Thursday, April 14, 2011

Books in Production (Babble)

Aden and a friend of hers have been working on a series of small books.  I think it’s an adventure story about bunnies….  No, wait, one of them was about the cat that was stuck in our deck.  I’m not sure.  I hear so many bits and fragments of ideas for projects that it’s hard to keep them straight.  Anyway, Aden asked the other day, “Mom?  How do you get a book published?” and I burst out laughing thinking about the pile of unpublished novels I’ve written tucked away upstairs and said, “Honey, you are asking the wrong person!  I have no idea!”  Luckily I just write because I like to write and if those books never see any readers beyond my family and friends that’s okay.  And luckily for Aden I don’t mind helping her produce her books on her own.

We’ve actually been in heavy book production mode here lately.  We were trying to figure out what to get my niece for her birthday, and settled on making her some books.  Ellora is the most avid fan of books in the under ten crowd I’ve ever known, and it’s hard to buy things for her that she hasn’t already read.  So to sidestep that problem we decided to make our own.

Quinn’s was finished first.  It’s a book about a butterfly birthday.

He was actually feeling out of sorts the other day so I kept him home from school and we spent all morning deciding on the exact wording of the text and making pictures to go with them.  When we got it all done to Quinn’s liking we took it to Kinko’s to have the pages laminated and bound while we ate lunch across the street.  It was a really pleasant day and totally worth having him miss a day of kindergarten for, especially since he went back refreshed and happy to be there the next day.  (Even kindergarteners need a mental health day from time to time.)  Check out a few of my favorite pages:

Didn’t it come out cute?  I think his cousin will like it.

Mona’s book is almost ready for binding.  She did a counting book inspired by a book she really likes.  We still have to do some editing for things like backwards numbers and a few odd words, but she really wanted to do all the text herself so I’m proud of her.  Spelling is not her strong suit at the moment, but I like that she’s fearless about putting stuff down on the page anyway.  Over the summer I’m going to focus on spelling and writing with Mona.  Look how adorable these sheep are, though!

I don’t mind the word ‘sheep’ spread out over two lines, but I’m going to help her remove the extra ‘the’ that somehow found its way into that sentence.  I like the way Mona draws squirrels

Aden, of course, is making something complicated.  She is doing something like an I Spy book, but it involves challenges and stories and games….  I told her we’re on a deadline and maybe we could do all of that for Christmas and take our time, but no, she’s barreling ahead.  I’m getting worried about her getting it all done but I admire her ambition.  I just hope we don’t end up with a mess of tears and frustration to take to her cousin instead of a book.  We’ll see.  I have faith in Aden to come up with something, even if at the moment all she has done is an enhanced checker board:
I’m pleased with how seriously the kids have buckled down to produce these books.  They have so many of their own projects that they are working on at any given moment that I wasn’t sure they could focus on getting something specific done on time, but they’re really trying. 

In fact today they got up at 5:30 in the morning to get in some time on them before school.  It had me really confused because Ian got up with them and they all went downstairs and left me to sleep, but then I woke up at 6:30 to Quinn standing by my bed asking me to help adjust something about his shirt.  I got it in my head it was 7:30 and couldn’t understand why he hadn’t left for school.  I didn’t figure it out until I went downstairs and found the girls busily working at the dining room table and Ian still in his robe.  I am not a morning person, so all of that industriousness that early in the day kind of threw me for a loop.  Or maybe I just need to review how to read a clock.  Either way book production continues!  (Maybe I should just laminate my novels and bind them at Kinko’s too.  Because that looks professional!)

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