February 23, 2011

Beer is Zo Moe!

No, we're not starting the morning off with questionable beverages!  This is about a picture book :)

Or it will be, as soon as a little business is out of the way.  I have to start by confessing to my lie.  It was actually kind of a double lie: although I don't eat a lot of meat, I am not a vegetarian, and although I will do it when occasion dictates, I do not enjoy public speaking of any kind, not just about vegetarianism :)  Congrats to those who guessed!

So, about that picture book....

Although blond hair and blue eyes may be a tip-off to my Friesian heritage, I do not, in fact, speak Dutch.  So it may come as a surprise that I'm going to have a book published in The Netherlands this coming spring - in Dutch!  And it's not a book that was originally published in English and translated.  It's a first edition.  The title is Beer is Zo Moe! (or, for our English speaking audience, Bear Is So Tired!) and it is due out in May 2011 from Veltman Uitgevers.

How, you may ask, did I pull this one off?  Well, I'll tell you...

Nicole Rutten, the exceptionally talented illustrator of Not Yet Rose, was invited by a Dutch publisher who admired her work to submit a book.  It had to have both story and art, however, and she does not write.  So she asked me if I could provide the story.  I did, she translated it into Dutch, the publisher loved it, and the rest is history - or, maybe history-in-the-making since the book isn't actually out yet.

Putting a picture book together is a surprisingly long process.  (Those of you who write picture books already know this!)  I have had manuscripts sit on an editor's desk for as long as two years before she decides if she wants it or not.  Once the decision is made, you're still looking at anywhere from a year and half (if everything goes smoothly) to upwards of 4 years before your book is actually available for purchase.

Beer is Zo Moe! has actually come along very quickly.  From submission to publication (assuming it's released on time) it will have taken just about a year.  We are currently deciding on a cover.  This is the one we probably won't use, but it's fun to see anyway:

Want to see some more?  Well, okay.  You've twisted my arm :)  One more...

How cute is Little Bear?!

The story includes back matter about bears - The Bear Facts :) - so it has a useful educational component as well!

So how fun it that I can't read my own story?  It's pretty entertaining to try, though :)  Need a little amusement to break up your work day?  Try clicking on the bottom photo so it enlarges and see if you can read the story aloud!  Let me know how you make out!


  1. This looks wonderful! Congratulations on a fantastic book :)

  2. Thank you, Jess! And Joanna, I have no idea if those are real words or made up ones :) but thanks for the congrats!

  3. Such a cool process, but I had no clue it could take up to 4 years! And I thought 'word' books took forever ... :0)

  4. Congrats!

    Hahaha I will not try. Not because I can't but because I know I can. My language is descended from dutch, so they are close enough for me to understand.

    I.e. The word for bear is identical, zo is spelt so, moe is spelt moeg.

    Easy. ;-)

  5. E.J. - yes, it's a long process - not always great for the impatient :)

    Misha - what language do you speak?

  6. That is SUPER awesome, Susanna! I love it! I can read your name on that sample cover, so that counts for something!

  7. Excellent point, Megan! Thank you for pointing that out :)

  8. Congrats! That is so cool! I hope you get a copy of the cover to hang in your home office!

  9. I am guessing Misha must speak Afrikaans ;)

  10. That was my guess, too, Joanna, but I wondered...

  11. Yes, that little bear is absolutely adorable!!! Very talented illustrator. :)

    What a fun process for you...especially as it seems to be moving so quickly. Looks like a delightful book.


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