There is a new look to the story room in the Adel Public Library. The new mural on the wall of the story room depicts the inside of a stone castle with a treasure chest, a red and yellow banner and characters such as a crown-wearing cat, a jester rat, a bird carrying a key, and even a large dragon on the outside of the painted-on window, peering in at you with its tail crashing through the wall.
Some students at A-D-M Middle School may have recognized the artist during her days at the library as the mural was created and painted by A-D-M Middle School art teacher, Carisa Silverio. The theme, as requested by Paula James and Trever Jayne of the Adel Public Library, is “castle fairy tale.”
“I really worked on different sketches, trying to get a dragon that was friendly,” Silverio said, “and I got ideas from, like ‘Pete’s Dragon’ and things like that where they have cute faces. So I worked on that and then decided to add some other characters to it as I went.”
In keeping with the theme of any library, Silverio wanted the mural to have a “storybook feel” to it. Her mother being a kindergarten teacher, she had many books growing up and has looked upon and studied many illustrations over the years.
“I guess I wanted the kids to look at it and maybe envision, you know, what could be happening here,” Silverio said. “There’s a bird up there with a key in its mouth and then a treasure chest, so I wanted the kids to kind of make up their own story from it.”
She said it’s also up to the kids to decide what’s in the treasure chest.
“It could be books, since it’s the library,” Silverio said. “It could be treasure, coins, it could be cat food. Who knows?”
The last time a mural was painted in the story room was in 2006 when the current library was built and featured a fish theme. The original painter of the first mural, Susan Knutson, was offered the job of painting the new mural, but declined the offer, also giving her blessing for them to create the new one.
The need for an update came about when some of the items in the story room, including a boat that kids could play on, were reaching the end of their life cycle and falling apart.
“As we decided we were going to get rid of those things we thought ‘well let’s do a different theme in here,’” said Jayne. Now there is a mini castle in the area where kids can read and play with puppets.
During her work at the library, which took about six weeks, Silverio said that many of her students would approach her to ask about it throughout the process.
“It’s fun to have the interest, and the kids would come and ask about it,” Silverio said. “I know one kid… the mom said the daughter went up to touch it to see if, like, the banner was real.”
The Friends of the Adel Public Library Association paid for the mural, along with some donations from Bill and Dixie Rhiner and the Adel Quilting Group that meets at the library.
Jayne and James said that they hope to keep the current theme and mural around for another 10 or 11 years, but are also open to the idea of having Silverio update the current mural at a later time by adding some stuff to the side walls of the story room, keeping with the castle fairy tale theme.