Day 3: Introducing Kidlit Editor Karen Nagel
When I first received this submission, it was picture-book length (traditionally 32 pages). But, those kids! That pig! The humor and heart! All created by the inimitable Cyndi Marko! I wanted to know more about these irrepressible characters and their story. Would Cyndi be willing to develop the story so that it would fit into our Aladdin PIX line of a 64-page, illustrated chapter book? Indeed she would, and she did.
How did your editorial skills come to play so that THIS LITTLE PIGGY's text and illustrations worked harmoniously together?
It was key to maintain Cyndi's sly humor and wit, visually and narratively. What reader, emerging or seasoned, doesn't enjoy silly situations and characters? Even though we could see Snowflake on every page, multiple times, (he is one of the the most lovable porcines in the history of piggies, after all), it wouldn't have served him or furthered the story's plot and action.
Also, the text (running and speech balloons) does go through many, many revisions and edits. We literally make changes until the books goes to press. THIS LITTLE PIGGY
was a particularly satisfying collaboration and meeting of comic sensibilities.
When working on revisions, what about Cyndi’s execution made it an enjoyable process?
Whether it was an editorial text suggestion or an illustrative one, Cyndi's revisions were always spot-on hilarious, and better than anything that was suggested. The expression and/or behavior of Snowflake: a wink of his eye, the upward tilt of an eyebrow, the chewing of a piece of hay, it's so evident that Cyndi loves and understands her character's motivations. and clearly knew how to convey their very essence. She is a master at revision, taking story and character to the next level.
What do you love about the final product, THIS LITTLE PIGGY: AN OWNER’S MANUAL?
I love that Cyndi's heart is on every page of this book; I love the family dynamic, that the brother and sister are so realistically realized and portrayed and that their mission is true; I love that Brother and Sister unconditionally adore their piggy and that he is their devoted friend and pet; I love the narrator's voice; I love laughing every time I read this book; I love working with Cyndi and Laura and can't wait to do it again.
Why do you hope THIS LITTLE PIGGY: AN OWNER’S MANUAL and its main character, Snowflake, will be a loved by kids everywhere?
A story of love, perseverance, devotion, friendship, with a nod to Charlotte's Web, this is a book for readers-and pet lovers--of all ages (a beautiful 'package' to boot).
Click the cover to purchase your copy of THIS LITTLE PIGGY: AN OWNER"S MANUAL, an Aladdin PIX illustrated chapter book for kids 6-9 that tells the tale of a brother and sister who—more than anything—want a pet pig, written and illustrated by Cyndi Marko, available in paper over board and as an ebook!