The Bunny Runs Away to Hollins

Margaret Wise Brown is one of Hollins University‘s most well known graduates-especially in the children’s book world.

Most famous for Goodnight Moon, her 1942 book The Runaway Bunny, about  an adventurous baby bunny and her devoted mama, inspired the first pair of characters to mysteriously appear on campus–right outside the library.

These were all conceived and executed using corrugated, plastic board and acrylic paints by a Fairy Godmother, assisted by her trio of fairy assistants.

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Lyndsey and Topher Keppol cutting and priming the Mama Bunny

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The fairy godmother painting the Mama Bunny with acrylics

As the summer went past, more and more appeared, until at almost every turn you could find another classic or contemporary children’s book character, casually hanging around, sometimes literally!

Lucy

Lucy, a Wild Thing and Max

After Mama and Baby Bunny,  we made some more classics: Ferdinand the Bull,  Pooh, Piglet and EeyoreThe Very Hungry Caterpillar,  Wilbur and Charlotte, Clifford the Big Red Dog, and Mister Toad

 

Then we added some characters dreamed up by Hollins professors and guest speakers:

Minna from The Rag Coat, and Skippyjon Jones.

And finally, a whole ‘girl gang’ of our favorite independent females: Tinker Bell,

MadelinePippi Longstocking, OliviaEloise, Miss Rumphius , and Frances the badger.

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Who will appear next summer?

Suggestions are welcome!

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Back at Hollins U!

The best part of summer, tied only with living by Lake Dunmore, is teaching in the Children’s Book Illustration Program at Hollins University in Roanoke, VA.

The drive down Interstate 81 from Front Royal as I gradually entered the embrace of the Appalachian chain, braiding strands of low peaks through Virginia, made my spirit lift.arrival

Arriving on campus, picking up my keys, and taking a quick selfie at the Children’s Literature signpost made me feel instantly immersed. How do you get to An Old House in Paris, Woodcock Pocket, or Roxaboxen? Why, in a children’s picture book, of course!

homeawayfromhomeNext, moving into my apartment, home away from home for 6, intense, summer weeks.

creek

Now, swimming Tula in Carvin Creek–swollen with recent thunderstorms.

lowsunThen walking the campus, so groomed and lovely, lying quietly on the evening of the last day before classes begin-waiting.

primarycolorsAnd finally, establishing my office in the Art Building-pimped out in a primary palette scrounged from the supply and prop closets, with help from decorator and friend: Professor Dulemba.

Let classes commence!