A book recently illustrated by someone born and raised in Grant County depicts the silver lining of the ongoing pandemic.
Grant County native Mariah Frazier, an illustrator who currently resides in Rhode Island, recently worked on a children’s book titled “I Love PandaMick,” a story told from the perspective of a dog named Buddy who finds out his owners are suddenly staying home more often because of the pandemic.
The story written by Diane Maione highlights some of the positive aspects of the pandemic such as getting more time to enjoy pets.
“With this pandemic being so negative and a lot of bad things happening to a lot of people, this is just a little silver lining to the problem that we get to spend more time with our pets,” Frazier said.
This was the first time Frazier illustrated multiple pages that had to keep the consistency of the characters and their appearance throughout each scene in the 25-page book.
“It definitely gave me an experience that I really wanted to do,” Frazier said.
Her friend’s mother, Maione, wrote the story, and Maione asked Frazier to illustrate the book.
Frazier said the story provides a great way to help a kid understand what is going on during a pandemic in a gentle way with the help of Buddy and what he sees.
“There is a scene in the book when the dad explains why the pandemic is happening, but it’s explained in a gentle way for kids to get a better understanding,” Frazier said.
Some of Frazier’s favorite scenes to illustrate were the funny moments between the boy and dog, such as when the duo were gardening, which got out of hand and they both got muddy and messy.
She said a young boy did a practice read and thought the scene was funny.
“He thought that was the funniest thing ever because he’s a little boy and putting a flower pot on your head and being muddied in the garden was the funniest thing ever for the reader,” Frazier said. “I think the reactions that you get from the different drawings and story in general are rewarding.”
Frazier said she wanted the community to know that it doesn’t matter if a person is from a small town: Achieving personal goals and interests is never out of reach.
The book is currently available at amazon.com/I-Love-PandaMick-Diane-Maione/dp/B08QSW9L8S.