By Megan Alley
Book lovers of all ages are invited to meet local children’s book author and illustrator Will Hillenbrand at an event being held during Milford’s 12th Annual Art Affaire on Sept. 23.
The event, which starts at noon, is being hosted by Row House Gallery & Custom Framing, located at 211 Main St.
Hillenbrand, who grew up in Cincinnati and lives in Terrace Park with his wife and son, will spotlight one of his newest books, “Share, Big Bear, Share,” as well as its two previously-released companion books “Sneeze, Big Bear, Sneeze” and “Sleep, Big Bear, Sleep.”
All the books are geared towards preschoolers to third-graders.
During the event, Hillenbrand will present on his art process, read from his books and host a book signing.
“I like to explain my work as an author and illustrator and the process of creating books,” Hillenbrand said in a press release. “People of all ages, and especially children, enjoy seeing how an idea progresses from sketching and to final form. My goal is always to inspire. I want my audience to become geared up to create their own work, as I help them discover the great joy and passion for books.”
“Share, Big Bear, Share,” which is written by Maureen Wright and illustrated by Hillenbrand, tells a “gentle story about the importance of sharing something special with friends.”
“Sneeze, Big Bear, Sneeze,” and “Sleep, Big Bear, Sleep,” both also written by Wright and illustrated by Hillenbrand, tell “a humorous story in which Big Bear sneezes, causing the leaves and apples to fall from the trees and geese to fly away … that is, until the wind convinces him otherwise,” and “it’s time for Big Bear to hibernate, but he has a difficult time hearing and understanding Old Man Winter’s instructions, which causes a series of humorous mishaps along the way,” respectively.
All three books, as well as a collection of other Hillenbrand books, will be available for purchase and personalization during the event.
“Will is a gallery favorite,” Nancy Meyer, president of Row House Gallery & Custom Framing, said in a press release. “He has a magical touch as he brings his characters to life to the delight of all.”
Hillenbrand, who has worked on more than 60 children’s books, grew up listening to stories told by his father’s barber shop customers, which he would then go home and draw, according to a press release. He turned his love of humorous stories into a career by becoming a picture-book author.