Detroit resident and Harper Woods High School graduate Crystal Bussell recently published her first children’s book, “The Cherry Larrys Versus Poison Berry.”

Detroit resident and Harper Woods High School graduate Crystal Bussell recently published her first children’s book, “The Cherry Larrys Versus Poison Berry.”

Photo by Brendan Losinski


Harper Woods author publishes first children’s book

By: Brendan Losinski | Advertiser Times | Published September 17, 2020

HARPER WOODS — Crystal Bussell has always tried to teach good life lessons to her sons, Caden and Darrian, but she is now trying to pass those lessons on to other kids by putting out her own series of children’s books.

Bussell, a Detroit resident and graduate of Harper Woods High School, is a mail carrier by day. She has always had a passion for teaching and reading, especially to young kids.

She recently published her first book, “The Cherry Larrys Versus Poison Berry,” about two superheroes fighting crime and learning important lessons about what to do when someone starts trouble, how to eat healthy and how to be kind to others.

“The book is called ‘The Cherry Larrys Versus Poison Berry,’” said Bussell. “The characters are all fruits and vegetables. I got the title from a family nickname given to my kids. We would sing and laugh and joke about it, and as they got older, they were intrigued by what it meant. COVID made it hard to keep them readers and they lacked motivation, so I tried to inspire them by making an entire series about them.”

She also started her own publishing company to create it, called Buss Pub LLC. It can be found online at busspubpresents.com.

“I created a publishing company because I went to a friend who published a book and she talked about the royalties rate and the lack of return, so I figured this was something we could both do as a family and inspire my kids to think outside of the box when they get older,” Bussell explained. “I also thought I could teach people along the way to get the most out of their art.”

Bussell said the path to bringing a book to life isn’t easy, but that it is well worth the effort.

“The biggest challenge in writing the book is marketing,” she said. “A lot of people will write a great book and have a great story, but they can’t get the word out about it. I wanted this to be a book for families all across the globe, but it can be tough.”

Bussell believes there are many conflicting messages that kids hear these days. She hopes to impart positive messages to them that they will make a part of their lives.

“The message I want to share is that it is possible to create and inspire the super within. By that I mean the best parts of all of us. I want people to go for what they believe in and do something extraordinary,” said Bussell. “A lot of kids face situations like Berry and Jerry do in the story and don’t know how to deal with it. This is a way to show them. A lot of times children receive things subconsciously, so if we are feeding them material like this, they will end up making the right choices.”

Bussell held a reading of the book at the Anchors Away Child Care Center in Warren Sept. 16.

“She did really well,” remarked Enisa Ibrahimovic, the program director at Anchors Away Child Care. “She was engaged with the kids, the book was awesome and I’m hoping a lot of the kids are going to order some. I think it helps the kids be in control. It teaches them to go to a person, if they need help, like an adult or police officer. I would love for her to come back and read part two once it comes out.”

Ashley Morgan, the lead preschool teacher at Anchors Away, said she appreciated the messages that the book presents in a fun way that kids can understand.

“It teaches a lot about eating healthy. A lot of kids in my classroom struggle with that. She brought in her blender and made smoothies for the kids too, which really helped,” said Morgan. “I liked how she changed her tone of voice while she read. That really grabbed the kids’ attention while she was reading. The names and it being an action book with superheroes and bad guys really drew the kids in. She had some big words for the kids, but then she stopped and explained those words to them.”

Bussell actually delivered mail to Anchors Away and started discussing her book with the staff. They were happy to be able to work together.

“We had to wait a while for her to come in because of corona happening, but we were glad to have her in,” said Ibrahimovic.

Bussell has five more books planned about Cherry and Larry. She hopes to release the next one in November.

“I think the reading went well,” she said. “They seemed really engaged and liked the book. Those bright, engaging colors are great, but there’s a story with a message behind it. The reaction I get from the kids is why I do this and why I want to keep going.”