A Bear Sat on my Porch Today

I live in New England where there are bears, raccoons, bobcats, skunks, rabbits, deer, turkeys, bluejays, coyotes, opossum, chipmunks, squirrels—a regular Wild Animal Sow in our back yard on a regular basis. So when my oldest granddaughter who was house sitting for me one summer, sent me an email that read in part: “I didn’t see it but the neighbors told me a bear sat on your porch today and wouldn’t go away,” I wasn’t entirely surprised. But I did write back and say that she had just handed me a picture book idea! The book is dedicated to her.

The editor, Christopher Francescelli whose Handprint Books is distributed by Chronicle Books, wanted a New England illustrator on the project. We have hundreds of grand illustrators in New England. We even have over 40 well-known and award-winning illustrators in my little valley in Western Mass. I snt Christopher all their names. And after three years, he found Rilla Alexander in Portland on the Coast. No, not Portland, Maine. Portland, Oregon. (Wrong coast! But perfect illustrator.)

When I got meet illustrator Rilla Alexander for the first time—at the launch party for the book at the Eric Carle Museum (and the party for my 365th book!) I saw she was wearing the exact color of red in our book. She told me that she loved that color. And I said, “I will write a book for you called “Rilla Loves Red.” And a few weeks later when I sent it to her she wrote back saying, “I think I’ve waited for this manuscript all my life.” We are hoping it will be our next book together. Even if the Title gets changed. Watch this space!

Around the web:

What reviewers have said:

  • “It’s so fantastic…sure to be a new storytime favorite!” — Imagination Soup