Sold Out! And City Dog, Country Frog

It’s true!

We’re sold out.

All 200 copies of the first edition of Leaf are gone.

That is the first miracle. The second miracle is that they were sold in a little over a month. I received them June 6th and the last once was spoken for on July 9th.

Since this is kind of like a limited edition print, I hope that one day this edition of Leaf will be worth a lot of money. That would be a perfect “thank you” for your generous support.


I’m starting a new category.

It’s called Books I Wish I’d Written.

I’ve always been fascinated by children’s picture books. When my sons were younger, I loved nothing more than spending a cozy hour snuggled together poring over a pile of books. Our weekly trips to the library (have I mentioned how much I love my library? Oh, yes, I believe I have) turned up many gems, the most precious of which I would put on a list to buy for our own collection.

I’ve become even more fascinated with picture books since I’ve decided to publish my own. The more I can learn from browsing the work of others, the better my own books will be. I particularly love the work done by those gifted individuals who write and illustrate their own books. Perhaps one day I will be able to stretch myself far enough to do that as well. (It’s good to always have something to strive for, right?)

This new Books I Wish I’d Written category also fits the mandate of Turtle Dreams (the business I’ve created to support my book writing obsession) which is to return childhood to the children. I believe that one very simple way we can do that is to turn off the television and snuggle up together and read.

While it’s true that there are many lovely books we could share with our children, they are not always as readily available as you might think. Case in point: when I checked out the children’s section of the brand new Indigo at the new mall that opened north of Calgary, I was disappointed to find only a handful of good picture books. The vast majority of the books there had movie and cartoon tie-ins. So, here I am, doing my part to rectify that.

 Let’s begin with City Dog, Country Frog by Mo Willems.

Three hundred and seventeen words. That’s all Mo Willems needed to tell this story. To put this in perspective, when those 317 words are not spread out over a 32 page book, it works out to about a page and a quarter of double spaced, 12 point type on an 8 ½ x 11 sheet of paper. If you have ever tried to tame an out-of-control manuscript, you will know that is a remarkable achievement to tell a story in so few words.

Mo Willems not only did it, but he did it beautifully.

Of course, it helps to work with an illustrator whose every brush stroke evokes the range of joyful and poignant moments that make up a special friendship. And Jon J. Muth does just that.

City Dog and Country Frog tells the story of an unlikely friendship that develops over the course of a year. Each season brings its own special moments while also mirroring the “seasons” of a life, from the joyful exuberance of childhood to the deep feelings of loss we experience when someone passes from our life. The story ends with a gentle reminder of the legacy our loving relationships bring to the world.

Willems’ spare text and Muth’s eloquent watercolors create a simple, yet profound, story about the cyclical nature of friendships and of life.

I dare you to read it and not be moved.

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