Oh my word there are SO MANY excellent books coming out! What an excellent time to be a reader.
Today I'm excited to welcome Marcie Colleen to the blog! Marcie is the author of the SUPER HAPPY PARTY BEARS series, along with LOVE, TRIANGLE (illustrated by Bob Shea) and PENGUINAUT! (illustrated by Emma Yarlett).
I spoke with Marcie on the Children's Book Podcast in January, 2017 about her writing (see Episode 320) and we had such a fun chat! When Marcie told me she was working on a book with Alison Oliver I was so excited! Alison is the author illustrator of MOON and she illustrated the BabyLit board book series by Jennifer Adams. Alison and I talked about her gorgeous graphic designing, patterning, and coloring in Episode 194 of the podcast.
Super exciting to see these two come together!
I invited Marcie to finish my sentences. After reading her responses, scroll down for a look at the cover.
MARCIE FINISHES MY SENTENCES:
The idea for THE BEAR'S GARDEN came from... a garden in my former neighborhood in Brooklyn, called The Brooklyn Bears Community Garden. I found that quizzical. I mean, do bears roam around Brooklyn? I soon learned that the garden was named after a stuffed bear who was found in the weeds when workers began to transform the lot. Immediately I wondered “where did the bear come from?” This purely-fictional book attempts to whimsically answer that question.
In the story... a little girl sees an empty lot in her city and imagines what it can be. With the help of her stuffed bear, the girl brings her community together to create a beautiful garden.
One thing I love about Alison Oliver's illustrations in the story... is how she subtly changes her color palette as the garden grows. The story opens in shades of greys and blues yet moves to popping color as blossoms burst and the community flourishes.
Something I hope the readers will take away from the story is... that beauty is everywhere. As in the story, anywhere can be “a place to grow, a place to play, and a place to love” sometimes it just takes a little imagination and resourcefulness.
Gardens are... perfect intersections of nature and humankind—especially urban community gardens. They are gathering places overflowing with and surrounded by all sorts of life. Pure symbiosis.
And just like that we have a COVER!
This cover is so quiet. Do you know what I mean? Those light clouds in the sky. The closed eyes, smelling the dandelions. The figures feel still. And yet if you look close you can see movement in the leaves in the foreground.
Sometimes a book's case cover (the hard cover of a book) has different art from it's jacket (the removable cover). Marcie and Alison shared a peak of the case cover for you to enjoy.
I'm looking forward to sharing this one with my own readers this March!
Thanks for sharing, Marcie! And thanks, Imprint!
THE BEAR'S GARDEN will publish in March, 2020 from Imprint.