This past Thursday’s PW Children’s Bookshelf included the news that I’ve got another new picture book on the way: Book or Bell, to be illustrated by Ashley Spires and scheduled to be published by Bloomsbury in spring 2017.
I bet whoever assembled that issue of the PW newsletter got a little chuckle out of how my author photo and Ashley’s illustrator photo fit together:
It looks like I was mooning on one side of a wall and Ashley on the other, each of us thinking, “If only there were someone nearby that I could collaborate with on a picture book.”
That origin story for this project would have been a lot simpler than how things actually came about, which involves a YA nonfiction project that fell apart after the contract was signed and an entirely unrelated (or so I thought) picture book manuscript with a first draft that I saved on leap day in 2008.
It’s bonkers, really, but also sweet — sort of like the tale we tell in Book or Bell, about a schoolboy’s disruptive refusal to put down a captivating book, the outlandish means that the authorities resort to as they try to restore order, and the teacher who understands what’s really going on.
I can’t wait for you to be able to pick this book up. Maybe you’ll even refuse to put it down.