New Talent

New Talent is a page where young artists can share their manuscripts before they are presented to publishers. We are honored to provide a platform for these wonderful, fresh books authored by students from Penn Design. These titles are created during the Children’s Picture Book class Writing with Pictures, with Professor Perky Edgerton. They showcase the creative process of a young artist. Our program invites you to dive into original artwork, fresh ideas, and personal stories.

We are committed to building bridges. With this newly added page (May 2018), we are connecting Penn students from different departments and establishing future collaborations. Making their work visible to a wider audience is an important new goal for our program. Our hope is that some of the manuscripts will be discovered by publishers and one day will make their way to the bookshelves in school libraries.


 Chaereen Pak

I am an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania studying psychology and fine arts. I first encountered an autistic child through a class on the autism spectrum during my freshman year of college, and since then I’ve worked as a research assistant at Penn’s Center for Autism and have been passionate about sharing with the world the importance of understanding and loving our autistic peers. And, I’m a huge fan of donuts.

A little autistic bunny—whose love for donuts is more important than anything else in the world—realizes that he can use what he treasures to show that same love to his parents as well. In this story, children will be introduced to the interesting thought processes inside an autistic protagonist’s mind.
Because I Love Donuts


John Evans

I am an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania studying both fine arts and Japanese. I tried to convey the importance I place on my family in my story, especially regarding my dad who has been taking care of me and my two sisters alone after my mom passed away. There seem to be relatively fewer stories centered on father-child relationships, so I wanted to try to fill that gap. I also just really like birds!

 Moonlight Flight
I am a student at the University of Pennsylvania, majoring in psychology and minoring in fine arts. Mental health awareness has always been something extremely important to me because of my own experiences with depression and anxiety. As I also teach a Sunday school class in my church’s children’s ministry, I’ve learned to love working with kids as well. I want to be able to tell kids while they’re young that it’s okay to be sad, angry, frustrated, and lonely, accepting their emotions rather than pushing them away and to get help. And, this book gave me a way to do exactly that.

Sam is a cat who deals with a “pet cloud”, who only rains on him. It’s not until he meets a lovingly persistent friend that he realizes, maybe the rain isn’t that bad.

After Rain

“I am a graduating senior at the University of Pennsylvania with a love for all things storytelling and illustrated. I study Digital Media Design, an interdisciplinary engineering major between computer science and fine arts.
My motivation for this story came from my love for snow leopards and my desire to capture their gentle yet independent spirit.

Growing up, I was a bit of a loner myself but eventually I learned to love that part of me. The snow leopard embodies that journey towards self-acceptance and hopefully will inspire other children to be comfortable being independent.”

Snow Leopard’s Tale


Dulce María Carral

I am an industrial engineer, who is truly passionate about art. Five years ago, I transitioned from being an engineer to a web designer. In 2013 I started working on user interfaces, user experiences, and visual design for different clients in my small tech firm in Mexico City. Two years ago my husband Juan and me moved to Philadelphia, for my husband’s MBA.  This gave me the opportunity to fully explore my artistic abilities by enrolling into multiple art classes at Penn Fine Arts.  This semester I had the opportunity to participate in the Children’s Picture Book class with Professor Perky Edgerton.  By joining this class, I discovered a whole new wonderful world that I can’t wait to explore more, Picture Books.


When I read a book, I always read the last page first because I love seeing how stories end before I start. Thanks to my engineering background, which gives me systematic way of thinking, I created an innovative structure for my book.  Two ferret tales is a book that you can start reading from the beginning or the end.

This is a story about two ferrets. One is smart, impatient and always tries to be on time. The other one is relaxed, curious, friendly, and enjoys the moment. The two ferrets are supposed to meet in the banyan tree at noon, but unexpected things happen before they meet. Sometimes we have plans to do something great, but life surprises us with the unexpected. I wrote and illustrated this book in one of the most complicated situations in my life.  I was expecting something great to happen but my dream didn’t come true. I didn’t give up, I accepted it, learned from it, and used the power of metaphor to represent what was happening to me and created something great: “Two ferret tales”.

I hope that you enjoy my book as much as I did writing and illustrating it.


Grace Gilbert

I am an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania studying Digital Media Design, an engineering major combining computer science and fine arts. As a little girl, I was very resistant to the idea of growing up. I was also extremely attached to my blanket, which now serves as a symbol of my childhood. I wrote this story about a little duck learning to part with his blanket, becoming a mature, generous and brave big duck. My hope is that the little ducks reading this book will be inspired to become the best big ducks they can be.