Graphic Design Student Self-Publishes Book

Senior Harrison Markowsky '21, a graphic design major in Merrimack College's Department of Visual and Performing Arts wrote, illustrated and published a children's book about squirrels.

Squirrels. You see them running all around, but most people rarely give them much thought. For Senior graphic design student Harrison Markowsky, ’21, however, squirrels were at the forefront of his mind while creating his Senior Capstone Project. Markowsky, wrote, illustrated and published a children’s book that teaches children squirrels are silly, lovable creatures that should be treated with care.

Markowsky initially had no plans for publishing a children’s book, but realized after writing it that he, “wanted to create a book that teaches children that squirrels and all animals alike should be loved and cared for, so if [he] didn’t end up publishing the book, the goal would not have been reached.”

Markowsky also credits his peers and Associate Professor and Chair of the Visual and Performing Arts Department, Nancy Wynn, MFA, with helping him achieve his goal. Professor Wynn was able to connect him with author Donna Seim and illustrator Susan Spellman, who would become his capstone mentors along the way. Markowsky was able to have professional eyes on his work and receive critical feedback that led to the success of his book.

The book titled Hi, Mister Squirrel! is based loosely on Markowsky’s own experiences with squirrels and all the illustrations were created using reference photos from Markowsky’s backyard. Along with the book, which can be purchased on Amazon, you can follow his encounters with squirrels on Instagram where he posts daily pictures of the critters.