Illustrator Jessica Lanan Teams up with Second Star to Visit Compass Montessori

Second Star to the Right recently teamed up with highly-acclaimed children’s book illustrator Jessica Lanan for a special visit to the Compass Montessori Wheat Ridge campus. Lanan shared her newly published book “Out of School and Into Nature: The Anna Comstock Story” with the school’s adorable first through third graders.

Lanan, who has now had her beautiful illustrations showcased in three published books, talked to the students about her journey from a child who enjoys writing and drawing to a highly sought after illustrator. She even showed the children photos of the first book she ever created when she was only eight-years-old. “Skeleton Dog” was a hand-drawn pop up book and she then went on to create a wordless book about owls while she was still in elementary school. The students loved seeing her “earlier” work and even asked questions about creating a pop-up book.

The Colorado native walked the students through everything that is involved in creating illustrations for a book from researching the subjects, brainstorming what images would match the words, and sketching out her illustrations. Lanan also encouraged the students to learn from the failures and trials that they chase, telling them that that there can be no success without a few bumps along the way.

Following Lanan’s presentation, she took questions from the students who asked her a wide variety of endearing and interesting questions.  All of the inquisitive students raised their hands and waited patiently for their turn to ask their question in to the microphone.

Lanan’s new book “Out of School and Into Nature: The Anna Comstock Story” ties in perfectly withWomen’s History Month as it celebrates a noted female pioneer. As noted in Lanan’s blog, the picture book, written by Suzanne Slade and published by Sleeping Bear press, tells the story of Anna Botsford Comstock. Anna was a naturalist, artist and lover of nature who lived from 1854-1930. Among her many achievements, Anna is known for pioneering a movement to encourage schools to conduct science and nature classes for children outdoors. She’s also remembered for her detailed, meticulously illustrated books about nature, many of which are still available today.

Compass Montessori’s amazing sixth grade A/V tech did a phenomenal job of getting everything ready for Lanan’s presentation for his schoolmates arrived.

Second Star is consistently working on getting authors and illustrators in to Denver-area classroom to encourage books and reading in young people.

For more on Jessica Lanan, go to