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Danette and Her Love for Picture Books

by Danette Byatt 3 months ago in family

What’s a great way to destress while spreading love? Creating children’s picture books!

Danette was having a very bad day. Awful, in fact. Nothing seemed to be going her way. She was so glum that she decided: enough is enough! She needed to get up off her bum. And make something! So she first put on her thinking cap that had magical powers. It transported her back in time to when she was a kid. She saw her younger self gushing over picture books. She thought: I know! I’ll make a picture book! Danette was a natural born storyteller.

First, she needed to write the story. But what to write about? There were so many choices: dragons, spaceships, fairies, and more! Her head spun with too many options. Then she decided on love. Because love is love, and Danette was in love with love! Who wasn’t?! Before she knew it, the words spilled onto the page. Just over 600 words, a perfect amount for a picture book. In her story, poor Cupid wasn’t able to aim on Valentine’s Day. And accidentally made all sorts of silly love connections. But not to worry! Danette believed in happy endings.

Second, she needed to plan out the pages. So she separated the words into chunks to see where they’d land. 32-pages plus cover equaled pure delight! She sketched rough thumbnails and arranged the pages, until she felt that she got it just right. Then it was time to meet her characters! Danette drew Cupid and his sidekick Pegasus over and over until they leapt off the page. They were ready to take action! Ready, set, let’s make the world a more loving place.

Last, came final artwork. She created the outlines with a textured pencil brush. Then came the colourful part! Danette played with palettes, and mixed and matched and mused until she settled on one. Her final scheme tickled her senses. Perfect! Then she set-up her files in Photoshop and chose a gouache brush to get started. She painted on layer after layer with her Apple Pencil wizard wand and tablet. When that looked good, she added in additional scanned-in watercolour textures. To add depth and volume, of course! Then went page after page until she completed her masterpiece. Danette stood back and admired her book about love. And she loved it!

But, then her heart sank. She thought: What good is my picture book if it’s only for my sake? Danette needed to share the love, not keep it to herself. After all, love is meant to be shared! So she researched literary agents who could help her sell it. Multiple agents were interested and after much thought, Danette settled on the perfect one. Her name was Adria and was even known in the literary kingdom as the Fairy Godmother! Danette knew that Adria would help her spread her message of love. And delight children everywhere with her story!

So Adria took Danette’s book out on submission with publishers. She sent it to the editors she thought would most be interested. Far and wide Danette’s book on love hit editor’s inboxes. But the thing about editors is that they’re very busy people. Some of the busiest people around! It’s no wonder, with having many brilliant books hit their desks on a daily basis. So hearing back with an offer would take a while. Danette waited. And waited. And waited some more.

The waiting got too much for Danette to handle. She was so glum that she decided: enough is enough! She needed to get up off her bum. And make something! So she first put on her thinking cap that had magical powers. Then went back to the past filled with picture books. She thought: I know! I’ll make another picture book! Danette was in love with that idea.


Danette Byatt

Danette Byatt is a Canadian writer, storyteller and creator.

Plus she's a real smarty pants. So there.

Her favourite stories contain uplifting messages of hope, love, and inclusivity.

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Danette Byatt
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