ABOUT ME


Hello! I'm M.C. McNellis.

Growing up, I was one of those kids that asked a lot of questions about the world so, I ended up consuming countless issues of National Geographic Magazine, Eye Witness Books, and the World Book Encyclopedia. I read about lots of different subjects; rocks, glaciers, indigenous people, and my favorite - animals.

To help me remember the facts and for the pure enjoyment of it, I frequently made little illustrated books out of scraps of paper that were held together by tape and staples about whatever creature was interesting me at the time. These hand-bound books I made as a child are not much different than my current work (although my language skills have improved and my renderings are much better).

Although I've always enjoyed it, reading non-fiction can be a chore. The dry, academic style of writing can be uninteresting and difficult to absorb. This can be especially true for young people. However, when a fun cartoon/illustration pertinent to the narrative shows up it can be quite refreshing and makes a particular passage or chapter quite memorable. Aside from learning more about the world around me, this was and still is my favorite part of reading non-fiction.

So, why not make an entire book like that?!

This is exactly how I have been able to successfully combine my love of animals, artistic talent, sense of humor, and habit of using metaphor and analogies in a meaningful way. Each book outlines the behavior and characteristics of unique and extraordinary members of the animal kingdom with (mostly) encyclopedic style text and colorful illustrations. Either the text or illustration (sometimes simultaneously) contain metaphorical devices (including puns) to make facts more accessible and entertaining for young readers. These books can be a fun way to introduce students (or adults) to reference material.

Here's a video about metaphor usage:

TED Talks: James Geary: Metaphorically Speaking
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