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Site Design and Illustrations by Lorian Tu-Dean (c) 2016

First Look at CAVEKID BIRTHDAY by Cathy Breisacher and Roland Garrigue

September 13, 2018


I am so excited to welcome author Cathy Breisacher to the blog today to share the cover of her upcoming picture book, entitled CAVEKID BIRTHDAY


The book's description reads as follows:

For Caveboy and Cavegirl, gift giving during the Stone Age rocks!  After all, they are best friends and they share the same birthday.  As their big day approaches, Cavegirl trades her beloved tool collection for a special gift for Caveboy.  Meanwhile Caveboy trades his treasured rock collection for a special gift for Cavegirl.  When it's time to exchange presents, these two cavekids are in for one mammoth surprise. 


I invited Cathy to finish my sentences. After reading her responses, scroll down for a look at a few selected interior spreads from the story.




The idea for Cavekid Birthday came from... mashing ideas together. I’ve heard several writers talk about mashing ideas to come up with a story, so a few years ago I thought I’d give it a try. I spent time thinking about what kind of characters I wanted to write about: aliens, ninjas, robots, monsters, etc. Eventually I decided to write about Cavekids. I started thinking of several different story ideas for them. Every time I get a new story idea for a picture book, I let it marinate in my brain for a while before writing or typing anything. At one point, I decided to mash the Cavekids with Christmas and I started writing. It didn’t take long before the idea of doing a twist on the Gift of the Magi popped into my head. I have always loved O. Henry’s story about the husband and wife who each take their most treasured possession and sell it to buy a perfect gift for the other one. I really got excited thinking about what it would be like to take the premise of the Gift of the Magi and have it take place in prehistoric time with Cavekids. After many rounds of revision, the Christmas theme got changed to a Birthday, and the rest of the story flowed from there. I kept the Gift of the Magi theme, so each of the Cavekids ends up trading something they value in order to get the perfect birthday present for their friend. But, there is a twist in the end!


In the story... Caveboy and Cavegirl are best friends and do all kinds of cavekid activities together. They also share the same birthday! So, with their birthday approaching, each one decides to get something special for the other. They both have something valuable that they can take to Caveman’s Collectibles to trade, but when it’s time to exchange gifts, they are in for a big surprise. However, these Cavekids are resourceful, so they use their imagination and creativity to come up with a way to have a satisfying and very happy birthday.


One thing I hope readers will take from this story is... how much fun it can be to use your imagination and creativity when you play! Even more than the gift giving aspect, I love how Caveboy and Cavegirl use their imaginations when coming up with things to do. I have a makerspace in my school library and I like watching students use their creativity to make and build things. In my story, I hope readers will enjoy seeing how Caveboy and Cavegirl solve their “problem” by using their ingenuity, and finding clever and creative ways to play and enjoy time together.


The best birthday gifts... are something that comes from the heart. People enjoy giving and receiving birthday gifts. However, sometimes people buy a gift just for the sake of buying a gift, maybe out of obligation, or expectation, or just because it’s the thing to do. Sometimes, gift-giving can be stressful when we try to find the “perfect” gift for someone but don’t know quite what that may be. But when a gift comes with heart, both the giver and receiver know it, and the gift becomes something that is treasured. That kind of gift means something special to the person giving it as well as the person receiving it. It brings joy to both. Sometimes those “perfect” gifts are bought. Sometimes they are made. Sometimes they are a kind deed. And sometimes the best gift is time spent together.



And just like that we have a COVER!

Okay. Let's take a closer look at this cover.


Do you ever do that game of trying to guess what's inside your gift just by looking at the package? You feel how heavy it is. Maybe you turn the package around or upside down. You might even shake it a bit. I love that these gifts appear to be equally matched. I mean... I also love that it looks like fur prints have clearly been in vogue since the dawn of time. 


These two are smiling as they each approach the other. That feeling of satisfaction when you give someone a gift you really thought about. That's what I'm seeing here. And that right there is a theme that's serves as a great reminder to readers of all ages: finding joy in someone else's happiness.


There are a few preview images available for CAVEKID BIRTHDAY. Wanna see inside?







Thanks, Cathy! And thanks, Charlesbridge!


CAVEKID BIRTHDAY will publish in March of 2019 from Charlesbridge.

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