Award-Winning Artist Dedicates Book to LES

June 5, 2009

LEXINGTON, SC – June 5, 2009 –  Lexington Elementary played a major role in the creation of the children’s book Homegrown House written by Janet Wong and illustrated by E.B. Lewis.

In March 2007, Lewis visited LES to speak to students about his work as an illustrator for children’s books. His vibrant watercolors have illustrated more than 60 books, including the Caldecott Honor winner, Coming on Home Soon.

While on his two day visit, Lewis met LES volunteer Ann Lind, who he thought would make the perfect grandmother in the illustrations for a new book, Homegrown House.

With the help of Nancy Lind, LES literacy coach, Lewis also selected LES student Erica Leaphart for the book’s granddaughter and her mother, LES Teacher Courtney Leaphart, for the book’s mother.

In April, Lewis returned to Lexington for the photo shoot that he would use for his watercolor illustrations for the new book. At that time he picked Erica’s father, Phil Leaphart, to round out the family in the book.

Craig Leaphart, Erica’s brother, even got in on the act by serving as Lewis’ assistant as he traveled Lexington selecting locations for the photo shoot. Lewis ended up selecting locations at the Lexington County Museum, the home of Elizabeth “Libby” Monts Rauch and the Leaphart family home.

To recognize the help he received from his new Lexington friends, Lewis included a dedication in the book that reads “To the teachers and students at Lexington Elementary School in South Carolina and a special thanks to Lexington County Museum and Libby Rauch.”


Town of Lexington Mayor Randy Halfacre presents a proclamation to Phil, Courtney, Craig and Erica Leaphart; LES Literacy Coach Nancy Lind and LES volunteer Ann Lind. The proclamation recognizes E.B. Lewis for using Lexington residents and locations as inspiration for his illustrations in the book Homegrown House.