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Goodnight, Gecko (The Habitat Series) Paperback – September 19, 2016
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Talents and Hardships
In 2011, we had the first Homecoming in Jackson. I was lucky enough to find an affordable artist with the help of Lisa Dunn Blankenship. It was a huge success and that artwork was loaned out to other 70s reunions.
I also had him do caricatures of the family for Christmas in 2012. It was the best present and the kids loved it.
Merle Bandsma is an artist. He can draw with spray paint, crayon, and pencil. A Gulf War veteran who was injured in combat, he has seen plenty of hardship. I know vets have a hard time. My husband had a hard time returning to civilian life. Merle has not let his hardships get in the way of his art.
He has battled many obstacles, conquered them, and experienced tremendous growth. He isn't hard at society because of the struggles. He nourishes his passion for art.
Recently, his girlfriend has been through the horrible experience of cancer and hopefully is recovering. Please pray for full recovery for her.
Yet, Merle continues to push.
So when he contacted me a few weeks ago and let me know that he just finished his first illustration of a children's book, I said "I want four!"
I had already seen the book for sale on Amazon and it caught my eye immediately. I didn't look at the names on the cover. I was completely drawn to the art.
I know his artwork, I know his quality as a person, and I know he is headed to greatness!
I stepped out in faith and ordered the books based on my knowledge that he is trustworthy and dependable.
Monday evening, a few short hours after picking up the autographed books, I sat down to read. I picked up the book for review. Sometimes the content does not do the artwork justice so I wanted to see if the product was worthy.
I was blown away at the beautiful story. Merle has been paired with a perfect match for quality in a book. Megan Pitts and Vicki Shankwitz have a talent for entertaining and learning. They most certainly have an eye for art, too! They picked one of the best!
A perfect story, great artwork, and a great gift. It is the first in a series of twelve. I intend to buy them all.
Thanks Merle! I will cherish this book always! I hope others do too! We need more quality books in this world!