June 30, 2022


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Deer Lakes mother evokes Curtisville elementary college students together with her new youngsters’s e book

When Brandy Donze’s daughter, Zoey, requested to deliver the youngsters’s e book she had illustrated to high school to share, Donze was thrilled to say sure.

This copy of “Willow Wings” didn’t return from Zoey’s faculty, Curtisville Major Heart within the Deer Lakes Faculty District in December.

“I used to be like, ‘Oh, you forgot the e book.’ And he or she stated she had a library that day – and gave it to the librarian,” Donze stated.

Hoping the college wouldn’t assume she was shamelessly making an attempt to plug a e book she illustrated, she contacted the librarian to make clear what had occurred. Andrew Williams, the college library’s media specialist, assured Eleven that the donation was fortunately accepted.

The donation prompted him to ask Donze to talk to main faculty youngsters about his work final month.

She learn “Willow’s Wings,” written by Daniel Ruefman, to the scholars and confirmed them the method of digitizing her draft drawings. The scholars have been in a position to attempt their hand at digital drawing on a pill.

The e book tells the story of Willow, a fairy with out wings, who desires to assist her large sister make her mark on the earth. After Willow learns she’s too small to embark on such a journey, Willow is set to “earn her wings” whereas proving her sister improper.

“It was such a pleasure speaking to them. They have been so desperate to know what I did,” stated Donze, a Westmoreland County native who graduated from Hempfield Excessive Faculty.

Williams stated college students have been required to create their very own paintings to deliver to point out her, and several other bought their very own tablets to attract on.

“Yearly we’ve got lessons and actions the place we speak in regards to the work of the illustrator,” Williams stated. “So having the illustrator of one of many books in our library come to talk was very thrilling for the scholars.”

“Willow’s Wings” is Donze’s first youngsters’s e book, however not her first expertise with youngsters’s tales. After graduating from the College of Edinboro in 2005, she moved to Los Angeles, the place she designed costumes, background colours and storyboards for animated youngsters’s exhibits.

She returned to Pittsburgh in 2009 to work at a printing firm earlier than pursuing full-time freelance work. Most of his work has been in cowl or emblem artwork.

“I had such freedom with it. It was a studying expertise for me,” stated Donze, who’s an teacher at Sweetwater Heart for the Arts in Sewickley.

The creation of the e book took a circuitous route. Previous to 2020, she and Ruefman labored with a publishing agent, however disruptions from the pandemic prompted the agent to again out of recent tasks. So Donze and Ruefman went it alone.

They opened a publishing home, Wick Weald Publishing, in 2021 for “Willow’s Wings” and different works. The accessibility of publishing by means of Amazon and Barnes & Noble persuaded the duo to proceed down this path.

“It was a daring transfer, nevertheless it was born out of necessity,” Donze stated. “We didn’t need it to return to nothing.”

Since visiting Deer Lakes, the library has struggled to maintain “Willow’s Wings” on the shelf. Williams stated youngsters have been testing the e book to learn it, making a ready record. The scholars requested him to purchase extra copies.

Eleven is ready to talk to college students at Curtisville Major Heart once more on April 28.

“It feels good to share your present with a youthful technology,” she stated.

Tanisha Thomas is editor of Tribune-Evaluation. You’ll be able to contact Tanisha at 412-480-7306, [email protected] or by way of Twitter .