Friday, October 05, 2007

Merry Christmas Cheeps!

The cheeps are back! And ready to celebrate the season, from catching snowflakes in their little beaks to trimming the tree and hanging stockings. Julie Stiegemeyer has written another charming text about this family of flightless poultry that's perfect for the littlest guys. This time she used more than seven words, but Julie's style is nonetheless clearly the Prius of children's writing -- she gets an amazing amount of mileage out of very few words. The rhyming couplets not only give babies and toddlers a sneak preview of the joys they'll encounter at the holidays, they're full of the rhythm, repetition and fun-to-say words that compel toddlers to join in. And here's a cool thing I just noticed -- you can even sing the lines to the tune of "Old MacDonald." (Well, if you're completely tone deaf like me, it might not sound exactly like "Old MacDonald...).

I'm proud of my artwork for the book too, and learned a ton in the process of making it, as the backgrounds and props were more complicated than in Cheep! Cheep! I'm also very, very pleased with the outstanding job the folks at Bloomsbury did with the photography and design of the book -- everything really pops off the page and it seems like you should be able to feel the textures. And I'm grateful all over again to my family who let me take over every flat surface in our house while I finished it up, and to my sister-in-law and fellow children's book author Karen Baicker, who kindly put up with me and my mess while I put the, uh, "finishing touches" on everything at her house when I drove East to deliver the art. (Oh yeah, and then Karen was also nice enough to drive me into the city from her house, as I am terrified of driving in Manhattan and even more frightened at the thought of parallel parking there.) Making books, like raising kids, works best as a group project.
The book was officially released this week, and I've heard from people who've spotted it in Borders. I'm buried too deep in a couple work projects to make it over to any of the bookstores (man, do I miss the children's bookstore that used to be at the top of the hill), but it's exciting to know it's out there! And it already has a ranking on amazon. I'm amazed at all those people who are obviously out shopping for the holidays already. I bet December's a lot more fun when you don't have a to-do list that's longer than Santa's good kid list....

I'm sorry that it's once again been ages since I posted anything. I actually like blogging, but it does feel like a guilty pleasure when I'm swamped with work, family, laundry, etc. And for some reason, when I'm thinking about giving into a vice, chocolate nearly always wins.

And naturally, since it's been so long I have scads I'd like to say, but I'm going to take a deep breath and say ta-ta for now.

1 comment:

roz said...

I've ordered my copy for our family.
All the best to you.
AKA a fan.