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DO THEY GET COLD FEET?: Ducks paddle upstream at Third Dam in Logan Canyon. / Photo by Mike Sweeney

Today's word on journalism

Friday, January 20, 2006

Variations on "truthiness":

"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please."

-- Mark Twain, author, newspaperman and humorist (1835-1910)

MENTORS WANTED: Media professionals in all fields wanted to serve as email mentors for journalism students. If interested, send email slugged "Mentors" to Ted Pease (

USU students create the book they wish they had as kids

HANGING AROUND: Jack Saunders, left, and Jonathan Ribera let their imaginations play out in their new book. / Photo by Robert McDaniel

By Shauna Leavitt

December 6, 2005 | Late one night during a shift at a youth rehabilitation center, two young counselors -- a journalist and artist -- discovered their mutual dream to create a children's book.

Jack Saunders, the author, and Jonathan Ribera, the illustrator, wanted to write the book they wish they had when they were boys.

That book is 'MAGINATION. Its poetic sentences and action-packed drawings come together to tell the story of a young boy's magical night when he discovers his shadow.

"Jonathan came up with the idea of a boy discovering his shadow. The idea sparked something in me. Just a month beforehand while at a wedding I had witnessed a young boy, Max, discover his shadow while walking among lanterns after dusk. At first, he was afraid but he soon discovered it wasn't scary and the fun began," said Saunders.

"[The story] isn't so much about his discovery of his shadow, but the discovery of his creativity," said Saunders.

The construction of the book started with Ribera's first drawing, which Saunders used to direct his writing.

Saunders then gave the completed writing to Ribera, who used the text to guide him through the penciling of the illustrations.

"The entire work was collaboration. There was never one running ahead. We weren't trying to prove something to the other," said Saunders.

When Saunders struggled with writer's block, he would call Ribera and ask about the illustration he was working on. This always seemed to break down the block.

Through the words and illustrations, Saunders & Ribera, both USU students, hoped to talk up to children. They wanted to stretch children's minds and ignite a stronger desire in them to use their inventiveness.

As a child turns the pages, each picture becomes more creative and travels deeper into the world of imagination.

Words within story are also used to stretch the child's mind.

The story contains familiar phrases to children such as, "tag-you're-it" and "lickety splick." It also uses words such as "immensely ecstatic" that may cause them stop and ask a meaning.

"I would love a child to stop and ask me, 'What does this mean?'" said Saunders.

"I have read 'MAGINATION to children and watched their eyes and I could tell it captured what I wanted," said Saunders.

'MAGINATION can be found at the USU Bookstore and other stores around Logan.

For more information, call (435) 770-3055.


Copyright 1997-2005 Utah State University Department of Journalism & Communication, Logan UT 84322, (435) 797-1000
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