Her illustrations bring Christmas book to life

December 22, 2006|by ERIN JULIUS

WILLIAMSPORT - Last Christmas, a Williamsport pastor gathered children around him in church on Christmas Eve and told the story of Jesus' birth from the vantage point of two small children.

Randy Buchman, lead pastor for Tri-State Fellowship, wrote down his story and published a book, "Two Boys in Bethlehem."

Makenna Hardy created the illustrations for the children's Christmas book.

Hardy, 18, graduated from Williamsport High School in June, and now is a freshman art major at Towson (Md.) University. Buchman and Hardy worked together before, when she was a star runner for the Williamsport cross country team, which was coached by Buchman.

Buchman knew she was artistic because she had designed T-shirts for his cross country team, he said.

Hardy's bright, cartoonish characters, drawn in pencil and watercolor for "Two Boys in Bethlehem," are meant to appeal to children.

The story follows two Jewish boys, Benjamin and Nathan, who lived in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago and witnessed the birth of Jesus.


Hardy added drawings of camels, sheep and horses to her illustrations.

"I knew she could do it, and she's one of my favorite people in the world," Buchman said.

Hardy is studying studio art at Towson and plans on concentrating in jewelry design, but working on the book opened her eyes to illustrating as a possible career, she said.

The two studied a few children's books to come up with a vision for "Two Boys in Bethlehem."

Buchman knew he wanted bright colors, he said. He sat down with Hardy and explained which scenes in the story he wanted illustrated.

Hardy used her 13-year-old brother, Evan, as a model for some of her illustrations. Having a model came in handy when she had to draw one of the characters as though he was crawling, she said.

Hardy already is an entrepreneur, having started her own bead business about two years ago.

Her crystal bracelets are sold in the area, and interest in her jewelry spread by word-of-mouth, Hardy said.

Hardy, daughter of Dave and Mary Hardy of Williamsport, said she chose Towson University for its art program and because it is fairly close to home.

To buy the book

"Two Boys in Bethlehem" is on sale at the Potomac Bead Company stores in Hagerstown and Chambersburg, Pa.

Christian Light Bookstore in Hagerstown also will be selling the children's book.

The book, which is 20 pages and has 12 illustrations, costs $7.

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