National Museum of American Illustration
Mary Jane Begin has twenty-five years of experience as a professional illustrator and notable faculty member at the Rhode Island School of Design. She has illustrated numerous books including the 100th anniversary edition of Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows as well as Willow Buds, a prequel series Begin authored and illustrated.
Doubtlessly based upon her impeccable story-telling ability and extraordinary artistic skills demonstrated in her previous works, Begin was selected by the Hasbro toy company to write and illustrate the newest book in the My Little Pony series. The book, Under the Sparkling Sea, is as the title suggests, is a My Little Pony story with an aquatic theme. Begin does an inimitable job of portraying characters from the well known children’s franchise in a setting not commonly associated with ponies. Her bold and intense use of colors in the underwater environment and nuanced depictions of the facial expressions convey the characters’ wonderment at the strange and new world they experience.
Exhibition overview from museum website
Whether you go or not, My Little Pony: Under the Sparkling Sea is a beautifully illustrated picture book for children from Preschool - Grade 3, featurig a My Little Pony underwater adventure. It includes an exclusive art poster. When Twilight Sparkle receives an invitation to visit the underwater city of Aquastria, she invites all her pony friends and Spike to travel with her. The ponies are welcomed by the ruler of Aquastria, King Leo, who sits on the Cosmic Council alongside his cousin, Princess Celestia. There is a long-held rivalry between the seaponies and the mermares. The two groups compete each year in a race for the grand prize, which is a beautiful pearl. Invite a child to join the ponies and Spike as they confront danger, make new friends and race to the finish in this shimmering new world!