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SKELETON CAT! It's never too late to live your dreams!

Skeleton Cat is a cool dude who has wasted his nine lives, and after being struck by lightning, gets one more chance to "get it right."  So he goes out into the living world to audition as a drummer in a rock 'n roll band.  No bones about it, it's never too late to live your dreams!

This book will be released in paperback, meaning it will be half the cost of a regular picture book.  With all the rhythm, rhyme, and repetition to make reading a rollickin' romp!  When I visit schools, everybody squeals for Skeleton Cat.  It's a kid-favorite.  Look for it in July.  Enjoy!

Skeleton Cat Rises from the Dirt THIS JULY!

A MIDDLE-CHILD BLUES REVOLUTION!

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These kids have their own style for reading THE MIDDLE-CHILD BLUES. How will YOU (or your child) read it? Send me a YouTube clip and your address and I'll send your child a signed copy of one of my books! My email address is kristyncrowbooks@gmail.com. Let the REVOLUTION begin! Oh, yeah.




PB PROJECT X - The Balance of Text and Art

So PB PROJECT X keeps getting more and more interesting.
After receiving the pdf dummy, I followed in my agent's footsteps and printed up the book on my home printer. I cut out the pages, folded them and pasted them into a tiny booklet. "COOL!" my kids said.

And then something happened.

I opened the book as if I were reading it to a child, and began flipping through the pages. I discovered, to my horror, that my text was not working. In my effort to create this different-sort-of-book I had pared away too much text. Now, it's true that a picture book can have practically no text. I mean, hey, Paul Fleischman, the creator of SIDEWALK CIRCUS (Kevin Hawkes illustrated it) invented a story concept with almost no words. Interesting that you can be the author of a book without using words, and without being the illustrator. He had done it well.

But as I flipped through the pages I realized that my book had worked in manuscript form because my illustration notes were …

CRASH TEST DUMMY

So, my illustrator partner-in-crime delivered the pdf book "dummy" for PB PROJECT X. I must say, it's awesome. I can't believe the visual puzzle that was constructed. Such amazing talent!

Studying the text with the illustrations has got me wondering, though, if I still need to make a few tweaks to improve the story.

My agent called and said she loved the art. However, she wants to print the dummy and cut it out, paste it together and turn the pages to really get the feel of the book and how it functions. She says after she does this she'll call me to discuss it.

Wow. I can't believe what an undertaking this has been. I've been working on this manuscript feverishly since January - nine months, and yet it still isn't "born." In fact, I wrote the original manuscript a year or so prior to that, smiled at the strangeness of the idea and put it away. Then I found it again while cleaning up some files and started to work on it anew. …

PB PROJECT X - The Concept Art Arrived (No peeking yet)

So, my secret and gifted illustrator forwarded me some concept art for PB PROJECT X. Amaaaaaazing! It's so refreshing to have the ability to work together with the artist in the early stages.

Tomorrow I'll get to see a pdf dummy of the book in sketches, a finished spread, and a page of thumbnails. Yippeee! Then I'll forward all the art to my agent for her input. From what I've seen so far, I think she'll be very pleased...and hopefully as excited as I am. Of course, she tends to be guarded. She's suspicious of this market and what editors will acquire. But she actually agreed that getting this laid out visually would help demonstrate how the book would work.

Will editors shun the project because I've taken away their choice of an illustrator (definitely a fun privilege, as I'm learning)? I have no idea.

I'm also not sure how we'll decide who to pitch this to. The illustrator's prior editors? Mine? Several at once and see who bi…

Shhhhh...... PB PROJECT X

In this crazy world where picture books are often unappreciated, floating around in a dismal market of suspicious, pessimistic buyers, an author must get a little creative in shopping new manuscripts to editors.

And so…I have been working on an underground scheme to construct a picture book that is hopefully different, innovative, and, well, fun.

I am breaking the rules with this book. At least you could say I’m breaking away from my own tendencies and testing new waters. For the purposes of this blog, I will call this undertaking….drumroll please… PB PROJECT X.

PB PROJECT X will not rhyme, as my other books do. Nothing wrong with rhyme, but I’m throwing away my comfortable and worn old slippers. The text is sparse. The illustration notes are complex. Sigh. It’s cold, standing on the tile barefoot. But it’s a little exhilarating, too.

PB PROJECT X has a strange layout. I’ve written the manuscript in table format like a flattened-out rubix cube. And this time I’ve approached an…