Arts & Entertainment

Salt Lake children’s book author debuts two art-inspired books

SALT LAKE CITY – Children’s book author Brianna Davis published her debut books Pop Art 123’s and Pop Art ABC’s, hoping that the vibrant visuals and rhyming prose will help kids get the hang of reading easier.

Davis was pregnant with her now almost-three-year-old Persia when she noticed that the children’s book market was missing a beat.

“I went on a mission to find some children’s books for [Persia],” she said. “My two criteria were books that rhymed and had amazing visuals. I could only find books that hit one of those marks.”

One late night, or early morning, while feeding her daughter Davis challenged herself to make rhymes for the alphabet and numbers one through 10.

“After I did that pretty quickly, the writing flowed. Then, later when I realized the art that was in my head didn’t exist, I set out to make it myself. For each visual you see in the books, a physical copy exists. The art is all constructed from cut, layered paper.”

Davis’s background is in copywriting. She also has a degree in interior design, so she’s always leaned toward the creative side of things.

“I feel like when I had my daughter, it really unleashed something in me. I basically like quit the jobs that weren’t working for me and didn’t feel like were my purpose or passion. I really realized my creative superpowers, which is when the whole book and art started.”

Davis tried painting and drawing for the books’ art but ultimately landed on paper. In the beginning, she had the rhymes and the words, but the challenge was finding the art that matched the ideas in her mind. She searched online for images similar to her vision but learned that she had to create them for herself.

“Paper is my favorite medium because I could be really precise with it. It gave me really clean lines and a pretty unlimited amount of colors and textures to work with. My actual process is super surgical.”

Her mom and aunt were major art fans, so growing up, Davis and her brother found themselves in a lot of museums looking at art by Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Wayne Thiebaud, Jasper Johns, and Jeff Koons. The playful nature of Pop Art attracted Davis and seemed like a great fit, especially in the realm of children’s books with its bright colors and playfulness.

The true mission of these books, aside from being entertaining, is the educational facet.

“In 1980, researchers discovered the correlation between rhyming and reading,” Davis said. “Study after study confirms that good rhymers turn out to be good readers. Rhyming makes learning to read easier, improves and assists memory, speech rate, and pronunciation.”

Rhyming books are great for native English-speaking children and also for those learning English as well.

“We give books to schools in developing nations and to kids who have experienced hardships in their lives. Giving kids the gift of knowledge and fun is what makes me excited. Benjamin Franklin once said, ‘An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.’ I see myself as an investor in kids’ education and futures. Kids are literally the future and therefore a worthy investment!”

Davis plans to continue this investment; she’s not stopping with the ABC’s and 123’s. Davis is currently working on a color series of her books; one for every color of the rainbow, plus pink, and one book on black and white.

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