Shelbyville Daily Union

Local News

November 1, 2013

Rood Awakening

SHELBYVILLE, IL. — When Shelbyville teacher Tom Rood retired in 2007 he already had plans to keep himself busy. One of those plans was to write some books for his four grandchildren. But what started as a single book turned into 13.

Rood explained, “The first book is very simple like a kindergarten reading book, with rhyming sentences and repetition. It was designed to just to get them into reading and it just took off from there.”

What makes Rood’s books unique is that there is no photocopying of any of the color pencil artwork. It is all original and done by hand. He estimates the number of original drawings to be “in the several hundreds.”

Rood has Corner Copy make additional copies for others, but five original books go to each grandchild and his wife Jane. He then has them professionally bound in Urbana. Rood estimates he spent eight months on each book which draw on his years of teaching experiencing the trials and tribulations of most school kids.

 Apparently you can’t be an elementary teacher for 33 years and not still like to color. Rood printed the outline of each caricature and filled each in with colored pencil.

On “Beast in my Backpack”, he switched to acrylic paint, “Just to try something different.” The paint was much harder to perfectly reproduce numerous times, so on those he used photocopying .

His grandchildren are Kate Goodman, 9; Tyson Rood, 9; Holly Rood, 4; and Kylie Rood, 2. Each child is “hidden” somewhere in each book in the form of an animal that represents each one. He has a duck named Roby (Holly), a bird named Nokey (Kylie); Willie the duck (Tyson) and a pixyish chick called The Coop (Kate). He says the nicknames are another story in itself.

The names of the books are “Rhyme Time with Willie and The Coop”; “Cuthbert Goes to School”; “The Christmas Kitten”; “Princesses Don’t Drive Tractors”; “City Dog, Country Dog”; “The Boy Who Got a Zero”; “If Pirates Went to School”; “Roby’s Animal Rhymes”; “Pobody’s Nerfect”; “Don’t Wake up the Cat”; “Nokey’s World”; “The Phineas Finch Mysteries” and “There’s a Beast in my Backpack”.

“There’s a Beast in my Backpack” explains who is really to blame for broken pencils, wrong math answers and half-eaten sandwiches — a lime green, seven-haired, one-toothed imp.

His favorite book is, “If Pirates Went to School.” Rood explained. “Pirates represent everything you don’t do at school, and get into trouble all the time. They are the opposite of what you should do at school.”

Sorry, the books aren’t for sale. They are a testament of his love for his grandchildren and reading. He never wants it to become a commercial enterprise.

“I have no desire to do that,” he said flatly. “I don’t want to get into that selling business. This is just something for my grandchildren to have. Also, this way I can do whatever I want without an editor trying to tell me to change this word or that. A couple of people wanted the Beast so I just made an extra copy for them.”

Although you can’t buy them you can hear him read a couple this Sunday, Nov. 3, at Flourishes Gallery and Studios for First Sunday Sing. Flourishes is located at 140 ½ E. Main in downtown Shelbyville. Rood will read, “There’s a Beast in my Backpack,” and a poetry book, “Don’t Wake up the Cat.”

Rood will share the stage with Jan Phillips of Taylorville. Phillips is an accomplished singer and instrumentalist in guitar, banjo and mandolin.


Text Only
Local News
  • Correction

    In the story "Eagle Scout rebuilds Illini Trail bridge" (July 18), the carpenter who helped on the project was Doug Martin, not Doug Hall.

    July 21, 2014

  • Findlay Walleye Festival begins Friday A variety of entertainment for the whole family beckons visitors to the annual Findlay Walleye Festival this weekend.The Festival begins at 4 p.m. Friday evening with music by Jim Allen and Country Classics with Kelsey Beard and Curt Wooters, followe

    July 21, 2014

  • Art Show to feature young artists Emerging young artists from Millikin and the immediate Shelbyville area will open their show of work at Flourishes Gallery and Studios in downtown Shelbyville on Saturday afternoon, July 26 from 1-4 p.m. The public is invited to view and visit with

    July 21, 2014

  • School Board approves engineering, bonds resolutions for HVAC system With $3.205 million in bonds sold, the Shelbyville Board of Education approved and signed the resolution providing for the issuance of the bonds to begin work toward the new HVAC system at the High School building.David Pistorius of First Midstate In

    July 21, 2014

  • 071814 Bernson eagle scout project pic 1 Eagle Scout rebuilds Illini Trail bridge Work on the Chief Illini Trail has gotten more help from a local Eagle Scout.Josh Bernson, 15, of Shelbyville spent three days rebuilding a bridge on the trail, approximately a one-half to three-quarter mile in from Lone Point recreational area.“We u

    July 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Keselowski completes New Hampshire Sweep Brad Keselowski was the man to beat all weekend in New Hampshire. Keselowski pulled off a near perfect run to win the race in New Hampshire on Sunday.The Team Penske driver, who also won the Nationwide race Saturday at the 1.058-mile oval, led a race

    July 17, 2014

  • Animal Control presents municipal agreement plan Shelby County communities will be paying for animal control services according to a proposed agreement between the municipalities and the county.County animal control officer Brad Hudson presented the plan to the County Board for approval. The plan w

    July 17, 2014

  • BCCH Baseball Meeting The Beecher City/Cowden-Herrick Jr. High and High School Baseball Teams will have an organizational meeting Tuesday/ July 22 at the Beecher City Grade School. Jr. High meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. High School meeting will be at 6:00 p.m.

    July 17, 2014

  • Beecher City Corn Fest set for July 26 Fresh roasted sweet corn, from Schottman’s of Effingham, will be just one of the highlights of Beecher City Corn Fest, slated Saturday, July 26 at Community Park. This is the second annual event and much more is planned this year. The day kicks off w

    July 17, 2014

  • 071514 pageant pic Strowmatt crowned Shelby Co. Fair Queen In the first pageant in 15 years, a new Shelby County Fair Queen was crowned Sunday night at the Shelby Christian Church.Kassandra Strowmatt of Windsor was crowned as the first queen in the revival of the contest.Also competing for the title were Car

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo