How A Book Is Made: The University of Michigan Special Collections Library

Now through January 14, 2013 -- Downtown Library: Lower Level Display Cases

Where does an author get her ideas for a story? Where does an illustrator get his creative designs for pictures to accompany another person's text? In the case of writer Robbyn Smith van Frankenhuyzen and artist Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen, their inspirations come from their Hazel Ridge Farm in Bath, Michigan.

Since 1980, Robbyn has been journaling about life on the farm and Gijsbert has been sketching and painting the landscape and farm animals. From their experiences as wildlife rehabilitators, creating a safe and natural refuge for injured or orphaned animals that they cared for and released back into the wild, the van Frankenhuyzens have developed the stories recounting the ups and downs of caring for the animals.

Their Hazel Ridge series of books include "Adopted by an Owl," "Saving Samantha," "Kelly of Hazel Ridge," and "Itsy Bitsy & Teeny Weeny," written by Robbyn and illustrated by Gijsbert. Gijsbert has also illustrated numerous children's books, including many for Michigan's Sleeping Bear Press.

This year's Children's Book exhibit is sponsored and coordinated by the University of Michigan Special Collections Library and its Children's Literature Collection, which houses the growing archive of van Frankenhuyzen materials. The exhibit will feature a suite of materials associated with the steps the van Frankenhuyzens followed in creating one of their memorable and endearing stories. It includes notes, sketches, storyboards, and, finally, the finished paintings stage.