UHS grad-turned-children’s-book author visits group of educators

Former Uvaldean and children’s book author Kyle Wagner, who now resides in Fort Worth, with (back row, left to right) family friend and Delta Beta Chapter President Joy Jechow, Area 6 Coordinator of Delta Kappa Gamma Jennifer Garcia and her former sixth grade teacher Molly Turner.

The following article was written by Laura Dabney Vanham on behalf of the Delta Beta Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma

At the Delta Kappa Gamma Delta Chapter February meeting, members were treated to a presentation by author Kyle Wagner.

Delta Beta has historically held an annual book review with speakers, often from the Uvalde area, sharing their books and their stories of how they were created.

Wagner, son of Billy and Lisa Wagner, graduated in 2004 from Uvalde High School. He attended Texas A&M University, where he graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering.

Wagner says he went from someone who really disliked reading to an avid reader in his adult life. When his children were younger, he realized they had no idea what his job as a petroleum engineer was. Wagner went to the oil field and took pictures.

His son then wanted a “Pump Jack” book. Thinking it would be easy enough to find on the internet, Wagner soon realized that there were no Pump Jack books available. So what should be done? He, with his son as writer and daughter as editor, wrote Wagner’s first book; “Good night, rig”.

The first copy was published by CVS Pharmacy as a photo book. With friends requesting copies of the book, Wagner was unable to connect with an established publisher for their particular style of book. Undeterred, the Wagners set out to create punkindoogers.com, a publisher of children’s books, part of the profits of which is donated to families in need.

Oilfield Helping Hands, an online publication, quotes Wagner: “As a petroleum engineer and father of two looking for ways to teach my children about the oil and gas industry, I created punkindooger to produce fun, colorful and creative books for children, but also to support the communities we serve. With his children, he continued to create books, expanding his themes to agriculture and the military.

Wagner’s next books include “O is for Oilfield”, “Goodnight, Combine”, and “V is for Veteran”. Each book focuses on both academic education and character. His latest book, “His Kind of Kind,” is an extension of Wagner’s most recent venture undertaken with his wife and pastor called “Kindness Ducks.” The yellow rubber ducks are the logo where random acts of kindness are encouraged as part of Plant Kindness, Cultivate Kindness, and Share Kindness.

More information about his books or the Kindness Project is available online at punkindooger.com and kindnessDuck.com.

Grover Z. Barnes