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GROWN-UP `KID' PUTS VISUALS IN CHILDREN'S BOOKS.

Byline: Alicia Doyle Daily News Staff Writer

Mary Ann Fraser says she's a 37-year-old kid at heart.

That's why she traded in her commercial illustrating job 10 years ago for a career in children's book art.

``I just found that's where I'm most comfortable,'' said the Simi Valley mother of three boys. ``There's always been a kid in me.''

For the past decade, Fraser has illustrated more than 50 children's publications, from dinosaur tales to pop-up books, chronicles of history to Christmas stories.

Most of the books are geared to 8- to 12-year-olds, with a few for children 5 to 9.

A collection of her work is on display at the Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center, where acrylic illustrations from Fraser's books and other oil paintings hang in the lower gallery.

While illustrating children's books has been something Fraser has ``always wanted to do,'' she also believes her work encourages youngsters to read.

``The pictures are 50 percent of the book,'' said Fraser, who has also authored a variety of children's books. ``The purpose is to enhance the text, to say what text can't say. Kids are very visually oriented. They are first attracted to the pictures.''

Her illustrations and other work have been exhibited throughout the United States, including Southwest State University in Texas, Contempo Art Association in Laguna Beach, and the Holden Fine Arts Center in Wisconsin.

Fraser also received an honorary distinction award during an international art competition at Museum Hosio in Italy.

Fraser said that when she veered from her career path 10 years ago, it opened up a world of freedom and creativity.

Unlike commercial illustration, where her job was to glamorize a product, children's book art has allowed Fraser to tell stories that youngsters will learn from and remember.

``Pictures allow me to do that.''

THE FACTS

WHAT: Mary Ann Fraser Collection.

WHERE: Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center, 3050 Los Angeles Ave., lower gallery.

WHEN: Exhibit on display through Oct. 13. Gallery hours are 1 to 6 p.m. Sundays. Appointments can be made to view the gallery during the week.

COST: Free.

INFORMATION OR APPOINTMENTS: (805) 581-2714.

CAPTION(S):

Photo

Photo: (color) Mary Ann Fraser left a commercial illustrati ng career 10 years ago to pursue a passion for children's book art.

Andy Holzman/Special to the Daily News
COPYRIGHT 1996 Daily News
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1996, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Aug 9, 1996
Words:386
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