I got the idea for my latest picture book, The New Kid, when I saw a young girl in our local coffee shop, The Happy Pear. The girl was wearing a grey coat. There was something about the way she seemed to be using it to stay separate, inside her own world, that really struck me. I made a few sketches and went home, where the basic bones of the idea started to come through immediatley. These sketches are dated 3/1/10, four years ago. The book was published yesterday, 1/5/14.

That’s pretty typical of how long it takes for my ideas to go from spark to published – they rumble around in the background waiting their turn as I work on other things. I pick them up every now and then, turn them over, add, subtract, change. The finished art takes me about six to eight months and the publisher takes a year to turn it into a book, so it all adds up. Technically yesterday was my new book’s ‘birth’ day, but really that was 3/1/10. For me, now is when it leaves home and heads off into the world! Safe travels, little book.


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