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Student art graces Manteca High book covers
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From left, Dai-Ling Ma and Oscar Carrillo of Manteca High’s Color and Design class recently completed book covers for their commercial assignment of redoing old MHS library book covers. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT/The Bulletin
Can you judge a book by its cover?

At Manteca High, Howard Pyle’s 1883 novel “The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood” recently received new life.

The same goes for “When Worlds Collide,” the 1933 science fiction book co-written by Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer.

Those were among the 16 tattered hardback books recently placed back on the shelves at the MHS Brasmer Library Media Center.

The books were made serviceable again – at least in appearance – thanks to students in Kirt Giovannoni’s Color and Design art class.

“Their job was to basically treat the project as a commercial assignment,” Giovannoni said on Monday.

The project started about five years ago when Nina Norton was in charge of the library.

In an effort to gain interest in some of the classics, she gave the nod to art students to re-design the cover of these unused books.

Each year since Giovannoni’s students do their best to breathe new life in these books with an attractive new look.

“They were able to renovate the books rather than the school having to buy brand-new ones,” he said.

MHS senior Dai-Ling Ma, for example, spent two days on the “Robin Hood” book cover, painting with water color and using ink.

“It took me awhile to sketch out things,” she said.

Oscar Carrillo did a little bit of reading on “When Worlds Collide” before designing his book cover.

The MHS senior is also in the Advance Art class and is involved in several mural projects around campus, according to Giovannoni.

All told, the Academy of the Arts-bound Carrillo took a day to put together the design for his book cover, using pencils for the illustration.

He sees his work as part of his legacy to the school. “I hope this book will stay in the library for a long, long time,” Carrillo said.