The Journey to Bookhood

As Moonflower and the Solstice Dance came to life, I kept funders informed about the process of creating it.  I shared these through Kickstarter’s own platform, but I’ve consolidated some of those posts here, so you can get a feeling for the interesting, frustrating, and time consuming process: Continue reading


Every time I see one of Solongo’s final paintings, I am reminded of why I wanted her to illustrate this book.  I love her sketches and color sketches.  But then when the final paintings come in, I’m blown away every time.  Here are some sneak peaks from the first two interior illustrations.  Some of the images are of the warm summer, and others are of cool air creeping into a fall landscape.  Let me know what you think!

Copyright 2015 Solongo Drini
Copyright 2015 Solongo Drini
2 - 1
Copyright 2015 Solongo Drini
3 - 1
Copyright 2015 Solongo Drini
Copyright 2015 Solongo Drini
Copyright 2015 Solongo Drini

April is National Poetry Month

My book is a story told in rhyming verse, and April is National Poetry Month; now’s a good time to think about poetry and how it helps children learn about language!

Read this article from PBS about why poetry is great for children (even babies!):

April is National Poetry Month!
April is National Poetry Month!

Children’s illustrated books of poetry were reviewed in the New York Times this month:

The Washington Post has some recommendations, too:

All four versions of my book are poetry – let’s not forget the important and beautiful world of rhyme!

The Kickstarter site is live!!!

© Illustration by Solongo Drini 2015

I am excited to announce that Solongo has finished the gorgeous cover of Moonflower and the Solstice Dance, and the Kickstarter crowd funding site is live!  Please visit the site at

and let me know what you think! You can leave comments here on the blog, or you can leave comments on the Kickstarter site.  Here’s the cover – I had high expectations, and it’s still managed to exceed them.  I hope you all feel the same!

Project updates, March 6th, 2015

A quilled illustration I originally created for the book.  Solongo's paintings are 1000x better.
A quilled illustration I originally created for the book. Solongo’s paintings are 1000x better.
  • English text is final
  • German translation is final
  • Turkish translation is almost complete
  • Swedish translation is underway, with completion expected in about a week
  • Cover design is complete, is being painted now
  • Kickstarter project site is ready and just waiting for the front cover image and a few bios before it can be made live
  • Book layout has been organized
  • Interior illustration ideas are being discussed

I welcome comments and suggestions on how to get the word out about the Kickstarter campaign!

Real translation isn’t done by Google….

Google Translate is a handy tool that I use quite often to help me quickly understand correspondence such as e-mails from our sons’ school.  Its translations are direct, rough, never more than partially accurate, and often hilarious.  It cannot translate books, and certainly not poetry. This book(tentatively titled Moonflower and the Solstice Dance)  is written entirely in verse, which is exceptionally difficult to translate.  Rhyme makes it difficult to translate word for word, and so it is meaning that must be translated and rhyming attempted.  Word order cannot be maintained, and vocabulary must often change.  But a great translator can maintain the imagery, feeling, and rhythm of a poem. I am so lucky to have a friend who is a talented English-German translator!  I was already lucky to call Continue reading