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  • Writer's pictureLynne Kornecki

Local Artist, Author & Illustrator, Laura Smetana, Named as Finalist for IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award™


April 2, 2024 -- Laura Smetana’s author-illustrated picture book, My Love for You Is Like a Garden, published by Flying Cardinal Press, has been named a finalist for the 36th Annual IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award™ in the Children’s Picture Book (0-3 Years) category. 

 

With bright cut-paper watercolor collages, My Love for You Is Like a Garden is a joyful celebration of unconditional love. Bold, colorful illustrations of vibrant garden scenes will inspire readers of all ages to explore the natural world⁠—and maybe even plant their own garden. Children delight in finding ladybugs hidden throughout, and a glossary provides the names of each plant and animal featured.

 

Celebrating excellence in book editorial and design, the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards™ are administered by the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) and are regarded as one of the highest national honors for independent publishers. All finalists for the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award™ will win either a Gold or Silver in their respective categories at a live awards ceremony in Denver, Colorado on April 26, 2024. 

 

Reflecting on the inspiration for the children’s book, Laura says, “Every garden is filled with love, and the ways unconditional love can present itself reminded me of a garden. I hope families, teachers, and librarians enjoy reading My Love for You Is like a Garden with children, and that it inspires readers to get outdoors to plant their own garden, take a walk, or simply enjoy flowers, birds, and nature together.” 

 

Read more about the story behind the book and Laura’s process for making cut-paper watercolor collages in this article for Art Beat for Fox Valley & Beyond: Tornado Aftermath Doesn't Deter Local Author & Illustrator, Laura Smetana, From Creating Next Book.

 

For more information about My Love for You Is Like a Garden, please visit www.laurasmetana.com


About Laura Smetana

Laura Smetana is an award-winning children’s book author and illustrator. She loves creating bright, joyful cut-paper watercolor collages inspired by nature. Her latest author-illustrated book, My Love for You Is Like a Garden, was recognized as one of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2023. Laura is also the author of Ice Cream with Grandpa: A Loving Story for Kids About Alzheimer's & Dementia (illustrated by Elisabete B. P. de Moraes), and Little Squiggle's Lake Adventure, which she co-authored with her son. When she isn’t writing or painting, Laura can be found inspiring kids to create their own books at school visits. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, the Downers Grove Artists’ Guild, and the Nature Artists' Guild of The Morton Arboretum. Visit her at www.laurasmetana.com


 

About the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award

The IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards, which include 57 categories recognizing excellence in book editorial and design, are regarded as one of the highest national honors for independent publishers. The awards are administered by the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), with help from over 170 volunteer book publishing professionals including librarians, bookstore owners, reviewers, designers, publicity managers, and editors. Visit ibpabenjaminfranklinaward.com.

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