'Arthur' author Marc Brown Entertains Hundreds During Guest Lecture

Marc BrownPosted: January 29, 2013

Marc Brown isn’t afraid to admit that early in his career, he was fired from several jobs.

At different times, Brown worked as a truck driver and as a cook and taught in the art department at a junior college.

Varied as the jobs were, none were quite the right fit for Brown, an Erie native. The moral of the story, Brown said, is to persevere and to “do what you love.”

Fortunately for children, Brown did find his niche and has been able to do what he loves: writing and illustrating. As the author of the Arthur books and as the creator of the six-time Emmy Award-winning Arthur animated series, Brown is one of the preeminent names in children’s literature. With more than 65 million books sold, he has entertained countless young readers with his heartwarming and educational stories of Arthur the aardvark.

On Friday, Gannon University welcomed Brown for a guest lecture. The Yehl Ballroom was filled to capacity for the lecture, which was free and open to the public and which was sponsored by Gannon’s School of Education, College of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences, and Activities Programming Board.

Brown, a strong proponent of literacy, enjoys speaking about his work as an author and illustrator and about the importance of parents reading to their children so that the children become lifelong readers. In today’s fast-paced, digital world, however, opening a book isn’t always a priority for some children.

The secret to helping children develop an interest in reading? “Kids need to see their parents reading and see that the parents love it,” Brown said. “And, parents need to do their best to make it a fun experience for the kids by using different voices for the characters and reading enthusiastically.”

Following his lecture, Brown signed copies of his books for the dozens of people who waited patiently. He was very gracious with his many fans, young and old, posing for pictures and making one young girl’s day by giving her a drawing he composed during his lecture.

In addition, Brown spoke to the first, second, and third graders at Emerson-Gridley School in the Erie School District. Gannon University’s community and neighborhood development program, Erie-GAINS, sponsored Brown’s visit to the school. Erie-GAINS also generously purchased copies of Brown’s books for use by Emerson-Gridley.