Author gives sneak peek

Published 12:01 am Thursday, April 7, 2011

Lorraine Mayer shares her book with OCAC students Wednesday.| Kendra Bolling/Star-News

Call it a sneak peak or at least that’s what the seven students in the Wednesday art class at the Opp Cultural Arts Council got yesterday.

Part-time Opp resident and part-time Michigan resident Lorraine Mayer shared her new children’s book with the class and talked about how art plays a big part in children’s books through illustration.

Mayer, with the help of local artist Anita Ellis, who also teaches the children’s classes, has written and illustrated a book about an incident that happened in Mayer’s classroom years ago.

The book, “Finny the Fourth Grade Fish,” tells the story of a class who adopts a fish as the classroom pet, and everything is going well until someone puts hot water into the fish’s bowl.

Throughout the book, Mayer introduces new vocabulary for the younger audience such as residency, mesmerized and variegated.

Each time, she’d stop and ask, “What does that mean?”

“Variegated means mixed,” replied the students. “Residency is his place.”

Mayer read the book once to the children without the illustrations and then a second time with illustrations.

“See, it makes more sense with pictures, doesn’t it?” she said.

At the end of the story, Mayer gave the students an opportunity to give their feedback.

“Why did you name the fish Finny?” asked Caroline Courson.

“What would you name him?” Mayer asked.

“Swimmy, Rocky, Goldie,” the girls chimed in.