It’s Birthday Time, Jake is the first book I both authored and illustrated. It was also my first book project from many years ago, and after lots of revisions, it was finally published in 2010.
After I had been out of college for about a year, I decided to take a graduate cl*** to keep up my teaching certification. The cl*** was children’s literature, and it was my re-introduction back into the world of children’s books. I loved the cl***; loved reading the books, and loved coming up with lesson plans based on books. As I was looking through some of the picture books, I thought, I could do that. Little did I know that how much time, work, and skill it requires!
It’s Birthday Time, Jake was originally Stay Awake, Jake. Guess I liked how the words “awake” and “Jake” rhymed. :) I checked out books from the library about how to create a book dummy and send in a submission. Those were the pre-Internet days (at least for us), so everything was done “by the book” (literally!).
Unbelievably, the third publishing company I sent it to gave me a positive response! One of the ***ociate editors recommended a few changes and encouraged me to re-submit. I pulled it all together and sent it in again. In the meantime, I was able to contact an illustrator who gave me some valuable tips.
Then…I received my second response. And sadly, it was a “no.” The editor who sent the letter informed me that the other editor who liked the story had left the publishing house. *Sigh*.
But that was okay. I continued to work on the characters, painting them in watercolor. A number of years later, I began submitting the story again, and it was a thrill when Guardian Angel Publishing decided to bring Jake the Hedgehog into print. The illustrations for the final book were done in watercolor and ink.
It’s Birthday Time, Jake is a fun story for little ones. There’s a clock on every page, so readers can tell just what time it is. Jake’s little mouse friend appears on each page as well.