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A New Book, and a Love of Squiggles

Dot, Stripe, Squiggle has been released! I am so thrilled that my first board book is now out in the world, ready for children and families to enjoy. And I thought, as my blog readers, that you might like a little bit of insight into the creation of the book...

Board books have to stand the test of multiple (perhaps endless?) readings, and are best when they provide as much entertainment for the reader as they do the children. While the text of this board book is very simple, it is carefully crafted for both engagement with the illustrations (gorgeous ocean wildlife portraits by Miriam Nerlove!) and the opportunity for giggles.

When I write any book, I pick one thing that is the most important thing to me in the manuscript. That thing is my touchstone, and it makes the book my book. I will not change it. I hold that one thing steady, and submit everything else to the whims of the editorial process. While creating this book, my one thing to hold was the word... the splendiferous word... squiggle.

I love the word squiggle. It has a rise and fall in its cadence that is positively delightful. It's a squirmy word, a tickling word, a laughing word. In Dot, Stripe, Squiggle, I hope that it is a word that will prompt joyous read-aloud moments-- the kinds of moments that become memories of frivolity readers can delight in years later. I hope that the act of saying the word squiggle will be fun, and stay fun through repetition after repetition. I think that it will.

Writing a board book is an exercise in precision. Each word must be exactly right, because there is no room on the page to recover from a fumble. So, it's possible that I put too many expectations on a single word... but, I don't think so. I've seen this book read aloud many times, and every single time readers got silly once squiggle came into play. I think it is a word that you can't say somberly... and that makes it perfect to me.

I hope you'll seek out a copy of Dot, Stripe, Squiggle by requesting it from your local library or ordering it from a bookstore, so that you can experience the magic of the word squiggle for yourself. And, in the meantime, check out the preview of Dot, Stripe, Squiggle on the publisher's website by clicking here.

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