The Next Big Thing---a global blog tour
A wonderful illustrator, Jane Dippold, asked me to participate in The Next Big Thing, a global blog tour that started in Australia. You can read Jane's blog post here.
Here's my newest book:
The Deep, Deep Puddle by author Mary Jessie Parker is coming out on April 18. It's published by Dial Books for Young Readers.
2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
Mary Jessie Parker's counting book text provided a fun platform for me to jump off from---and a deep puddle to dive into, of course! I had a wonderful time imagining the characters---these robbers were the first to come to mind.
3) What genre does your book fall under?
It's an urban counting cops and robbers storybook featuring 1 shaggy dog, 2 stray cats, 3 thirsty squirrels, 4 pigeons, 5 school kids, 6 tourists, 7 taxis, 8 street vendors, 9 robbers, 10 cops, 11 tanker trucks, and 12 public works employees---and of course, a deep, deep puddle. You can find them all in this scene:
4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
I'd love to see Meryl Streep play the part of the robber in the fur coat and sunglasses.
5) How long did it take you to do the art?
Much, much longer than usual for me---two years---in part, because I traveled to Asia for 6 months right in the middle of the project. When I got home, I did all the finish gouache paintings in four months. The big break between sketches and finish art was like a long, deep breath that allowed me to approach each frenetic painting with a sense of calm---and the trip itself was amazing.
6) What inspired you in illustrating this book?
It was fun to work with an urban setting, and with characters in yellow slickers and hard hats.
7) What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?
I think it will be a great book for parents to share with their very young kids and for 6- and 7-year olds to explore on their own---it has a little Where's Waldo? aspect to it as kids look for each of the characters in the pictures. It's both a story and a counting book, and as a counting book, it's a little different in that it counts up to 12 and then back down to 1 shaggy dog again, and then---but I won't give away the surprise ending.
A wonderful illustrator, Phyllis Harris, is next on the tour.
Check out her blog around April 19!
To order a copy of The Deep, Deep Puddle click here.