Illustrator Jeannie Brett was essential to the development of Island Readers & Writers and even contributed to the design of our beautiful logo along with Chris Van Dusen. Jeannie is the illustrator of 15 picture books, including "L is for Lobster: A Maine Alphabet," "Fishing for Numbers" and several titles in the "Discover America by State" series.
Jeannie contributed to the early development of IRW through her role as a visiting illustrator and by her participation in focus group discussions on how to best create a sustainable nonprofit organization that brings book-centered experiences to children living in remote communities.
Jeannie was one of the first illustrators to venture to the outer islands with Executive Director Jan Coates, when the Island Book and Author Program was a program of Port In a Storm Bookstore and before IRW was a standalone nonprofit.
She first brought her talents to Swan's Island and Frenchboro in 2005 and 2006, and then to Vinalhaven in 2008 and 2009. For more about Jeannie, visit her website.
I really enjoy being able to bring nature and opportunities for observing nature into the program without teaching it. Many educators are concerned about kids not having enough unstructured time outdoors, to just play in the woods. They're spending too much time inside with electronic devices. But that's not the case on the islands. The kids still play outside there and are very connected to their world. Many children on the mainland don't have that connection or that freedom. It's refreshing. - Jeannie Brett, after her visit to Frenchboro in 2006