No Words – No Book – No Way

PERIL on the High Seas – a Two Tail Adventure

This book has no words, only pictures. Does that mean it doesn’t fall into the wonderful week of literary recognition that Governor Hassan has proclaimed?

When my daughters were young, bedtime became a ritual where I would sit on the floor in their bedroom, a pillow tucked behind me, next to the nightlight. I would read to them a story from one of their many books. The low light created an interesting texture to the moment by making the words stand out in a different way. I also made up a bunch of stories. One series featured the adventures of two cats. And then the past came calling with my first book created several years ago.

The thought process behind this book began at a Children’s Illustrated Book class offered at the Currier Art Center in Manchester. We all arrived at that first class with an eclectic assortment of ideas. Of course the two cats came to mind. Over the weeks our own paper, for the books to be, was created using old posters and expressive applications of paint. Our instructor reminded us several times to keep in mind our story ideas and the number of pages. Running out of a color pattern before the end would have been a disaster. Then the layout and page images started to appear on the art boards. Slowly, but surely, with many small snips and cuts made, it all came together. Clipping and shaping just the right pieces using the created color patterns, the pages began to appear. Spray glue adhered even the tiniest piece of paper perfectly.

The book, printed by Colonial Printing in Manchester, is now making its way to various shops. The market place for a picture book is a little bit different than the traditional route although that is where I’ve headed so far. Since it relies on the person opening the cover and looking at the artwork, the story variations are endless. It offers up a whole other world of readership. “You are the creator of the story.” It can be imaginative, fun and crazy as you invent with words the antics of the cats as they go on their adventure. It can be shared with a child and grandparent, or with siblings to see who can outdo each other with interesting stories. It can be interpreted for any language and it can help any child with certain special needs who can marvel at and show expression for what they see.

PERIL on the High Seas – a Two Tail Adventure is available for sale right now at several locations.

  • Mack’s Apples, Mammoth Road, Londonderry
  • Beckonings, Main Street, Nashua
  • GoShopNH, online, supported by the Union Leader, Manchester
  • Water Street Book Store, Water Street, Exeter

What do you think about picture books? Are they as equally important to a reader minus the words?