Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Children’s book illustrator scours Santa Fe after art theft

April 14, 2022Updated: April 14, 2022 2:46 pm

SANTA FE, NM (AP) — An accomplished illustrator of books for children including a work authored by Chelsea Clinton says she is searching for a packet of penguin illustrations that were taken from her unlocked car.

Gianna Marino said Wednesday that she filed a police report after the pack of 20 illustrations disappeared overnight from the backseat of her car in Santa Fe, during an extended stay in the Southwestern hub for artists and authors.

Marino said she scoured pawn shops, galleries and social media for the illustrations without finding a clue.

The theft won’t stop publication of the images in a new book about penguins and the loving bonds of family, but Marino says she wanted to save the original illustrations or give them away to friends.

“I do very detailed work, and it’s probably months and months of work,” she said. “I actually woke up in the middle of the night and thought, ‘Oh I forgot to lock the car.’ It wasn’t until about six hours later when I was driving down the road when I went, ‘No!’”

Marino has written and illustrated more than a dozen children’s books, collaborating with Clinton on the 2019 work about endangered species titled “Don’t Let Them Disappear.”

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