Mary Beth Owens

The Story of the Sea Glass is a touching tale full of love and the importance of seeing the good that can come from sad events. The vivid illustrations evoke the warm sun and fresh sea breeze of a Maine coast summer.

Acclaimed illustrator and teacher Mary Beth Owens is a longtime friend of Island Readers & Writers. In October of 2007 Mary Beth visited Matinicus Island students as a guest of IRW’s Island Book and Author program. Students received copies of her books, Panda Whispers and The Story of the Sea Glass. On this visit she discussed the multi-step process and the wonder of writing and illustrating a book.

She returned to Matinicus twice in October of 2008. On her first visit of that year, she discussed The Dumpman’s Treasures, copies of which were given to each student. She returned later that month to follow up on Lynn Plourde’s poetry workshop. On this visit, Mary Beth helped students illustrate their own poetic stories.

In May of 2009, Mary Beth was again a guest of IRW when she visited the students on Frenchboro. In addition to reading, discussing, and signing copies of The Dumpman’s Treasures, she did an art project on constellations and the night sky with the students.

In May of 2011, she visited Vinalhaven and North Haven schools. She read from The Story of the Sea Glass, explained the process of illustrating a story and engaged the kids in a book-related writing and art project. The project was introduced by using an imagination circle. She asked the kids to each select a piece of sea glass from a display and to envision what it might have been before it became sea glass and the story of its journey to the island shore. Mary Beth gently guided the children through the stages of developing their stories and drawings.

After her visit teachers said:

  • “The program fit nicely into our Ocean unit – and our study of fiction/non fiction.”  
  • “She made it a point to observe their work individually, interact with them, and share what they did.”
  • Here’s what the children said about Mary Beth’s visit: 
  • “I liked using the cray-pas and making a sea glass picture. When she signed our books.” 
  • “It was cool!”