Collaborative Children’s Book Exhibit

BY CHRISTOPHER HEIM

Hard Work and Raw Creativity Come Together.

Open from March 2 until March 27, the Collaborative Children’s Books exhibit will be held in the Godschalx Gallery at the Bush Art Center. The gallery will be open to both students and staff from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Monday to Friday (admission is free). The exhibit features dozens of books that are a product of collaboration between students of Graphic Design and Teacher Education. A reception for the exhibit will be held on March 12 at 5 p.m.

This whole enterprise is the brainchild of Dr. Bonnie Johnson (Teacher Education) and Dr. Katherine Ries (Graphic Design). Incorporating the Six Traits Writing curriculum and knowledge of grade-level capabilities, Johnson’s students wrote the stories while Ries’ students provided the illustrations, type and layout. Johnson stated that one of the excitements from the Collaborative Children’s Books project is seeing the unique stories and diverse writing techniques utilized. She stated “Each story was special in its own way,” which is indeed true, especially given the sheer variety of books present in the exhibit.

Some of the books are fun little educational pieces, an example of this is “A Day in the Life of a Rabbit,” which was written by Madi Murray ’ 16 and illustrated by Anja Marshall ’ 17. Another example is “Our Five Senses,” which contained wonderfully whimsical art by Maria Deau ’ 17.

Other stories are more whimsical and humorous like “The Princess and Her Sunglasses” by Kelly Schumacher ’ 15, which is the tale of how a spoiled little girl named Izabella broke her fancy and expensive sunglasses. There is also the delightfully wacky tale of “An Elephant Named Oliver,” in which a little girl tries to keep an escaped zoo elephant as a pet.

However, my favorite story was “Dustbunny,” written by Genevieve Tosatto ’ 16 and illustrated by Rachel Lee ’ 15. Who knew a short book about dusty objects lost under a couch could turn into a surprisingly potent meditation on loneliness and finding where you belong!

At the end of each semester, the student-created books are donated to the House of Hope, so don’t miss out on this great opportunity to see and appreciate the culmination of hard work and raw creativity.

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