A Design-Your-Own-Book Project

Based on Illustrations by Athos Menaboni
Bernard A. Zuckerman Museum of Art


In January 2013, the Zuckerman Museum will open an exhibition of illustrations by Italian-born, Georgia artist Athos Menaboni (18951990).

These selected illustrations were created in the 1960s by Menaboni to accompany an unpublished children's book titled Pedro.

Through the imagination of the artist—most well known for his dedication and passion for all things avian—the reader follows the migratory journey of a bird called Pedro.  Menaboni maps out Pedro’s adventures from Georgia to Central America and back, touching on deeper social and environmental conservation issues and interweaving historical references, life lessons, and social commentary into the narrative.

In many ways, these illustrations remain consistent with the bird paintings and technical precision for which Menaboni is most recognized, but they also depart from the expected through renderings of surreal landscapes, monuments of ancient civilizations, and use of anthropomorphism.  Menaboni creates additional characters within the story by endowing inanimate objects with human features.  Clouds, trees, planes, trains, and cars with kind and playful faces become Pedro’s allies and friends, while encounters with stormy seas, snake-infested waters, polluted cityscapes, and natural predators challenge the little bird’s resolve.

Although the manuscript, written by Athos' wife Sara, has not been located in some years, we invite you to follow Pedro on his migratory journey and participate in the exhibition by using these illustrations to create your own Pedro story. 

Participants will select and arrange the drawings and append their own text. Then, they may submit their book for review in a competition sponsored by the museum. A panel of judges that includes Atlanta-based children's book author, Laurel Snyder, will select the winners. Each winner will receive a cash prize and his or her work will be published in a limited edition. The winning books will also be on view in the museum following the exhibition as well as posted online.


The first place winner will receive $1,000
Honorable mentions will receive $500 each



Our thanks to our donors, the Ida Cason Callaway Foundation, and the Troup County archives for their generosity and support.

This exhibition and contest is funded in part by the Kennesaw State University Student Activities and Budget Advisory Committee (SABAC).


Website design: Chris Dailey