Welcoming a Busy-Eyed Kidlit Art Director!
I loved all the SPACE it left for the illustrator! The language is so playful and so unique, but also so open-ended. I knew it would be one of those texts where I would be so delighted and pleasantly surprised to see where the illustrator took it.
Do tell your thought process regarding who should illustrate it, and how did you come to choose Frann?
Andrea Welch, the book’s editor, suggested we send this manuscript to Frann Preston-Gannon. She’d been a fan of Frann’s work for a long time and had been hoping to find the perfect manuscript to send to her. I agreed, just based on Frann’s style and the samples I saw, I knew I’d love what she did!
What did you appreciate about Frann’s attitude as she worked through revising the illustrations for this story?
Frann is a total pro, so the collaborative part of the process—the back and forth between her, me, and the editor—was productive and FUN (as I believe the picture-book process should be!). I’m a firm believer that books are always better when everyone (author, illustrator, editor, art director) is open to considering a number of different solutions for any one page. Frann had a great attitude about this and was always game for trying new things and pushing existing things a bit further.
When you saw the text alongside the illustrations, what did you love about it?
Everything! I loved the relationships Frann built within this family, the way the kids played off each other, their mom, Grammy, the nuanced moments between them all. I also just loved Frann’s treatment of the lines of text that left so much room for interpretation, One-eyed Jack/Two-eyed Zach, in particular.
Why do you hope children will receive a copy this book?
Aside from being a darling, playful, and gorgeous book, I like how this book invites readers to look closely at everyday moments and to play with language. Maybe after reading BUSY-EYED DAY suddenly that dog won't be just a dog, but will be a wide-eyed dog, and maybe a regular trip to the park will suddenly be filled with new detail and language!
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