About a year ago my aunt Peggy, who is an author of a number of scholarly books, reached out to me about joining her on a new venture: A children’s book. She sent me the manuscript for “New Neighbors,” which is a bit of a different take on typical kid’s fare: It tells a story of new neighbors confronting stereotypes. I was familiar with the subject matter (the narrative is inspired by one of my cousins) and flattered by the offer to be a part of getting this story in front of kids everywhere. Plus, illustration was untrod territory for me, and I do enjoy a challenge.
Over the summer Peggy and I collaborated – from opposite coasts – to create visuals that match this unique story (I don’t want to give too much away, as there’s a twist ending!). Illustration turned out to be much more difficult than I expected – fewer lines means it’s harder to convey nuances, and the margin for error becomes much smaller. A slight error in a smile makes it a grimace, and so on…
We soldiered through and got the book to a point where we were all happy, and this month Peggy sent me link to the product on Amazon, where it is at last for sale. It’s a cool feeling to see my work up there – I seem so official!
Now, we just need to sell enough copies to knock The Berenstein Bears’ New Neighbors out of the top spot.