Elizabeth Marie Himchak/Pomerado NEws
A new children’s book designed to get youngsters in the habit of
brushing their teeth has been illustrated by a Rancho Bernardan.
Illustrator Sudi Memarzadeh said this is among her favorite pictures
she created for the children’s book “Brush Barry Brush.”
Sudi Memarzadeh said a chance encounter with San Marcos resident Linda
Valderrama at an Encinitas bookstore in 2009 led to their first
collaboration, “Brush Barry Brush,” published last December.
The book, written for ages 3 to 8, emphasizes through repetition the
concept of eat, then brush. It features a multi-ethnic set of
characters in order to be inclusive, Memarzadeh said. It also has a
month’s worth of stickers children are to place in a chart when they
brush after breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.
Memarzadeh said she offered her artistic talents when she overheard
Valderrama, a registered dental hygienist, at a bookstore talking to
her two grown children about a children’s book she had been wanting to
write for several years.
A few days later they met to discuss the book and review Memarzadeh’s
artistic style, she said. Determining they would be a good pairing,
the duo embarked on creating the book, a first-time endeavor for both.
It took about three months to create and almost two years to be
“I was ready for the challenge,” Memarzadeh said, adding she found the
process and collaboration to be “enjoyable.” She had done
illustrations before, but never an entire book by herself.
To create each picture, Memarzadeh said she used a technique that
included putting a white coating over black matte paper prior to
drawing and then painting the illustrations.
“I wanted the kids to see the brush strokes and texture of paint,” she
said. “I did not want it to look like flat color.”
She designed the pictures to be memorable in their own right, with
subtle messages, such as brushing teeth even when camping, Memarzadeh
said. She also created some humorous scenes and tried to also give an
“eat healthy” message.
The illustrator earned her bachelor’s degree in fine arts and master’s
in graphic illustration from her native country of Iran. She was the
last family member to immigrate to the United States, arriving in
2000, she said.
Now, she is a professor of digital media arts at the NewSchool of
Architecture and Design in downtown San Diego and a print and graphic
design instructor at the Escondido Regional Occupational Program.
Memarzadeh; her husband, Kian Farr; and their 3 1/2-year-old daughter,
Ava, moved to The Greens neighborhood of Rancho Bernardo last
September, she said.
Since its publication, she said the book is “doing really well with
kids.” The duo has also been told the book, due to its repetitive
message, helps children with learning disabilities who are slightly
older than its target audience, she added.