LONG BEACH - Stephanie Auditor is a shy 7-year-old girl, generally speaking only a few words or phrases to make a point.
Put some art equipment in her hands - a sketchbook, paints, pens, perhaps a canvas - and Stephanie speaks volumes.
The young girl has painted an estimated 400 pictures, the great bulk of them of dogs, a few cats, lots of birds - from crows to exotic feathered creatures - and fishes.
A sampling of her artwork is featured in the Main Library's Youth Services Department.
Stephanie is a regular visitor to the library, thanks to the time her family spends there, and her work caught the eye of Catrina Hanna, who works in the Youth Services department at the library.
The librarian said that she hopes that the exhibit of Stephanie's work will encourage other children to submit theirs for display or inquire by calling 562-570-7500.
Stephanie's father, Dexter Auditor, said the family was surprised by the invitation.
"I didn't think that anyone would notice her work," he said.
Stephanie and her mother, Maria Auditor, made the selection, which the Stevenson Elementary second-grader said wasn't an easy choice.
"I really liked them all," Stephanie said of her paintings.
Stephanie has been painting since the age of 3 and migrates toward books about art techniques and animals and birds.
Many of the art-technique books she uses are in the adult section, Hanna said.
Stephanie took up art projects during the library's summer activities program, before she was in preschool, her father said.
She pays keen attention to the methods of mixing colors that he showed her, he said.
The budding artist also carries a sketchbook, her mother said, using her spare time to draw animals she encounters, especially dogs.