As a writer of picture books, I find the illustration process to be magical. I know my characters. I've spent months getting to know them, writing them into different situations, and thinking about how they would feel and react. When I sent my 482 words for Iver and Ellsworth out on submission, it felt like the time I put my daughter on the bus to Kindergarten. I remember seeing just the top of her little head through the windows as the bus drove away and feeling the pang of anticipation for all she would experience without me.
When my editor went off to find an illustrator, it required a similar leap of faith. Would this person understand my characters? How would he or she capture their essence? How would this illustrator bring my story to life?
Melissa Larson is the perfect choice to illustrate Iver and Ellsworth. I mean, look at Iver! He's perfect! Don't you want to talk to him? Don't you want him to make you a cup of tea? Doesn't he feel like someone who would listen to your tales, never once interrupting?
With each new illustration I see, I get to rediscover my characters all over again, but in a whole new way. What a gift!