a full-time writer in Texas.  Martin championed children’s literacy. ''Students will only learn to read,'' he said, ''when they have language inside of themselves.'' To honor what would have been his 100th birthday, fellow authors and educators celebrated his legacy in New York City in March 2016.