Children’s book illustrator speaks at Sept. 16 event

The Friends of the Library will host the popular, annual “Tablescapes” luncheon and silent auction Saturday, September 16, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Pelican Rapids. 

About 128 Friends of the Pelican Rapids Public Library and guests will enter the enchanting world of children’s books at their whimsical “Once Upon a Time” Tablescapes event.

The decorations, designed by Friends and each a distinct tabletop interpretation of a children’s book, have been a highlight for guests every year. 

This year’s special guest speaker is local children’s book illustrator Anna N. Lassonde. Guests will discover the secrets behind her artistic process and how she brings children’s book characters to life through her beautiful illustrations, especially for author Carol Grina’s “A Day in the Bog with Frog and Dog” and author Dawn Duncan’s “Seraphina the Ballerina.”

Following is a biography from Lassonde:

“I’m a visual artist from Detroit Lakes. I do book illustrations, commissions, and murals, and teach art classes for people of all ages. I’ve been an artist since I was a child, but officially opened my art business, Jollybird Studio, in 2020. I live on a farm close to town, and I have quite a few animals who are a constant source of inspiration. The chickens are particularly inspiring because of how inquisitive, cute, and interactive they are.” 

“Most of my artwork is done in acrylics or collage, but I enjoy many other mediums like pencil sketching, watercolor, alcohol inks and photography…Sharing art is my passion. My art studio is located downtown Detroit Lakes. I offer a variety of art classes, painting parties, and technical workshops. I also provide private lessons, paint pet portraits and do window paintings for local businesses. I believe art is to be enjoyed by everyone no matter what skill level, and there is an artist inside of everyone!”

Lassonde primarily works in acrylics, but also enjoys watercolors, collage, and photography. She won numerous awards for her art and photography in high school. Being mostly self-taught, she did take classes at NDSU for a short time. Anna has exhibited art in the North Dakota Human Rights Art Show tour. She has had her work exhibited in several local galleries as well.

Creating colorful murals is another skill she enjoys sharing. In 2019, she painted two large mural projects. For one of them, she traveled all the way to Angola to paint a 120-foot mural at a mission hospital. The second mural project was a restoration of a 128 ft. historic mural in Ashley, North Dakota. Currently, Anna is working on a nature-themed project at the Becker County Children’s Science Center. Anna is passionate about sharing art. In fact, she teaches classes to senior citizens through a grant-funded program with Lake Region Arts Council called “Art for the Sages.” With a background in long-term healthcare, she has a passion for making the arts more accessible to seniors. Community classes for all ages are offered by her as well.