A UNIQUE AND REWARDING BOOK PROJECT
By Ruth Sanderson
I was thrilled to be asked to illustrate Four Fur Feet by Margaret Wise Brown, a sweet rhyming story, to launch The Early Literacy Project at Hollins University, where I co-direct the MFA in Writing and illustrating for children. Two professors came up with the concept to create a series of books that incorporated hints to parents and caregivers when reading with a very young child. This has never been done to my knowledge. Hollins owns the copyright to many Margaret Wise Brown’s manuscripts, which were left to Hollins, her Alma Mater, so this story was chosen from the manuscripts available. Future books in the series will be written and illustrated by our MFA students, who will compete to win a significant tuition stipend equivalent to an industry book advance.
Turn the Page is a non-profit organization in Roanoke, Virginia whose mission is “to provide every child in the Roanoke Valley with his or her own library of books during the crucial early years of life.” Turn the Page’s goal in part is to give books to every mom who delivers a baby at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital (CRMH). This fall, in partnership with Hollins, the nonprofit organization gave the hospital 5,000 free copies of Four Fur Feet! The Early Literacy Project at Hollins plans to do a study on a number of the children and families who receive these books, and whether/how the caregiver hints positively affect the children/families involved.