Two Cayuga Community College alumni - one honorary and the other a graduate of the art program - have published a colorful new children's book, Digging Spring. The book tells the story of a lonely little girl who discovers friends in her own backyard, as spring warms the earth. Flowers, birds and bugs welcome Ann to their world in soft-focus close-ups from a child's-eye view.
Author Elisabeth Hurley of Skaneateles earned a bachelor's degree in comparative literature and a master's degree in education from Fordham University. Cayuga's former director of alumni affairs, she was named an honorary alumna by the college's Alumni Association before retiring in 2006. Illustrator Erin Sherman of Weedsport followed her 2001 Cayuga degree in studio art and design with a bachelor of arts in illustration from Rochester Institute of Technology. Working as a freelance graphic designer and illustrator since her RIT graduation, she returned to Cayuga as a visiting artist in 2004, and again in 2006 and 2007 with support from a Daniel C. Labeille Grant.
For Hurley's debut publishing project, Sherman was recommended as an illustrator by Cayuga art professor Nancy Kramer. During their eight-month collaboration, Hurley, a new grandmother, and Sherman, mother of two preschoolers, matched the pacing and tone of their gentle narrative with artwork to stir young imaginations.
Published by online book publisher Lulu.com, Digging Spring is now available for $12.99 at Creekside Books and Coffee in Skaneateles. The author-illustrator team will present a reading and book signing on Saturday, March 14 at 1:00 p.m. at Creekside.