Marc Brown, an Erie native and author of the best-selling Arthur books, will bring his love of reading to Gannon University during a Jan. 25 guest lecture.

The lecture is free and open to the public and will begin at 7 p.m. in the Yehl Ballroom of Gannon’s Waldron Campus Center, 124 West Seventh St.

Brown’s lecture will focus on the importance of parents reading to children and helping young readers develop an interest in reading through picture books. Immediately following the lecture, Brown will be available to sign copies of his books.

Gannon University’s Erie-GAINS (Gannon Alliances to Improve Neighborhood Sustainability) program is purchasing some of Brown’s books and donating them to Emerson-Gridley Elementary School in the Erie School District.

More about Marc Brown

Brown, born in Erie in 1946, has become one of the most prominent names in children’s literature. He is the author/illustrator of the Arthur books and the creator of the six-time Emmy Award-winning animated Arthur series on PBS. With more than 65 million books sold, Brown has entertained countless young readers with his humorous stories of Arthur the aardvark and his adventures. In addition to reading, another common theme in the Arthur series is the importance of healthy relationships with friends and family members.

Brown’s grandmother, Grandma Thora, helped inspire Brown’s love of writing and drawing, and with her help, he attended the Cleveland Institute of Art, where he majored in graphic design.

He realized his dream of becoming an illustrator when a well-known publisher offered him his first job, and his first Arthur book, Arthur’s Nose, was published in 1976. His many accolades and awards include the Library of Congress Book of the Year. In recent years, Brown has illustrated award-winning and critically acclaimed picture books such as Wild About BooksBorn to ReadZooZical, and Wild About You!

He enjoys speaking to children, students, educators, parents, and others about his work as an author and illustrator and about the importance of reading to children. Brown is regarded as a leading advocate of literacy and also enjoys discussing the power of art and illustration.

Brown and his wife reside in New York and Massachusetts. He has three children and two grandchildren.

This article was originally published on Jan. 11, 2013 on