Collage by Laura Montenegro

Evanston artist and author Laura Montenegro’s Big Table Studio, 1700 Crain St., presents “Setting the Table for the Muse,” a four-session workshop on making a book dummy.

“Making the book dummy is arguably the most magical act in the creation of a picture book,” says Ms. Montenegro. “This playful assembling of word, image and book design leads one into wholly unexpected realms of storytelling and meaning. Be it rough or finished, the book dummy elegantly reveals the hidden personality of the book in a way that simple writing or illustrating cannot do.”

Each week, participants will focus on a different story structure and create four simple, original book dummies based on these structures. Participants will receive individualized feedback to develop their own ideas and personal artistic expressions.

Ms. Montenegro teaches picture-book making and children’s book illustration at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Big Table Studio in Evanston  and Peninsula School of Art in Door County, Wis.  She is the author and illustrator of “A Poet’s Bird Garden,” “A Bird About to Sing,” “Sweet Tooth” and “One Stuck Drawer.” Her picture books have won Parent’s Choice Awards and “A Bird About to Sing” was featured on Reading Rainbow.

Of the book-making classes, Ms. Montenegro says, “As always, the gathering of picture book makers, dreamers, writers, illustrators and artists, creates the fertile ground which we all seek for the unfolding of our shared creativity. And the support which we offer each other lays the groundwork that becomes the bedrock of our community of artists and seekers. This coming together is a magical experience always.”

The $300 course runs Tuesday evenings in May, 6-9 p.m. at the studio.

Registration and information are available at 847-328-4175 or