Ella Ignacio, a 10th grade special needs student, spent more than two years drawing 25 pictures for the book "Do Skunks Think Skunks Stink?" Proceeds from sales of the self-published book will go to the nonprofit facility for medically frail children where the book's illustrator lives. Credit: Morgan Campbell

The cover of a new children's book lists its illustrator as "the amazing Ella Ignacio."

Some who know Ignacio, a 15-year-old from Stony Brook who loves drawing and making clay sculptures, said it's not an exaggeration.

So when Tracy Bloom needed an artist for her son's book about a skunk overcoming teasing and bullying, the Three Village Central School District nurse picked the student she saw every day at Ward Melville High School in East Setauket.

"It needed her," Bloom told Newsday. "Everyone who knows her knows she draws amazing pictures."

Ignacio, a 10th grade special needs student, spent more than two years drawing 25 pictures for the book "Do Skunks Think Skunks Stink?"

Bloom and her son, Jordan, self-published it last year. She said 250 copies of the book have been printed and 200 had sold by Friday.  

All proceeds from sales of the book will benefit Angela's House, a Hauppauge nonprofit that operates three homes for medically frail children. Ignacio lives in its Stony Brook home.

Ignacio used colored pencils to craft the images, including the cover picture of a skunk wearing a clothespin on his nose. Her bright, vibrant pictures depict the main character and his friends — a wise turtle and barnyard creatures that include a dancing pig.

Rainbow-colored lines radiate from the skunk on a page where his mother asks him, "What do you think of you?" 

He replies: "That I'm sweet and kind and funny, and the only thing that stinks is letting others get you down with the mean things they think!" 

Ignacio said of the story's message: "Think about other people's feelings."

The teenager's mother said the budding illustrator already has that habit.

"She always thinks of other people," Annalou Ignacio said of her daughter. "She's always the morale lifter."

Bloom said her son had written the Dr.Seuss-inspired tale as a school assignment when he was 7, but never added illustrations. Now 24, her son is a Longwood Central School District teacher.

The story sat on a shelf for more than a decade before Tracy Bloom asked Ignacio to illustrate the parable of a skunk seeking a boost to his self-esteem.

"He didn't feel like drawing all the pictures," Bloom said of her son. "He had a great story, but it needed someone to bring it to life." 

Annalou Ignacio, who lives in Centereach, said her daughter was born with caudal regression syndrome, which affects development of the legs and lower back. The condition affects from 1 to 2 of every 100,000 infants worldwide, according to the Cleveland Clinic's website.

Ignacio's teachers said the condition doesn't slow her down.

"Nothing stops her," special education teacher Janine Verdi said. "There is absolutely nothing that Ella can't do."

Ignacio said she is interested in pursuing art as a career. She enjoys drawing pictures of characters from stories such as the "My Little Pony" books and the 2016 DreamWorks film "Trolls."

For now, it's enough that she followed her heart by helping her school nurse fulfill a dream. 

"I'm happy about that," Ignacio said.

The cover of a new children's book lists its illustrator as "the amazing Ella Ignacio."

Some who know Ignacio, a 15-year-old from Stony Brook who loves drawing and making clay sculptures, said it's not an exaggeration.

So when Tracy Bloom needed an artist for her son's book about a skunk overcoming teasing and bullying, the Three Village Central School District nurse picked the student she saw every day at Ward Melville High School in East Setauket.

"It needed her," Bloom told Newsday. "Everyone who knows her knows she draws amazing pictures."

Ignacio, a 10th grade special needs student, spent more than two years drawing 25 pictures for the book "Do Skunks Think Skunks Stink?"

Bloom and her son, Jordan, self-published it last year. She said 250 copies of the book have been printed and 200 had sold by Friday.  

All proceeds from sales of the book will benefit Angela's House, a Hauppauge nonprofit that operates three homes for medically frail children. Ignacio lives in its Stony Brook home.

Ignacio used colored pencils to craft the images, including the cover picture of a skunk wearing a clothespin on his nose. Her bright, vibrant pictures depict the main character and his friends — a wise turtle and barnyard creatures that include a dancing pig.

Rainbow-colored lines radiate from the skunk on a page where his mother asks him, "What do you think of you?" 

He replies: "That I'm sweet and kind and funny, and the only thing that stinks is letting others get you down with the mean things they think!" 

Ignacio said of the story's message: "Think about other people's feelings."

The teenager's mother said the budding illustrator already has that habit.

"She always thinks of other people," Annalou Ignacio said of her daughter. "She's always the morale lifter."

Bloom said her son had written the Dr.Seuss-inspired tale as a school assignment when he was 7, but never added illustrations. Now 24, her son is a Longwood Central School District teacher.

The story sat on a shelf for more than a decade before Tracy Bloom asked Ignacio to illustrate the parable of a skunk seeking a boost to his self-esteem.

"He didn't feel like drawing all the pictures," Bloom said of her son. "He had a great story, but it needed someone to bring it to life." 

Annalou Ignacio, who lives in Centereach, said her daughter was born with caudal regression syndrome, which affects development of the legs and lower back. The condition affects from 1 to 2 of every 100,000 infants worldwide, according to the Cleveland Clinic's website.

Ignacio's teachers said the condition doesn't slow her down.

"Nothing stops her," special education teacher Janine Verdi said. "There is absolutely nothing that Ella can't do."

Ignacio said she is interested in pursuing art as a career. She enjoys drawing pictures of characters from stories such as the "My Little Pony" books and the 2016 DreamWorks film "Trolls."

For now, it's enough that she followed her heart by helping her school nurse fulfill a dream. 

"I'm happy about that," Ignacio said.

More on the Book Effort

To order "Do Skunks Think Skunks Stink?" send an email to tsbloom@hotmail.com.

Each copy is $25.

Sale proceeds go to Angela's House, which operates homes for medically frail children in East Moriches, Smithtown and Stony Brook.

Angela's House offers round-the-clock care for residents, critical care services for nonresidents who live with with their families, family support services and a program that provides medical supplies and other resources.

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