By SARAH FOOR
Author and illustrator Rebecca Macri wanted to write her new book “Mosaic Me” to teach children that they’re unique and perfect just as they are.
“On television and advertisements, I can see how kids can think that there is something wrong with them because they don’t look like the people there. I wanted to teach that each person is perfect because God made them as a wonderful mosaic of traits from generations of their family,” Macri explained.
When Macri needed a main character for her book and she looked no further than her second cousin, Watson Elementary first-grader Courtney Ross.
“As I imagined the message, I imagined Courtney. She’s only in first grade, but she’s already an individual. She has this big vocabulary and she’s not shy at all. She has curly hair and freckles that remind me of my cousin, Scott, and our entire family’s heritage. I knew she was perfect,” said Macri.
Macri visited Watson on Nov. 18 to share her book with the students and explore the process between her idea and the finished product.
Courtney Ross’s parents, Scott and Michelle Ross, encouraged the first-grader as she helped her author-relative explain the process.
“Aunt Becky [Macri] called and asked my mom and dad to take pictures of me dancing and playing in dress-up clothes. She said to be happy and be myself,” Ross explained to her classmates.
Macri showed the crowd how she turned the photos into sketches and then how she colorized them, bringing Courtney to life in her book as a young girl named Lindy Lou.
Along with the message of “Mosaic Me,” Macri encouraged the students to explore art and illustration.
“To be an illustrator, you don’t have to have fancy crayons or markers. You just have to start to draw,” said Macri.