Friday, May 14, 2010

A look at how a book comes about

Alvina Ling tells the story of how she came to acquire SHARK VS. TRAIN, the new picture book by the author of THE DAY-GLO BROTHERS. It's a great tale of persistence and finally hitting on the right story:

I'd been corresponding here and there with author Chris Barton for probably over five years--and by "corresponding" I mean that he would send me a manuscript and then I would decline it, but invite him to send more. During that time he eventually found a fantastic agent, who sent me a manuscript titled "Shark vs. Train." I was intrigued by that title. And when I read the manuscript, I was intrigued even more. Heck, I was more than intrigued, I was in love. It was so wacky, so deliciously random and bizarre, and best of all, it was so childlike and child friendly.

The concept is this: a train and a shark battle it out in different environments. For example, who wins when they're underwater, in Shark's natural habitat? Shark, of course--Train helplessly sinks to the bottom of the ocean. But Train wins on the train tracks, while Shark struggles to pull heavy cars. But then Shark wins at a pie-eating contest, and Train wins in a burping contest. The battle goes back and forth until towards the end you realize that neither one is winning. This is one of my favorite "nobody wins" pages:

Read the rest, or watch the trailer:

Thanks to Laurie Thompson for sending the link.

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