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Award Winning Local Book Illustrator Featured in UIU Exhibit
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Award Winning Local Book Illustrator Featured in UIU Exhibit

"The Making of Gwendolyn Grace," is the title of an art exhibit on the campus of Upper Iowa University, opening February 19 in Fayette, in the Bing-Davis Gallery, Edgar Fine Arts building.

A presentation to open the exhibit that day, will provide a look at the process of illustrating a picture book from beginning to end – from the first sketches all the way to the finished book. Guests  at the presentation in the UIU Student Center on Feb. 19 can see and read about every step in the evolution of local author and illustrator Katherine Hannigan's upcoming picture book. From sketches through dummies and mechanicals, visitors will learn about the process of illustration from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Hannigan's picture book is titled, "Gwendolyn Grace," and will be released in April. The main character, a preschool-aged alligator with a new sibling and only one thing on her mind – having fun – is sure to put a smile on the faces of all who turn the pages of this book. Readers will enjoy the dialogue as Gwendolyn Grace questions her mother relentlessly about what is allowed and not allowed when a new baby comes into the house.

Raised in western New York State, Katherine Hannigan has lived in Iowa for a number of years now, moving to Northeast Iowa a few years ago when she was first inspired to write, "Ida B" for children, young adults and adults who are young at heart! Hannigan has degrees in education, mathematics, and art. She has worked as the education coordinator for a Head Start program and is a former professor of art and design.

"Ida B" met with great success. In addition to being a New York Times bestseller, Hannigan's first book earned a #1 Book Sense Children's Pick, a Booklist Top of the List Editors' Choice, a Publishers Weekly Best book and a School Library Journal Best Book. It was also one of the New York Public Library’s “100 Titles for Reading and Sharing," a winner of the Josette Frank Award for Fiction, and a Parents’ Choice Gold Award winner.

In "Ida B," the nine-year-old main character speaks to trees and the streams near her family farm. She spends most of her free time making arts and crafts. Home-schooled, she is accustomed to freedom and tranquility. Things change drastically however, when her mother is diagnosed with cancer and her parents decide to sell part of the family's apple grove – Ida B's playground – to help pay medical bills.

Since that first success, Hannigan has also authored "True (...Sort of)" and "Emmaline and the Bunny." 

Anyone unable to make the Feb. 19 opening can still see the step by step process of illustration in the Bing-Davis Gallery of Edgar Fine Arts Hall on the campus of Upper Iowa University. Gwendolyn Grace will be on display until March 27. The building is open Mon-Fri., 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information on Katherine Hannigan, go to her website

Leave a Comment

  1. Travel Iowa Team
    Travel Iowa Team
    Thanks for a great post! We shared it on Pinterest here: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/98516310575146303/
    Log in to reply.
  2. Honey456
    It is really interesting article for me and other visitors. At this time, I want to share my travel experience with you. Recently I came back from Beverly gardens park trip with my whole family. During this trip we see a wonderful and a gorgeous park in Beverly hills. The Beverly Hill Garden is the most famous and beautiful Garden in this region. I love to visit it again and again.
    Log in to reply.

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