Hocker Grove student achieves huge milestone at young age by having her illustrations published in children’s book

51noBYUXwKLMany aspiring illustrators will go their whole lives without ever seeing their work published.

Hocker Grove seventh grader Madison Cole has achieved that milestone before hitting high school.

When author Kevin Robinson told her he was looking to find someone to illustrate his children’s book, a collection of “lodge fire” stories in the Native American tradition, Cole’s grandmother mentioned that she had a talented young artist in her family. A bit skeptical at first, Robinson asked to see some samples. When he got a look at Cole’s colorful and vibrant work, he was “blown away” and signed her on.

Over the course of a year, Cole, then just 12 years old, used pen and watercolor to illustrate Robinson’s stories. This summer, the book went live for sale on Amazon. Cole says she’ll never forget the first time she got to hold a copy in her hand.

“I was so happy,” she said. “Just totally happy.”

Cole said the cover, which features the grandfather and grandmother bears, is among her favorite illustration. Though she prefers watercolor as her chosen medium, she said she’s excited to explore other painting styles and she gets more involved in art classes.