Jellybean and I have been enjoying the success of the three children’s picture books I have written since retiring from the public school system. These books star none other than Jellybean, my own diva dog extraordinaire. The trilogy highlights Jellybean’s playful and rambunctious personality through simple story lines suitable for the young crowd. Thirty five years working with children, ages three to six, made it a rather predictable genre for me to choose. Having a puppy with such a big personality made for some great story lines. I guess you could say it was a match made in heaven. Naughty Little Puppy, The Perfect Hiding Place, and Sloppy Kisses are simple, predictable and easy to read books that portray positive messages such as unconditional love, problem solving, and perseverance.
I thought the trilogy was it. Three is a nice number. The books bring opportunities for some Amazon sales and many author visits to local schools, libraries and community events. Sharing my stories and seeing children react with laughter at Jellybean’s antics or by recognizing repetitive patterns in the stories that encourage audience participation, brings more joy than you can imagine. Having the real life character right in the classroom as the stories are being read is a big deal to young children who are just beginning to understand the concepts of print, characters in the story, parts of a book, and the role that the author and illustrator play in creating the book. I have truly been blessed to have this opportunity. Like I said, I was happy with three stories, until one day I was standing in front of Jellybean’s closet and thought, “Oh, this is a story just waiting to happen.”
You’ve heard about Jellybean’s closet in previous blogs. I should be embarrassed at the amount of doggy apparel that Jellybean’s perfectly organized closet is able to hold. But I’m not. I’m happy she is such a good sport when it comes to showcasing the latest canine fashion trends and that I am able to keep her in such adorable doggy attire. You have to admit she wears it well, right down to the fashionable swimsuit she is modeling in the photo at the top of the blog. This photo was snapped when Jellybean was taking a break from water play on the deck with her best bud. I am fortunate that my very talented illustrator is on board as well. As a matter of fact, I just finished texting lots of pics to her of Jellybean’s infamous closet and the outfits that will be highlighted in the new book appropriately titled, Jellybean’s Closet. It is such an exciting time! Over the next months, I will be anxiously awaiting to see Shana’s sketches as she expertly uses her watercolor pencils to make her drawings come to life! Children can expect to see Jellybean wearing outfits that are a perfect match for the weather during a week in the life of my precocious little pup. Goodbye Jellybean’s trilogy! See you soon Jellybean’s quadrilogy, tetralogy, or would it be quartet? Book number four, here we come!
Beverly Stiffler Smith