I remember when my first son was just a baby, and as I held him in my arms each night rocking him to sleep, I would dream about the books we would read when he was older. When he was a little bigger, he would gnaw wetly on the edges of his stiff cardboard Maisy books, and I'd fantasize about the time to come when we'd explore real stories together -- not just the stiffly-delivered antics of a cartoon mouse whose friend was named Tallulah. Surely he would love the same books I did when I was a child, right? The Velveteen Rabbit, The Black Stallion, Bread and Jam for Francis ... oh, I couldn't wait.
Unfortunately, it turns out his very favorite books of all time are centered around merchandising tie-ins. Funny how my bucolic reading fantasies never involved slogging through LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu for the trillionth time.
I was thinking recently about how bedtime reading hasn't quite turned out to be the delightful visit to Nostalgia-Land I was hoping for, and it occurred to me that a desire for a shared, joyous reading experience is probably exactly what prompts many authors to write a children's book.
Heyyyyy, I thought. What if I wrote -- and drew, as best I could -- the sort of book that would transport us both into a magical realm of wonder and delight?
Eager to capture my initial thoughts, I grabbed some paper and a pen. Here's what I came up with:
I don't know, I realize these are just rough ideas, but I think there's some real potential here! I think I'd better start practicing my Humble Caldecott Acceptance face now, don't you?
Images via Linda Sharps