Earlier this afternoon, I dropped my son off for a playdate with one of his BFFs, who happens to be the son of one of my BFFs, who happens to be none other than the Fabulous Kat, illustrator extraordinaire. And while the boys ran off to hunt lizards or shoot Nerf guns at each other or pile things on top of other things, I got to peek over Kat’s shoulder. And this is what I saw.
Aside from the fact that I get live previews of her drawings for THE WORD BURGLAR anytime I want (even without bearing offerings of glitter, though sometimes I do), I love that I am privy to the secret treasures she’s embedding into each drawing. I won’t reveal them all here–I’m sure there will be a hunt once the book comes out–but I will say that all four of our kids will be represented in the illustrations, along with certain totems that describe or define them. Kat’s daughter’s stuffed bunny, for example, is like a kiss blown onto several pages. And check out the mom holding her son on the bottom left of page six. Looks kind of like the photo on Kat’s computer screen, doesn’t it? (I can’t remember when she took that picture, but I love it.)
It’s fascinating to watch Kat work her magic. When it comes to her artwork, she’s a bit of a perfectionist–ok, she’s a deep-dyed, card-carrying perfectionist–so it seems her mind is always on the job, tinkering with the storyboard, coming up with wonderful ways to render the story into visual dynamite. I love it when she sends me a text at 5:30 AM with the image of a sketch and a What do you think?
I think it’s going to be an otherworldly experience to finally hold a copy of THE WORD BURGLAR, knowing how much effort and love has gone into its making, the collaboration and the enthusiasm shared by Kat and our publishing team at Bright Sky Press. What started as a simple bedtime story for my daughter while she was at camp has become something much bigger than I ever imagined, something that reflects our talents and passions, something that we are looking forward to sharing soon with our kids–and with yours.