One of the openings of our book is set in the dark of night and being new to illustrating with watercolours I didn’t know how to get the effect we were after.
Then I remembered that my grandmother had illustrated a book my Mum wrote.
My granny had used a palette of blue-greys for the night time pictures, so I studied those and came up with my own approach.
We are playing around with cover ideas at the moment.
We need an image that sums up the book. It’s a book about a mum and a (gender neutral) baby. It’s about both the challenges and joys of having a baby/being a baby. You can read it to kids but it is for adults too. It’s got a sense of humour.
Here’s what we started with
And here’s Leo playing around with the title positioning on what we’ve got now.
It’s a work in progress.
The position the mum is holding the baby in is called the recovery position and both my kids have needed to be held like that when life gets overwhelmy in those early weeks.
It’s still school holidays so painting has come to a standstill. Instead, our to do list is things like:
- Go to the ice cream shop
- Go to the aquarium
- See Nan and Pa and the cousins
- Easter egg hunt
The unofficial to do list contains things like Leo playing an awful lot of Reading Eggs on the computer, playing ball games on the trampoline, making origami and folding paper planes.
Today some print samples arrived. We want to get a board book produced because babies will tear anything else to shreds. They’ve sent us some samples so we can see the different finishes and sizes. Exciting!
It’s the Easter school holidays. Leo has had his first term of school and he’s loving it but he’s also tired. We’re all a bit tired. Except for Clem who has three naps a day.
Jeff and I were keen to get the illustrations finished and scanned before the holidays but it hasn’t happened, so it’s Easter Saturday and we decided to get what we have done scanned.
Going to Officeworks wasn’t on Leo’s to-do list and I found myself loudly despairing that he wasn’t into the idea of doing something we wanted to do for a change. I wrestled his PJs off, trying to get him dressed. It was not my finest parenting moment. Eventually we negotiated in a side trip to Woolworths for dominoes and some fish and chips, and we set off.
The irony of getting all het up over a project whose message is to cultivate happiness through peacefully being in the moment is not lost in me. (The scans look awesome by the way).
Some backstory on the origins of the (yet to be completed) book You’re Doing Great, Baby by Jeff Edwards (my husband) and Beth Taylor (me).
In 2012 Jeff and I started writing a picture book for new parents. We didn’t know exactly what it was about but we knew we had something to say to new parents:
- You’re doing great
- Be kind to yourself – having a baby is a major learning curve
- Early parenthood can feel lonely and overwhelming
- It’s hard work being a baby – they’re going through a massive learning curve too
- When you and your baby can hang out and just ‘be’ together it feels really great
- Your child is your greatest teacher
- You are your child’s greatest teacher
We also knew all the things we didn’t want to say to new parents:
- Advice about feeding, sleeping, eating, teething or developmental milestones
Continue reading The story so far
Hi! Beth and I are starting this blog to follow the progress our new book.
The book is called You’re Doing Great, Baby! and it’s a picture book for new parents who might feel overwhelmed by all the sudden life changes and new responsibilities that come with parenting (and who don’t have time to read anything except picture books).
We want this to be a book that will remind new mums and dads that they’re doing their best and to reassure them that they’ll get through these tough times (if that’s what they are). There’ll also be rhyme and colourful pictures so hopefully babies won’t get too bored either!
We’re still working on it, and we’ll let you know how we go!