Happy Thursday! I am celebrating the cover for You Are Not a Cat with Sharon Flake and Anna Raff. We chatted about Cat, Duck, picture books, and marvelous wordplay. I wrote the words in orange, Sharon wrote the words in purple, and Anna wrote the words in black. Thank you, Sharon and Anna!
You Are Not a Cat tells the story of a Duck who is having the time of his life, meowing, and a Cat who cannot abide this behavior. So again and again Cat tries to teach Duck exactly what ducks do--quack and such. These two are simply hilarious, as serious Cat insists that Duck conform to his true nature. Duck will have none of it. He's free spirited, creative, and frankly just wants to have fun. There are no big messages here. Just beautiful illustrations, a great story and a chance for readers to laugh out loud again and again.
Each time I read it, I end up in stitches. And find tidbits I hadn't noticed before. Like the mouse. He just shows up here and there. Finally he's grinning in one of those “please don't eat me I'm so cute” kind of ways. I'm as proud of this book as anything I've ever done.
Anna Raff's illustrations blew me away! I had no expectations of what she might create. Nor did I have any pictures in mind of what my characters might look like. I know what I like when I see it though, and right away I was in love. Thrilled with how my characters were illustrated. Dang! She nailed it. Needless to say I'd love to work with her again on another Cat and Duck adventure.
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Picture books are not just for children. And they are more difficult to master than one might think. Give me 50,000 words over 800 anytime. That's not to say I'll never write another picture book, because I just turned one in. My fingers are crossed, of course.