30 Years and 39 Books for Melvin and Tate

Artist signing for an artist. That's Suzanne Tate signing one of her books for mystery author Joseph Terrell. Artists James Melvin is on the left side of the photo.
Artist signing for an artist. That’s Suzanne Tate signing one of her books for mystery author Joseph Terrell. Artists James Melvin is on the left side of the photo.
Tate’s Nature Series Celebrates 30 Years Between James Melvin and Suzanne Tate

Suzanne Tate and James Melvin have been working together on Suzanne Tate’s Nature Series of children’s books for 30 years. That’s a pretty amazing accomplishment, and tonight their collaboration was celebrated at the Dare County Arts Council Gallery

Part of the first First Friday Celebration of the year, Suzanne and James also included the release of their latest book, Merr-Lee Monarch, A Tale of a Big Trip in their evening.

James Melvin is an amazing artist in his own right—a man of remarkable talent and vision that seems comfortable working in a wide variety of medians. In this book that talent seems to leap off the pages in depictions of butterflies and gardens that are rich in color and captivating in their complexity.

The story itself is one of Suzanne’s more adventurous.

She remarked in an interview that a friend who lived in South Nags Head had monarch butterflies that returned every year. As she investigated she found that this particular swarm of butterflies migrates between the mountains of Mexico and the Outer Banks very year.

As is always the case with her books, it is scientifically accurate, although of course, written for children between the ages of 3-7/

Children will certainly enjoy the story and identify with Merri-Lee or her brother, Monty. Adults may very well find the pictures fascinating in their complexity and use of color.

As First Fridays go, this was a wonderful way to begin the annual celebration of downtown Manteo. The weather was beautifully spring-like. We’ll have a pretty strong front drop temperatures by 25 degrees or so on Saturday, but the evening celebration did manage to sneak some good weather in.

The next First Friday will be May 4. For anyone on the Outer Banks at that time, it should be on the to do list.

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