Dr. Sue Ellingson, professor of education and art, asked Molmen if she would be interested in illustrating a childrenâ€™s book after learning from a Concordia alumna that a Fargo, N.D., author was in need.
Molmen first read author Theresa Larsonâ€™s book, “Mommy Loves You Bunches and Bunches,” to get a feel for the story. Larson based her book on the experience of a friend who died of breast cancer. The friend wanted her children to know she would love them, and they could love her, after her death.
For Molmen, creating the right mood of mother and child was an enjoyable but time-consuming process.
“Working on the book was a good learning experience for me. Since I had never done a project like this before, it was a lot of trial and error,” she says. “I thought about how I could capture the essence of the story in illustrations.”
The images were created using colored pencils and watercolor. Molmen worked to capture the childlike nature of playing peek-a-boo as a way to help children understand that just because they canâ€™t see someone, it doesnâ€™t mean they are not there to love.
“I wanted to make sure that the pictures I created supported the message of comfort and hope instead of emphasizing the sadness experienced by the death of a loved one,” says Molmen. “For this reason, I chose to use bright colors and to portray the figures in a playful and loving way.”
For Larson, Molmenâ€™s heart made the illustrations truly right for her story.
“She is very talented, and I hear that every time someone new looks at the book,” Larson says. “Brittany is so kind and compassionate, and I think this shows in her work.”