Local teachers collaborate to create book

By Kelsey Horath

Ruston school teacher LeJoyce Adams never realized a student’s doodle art would lead to a road of inspiration in creating her own world of doodles and characters.

Adams is a second grade special education inclusion teacher at Hillcrest Elementary School and has been an educator for almost 20 years. Outside of the classroom, Adams enjoys putting her creativity into writing and children’s book. Adams has two published books and her most recent being “Doodlebug Jones, The Arteest Extraordinaire.”

“This title is derived from watching a student in class who would rather doodle than do classwork,” Adams said. 

In the book, readers can see a similar character, Doodlebug Jones who enjoys creating art and will sometimes create playful mischief for herself and others. 

“This book is about a very creative and spunky little girl (who is slightly mischievous)and loves art,” Adams said. “She finds out that they have a new art teacher at school, but she also gets the surprise of her life at the end of the book.”

Creating the world inside “Doodlebug Jones, The Arteest Extraordinaire” was a very tedious and sometimes stressful process; however, at the end of the day, Adams enjoyed every step of creating the small details.  

“Writing is one of my hobbies,” Adams said. “It is my therapy.

However, these small details were not created by Adams alone, but with the help of Anna Alexander. 

Alexander is a teacher at Hillcrest Elementary and Glen View Elementary, where she teaches art to K-2. Recently, she was awarded “Louisiana Elementary Art Educator of the Year” for 2022. When Alexander is not teaching, she enjoys performing at a local theater and finding art in all outlets. 

I’ve always done everything that I could to create artistically,” Alexander said. “My brain is just wired that way.”

Designing Doodlebug Jones and her world was a wonderful and exciting time for Alexander, where inspiration was far from lacking and the small, intricate details painted the biggest picture. 

“Being able to be creative in this way has been fun and surprisingly relaxing,” Alexander said. “I’ll put my earbuds in and listen to relaxing music and dive into creating Doodlebug Jones’ world.” 

Joining the creative process as an illustrator with Adams for “Doodlebug Jones, The Arteest Extraordinaire” brought together an even more extraordinaire team than Doodlebug Jones herself.

To experience all the colorful doodles and silly mischief Doodlebug Jones has to offer, stop by Rolling Hills Bookstore Thursday, Jan. 26, from 3:30-5:30 p.m. for a book signing with Adams and Alexander. The bookstore is located at 1103 Farmerville Highway.

To report an issue or typo with this articleCLICK HERE