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Standish artist to illustrate new picture book with Islandport Press


Islandport Press is pleased to announce that it has signed Standish artist Mari Dieumegard to illustrate The Old Mainer and the Sea, a children’s picture book written by Jean Flahive, which will be released in October.

In the book, Eben goes out fishing one day, rowing six miles from his island home toward the harbor on the mainland, hauling in cod as he goes. However, before he finishes his journey, a porpoise tangles his lines, fog rolls in, and an accident leads to a broken oar. Lonely, tired, and adrift, Eben is almost ready to give in to the embrace of the sea, when rescue comes in an unexpected form. The Old Mainer and the Sea, written for children between the ages of four and eight, is an allegorical tale about the circular nature of hope and deliverance.

“Much of this story is set on the ocean, and Mari has a striking way of breathing life into water, sky, clouds, and nature. It makes the landscape a major character in the story,” said Islandport Press editorial director Melissa Kim. “I believe we are seeing the debut of an extraordinary new talent in children’s illustration.”

Mari Dieumegard grew up in Alaska, dreaming of illustrating children's books. She spent summers in Maine at her grandparent's camp in Monmouth, and in 1994, she received a scholarship to the Maine College of Art. There she met her future husband, and upon graduation they drove across the country together in a 1970 RV. They soon returned to Maine to get married on an island beach, and now raise their family in a yellow house with purple doors on the shores of Sebago Lake. Mari shares her love of picture books with children every day as a librarian at Raymond Elementary School. She has also taught preschool and elementary art at Breakwater School, and in her private studio. Her narrative paintings have been shown in galleries on both coasts and her private commissions can be found in personal collections across the United States.