This gallery features select illustrations and working files from four Junior Ranger books I designed and illustrated for the Alaska Public Lands and Information Center (APLIC). In late 2015, APLIC sought a volunteer artist to design and illustrate a Centennial Edition Junior Ranger book, to be published by the National Parks Service for the 2016 centennial. I volunteered, seeing it as a great opportunity for a good cause. While working on the project, the education department submitted a proposal to hire me to design and illustrate three additional books. The proposal was approved, and after publication of the Centennial Edition, I worked with the education department staff to simultaneously produce the three new books by the end of 2016.
The Centennial Edition Junior Ranger book possessed activities for all age groups; completion of which awarded a special edition Junior Ranger badge. The Centennial Edition and related badges were limited to circulation in 2016 only, and are thus no longer available. The three remaining Junior Ranger Books are still in circulation and will be for years to come. Each book is dedicated to different age groups, with an Alaskan animal “host” to guide participants through activities. The ages 3-6 book features Oli the Sea Otter, the ages 7-12 book features Calgary the Caribou, and the ages 13+ book features Emsley the Bald Eagle. Each animal host was deliberately given a gender-neutral name and appearance, to broaden the demographic. The books sport many activities (e.g., coloring pages, mazes, drawing exercises, word searches, etc.) that teach children about the state of Alaska, its flora and fauna, cultural heritage, and conservation.
Any of the three books dedicated to the aforementioned age groups are free for pick up at APLIC in downtown Anchorage (605 W 4th Ave #105, Anchorage, AK 99501). Alternatively, interested parties can request the books be mailed to them via the APLIC website, or by calling the center at (907) 644-3661.
Note: The illustrations below are featured throughout the four books but published in a different format than displayed here on iamcooley.com, which have been edited for portfolio purposes.