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Students Inspire Teacher to Publish Book

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R. L. Turner High School gaming and animation teacher holds the book she wrote and illustrated after students encourage her to pen the book.

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A classroom project leads to a published children’s book for R. L. Turner High School teacher — and more books are in the works.

“I was talking with my class about character design, and I pulled up a website of ‘random animals you have never heard of’ for my students to use as inspiration for their characters,” said Kat Wendling, R. L. Turner High School’s gaming and animation teacher.

What appeared changed the future for Wendling and sparked her literary career.

“On this website, there was a Bilby,” explained Wendling. “My students and I practiced drawing this animal as a character for the class. Then later that day, I had a student in another class notice my drawing of the Bilby on my desk. They fell in love with it and told me I should make a children’s book out of it. And, so I did.”

Thus “Bilby Bakes a Pie” was born, as Wendling wrote and illustrated the book.

“The story of the book came from a doodle of Bilby I drew where he is holding a pie,” Wendling said. “‘Bilby Bakes a Pie’ is a children’s book about a Bilby making a pie for his friends. There is a recipe at the end of the book so kids can follow along with the book and make their own pie.”

Wendling is entering her fifth year as a teacher in the Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD. She is also the director of R. L. Turner’s Academy for Media Arts & Technology.

“I am excited to have this book out there and am looking forward to creating more,” Wendling said.​ “I am wanting to turn Bilby into a series that children can enjoy for years to come.”​

“Bilby Bakes a Pie” is available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

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