On display at the Chickasaw Regional (Public) Library System’s Ardmore headquarters hangs a collection of oil paintings by Oklahoma artist Mike Wimmer.


On display at the Chickasaw Regional (Public) Library System’s Ardmore headquarters hangs a collection of oil paintings by Oklahoma artist Mike Wimmer.


The paintings, which are on loan from Molly Levite Griffis of Norman, depict baseball great Babe Ruth in the process of making his legendary 714 career home run record.


After seeing the paintings, Jana Howard, Plainview Elementary School library media specialist, was inspired to plan a lesson for third-, fourth- and fifth-graders dealing with Wimmer’s work, which incorporated viewing the exhibit at CRLS.


She began by reading “Home Run: The Story of Babe Ruth,” which is Wimmer’s collaboration with author Robert Burleigh. The paintings at CRLS are the original pieces which inspired the book. Howard followed with a presentation of the other books illustrated by Wimmer.


“Using an illustrator with a varied body of work such as Wimmer’s allowed me to broaden the traditional author study into a lesson, which exposed students to different genres such as biography and poetry, as well as several different authors,” Howard said.


In order to add an element of technology to the lesson, she then showed Wimmer’s Web site to the students, which showcases an interview series with him for which OETA won an Emmy award.


Howard ended the lesson by extending an opportunity for extra credit in the students’ respective language arts course. Points were awarded to each student who viewed the paintings at CRLS.


“I wanted the kids to see the paintings in their original form, and to show them that book illustrations are art,” Howard said.


“This has been an exciting way for us to partner with the Plainview Elementary School Library for library education,” CRLS Director Lynn McIntosh said. “We have enjoyed sharing the paintings with the enthusiastic students, while observing them as they hone their literacy and art-appreciation skills.”