by Lisa Fischer | Photography by Jamison Mosley
Though most Arkansans know her as a morning anchor on KARK 4 TODAY, Susanne Brunner is expanding her horizons as an author of children’s books. Busker the Tusker, her first effort, released May 1, is the story of a young male elephant who lives in Africa with his family. He’s asleep at the oasis and awakens to realize his family is gone. He then sets out to find them, and along the way, he meets a lion, a monkey, a crocodile and many more animals who use their special skills to help Busker find his herd.
“This story is about friends and family because that’s what is important to me – lending a helping hand and being kind.” Brunner says of the tale, which was illustrated by Wynter Bresaw, a graduate of Arkansas Tech University in Russellville.
Brunner’s inspiration to write children’s books comes from her childhood memories of her mother’s storytelling while her father was serving on military bases in California and the Philippines.
“I loved stories as a kid,” she reminisces. “My mother would tell my sister and me an elaborate story at night, verbally without a book. I wanted to (someday) share a story of my own.”
She says she wrote the story on her iPhone four years ago while driving back to Arkansas from Indiana.
Brunner says Busker the Tusker is the first of five books she hopes to produce.
“All will teach something. Perseverance and determination, finding your inner talent; positive attitudes,” she says.
In her newscasts, Brunner often focuses on education and the importance of reading at an early age. She wants kids in the state to drop their electronic devices and improve their reading scores by having fun with a book.
Busker the Tusker is available as a hardback or e-book. For additional information on book signing events and readings, visit her website www.buskerthetuskerandfriends.com or have a book signed at the Little Rock Zoo, July 20 at 10 a.m., or the Museum of Discovery, July 27 at 11 a.m.
Busker the Tusker book reading and book signing events
Saturday, July 20
Little Rock Zoo at 10 a.m.
Wordsworth Books at 3 p.m.
Saturday, July 27
Museum of Discovery at 11 a.m.