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Large imaginations helping bring children to 'A Whimsical World'

PLATTSBURGH - Remember the days when the only entertainment you needed was your own imagination? Local author Janice Stanley and artist Tamia Gastio are working together to bring children and even grown-ups back to those days.

In June 2006, Janice and Tamia joined together to provide a great service to one another. Tamia helped Janice by creating a picture of a little girl to look like Janice's granddaughter, Allison, for the book "Apple Valley Alli." In turn, Tamia asked Janice if she could write something about a painting she was finishing.

"Jan took one look at it and said 'I don't do whimsy,'" laughed Tamia.

"I did ducks, trees, apples, lakes," Janice added.

However, Janice ended up taking the painting with her and created a poem of what she saw.

"I cried," Tamia explained. "Because she had looked at what I had done and she had seen what I did and even though I didn't put words to it, she saw what I meant."

The poem eventually became the first poem in a book titled "A Whimsical World."

Eventually, the two received a grant to do a program with area children, "Whimsical World Story Hour."

"The idea was that we wanted to marry words and art," explained Tamia.

Tamia and Janice presented their program to a large group of children and their families at the Champlain Valley Transportation Museum March 7. During the program, Tamia and Janice read poems from their book and worked with the children to create their own works of art.

About four months ago, Tamia and Janice met Alice Church, director of development for the museum, at the North Country Teacher Resource Center, where they were showcasing their program.

"There they were in all their splendor," said Alice. "I said, 'Oh my Lord, this is absolutely perfect for us. They're colorful. It was a happy feeling when I saw them."

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