By CASSIE MCKEE, Four Points News
A local preschool teacher and River Place resident has published her first book, entitled “Marshmallows Ain’t Got No Feet,” a collection of funny and heartwarming stories from the young kids she has taught over the years.
Author Allison Gaskins, 45, has taught preschool for the last 12 years at First Foundations Preschool in Austin. Prior to that, she taught kindergarten in Georgia and North Carolina.
“I enjoy working with very little children,” Gaskins said. “Every day is an adventure at that age.”
Gaskins comes from a long line of educators, including both her mother and father. Her mother helped motivate her to write the book.
“She always said she wished she had taken the time to write down the funny things her students said,” Gaskins said. “When I became a teacher, she suggested I do it.”
She took her mom’s advice and began keeping a journal her first year of teaching. Each day after school, she would write down any funny things her students had said, such as the time she asked her students to name their favorite food and one little girl said, “The samples at Costco.” The book’s title is explained in its first story.
After seeing her dad publish his memoirs a few years ago, she decided to turn her own journal into a book. Her parents were one of the first ones to read the finished product.
“They loved it,” she said. “They laughed the whole time. That’s the whole point of the book- I want to share funny things that kids say.”
The book was a family affair. Her husband, Chris, designed the cover and the layout of the book and self-published it using www.createspace.com, Amazon’s self-publishing web site.
“I found their process to be extremely easy and very self-explanatory,” said Chris Gaskins.
They did all of the editing of the text using the LibreOffice word processor. Chris said the total process cost about $175. The book is available for purchase on Amazon for $8.10 or a Kindle version for $4.99. Allison said she’s sold more than 100 copies since it was first released in November.
Allison and Chris have one daughter, a recent Vandegrift High School graduate, who is planning to major in music education in college and become an educator as well.
They are active members of Austin Baptist Church and Allison also belongs to the Travis Audubon Society. They enjoy traveling and are planning to take an RV trip to Colorado this summer.
Allison said publishing her first book was a very rewarding experience and she is already making plans to publish her second. She also created a website where other educators can share their own funny stories at www.educator-stories.com.
“Every teacher has so many stories,” she said. “If they would just write them down, I think it would make a great book.”
To order a copy of “Marshmallows Ain’t Got No Feet,” visit http://amzn.com/1492729566.