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Illustrations earn a touch of silver

Rocklin resident takes the silver medal for her book’s drawings
By: Ilaf Esuf, Special to The Placer Herald
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With a mission to excite children’s imaginations with artistically spectacular science, math and nature-themed stories, the Florida’s Publishers Association awarded Rocklin resident Connie McLennan a silver medal for her children’s picture book illustrations.

Commending her creativity, McLennan’s book, “Mother Osprey: Nursery Rhymes for Buoys and Gulls,” was one of the 61 entries to win an award, judged by 25 librarians across Florida and three members of nationally recognized book design firms.

Winners were presented with gold and silver medals if applicable, a full-color printed award, award certificates and President’s Book Award Winner labels for their book covers. Only one gold medal and two silver medals were awarded in each category.

“What initially drew me to Connie was her use of bright, vivid colors and her realism. She is a true professional and does a tremendous amount of research for each illustration job,” said Donna German, Sylvan Dell owner and editor.

“Mother Osprey: Nursery Rhymes for Buoys and Gulls” educates children about waterways through the playful twist of nursery rhymes.

After working as a freelance writer for 25 years and attending the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, McLennan brings a new lighthearted personality to old rhymes, according to a news release.

“My job as an illustrator is telling a story visually — creating pictures that clarify and represent the meaning, mood and feeling of an author’s text,” McLennan said.

Ashlee Rowe, a public relations employee at Sylvan Dell Publishing, describes McLennan as “exceptional in that she knows how to bring a story to life while keeping true to the author’s vision. Her creative translation of the author’s text into illustration is one reason that so many of the books she has worked on have received top awards for children’s books.”

Other works McLennan is known for include “The Rainforest Grew All Around,” “Riverbeds: Sleeping in the World’s Rivers,” “Waterbeds: Sleeping in the Ocean” and “Octavia and her Purple Ink Cloud.” McLennan has won numerous awards for her masterpieces and “Mother Osprey: Nursery Rhymes for Buoys and Gulls” was just one of them.

Since finishing her 13th illustrated book, which is “Irish Alphabet” from Pelican Publishing, due out this spring), McLennan has been concentrating on her gallery painting and is currently showing both paintings as well as the original book illustrations at the Ordaz Gallery, at 842 Lincoln Way in Auburn.