The Great Sea Monster
Berthe Amoss ~ Parents' Magazine Press, 1975
Like most parents, I have a whole bag full of hopes and dreams for my son. My wish list is long and includes all sorts of fabulous occupations like ornotholgist, engineer, architect, movie director, NPR correspondent. And I'd be lying if I didn't tell you children's book author wasn't somewhere at the top of that list. So, as you can imagine, I love books for children about, well, making books. My son's been through several copies of this one, perhaps the easiest and most concise reader on how a book is created and how you, friends, can make one just like it. The opening line...
When I begin to make a book, I doodle a little
because I am an artist. You are too.
Talk about empowering a child right off the bat! Art should be so accessible for all, and making a children's book should be something that is as open and easy as folding a few pieces of paper and having at it.
In my book, I start with my hero.
Then I spend a page or two telling about him...
where he lives and what he likes to do. But pretty soon, if something doesn't happen, it gets boring. You know books where nothing happens, don't you? What do you do when you are reading one of those? (So do I!)
So I make something happen because I want people to keep reading my book.
As the book moves on page by page, Berthe tells a story all the while explaining what she's doing and how easy it is to make your own.
Amoss' stories have always held an innocent awe for me. For her, storytelling is the thing and she keeps her books moving along with swiftness and adorable smiling fish, many of them taking place in or around her beloved hometown of New Orleans.
I also find it interesting that the bulk of her time now is spent making advent calenders for the National Gallery of Art and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Tomorrow I'll share with you some pages of another house fave of hers, Old Hasdrubal and the Pirates.
As far as future careers go, ultimately, I just want my son to be happy. I'm constantly telling him that once he settles on the one thing he loves most, my husband and I help him find a way to spend the rest of his life doing that thing... be it garbage man or rocket scientist. But you can't fault me for dreaming a little.
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