The Storybook Waters of Illustrator Jamie Hogan opened last week, with a swell flock of peeps gathering to see my originals from 7 picture books, and hear Eva Murray read Island Birthday. It’s not every day two island girls make a book. We both deal with crossing water; I was delayed leaving Peaks Island because of capacity crowds on the Casco Bay Lines ferry. Eva flew from Matinicus, thanks to clear weather. Smiles abound when serendipity brings us together, in the Sam L. Cohen Children’s Library at the Main Branch of the Portland Public Library.

1eva&jamie                                                                                                               photo © Kirsten Cappy

Here is book lover, Gunnel, getting Eva to sign her copy.

2eva&gunnel2_blog                                                                                                                     photo © Marty Braun

I gave a quick talk with visuals of my process, sharing some of my photo reference of island kids, some sketches, and plenty of blue pastel.

1PPLtalk_blog                                                                                                               photo © Judy Labrasca

It was gratifying to see my former student and recent MECA grad, Molly Steinmetz.

3molly&J_blog                                                                                                                   photo © Marty Braun

Hearing Eva read her story was THE BEST.

4evareads_blog                                                                                                                        photo © Marty Braun

Tilbury House editor, Audrey Maynard, spoke about picture books, their worthy place in our culture, and the need to advocate for them. “Write a review on Amazon!” she said. Local bookseller Ari Gerson from Longfellow Books was not bothered one bit. Amazon can’t walk across the street and meet people who care about the creation of books, can they?

5audrey_blog                                                                                                        photo © Marty Braun

Some kids tried making paper planes.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA                                                                                                          photo © Marty Braun

6polkadots_blog                                                                                                            photo © Judy Labrasca

I displayed my book dummies and various reference material, too.

7PPLdisplay_blog                                                                                                             photo © Kirsten Cappy

What better place to share book art? And s’more cupcakes, thanks to Audrey.

8crowd_blog                                                                                                                    photo © Marty Braun

This illustration is on exhibit from John Muir Wrestles a Waterfall.  Hooray, I just found out it will be in the next 3 x 3 Annual!


I will be visiting the Louis T. Graves Memorial Library next week, July 23.  As part of their “Every Hero Has a Story” summer reading program, I will talk about Muir as my hero, and lead children in a drawing activity from 1 PM – 2 PM. C’mon down!

Eva is fond of this piece on display, the final image in Island Birthday, with a view of Matinicus from the air.


The exhibit will be on view through September 25. Please go see!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *