Scottville film director Harold Cronk publishes children’s book. 

November 4, 2021

Harold Cronk with his new book “The Beard Ballad”

Scottville film director Harold Cronk publishes children’s book. 

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By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

SCOTTVILLE — Harold Cronk has spent most of his adult life working in the creative arts. Starting out as a high school art teacher and then spending the last two decades working as a film director, producer and writer. Now, he can also put children’s book author on his resume. 

Cronk just published “The Beard Ballad,” a tribute to fathers and their sons. The 18 page hardcover book provides a whimsical tale of a father who bonds with his son as their beards grow long in the month of November. 

The inspiration for “The Beard Ballad” came two years ago when Cronk’s then-5-year-old son gave him a hug and rubbed his cheek against his dad’s. “He pushed me away and said, ‘Dad, your face is all pokey and rough.’ I told him, ‘Those are my ‘Ferocious Facial Follicles!’ In that moment, ‘The Beard Ballad’ was born. I went to the Red Rooster Coffee Shop in downtown Ludington, where I typically delve into my imagination for film scripts, and out flowed this children’s book.”

Cronk said the book was written in a short time, but the editing process has taken a couple years. He shared his ideas with illustrator Casey S. Fritz who created the images to coincide with the story.

“Casey was wonderful to work with. He took my concepts and brought the vision to life,” Cronk said. 

The book also features several pages where children can draw their own beards on certain characters. 

The book follows the writing style of two of Cronk’s favorite children’s authors and illustrators, Maurice Sendak and Dr. Seuss. 

Cronk said he wanted a book that could be read to all children but it’s a dedication to fathers and sons. 

“As fathers, we can be so busy working to provide for our families that we sometimes forget how important it is to invest our time in growing good young men who will own the future.” 

Cronk said he wanted to thank Troy Duhon, executive producer of the “God’s Not Dead” films, for his encouragement in seeing the book become a reality. 

“Early on I read the book to Troy. He was really enthusiastic about it and helped direct me to the resources I needed to get it published. He also was helpful in showing the book to the Robertson family from the ‘Duck Dynasty’ television series.” 

The book’s forward is written by Phil Robertson. Cronk worked with the Robertson family when he directed the blockbuster films “God’s Not Dead” and “God’s Not Dead 2.” 

Robertson, in his forward, talks about the importance of father’s spending time with their sons. “It’s not just growing beards together or chopping wood together, but actually growing a young man.”

Harold David Cronk is a 1993 graduate of Mason County Central High School and a graduate of West Shore Community College. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Central Michigan University, where he majored in art and K-12 education with an emphasis in sculpture. He taught high school art at Evart High School for four years before changing his career to filmmaking. He and his wife, Amy, moved to Los Angeles in 2004 where he worked on several film projects. They eventually moved back to Mason County where they reside in the Scottville area with their two elementary-age children. 

“The Beard Ballad” can be purchased locally at The Book Mark, 201 S. Rath Ave. beginning next week. It can also be ordered online at and will soon be available on Cronk said he plans to hold a book signing locally in the very near future. 

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