It's Birthday Time, Jake

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.   


Return from IT'S BIRTHDAY TIME, JAKE  to BOOKS BY SAMANTHA BELL


Drawing Course from Artist Nolan Clark