Someone recently asked me why I keep illustrating books, "You've done so many, why do you want to continue?"
Simple. Because my work touches the lives of children across the Globe. I make a positive impact in their lives.
Sometimes this impact is close to home, like when a child sent me an illustration she created after I visited her school - with the words, "I want to be just like you when I grow up!"
Thank you cards from the children at Pell Elementary, Newport, RI.
Other times the impact is distant, out of my reach.
Recently Roger Torbert, Vice President of Education at the Birmingham Zoo donated books to several Zimbabwe schools, and to the Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage. Here are some photos of staff at Chipangali reading Once Upon an Elephant to students at a school just outside of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe is home to elephants. These children are neighbors to these majestic, endangered animals. The elephants' future is in the hands of these kids. Seeing photos of Once Upon an Elephant in Zimbabwe was very impactful for me.
This is what keeps me illustrating. Opening the minds and hearts of others, one person at a time. Teaching, entertaining, enriching, captivating the reader of the book. Making an impact with my work.
Artwork copyright Shennen Bersani, 2016.