Off-Campus Hollins Users:
To access this document, please click here to log in to our proxy server with your campus network user name/password (the same one you use to log into the campus network and your e-mail).

Year of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

MFA: Children’s Book Writing and Illustrating

Directing Professor

Lisa Rowe Fraustino


This thesis essay looks at the genre of creative nonfiction in children’s picture books to find literary and design elements that are utilized in award winning books and how those components transfer to the first three planes of development in the Montessori method of education. The three creative works of the thesis, Under the Surface: A Sea Mammal’s Day, Dive into a Kelp Forest, and Reef are picture books with an environmental, ocean theme. Each book corresponds with one of the first three planes of development put forth by Maria Montessori in her philosophy of education. Analysis of these works show how literary and aesthetic devices, as evidenced in award winning genre picture books, pertain to and contribute to the sensitive periods of learning for each plane and its corresponding age group.

Purpose Statement

The purpose of preserving this thesis document is to provide a definitive record of student progress upon completion of the degree. This text will not reflect any revisions to the manuscript made after degree completion. For the most current version of the work, please contact its author.