‘A Crane Named Steve’ Released as Fundraiser in Spirit of Community

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Provided by ATW

Bristow award-winning author Katherine Gotthardt, M.Ed. has announced the release of A Crane Named Steve, a book Gotthardt calls an illustrated children’s epic poem about a child who, struggling with transitions, befriends a construction crane that helps explain complex ideas about work, moving, traffic and stress.  

The real “Steve” became a local icon among commuters when “he” showed up on I-66 during construction this past summer. Gotthardt approached crane owner Digging & Rigging, Inc. who not only supported the idea, they agreed to publish the book. Gotthardt then teamed up with illustrator and Manassas business owner Patrick King to produce the book, proceeds to be donated to local charities. The first charity to benefit will be Action in Community Through Service (ACTS), which offers a food pantry, services for the homeless, domestic violence victim assistance, suicide prevention support and more.

“Steve has really brought the community together,” said Gotthardt, who first learned of the crane through the Facebook group Western Prince William Chatter. Group members not only named the crane, they created memes generating local and national news. “I loved Steve’s spirit when I first saw the way people reacted to his presence on I-66, and I love it even more now. Who knew a crane would unify us in the midst of traffic, politics and everyday stress?”

King said he also enjoyed the community feel of the project and that there’s a real lesson in the book. It’s not just a way to keep a meme going, he said. “I’m glad to have contributed and look forward to hearing from readers.”

“We at Digging and Rigging enjoy the storyline behind this book,” said Brett Crouse, marketing coordinator. “We’re hopeful it receives an overwhelming response from the community where Steve was brought to life and expands its reach to outlying communities to generate proceeds for local charities. With Katherine’s creative writing skills paired with Patrick’s illustrations, we are sure this will happen.”

The day after it was published, the book hit #1 on Amazon in new releases in its category of children’s literature about work. It came in at number 24 of all new releases in children’s literature. Amazon releases about one new book every five minutes.


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