Ron Bryant

By Richland Beacon News

Featured in the Richland Beacon Newspaper

Richland Parish students learned a bit about writing and the environment thanks to a visit from Moby Pincher and friends recently.

" The week before Thanksgiving I went on quite an adventure." Richland parish Arts Center manager Hopper said. " I had secured a grant last year with the Richland Arts Council from the Northeast Louisiana Arts Council through the Decentralized Art Fund of the Louisiana Division of the ARts and in honor of the Children's Book Week, I secured a grant to bring a noted children's book author, Dee Scallan, and a 10 year old boy named Daniel Myers, who illustrated all three books she has written, to all the elementary schools in the parish."

The group did two shows each at Rayville, Mangham, Delhi and Start Elementary schools.

"It was a really good presentation and I was surprised at how well the older children responded to them," Hopper said. " Dee uses an interactive program where she selects 18 children from the school and has them play the different characters in the book."

The book she presented was "Moby Pincher's Hurricane Adventure" and it was written prior to Katrina. It was inspired by a field trip she took a group of children on from her Montessori School in West Monroe.

" None of the children knew what a crawfish nest was or what spanish moss was or a lot of things they saw on the trip, " Hopper explained. " She incorporated and sent a lesson plan about the geography, biology and ecology of Louisiana along with her when we went to all the schools".

Scallan begin writing the Moby Pincher books at the request of parents. She originally made up stories about the crawfish and his friends for students before nap time.

When the parents begin asking where to find the stories, Scallan began to consider putting the stories on paper. When she saw Myers' drawings of characters from the books, she knew she'd found the perfect illustrator for the series of children's books and went ahead with the project.

Performances have been shown at Downsville, Marion Farmersville Elementary and Junior High and Spearsville. The programs are provided by a Decentralized Arts Fund grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts as distributed by the Northeast Louisiana Arts Council and presented by the Union Arts Council and Bernice Historical Society.