Guest blogger: Mrs. A on the development of “Play, Pop, Play”

Several people have asked Mrs. K and me questions regarding our most recent book, Play Pop Play.  As the illustrator at, and the person who developed the idea for the book, let me tell you how it came about.

Where did the idea come from?

"Play, Pop, Play" book app cover

Our third most recent book app, “Play, Pop, Play” is at .

My husband, Paul, and I have three grandsons.  Our oldest just turned three.  Whenever we get together, the first thing he does is take Papa by the hand, dragging him from place to place.  “C’mon Papa.  Let’s play tent.”  “Let’s play cars.”  “Let’s look at bugs!”  Last Christmas, he and his Papa sat together in a tiny little tent, in the corner of the dining room and hid from the rest of us. As I watched a six foot two grandpa and a two-year-old squeezed into a tiny tent, the story line began to form.

Do the characters in the story look like real people?

"Pop" Paul and grandsonYes.  If you know my husband, Paul, you will certainly recognize him in the book. He is tall, follicly challenged, and has a mustache and glasses.  Tom, the little boy in the story, is just like our little grandson—blond, impulsive and go, go, go!

You are the artist?

Yes. I do the illustrations, and my sister, Mrs. K, does the text.  We live in different states and communicate via computer.  I scan the sketches into the computer, email them to Mrs. K and we begin a dialogue.  Eventually the drawings get more developed and detailed, and we decide on a beginning, middle and ending.  Then the art and the words come together, and with the help of Mrs. K’s husband who finagles art and words onto a single page, and our App-man, Mrs. K’s son, the app appears on line.

How much time does it take from start to finish?

I like to have a lot of ideas simmering at the same time.  I keep a separate sketch book for each book idea and add to the books as the ideas surface.  I guess it is sort of like reading several books at the same time.  It’s nice to go back and forth. At any time, I might have three or four projects going at once.  For this particular book, the idea was conceived in December.  On a long car ride from NY to NC, I made lots of rough sketches and listed ideas.  (No, I was not driving.)  I then let it go for a while, conferred with Mrs. K, and after a period of time, looked at my sketches again with a fresh perspective.  I scanned more detailed sketches to Mrs. K, and she began work on the words.  More time elapsed before I began the final artwork.  By then it was May.  The app appeared in the Apple store in June.  But meanwhile, three more books are in various stages of readiness!

Are you satisfied with your work?

Never!  But I am thrilled to be doing what I am doing.  I’m always trying to improve my work and it is great being part of!

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