Home » News » Local children’s book author spreads popcorn love

Local children’s book author spreads popcorn love

By Lea Kopke
Staff Writer

DE PERE – Growing up, local author Cynthia Schumerth fondly remembers eating popcorn with her family and friends as a treat at the end of a long day.

Schumerth shared this love with her kids, and once even grew her own popcorn plants, harvesting just enough for a few bowls of the salty snack.

In March, the De Pere writer put her love of popcorn into picture book format, publishing a children’s story titled “Let’s Pop, Pop, Popcorn!”

The book takes readers through the process of how popcorn is made, from farm to table.

The book has a STEM focus and includes scientific terms and directions for a small popcorn experiment.

Unlike the popcorn-making process, Schumerth said the process for publishing a book was far from simple.

Schumerth, who worked at the Green Bay Correctional Institution for 42 years before retiring, said she first began writing around 20 years ago and eventually joined the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

She said the community she met there played a large role in keeping her morale up.

“Once I started getting more serious about it, I realized it’s not as easy as it sounds to write a picture book, there’s a lot to it,” she said. “I think it’s because I’ve met so many great people that I haven’t given up.”

“Let’s Pop, Pop, Popcorn!” is the first book Schumerth ever sold to a publisher – although her second, written under the Dr. Seuss pseudonym, was released first in September 2020.

The initial response to the book has been better than expected, Schumerth said.

“I’m really surprised as a new author that it’s doing as well as it is,” she said. “I think I’m really lucky because the illustrator is so wonderful. I was blessed.”

The illustrator, Mary Reaves Uhles, is an artist from Nashville who’s created art for other books, including “The Little Kids’s Table” and “Kooky Crumbs.”

Although COVID-19 made going on a traditional book tour impossible, Schumerth has been able to share “Let’s Pop, Pop, Popcorn!” through virtual classroom and bookstore visits.

“I’ve gotten some really good feedback and some wonderful, beautiful thank you cards from kids,” she said. “What I did for a couple of them with young kids, I have a popcorn poem with motions they can do. I read, then we do the poem and a craft project.”

Locally, Schumerth shared her book with Hemlock Creek Elementary School teacher Rochelle Loch’s kindergarten class over Zoom.

Loch said the book coincided perfectly with her science unit because the class was learning about the life cycle of plants.

“We were learning about seeds, growing, germination,” she said. “The book had all the same steps. The kids were saying, ‘Oh my goodness, that’s what’s happening with my plants.”

Schumerth kept the students engaged the whole time, Loch said and made it personal by sending a letter to each student introducing herself prior to the visit.

Schumerth said in her own childhood, a high school teacher named Jerry Frank encouraged her to pursue writing.

He told her one day, he was sure he’d see her name in a book.

“I’ve thought about that many times over the years, and now I have my name on a book,” Schumerth said. “I hope every kid has at least one teacher, like Mr. Frank, who plants a seed. Who knows, it might just grow into popcorn.”

Facebook Comments
Scroll to Top