IV’s Michael Spring and Deborah Ann Dawson collaborate on new children’s book

by | Oct 6, 2017 | Business, Culture

Two award-winning Illinois Valley artists have collaborated on “Woodwoo – The Little Sasquatch,” a fun children’s book for Bigfoot fans of all ages. Written by Michael Spring and illustrated by Deborah Ann Dawson, readers will enter about the little-known world of a “little” (though still eight squirrels tall) sasquatch, and learn what makes him “woo.”
This is the first children’s book for Spring, though he has earned numerous national awards for his poetry, including the Turtle Island Poetry Award. Spring has had a long-standing and creative relationship with Rogue Valley native Dawson, an award-winning watercolor artist. A previous book, Ravenwood, featured Michael’s poetry alongside Deborah’s watercolor art.
Spring initially wrote some of the story when his children were young. “After many years, I decided to take another look at what I had saved. I’m excited that Deborah was able to illustrate my vision for Woodwoo, and also incorporate a lot of Pacific Northwest habitat, depicting native flora and fauna.”
Adds Dawson, “I tried to develop a ‘sasquatchy’ character, as child-friendly as I could, without making him too human-looking or scary. This was very challenging. I’m not sure I completely achieved this result, though the book has been kid-approved.”
The October 8 book release celebration at the Southern Oregon Guild will feature two events. From 2pm-4:30pm, Dawson will present a unique workshop, “Creating a Storybook Character.” Following the workshop at 5pm is the official release event, with a book reading and signing by the creators.
At the workshop, Dawson will share more about the ins and outs of creating a storybook character like Woodwoo. For anyone who’s ever wanted to write or illustrate their own children’s book, this will be a unique opportunity to learn first-hand about the process. Attendees will learn to develop a storyboard, drawing simple images that fit the story. All levels of artists and writers are welcome. Cost for the workshop is $35 for Guild Members, $45 for non-Members, with all materials included. This is a unique opportunity for anyone who’s ever wanted to write or illustrate their own children’s book.
Following the workshop is the official book release, featuring a reading by the creators. Attendees will also have the opportunity to purchase signed copies. Refreshments will be provided, and the 5-7pm event is free and open to the public.
The Guild Gallery is located at 24353 Redwood Highway in Kerby, OR.
For more information about the opening celebration, call the Guild Gallery at 541-592-5019, Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
More about the Guild can be found at their Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/SouthernOregonGuild, or on their website, www.southernoregonguild.org.

More about the Author:  Michael Spring is the author of four poetry books. He’s won numerous awards and distinctions for his poetry, including the Turtle Island Poetry Award, a Luso-American Fellowship from DISQUIET International, and the 2016 Centennial Artist of the Oregon Caves National Monument & Preserve. “Woodwoo – The Little Sasquatch” is his first children’s book. He lives in O’Brien, Oregon where Woodwoo was born.

More about the Artist:  Deborah Dawson is a native Oregon Artist, born in the Rogue Valley. She received her BS in Art from then Southern Oregon State College, where she was the first woman to receive the Outstanding Senior Award for the Art Department. She has won numerous awards for her watercolors. She has been Artist in Resident in Jackson, Josephine counties, she was an artist for Jackson Educational Service District for 8 years, watercolor and drawing instructor for Jackson Parks and Recreation. She lives in Cave Junction, Oregon and works out of her studio, The Artful Being. Her work can be viewed at deborahanndawson.com.

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