I’d like to share with you the story behind the story….
four years ago when my children were still very little, we received some heartbreaking news. Grandma in Japan, was diagnosed with cancer and was given two weeks to live. In a matter of a week we had rid ourselves of all our belongings and made the move to Japan. A two month old and a four year old in tow.
What was one of the most difficult decisions in our lives turned out to be one of the greatest blessings. Grandmother lived not for two weeks but for two years! Grandma put up a great fight and always did so while giving her granddaughters her very best. Her time and her love.
My oldest daughter would often sit at the foot of grandma’s hospital bed and drew while Grandma slept. When grandma would wake up she was eager to show Grandma her funny pictures. They bonded this way. Grandma was also a very creative person, who loved design, decor and even doodling manga characters!
Art has the amazing power to lighten up a difficult situation. Art is multilingual and ageless. Grandma and granddaughter created doodles but most importantly they created memories.
This book “Yumi’s extraordinary collection” tries to capture that. The importance of holding on to memories not things.
It took me one year to write this story, draft after draft and with the help of several amazing writers and editors. When the final draft was completed I couldn’t think of a better person to illustrate this book other than Catherine Toennisson, whose love of art and naturally good-hearted personality brings innocence to her work.
We are about half way done with this book, we are trying to be as detailed as possible. Meeting most publishing industry standards and breaking some rules along the way.
This illustration is Yumi going to visit her Grandma in the hospital, as you can see art follows her wherever she goes. She is creating a trail of beauty wherever she walks-
Also, I’m very sorry faithful blog for leaving you for over a year! I was busy figuring out a balance between what I love (writing picture books) and who I love (my beautiful and growing girls).by