Podcast – Your Child the Artist?

How can we encourage a sense of artistic wonder and creativity in our young children? And how would we know if our child has been given a special artistic gift? Listen to this new Chasing Fireflies podcast as we put these questions to award-winning children’s book illustrator Ron Mazellan. Mazellan has illustrated several hundred books including children’s stories such as You Can Be a Friend by NFL coach and analyst Tony Dungy and his wife Lauren.

Gil Moegerle

Chasing Fireflies’ Podcasts (available on iTunes)

Ron Mazellan

Ron Mazellan

You Can Be a Friend is a great pick for Fireflies’ August theme and we also encourage you to check out all books illustrated by our friend, Ron Mazellan!
by Tony Dungy & Lauren Dungy, Ron Mazellan, (Illustrator)
This is the second title in Lauren and Tony Dungy’s series of children’s books which feature great stories that remind kids of the importance of family, friends, confidence, determination—and believing that anything is possible if you dream big. In this story, Jade has been planning to have her birthday party at a water park, but her new friend, Hannah, is in a wheelchair. Now Jade has a decision to make: Is it more important to keep the celebration where she planned, or to make sure all of her friends will have fun? Parents and their children will love reading and discussing this beautiful book, which celebrates the talents and strengths we all have, no matter our physical ability.

Podcast:  A Conversation with Ron Mazellan, illustrator.

Your Child the Artist (.pdf) Tips by Ron Mazellan

Other books illustrated by Ron Mazellan:

imgres-3The Harmonica
by Tony Johnston, Ron Mazellan (Illustrator)

When the Nazis invade Poland, a family is split apart. A harmonica keeps a boy’s hope alive. The story is inspired by the life of a Holocaust survivor.

Irena’s Jars of Secrets
by Marcia Vaughan, Ron Mazellan (Illustrator)

Irena Sendler, born to a Polish Catholic family, was raised to respect people of all backgrounds and to help those in need. She became a social worker; and after the German army occupied Poland during World War II, Irena knew she had to help the sick and starving Jews who were imprisoned in the Warsaw Ghetto. She began by smuggling food, clothing, and medicine into the ghetto, then turned to smuggling children out of the ghetto. Using false papers and creative means of escape, and at great personal risk, Irena helped rescue Jewish children and hide them in safe surroundings. Hoping to reunite the children with their families after the war, Irena kept secret lists of the children’s identities.

Motivated by conscience and armed with compassion and a belief in human dignity, Irena Sendler confronted an enormous moral challenge and proved to the world that an ordinary person can accomplish deeds of extraordinary courage.

The Longest SeasonLongest Season
by Cal Ripken Jr., Ron Mazellan (Illustrator)

Even with a 12-0 loss to start the 88 season, Cal Ripken, Jr. had plenty of reasons to love being a Baltimore Oriole. He was playing alongside his brother Bill, and his father, Cal Sr., was managing the team. They’d win the next one. But the Orioles didn’t win their next game, or the next, and soon what was supposed to be a dream season for Cal slid into a nightmare of losses no one saw coming.

With brilliant and expressive color paintings from Ron Mazellan, future Hall-of-Famer Cal Ripken, Jr. shares the ups and downs of the Orioles? record 21-game losing streak, and reflects on the rewards of hard work, regardless of what’s on the scoreboard.

There Come a Soldier
by Peggy Mercer, Ron Mazellan (Illustrations)

During the last years of World War II a young paratrooper—lost and scared in the Belgian forest—has little to rely on but his memories – memories of his boyhood growing up poor in the cotton fields of Georgia, surrounded by the warmth and love of family and friends. Working hard, playing hard, watching out for five brothers and sisters and a girl named Ruthie, it is clear that the boy who becomes a soldier has learned to listen to his heart.Told in a flowing Southern vernacular and in strong and beautiful paintings that contrast the harshness of war with the beauty of the rural South, Peggy Mercer and Ron Mazellan have created a tale that is heart-piercing and haunting in turns—but unfailingly reminds us that we share a basic humanity.


“A” is for Abraham: A Jewish Family Alphabet
by Richard Michelson, Ron Mazellan (Illustrator)

A AbrahamFrom Abraham to Zaydee, and from ancient times to modern-day, A is for Abraham: A Jewish Family Alphabet encompasses the history of Jewish traditions and customs and how they are practiced today. Following the alphabet, a poem identifies the letter topic while sidebar text provides background information. C could be the challah that my bubbe used to braid, or C could be the chicken soup, when I was sick she made, or chocolate coins on Chanukah we added to our coffers. But I say C should be for Chai “To Life” and all it offers. This joyful celebration of family and heritage includes the meaning behind celebrations such as the Festival of Lights, Passover, and Sukkot; important names and stories from the Old Testament; and how modern-day families continue to celebrate their heritage.

Reviews are from GoodReads.com



  1. Awesome! I had Professor Mazellan as a Professor, so finding this podcast was great.

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