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Over the past few months I’ve been having an art exchange with a fellow artist, Ben. This is definitely to be continued…

Here’s the first drawing Ben did that started this art exchange. It’s a self‐portrait of Ben reading THE THREE TRICERATOPS TUFF!


Here’s a close‐up.


Ben’s mom sent me the photo in email. Here’s my response. It’s a drawing of me holding my phone looking at Ben’s art.


This is Ben’s response. It’s a drawing of Ben’s computer with my image of me looking at Ben’s art on my phone.


And here is Ben showing both pieces of art! copy

Ben decided to send me a letter with more art enclosed. Here he is mailing it.

7.Photo on 11-17-13 at 12.35 PM #2

Here I am opening it! What an awesome drawing!

8.Photo on 11-17-13 at 12.36 PM #2

It reads:
His hands are going this way, “VOOOOP,” because that means he wants to move…
And his head is going this way, “VLOOOOOP,” because that means he wants to move to where Steve Shaskan lives.


And here we all are living where where I live: Minneapolis!

news & events | 
Ben Lentz says:

Hello, this is Ben…

And I wanted to tell you that that was very nice of you to say that. I’m going to send some more sketches of my sketchbook ON the computer.

Hey Ben, So glad you like the post! You should be expecting something in the mail. All the best and keep up the art!

trisha shaskan says:

Dear Ben,
Thanks for being an awesome artist & awesome person!
You’re inspiring us!
Trisha (Stephen’s wife)

Meg Fleming says:

I have to add, that there are stars in somebody’s eyes. I just LOVE this!

So glad, expect more posts like this in the future.

Meg Fleming says:


Liz Delzell says:

This is AWESOME, guys! Ben and his family are frequent visitors to the library where I used to work. How amazing for a boy to be able to reach out to an illustrator he admires and have that illustrator recognize and encourage his work! Thanks for being so cool, Stephen Shaskan… and Ben, you totally rock!

susan dilsaver says:

Hi Mr. Shaskan,
We are writing from Ben’s second grade classroom. We really like your stories. We listened to Ben’s mom read A Dog is a Dog to us and now we have read Three Triceratops Tuff. We like them both. There were tons of surprises and it was funny. We all liked the pictures you and Ben drew in this blog. We will check back later to see if more are posted.
Mrs. Dilsaver’s second grade class

Thanks for being a teacher! Please call me Steve. I’m so glad you are having fun reading reading my books. Say, “Hi” to everyone for me. I’ll be posting more soon. I’m sure Ben will tell you.

[…] recently wrote a post on my own blog, RHYMES WITH TRASHCAN, about an art exchange with a young artist named Ben. Ben is the son of Meg Fleming, fellow Word […]

Jessica Young says:

Sweet! Ben is an amazing artist! Especially love the one of him reading your book!

Meg Fleming says:

Just going on record to say that this is STILL one of my favorite exchanges. Ever.

<3 <3 <3

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