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Illustrator Inspires Kids

Caught doodling in 7th grade math class, Peter H. Reynolds's teacher didn't reprimand him, he cleverly proposed Peter create a math comic book. This evolved into an animated film and a career was born. Now this prolific children's book illustrator-animator displays his work at the Katonah Museum of Art beginning Jan. 23. The exhibit, "The Original Art of Peter H. Reynolds: The Dot and Ish" pulls pictures from Reynolds’s “crea-trilogy” books exploring creative expression and potential.  In them, Reynolds, thinking back to his 7th grade math epiphany, urges kids to “make your mark, and see where it takes you.”In addition to the Dot and Ish books, Reynolds has written and illustrated other children's books, including "The North Star" and "My Very Big Little World." His illustrations were commissioned for the anniversary edition of Marlo Thomas's book, "Free to Be You and Me." Reynolds has also drawn the illustrations for books by Ellen Potter and Judy Blume.

His animation company, FableVision, which is housed at the Boston Children's Museum, is a media and interactive development studio which offers teaching tools for educators. This makes sense, considering Reynolds feels very committed to encouraging kids to find their strengths. He explains, "My journey has been dedicated to helping kids, especially the 'off the path' kids. I was one of them myself. Not every student is lucky enough to have a teacher, or adult, see his or her potential. When I visit students in schools they ask me what my hobbies are. I say thinking, dreaming. If my art and stories can help inspire others to do the same, I'll feel my life had meaning."

See Peter Reynolds imaginative work in the Katonah Museum's Learning Center. It will likely inspire you and your kids to want to "make your mark." Museum admission is $3 and $5. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. For more information, visit the Museum's website.

What are your favorite kid's books? Did they inspire you to draw? Fill us in by posting below.

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