Friday, December 18, 2015

My Sheep Can Dance

I never imagined  thirty-one  years ago when we bought our first four sheep that they would kick start my writing career, but they did. Three adult sheep books later, I have branched out into children's books. This year, Northcroft Press published My Sheep Can Dance, with wonderful water color illustrations by my friend Linda Christensen.

When I asked her if she wanted to do some illustrations, she said "I've never painted a sheep." I sent her a bunch of photographs and the results were outstanding. Linda combined ideas from different photos to create new scenes. I actually had no photos of children dancing with the sheep, but Linda painted one.

Her illustrations also changed the story. I had sent her a photo of Bob the ram because he was a good example of a colored sheep, not because I had written about him. I thought she'd just add him to the flock somewhere. But when his painting appeared in my mailbox, I added a stanza and a page to the book.

Bob, the ram, was a crotchety guy

You could tell he was mad by the look in his eye.

But when his sheep danced home, he welcomed them in
and danced as old Davy played violin.

Collaborations are great fun for the writer and the illustrator, and the resulting book, My Sheep Can Dance, is great fun for the reader.

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