Thursday, October 18, 2012

Illustrations for children's books

After my encounter with three well-known children's book illustrators (and all writers too) recently I was filled with longing to do more illustrating and maybe some writing. People often ask if I write books too and I always answer "Oh, no, writing is so very difficult, I have so much respect for a good writer." I don't think of myself as a writer but I do enjoy storytelling.
Actually, I have written some original children's stories and have been published. I worked for a couple of years for a publication produced by National Wildlife Federation called "Wild Animal Baby". This is a monthly magazine for very young children, full of lovely photos of wild animals, illustrations and stories. I produced the illustrations for a recurring story called "Out and About" featuring a child and his pet and various adventures of a domestic animal sort.

In the second year of this project, (which I loved) I found out that the writer on staff for this series had left the company. I asked if I might submit a story idea. I wrote out my own story line about a boy named Karl who lives on a goat farm and has his own baby goat to care for. I pictured the farm being somewhere in Wisconsin, (I was driving through the state that week and my mind was full of images). I named the goat "Skip" and based my story on my own memories of playing with baby goats as a child living in a rural area myself. Six of my stories were accepted and published with my illustrations. That was such a thrill for me.
Here is the opening spread for my first story, "Out and About with Skip".