Thanks to an original illustration by Marc Brown – a renowned author and illustrator who was a special guest at Dows Lane Elementary School during last year’s PTSA-sponsored author visit – students are inspired to use their imaginations every day. Displayed in the school’s atrium, the illustration was recently framed by teacher aide Gretchen Baisley’s husband and hung by the custodial staff. The frame was painted by kindergarten teacher Izabela Swiecka.
“We hope this picture continuously reminds us about how important our imaginations are as readers and writers,” Principal Deb Mariniello said. “We hope it inspires children at Dows Lane to listen to their imaginations and to create through words and pictures.”
Signed to “My friends at Dows Lane who have great imaginations!” the illustration depicts a creature that has deer antlers, a giraffe’s neck, dragon and snake tails, a bat’s wing and the legs of four other animals. During his “Author and Illustrator” visit with students in kindergarten through third grade, Brown interacted with the students as they shared ideas about what to include in their illustration.
“He created it right in front of our eyes,” Mariniello said. “He also created a story as he went.”
During his visit, Brown – who is best known for writing and illustrating the Arthur book series – also shared stories about his life growing up and discussed how he draws inspiration and ideas from family, friends and special events.
“Marc Brown was magical,” Mariniello said. “He loved Dows Lane and commented about how special the school felt from the moment he walked in.”