Student publishes children’s book, “The Howard Gardner Zoo”


Alexis Keable, Kayla Kempson and students.

She arranged brightly colored paper animals on the table in front of her. Looking at the giraffe, lion and monkeys, she talked through the process of creating them and watching class assignment become a published book.

Senior education major Alexis Keable turned in the original copy of the book, “The Howard Gardner Zoo,” for a project in her educational psychology class.

“I started with the book idea and from that decided to take one of the learning theories and talk about it in a book setting because I could use a book in my future classroom,” Keable said.

After Keable had her first copy made at Frog Prints, she said she received positive feedback and began looking into publishing.

“From people’s responses I thought, ‘okay, maybe I can do this,’ and with professors’ support I went through with it,” Keable said.

Keable said she never thought of herself as an author or a writer, but with encouragement, she joined Create Space, a self publishing tool, and eventually published her book.

Assistant professor of education Brandy Quinn said the book helps children understand who they are.

“What I really like about it was that she took something that she learned in terms of theories about how kids learn and turned that into something that is a tool for children,” Quinn said. “And it’s something that can help them understand more about themselves and who they are as students and as learners.”

Keable said her goal in creating the book was to teach children that they have their own talents.

“The book is just about having kids know how amazing they are, and that’s why I did it,” Keable said.

Senior education major Kayla Kempson was a student teacher with Keable last semester. She was there the day when Keable read the book to the children and said the experience was really special.

“The kids loved it,” Kempson said. “They thought she was famous so at the end they all asked for her autograph.”

Since the book was published in August, Keable has sold over 175 copies through Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Create Space.

“I wrote the book with the purpose of having students, and children in general, know that they are smart and they have amazing gifts that they have to offer, even if they don’t do well in a certain area,” Keable said.