Once upon a time, an author wrote of a smile in the dark.
Taking her father’s great hand in her tiny fingers, Laraspur led him to her bed and urgently bade him lay his head on her pillow. […] “Now look!” she said, pointing toward her bedroom window. “Do you see it, Papa? The scary smiling thing? What is it?”
“That?” Edgwyn aimed his gaze as directed and had to quiet a laugh. “Dear heart, that’s only the moon!”
‘Twas but the beginning of a novella-length tale of a large-hearted girl and her quest for the sky, and inspired a number of related art projects from the author – including various drawings, a pretty little song and, one day very recently, an idea for a picture book.
Mind you, as far as the picture book the author envisioned, her own illustration skills left much to be desired. Thus did she turn to an old Renaissance Faire friend whose fine drawings had paired with other of the author’s works before, inviting her to collaborate on a new masterpiece.
And that author – *solemn nods* – was me.
That friend was artist and illustrator Hannah Vale.
And the picture book in the works as we speak is to be called “The Princess and the Moon”.
This is my first-ever effort to make an honest-to-goodness, for-real-and-for-sale picture book (though Hannah has some experience in the area), and I am VERY MUCH EXCITED!
Behold, the back-cover book description:
When a young girl is startled awake by a singular light in the sky, her father spins her a tale made of sunbeams and stardust – the tale of a remarkable princess and the two opposite hearts that loved her. Adapted from “The Sun’s Rival”, Book Five of The Wilderhark Tales novellas by author Danielle E. Shipley, and illustrated by artist Hannah Vale (“The Tale of the Two Royal Sisters”), “The Princess and the Moon” is sure to charm readers young and old, both by day and by night.
Behold also, the GoFundMe I’ve started to help cover the project’s expenses. (Because quality illustrations cost quantity cash, amigos!)
– Donors of any amount will receive a special thank-you illustration by Hannah Vale.
– Donors of $10 or more will receive one (1) copy of the finished picture book, to have and to hold, to read and to cherish.
– Donors of $30 or more will receive a copy of the book autographed by yours truly.
– Donors of $50 or more will receive book + autograph + a limited edition “The Princess and the Moon” promotional bookmark.
– Donors of $100 or more will receive book + autograph + bookmark + an “I See You” sticker from my Society6 shop (because see you, I do!).
So donate and follow along on the GoFundMe to stay updated on what your dollars are helping to bring into the world! Spread the word to all your picture-book-lovingest friends! And I, for one, shall strive not to bust from anticipation before I’m able to read “The Princess and the Moon” to my beloved baby nephew. ^o^
Excited to see the heart of “The Sun’s Rival” in an all-new format? Have any favorite childhood story book memories to share? Think any other bits from Deshipley canon would make a worthy picture book? Tell all in the comments!