WILSON, N.C. – Barton Art Department chair Susan Fecho has collaborated with Virginia-based author Dr. Vernon Lindquist to produce a children’s picture book, “The Day Anna Ganna Bandanna Learned to Fly,” recently published by Doubleabooks of Virginia.
Fecho, a well-known and widely admired North Carolina artist, and Lindquist of Prince George, Va., began their blend of talents six years ago, focusing their efforts on the characters in Lindquist’s series about the two young cousins, Anna Ganna Bandanna and Allie Cette Alphabet.
“We were colleagues at Barton the year that Dr. L. began his stories,” said Fecho. “The first story was actually called, ‘The Day Anna Ganna Bandanna Was Born,’ but he has a collection of more than a dozen stories now. I have illustrations completed or in progress for half of those,” she said.
“She’s right,” Lindquist agreed. “I began the stories in the spring of my granddaughter’s birth in 2003. Actually, I suppose I began them with my daughter’s birth years ago, a time when I took as much pleasure in telling her bedtime stories as in reading them. Some of these sketches share features of those earlier stories,” he continued.
Set on the rural farm of the girls’ grandparents (called Meme and Pepe), the stories reveal the mysteries of their names, the joys and challenges of life on the farm, especially in areas near and beyond the mysterious Stream of Sticks. With the old dog, Car, the girls meet odd characters ranging from magical ravens to a rather scary monster named Sir Up.
In “The Day Anna Ganna Bandanna Learned to Fly,” Anna is confronted with the choice of giving up one of her precious bandannas in order to help save a family of ravens. Fecho turns the story into more than a flight of fancy, revealing the courage and moral compass of a little girl encountering tough choices and new frontiers. Such is the stuff of each of the tales in the series.
“The reception of this first book has been phenomenal,” Lindquist said. “We did not know what to expect, but we have had interest from as far away as Maine and Arizona and the northwest. I do think the universal themes and the delightful artistry of Ms. Fecho have generated a lot of interest.”
“One mother wrote to describe the excitement of her little one after hearing the story for the first time,” added Lindquist. “‘Read it AGAIN, mommy,’ said the little girl, echoing what we have heard from parents and grandparents everywhere.”
Fecho and Lindquist will have their work exhibited at Studio One of Wilson, 403 Nash Street West, on December 4 during their Holiday Open House from 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Copies of “The Day Anna Ganna Bandanna Learned to Fly” will be available for purchase. Text and sketches from several other tales will also be on exhibit. Copies of “The Day Anna Ganna Bandanna Learned to Fly” will be available at Studio One of Wilson and the Barton College Book Store, as well as the Blount Bridgers Museum and Rusty’s, both of Tarboro.
Learn more about the author, the illustrator, and the entire series by visiting www.Doubleabooks.com.