Janeen Mason’s studio is set within a stone’s throw of a boat dock, Port Salerno, Florida. Enter the doorway and you are dazzled by an eclectric mix of art, featuring the southern Florida watercolors of acrylic paintings, tranquil sea themes, mermaids, and fish prints for beach totes and t-shirts. From the subtle to the vibrant variety provides the spice in this studio. Each is a visual delight.
Underwater life gives Janeen a sense of pleasure that she wants to share with everyone. She is an artist and illustrator of books. “If you’ve never been on a coral reef wearing a mask it is almost impossible to imagine the vivid color, teeming life and incredible diversity. If you have been on a coral reef with a mask it is almost impossible to describe what you see with words,” states Janeen as she describes her tropical splashes of color that she displays in her paintings and illustrations.
The first children’s picture book to feature Mason’s illustrations is called, The Pirate, Pink written by Jan Day and published by Pelican Publishing. This book takes young readers on a journey to the sea. It is about Pink, the daughter of a fierce pirate called Red Beard. Pink becomes a pirate too, and throughout she charts her own destiny.
Pink has recently been selected for the Children’s Book Council’s Children’s Choices 2002 program. This is an influential bibliographic project that the Children’s Book Council co-sponsors with the International Reading Association. Ten thousand school children – 2,000 each from five geographically diverse areas of the U.S. – vote on their favorites from over 800 new books. Beyond its obvious value to teachers working with children in elementary classrooms and language arts programs, this list helps parents and booksellers get a fix on new titles to which children have a positive response. (For more information on the Children’s Book Council follow this link to their site. www.cbcbooks.org (They have not yet posted the 2002 lists).
In addition to circulation in the Children’s Choices program, The Pirate, Pink will be exhibited in the CBC booths at various reading associations and library conferences, included in the CBC catalog, and annotated in the IRA journal.
Pink is available for purchase ($14.95) at two of our area book stores: The Little Professor Book Company (436-7763) located in Covington Plaza on W. Jefferson Blvd. and Barnes and Noble in the Jefferson Pointe Shopping Center or you can order on line at BookSense.com.
The art and soul of Janeen Mason is wrapped in brilliant color. From her wind swept studio, on the Atlantic coast of Florida, she churns out a body of work sure to make you smile and shake your head in wonder. Where does she get those colors? She is a superb artist whose paintings and book illustrations invite repeated viewing.
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