Story By Hannah Lester/ Photos Contributed By Emily Cordon
Emily Cordon is one of the world’s newest authors.
This past fall, she debuted her first children’s book — Mr. Crab’s Dream Island. Cordon is originally from Daphne, Alabama, and is an Auburn alumna (joining the ranks of many other accomplished alumni).
Cordon was not one of those children who dreamed of publishing a book. In fact, at Auburn, she originally studied fashion design. She decided to go into English education, though eventually, she hopes to be an Art teacher.
However, it was one well-placed high school assignment that was enough to bring Mr. Crab to life.
“It was an art project my senior year of high school,” she said. “I’ve always kept it, my mom always wanted me to keep it. I never really liked it that much and of course, my mom was like ‘you need to publish it.’ But of course, your parents are always biased.”
Cordon moved from Auburn to Fairhope, Alabama, to be near her parents, after teaching at Beauregard High School and Auburn Jr. High. Since the move, Cordon has been working with the Baldwin County School System, teaching English and subbing.
Cordon heard of Amazon publishing and that is how she decided to publish Mr. Crab’s Dream Island. Since she already had the book, all she had to do was type the book and take pictures of her art. The process took all of one week.
“Because it was more of a simple, self-publishing thing, I have other pieces that I have written that I would also like to publish in the future as well,” she said.
She said she’d like to publish some of her poetry, one of which is about the ever-famous Kick-Six.
The new author said she has sold several of the children’s book on Amazon, as well as many personally to people.
“I’ve done two book signings and book readings at Barnes & Noble in Spanish Fort,” she said. “… And those went really well.”
She also participated in a book signing at Page and Palette and an author showcase at Fantasy Toy Island in Fairhope. Cordon received her art teaching certificate in 2021 — so she’s on her way to her dream of being an art teacher — and perhaps more publishing.
She may continue Mr. Crab’s adventure, too, though.
“[The support from Auburn has been] great,” she said. “… I’ve had a lot of good support.”
The book is also now available in the Auburn University Bookstore.
“It’s definitely full circle,” she said. “It’s really awesome, very humbling … it’s definitely very surreal for me that that is happening. It’s definitely like a dream come true.”
Her mom, Grace Cordon, has been very supportive — just as she was when Cordon was in high school.
“As Emily’s mother, I’ve always known Mr. Crab’s Dream Island should be published,” her mom said. “Now, I’m so excited about the book. Watching children looking at the pictures and taking an interest in it makes me so happy. I knew it was a winner.”
Overall, Cordon has done with this book what she does with teaching — encouraging children. In fact, she left the back pages of Mr. Crab’s Dream Island blank so that children could draw their own fantasies.
“Success for me means that this book is in some little way impacting a child’s life and encouraging a child that all dreams are possible,” Cordon said. “Just reading this book to children and being able to share this book with family members and friends is a dream come true to me.”