I’m still plodding along on the illustrations for my first children’s book. The illustrations are black and white with punches of color, a style chosen from several versions of the book by Thing2 (Thing2 has impeccable taste and almost no filter. If he says wear the blue dress, I pick the blue dress). I’m making a few changes from the original sketches, but for the most part, I’m happy with the outcome. I’ve also been a bit worried, leading to an unfinished book and multiple new projects.
I’ve also been trimming and trimming Truth about Trolls to make it the right length, to make sure the story is allegorical and still uplifting. But because the allegory is abuse, it’s a tough subject. There is darkness in the injury, but so much of birth and rebirth — in nature and in our hearts — also happens in the darkness like seeds in soil.
Sometimes I worry that dark themes and color schemes will turn off children who are not mine. I know there are other mostly black-and-white children’s books and some that deal with difficult subject matter, but they are not the norm. It occurs to me, however, that at least a little of each book, like all of my last book, is as much for parents and other adults as it as for children.
And most grownups I know aren’t afraid of the dark.