For Our Young Readers

Creating a book is a lot of fun, but it is also a lot of work!

Step #1: We start with writing… What words to use? What kind of sentences to write? Is it going to be fun to read?

Step #2: We read the story to children and ask them what they like, and what they do not like about it. We do the same with teachers and parents. This is called “feedback”.

Step #3: Then we go back and write again before the writing goes to the editor. The editor is a person who checks the writing to make sure we have a story that we (and the children) really really like.

Step #4: Once the writing is complete, next comes the artwork. Do you like drawing? It takes work to draw one picture.

The word we use to describe artwork that is drawn to show the meaning of the text is “illustration”. The writer and the artist sit down to talk about what the story is about. Usually, the artist will start with drawing characters. We call these “character sketches”. Sometimes, characters can be based on real-life people or events. For example, Grady Bear is drawn after a real toy bear from Guernesy. Here’s a photograph of Grady Bear. (Grady is having a bit of fun with the writer’s glasses):

Grady w glasses

The writer will also talk to the artist about what text and what kind of picture will be for each page of the book. Here’s what a sketch of Grady and Deedee once looked like for one page:

Bored grady b&w

Step #5: After more discussions and feedback with the writer, the artist then draws in the details. Details include colours. Our artist used water colour paints for every picture in Grady’s First Day at School. See how pretty the page becomes!

Grady Bear Adventures

Step #6: After the drawing, we put the words and the drawings together nicely on the same page. This is called “layout design”. We use computers for layout. It makes our work faster and easier.

Bored grady w wordsStep #7: We repeat steps 4-6 over and over for every page of the book until the whole book is complete.

Do you know there are altogether 30 pages in Grady’s First Day of School? The artist and layout designer prepares not only the pages inside the book, but also for the cover and the inside cover of the page.

Step #8: When all the pages are done, we check all the work done, over and over again. We call this step “proofreading”. This step is important to make sure that there are no mistakes in our work.

Step #9: When all the checking is done, we send the book to the printers. At the printers, we choose the paper and the size we want for our book. The printer sends us a “dummy”, and we check again to make sure it is what we want.

Then the printing starts.

Step #10: And after weeks of waiting, the book is complete!