Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Next Big Thing: A Global Blog Tour

The Next Big Thing blog tour started in Australia and has now gone global! The object is to bring awareness to authors & illustrators and their current work. Many thanks to the lovely and extremely talented Elisa Kleven for tagging me.

First I’ll answer some questions about my newest book then pass it on to another other gifted book artist, Julie Downing.


1. What is the title of your published book?

Day by Day

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

I heard a story on NPR about Michelle Obama visiting Haiti on the first anniversary of the terrible earthquake. She quoted a proverb, “Little by little, the bird builds its nest”. I began thinking of all the little things that we do each day, large and small, and so Day by Day was born.

3. What genre is your book?

It’s a picture book for preschool up to old school.

4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

I would choose the talented pig from the movie Babe and The Three Little Pigs if they are available.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Day by day, a family of pigs work together to build a home, plant a garden, and make new friends in a welcoming community. 

6. Who is publishing your book?

Alfred A. Knopf.
At the Society of Illustrators Original Art Show in NYC with the amazing editor Nancy Siscoe and the talented art director Kate Gartner.

7. How long did it take you to write your book?

From inspiration, to creating a dummy with sketches, then completing the final art--about 2 years.

8. And how long did it take to complete the illustrations?

After the dummy was approved by my editor it took about 5 months to render the final art.

9. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I adore Elisa Kleven’s newest book, Cozy Light, Cozy Night. It’s simply lovely how she celebrates and illustrates the different kinds of cozy in our lives. I also admire The Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood and the cunning way she observes different types of quiet in daily life. 

10. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

As I mentioned, I was inspired by the proverb, and also by my immigrant grandparents. While I was working on the book I papered my studio with images of my family and photos by the poignant photographer Dorothea Lange.  

11. What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest? 

As a young girl I was captivated by the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. In Day by Day I wanted to create a similar sense of a distant time and place so I had my pig family relocate and settle in a rural community. As a humble homage to the Little House books I placed a copy of Ma Ingalls’ little china shepherdess on the mantle of the pigs’ new home. Ma Ingalls “never displayed the figurine until the family was settled”.  I’m not sure what color the little figurine might have been, but I hope all is forgiven that I made it blue so it would stand out in the art. 

Another fun fact---Day by Day is a Kirkus Best Children’s Books of 2012 selection! Squeal!

Thank you very much for visiting. Its an honor to be tagged and invited to participate in the tour.

The Next Big Thing blog tour continues with author & illustrator extraordinaire Julie Downing. You won't want to miss what Julie has to share. Go Julie!