The Squirrels Stole my Picture Book!

My sister and I at our high school graduation.
My sister Lori and I at our high school graduation.

Who doesn’t love squirrels?

Apparently Aesop. I spent 45 minutes looking for a fable about squirrels to tie into my new and exciting squirrel picture book. Yes, I said “new and exciting squirrel picture book!” Here’s the news:

When Squirrels Stole My Sister, written by Catherine Austen and illustrated by To Be Determined, will be published by Fitzhenry and Whiteside in Spring 2015. Hurrah!

I get to feel that magic again of handing off a few pages of text and getting back a work of art. Ooh, I can’t wait.

A squirrel fable would have been a nice intro to this news but, alas, I could not find one. Monkeys, mice, and hares aplenty. But no squirrels.

So I looked for a fable with a moral of, “Sometimes if you wait around doing nothing, it all works out.” But again, no luck. That is not a message Aesop is known for. (Waiting around doing nothing didn’t work out so well for slaves in ancient Greece.) So I have no fable this Friday.

But I do have a NEW AND EXCITING SQUIRREL PICTURE BOOK on the go! And that’s better than a fable.

My sister Sharon and I several decades later.
My sister Sharon and I several decades later.

No, the book is not about waiting around doing nothing – didn’t you notice the exciting sister-stealing title? It’s just that things worked out without much effort on my part, so a fable to that effect would do nicely.

I submitted the manuscript ages ago to a lovely editor who loved the story but wasn’t able to take it on just then. Being disorganized and loathe to market my work, I left it hanging, hoping the timing might improve and — hah! what do you know? — it did. Go figure, Aesop. (Me and the singing grasshopper are having a party at my place, no ants allowed.)

The mama squirrel who lived in my maple for 3 happy years.
The mama squirrel who lived in my maple for 3 happy years.

But who needs fables when you have based-on-a-true-story picture books? Yes, When Squirrels Stole my Sister is a true story. Sort of. Pretty much. “Inspired by,” anyway. Was one of my sisters stolen by squirrels in younger years? I’m not telling. Not yet.

You can expect a lot more squirrel stuff on this blog between now and the publication date. I love an excuse to go squirrel crazy. For now, check out my “Peanut Adventure” on Youtube — it’s a 2-minute video I made last year, in thanks to the Eastern gray squirrel who inspired the book. (Yeah, that’s me talking baby-talk to the wildlife in the background. Just ignore me and focus on the beautiful blue jays.)

That’s all for this Friday. Have a great weekend.

4 Comments on “The Squirrels Stole my Picture Book!

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