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John Denver children’s book ilustrator to visit Vail Valley

Caramie Schnellcschnell@vaildaily.comVail, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail Daily
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VAIL VALLEY, Colorado -When illustrator Janeen Mason, who will be in the Vail Valley on Thursday, started researching her latest project, a children’s picture book based on John Denver song “For Bobbie (For Bobbie),” she realized the lyrics could be interpreted in many different ways. “I read the background about how (John Denver) had originally written it as a love song for his first love, a girl named Bobbie,” Mason wrote in an e-mail. “Doesn’t that experience just call out your name through all time? First love. That’s some powerful juju, indeed.”Years later, the recently deceased Mary Travers (of Peter, Paul and Mary acclaim) sang it as a love song for her tiny baby girl.”It became a love song between a mother and child. Same words, different meaning. It occurred to me that I could interpret the lyrics yet another way – the spirit of love that endures. Families love each other worldwide.”The book, “John Denver’s For Baby (For Bobbie),” was released last month. It’s the fifth in the John Denver & Kids picture book series. Mason will visit The Bookworm of Edwards today where she’ll lead a storytime with children from the Miller Ranch Day Care Center and sign copies of the book. The event is free and open to the public. Avon resident Sandy Fuller, the agent and originator of the series, said its exciting to see the fifth book in the series released. “Once again it introduces kids, who never knew John Denver or Mary Travers music, to a really lovely song,” Fuller said. “It’s especially timely, I think, with the passing of Mary Travers. Her recording of the song was probably even more popular than John Denvers.”‘Color makes me reverent’Mason’s colorful scenes from around the world illustrate lines like,”I’ll walk in the rain by your side, I’ll cling to the warmth of your tiny hand.I’ll do anything to help you understand, I’ll love you more than anybody can.”Toddlers and parents meet various animals from around the world along the way. “i like the fact Janeen’s made it into a multi-cultural type interpretation,” Fuller said. “She includes various countries and settings and all enthnicities. I really like that approach.”The illustrations are seeped in brilliant colors, which is what inspires Mason.”I love color,” she said. “Every time I sit down with my paints and brushes I try to translate the feelings I experience when I dive on a coral reef. If I had to name that feeling, I would call it reverence. Color makes me reverent.”Mason, who lives in Stuart, Florida, said the book has a universal message. “That people and animals love their babies the whole world over,” she said. For Mason, a longtime fan of John Denver, it was a honor to paint pictures to go with the beloved musician’s words. “I learned to drive listening to him sing,” she said. “I would play his music on an 8-track player at full volume coming home from the beach every day. The sound of John Denver’s music, for me, kindles a brilliant memory of freedom and adventure.”High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at 970-748-2984 or cschnell@vaildaily.com.


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