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Booker High School Students Collaborate with Award-winning Children’s Author

by Rebecca Abrahamson, Booker High School

SARASOTA COUNTY, September 12, 2019 – Award-winning children’s book author Ethan Long will collaborate with students from the Booker High School Visual & Performing Arts (VPA) Film & Animation department to create an animation for his story “Empty Nest”.

The story, which portrays three birds leaving the nest, is one that Long wrote in anticipation of his own children leaving home to pursue their adult lives. He’s long considered animating the project, but has not found success in doing so in a way that would best capture his vision.

Booker High School students Matthew Abolafia, Tallulah Bonifield, Janeth Rivas-Castillo and Maren Timpe—the so-called “Team Empty Nest”—have begun work on the project, which will be submitted to film festivals upon completion.

Long says that there are interesting parallels between the intention of his story, which is about the anxieties facing both parents and children as the transition to adulthood approaches, and the age of the young crew undertaking the project. These students, too, are preparing for their next journey in life, away from home.

“What a way to comfort each other and channel their creativity into something we can all cherish,” Long said.

Long graduated from the Ringling College of Art & Design in 1991 and has written dozens of children’s books and stories since. His works have been on The New York Times’ best-selling list and his animated series, “Tasty Time with Zefronk”, aired on Disney Junior.

Cover photo left to right: Janeth Rivas-Castillo (12th grade), Tallulah Bonifield (10th grade), Maren Timpe (11the grade) and Matthew Abolafia (12th grade).