A local author, a hungry crocodile

Moscow resident Eija Sumner hosts reading and book-signing for her debut children’s story



The Kenworthy Performing Arts Center was full of parents and children eager to hear Eija Sumners live reading of “Crocodile Hungry” last weekend. Free stickers created from the illustrations of John Martz were also available.

GABRIELLE FELICIANO, Evergreen life editor

Last Saturday, local author Eija Sumner led a reading and signing of her debut children’s book “Crocodile Hungry” in commemoration of its release.

The event, hosted by BookPeople of Moscow, was held at the Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre located across the street from the bookstore. After she was introduced by author Annette Pimentel, parents and children alike came together to listen and interact with Sumner as she read “Crocodile Hungry” aloud. One such parent was Lacen Workman, Sumner’s co-worker and best friend.

“The event was really well done. Eija’s great with kids; she made it fun for my toddler,” Workman said. “This is the first book signing I’ve been to, and Eija made it fun and inclusive.”

The reading was followed by an audience Q&A, where Sumner answered questions about “Crocodile Hungry” and the process of its development. Sumner said that she was inspired to write “Crocodile Hungry” after a trip she took to Oregon Zoo with her husband and her daughter.

“I used to live in Portland,” Sumner said. “My family and I went to the zoo, and one of my kids asked my husband what crocodiles ate. He said that crocodiles ate flamingoes, and I got the idea of a crocodile character who didn’t know what to eat.”

Throughout the book, the crocodile visits a variety of places in search of food. However, the humans are too afraid of him to help, causing the crocodile to become frustrated, angry and sad.

“It talks about emotions, so kids can relate to it,” Sumner said. “It’s also a fun story that people can enjoy reading together.”

After the Q&A, members of the community lined up to get their own copies of “Crocodile Hungry” signed by Sumner.

Sumner said that she hopes to have a similar event for her next children’s book, “The Good Little Mermaid’s Book for Bedtime. Set to release sometime in 2023, the book will be a play on early children’s books about etiquette—told from the perspective of a mermaid.

“I love children’s literature,” Sumner said. “It’s intended for children, but anybody at any age can enjoy it.”