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Multiple Artists

Pictures Tell Stories: Children’s Book Illustrations 

Jul 5 - Sep 20, 2021

Two Arizona collectors share their passion for children’s literature and illustration. 


Cathy Bonnell and Mary J. Wong are both retired librarians who believe in the power of stories and pictures. They have hundreds of original artworks from illustrators of children’s literature in their collections, and they know how these images and books play a vital role for young minds to see and understand their place in the world. Thousands of children have benefitted from their enthusiasm and advocacy in reading and libraries. 

Cathy Bonnell grew up in Arizona and became hooked on children’s books while taking a children’s literature class at California State University, Los Angeles. After receiving her teaching degree, she and her husband taught school in Saudi Arabia. After returning to Arizona, Bonnell was a Washington School District librarian for 30 years. Over those years, she was active in the Arizona Library Association, founded the Children’s Roundtable, and chaired the Arizona Young Readers Awards. 

Mary J. Wong holds three degrees from the University of Arizona and spent her career as an elementary special education teacher, reading specialist, and librarian in the Paradise Valley Unified School District. Born and raised in Flagstaff, Wong is an avid community servant and art collector. She is an activist and advocates for reading, literacy, and library programs. 

Wong and Bonnell have befriended hundreds of authors and illustrators of children’s books, collecting their original artworks and first edition books. It is an honor to share their enthusiasm with this exhibition of original children’s book illustrations. 

Pictures Tell Stories: Children’s Book Illustrations is on view through September 20, 2021, at the Civic Center Public Gallery inside the Scottsdale Civic Center Library, 3839 N Drinkwater Blvd, Scottsdale AZ 85252. Click here for library hours.  


Opening Reception

A reception for Pictures Tell Stories: Children’s Book Illustrations will be held from 10 a.m. to noon, Friday, August 20, at the gallery. Learn more.

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