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Unveiling the Creative Process Behind the Making of "Are We There Yet" - A Counting Adventure

Updated: 5 hours ago

This is a long overdue post and I am really excited to finally share with you, in a nutshell, the creation of my first hopefully not last board book. It is the first book I have written and illustrated myself. Well, to be honest it is definitely NOT text heavy, so there's not so much to brag about the story part but I am proud of the illustrations and the fun I had in the making.

Now, where did the idea come from? When I share stories in the library, especially personal narratives with my students I often highlight that most of the stories are inspired by somebody or something the author loves and cares deeply about. The case with this simple counting book was no different. 

It was inspired by a number of things I love and care about like my baby boy, flowers, whales, seashells and art. I have to mention though that the idea was triggered by something I don't enjoy much, and that was the daily commute to the daycare and back. While the toddler was quite patient and well behaved on the train most of the days, there were days when you feel the whole world is watching you only. This is when you think of all the possible creative ways to entertain your child and calm him/her down so that people can get back to looking at their mobile phones.  One of the myriad activities I did was counting whatever came to hand. And that is how the title, "Are We There Yet?" came to be. Then everything else came naturally together: the whales, the seashells, the flowers, and the title was extended to  " Under the Sea Counting Book". It's amazing how some ideas come when you are in a crisis (laughing). 

It all went smoothly from there: the planning, jotting down ideas, cutting out and painting whales followed by a visit to the flower market. The purpose of the visit was to take pictures of flowers in order to map out the characters, meaning to find what flowers look like under the sea creatures. When you work with natural materials such as flowers you need to have a good plan ahead of time and then work fast because they turn droopy. 

Quite often the ideas evolve while creating. In the process of crafting the sea life characters, I thought that it might be a good idea to collaborate with the toddler in the making of the numbers. That was quite an experience and what a great memory!  The best part of it though was when I REALISED that for number 6 we added five finger prints instead of six:). Thank Goodness for the digital tools!

This simple counting board book was made with lots of love and laughter!

I hope you enjoy the sneak peaks. 


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