HaPPy biRtH daY, Dance Y'all Dance

Dance Y'all Dance is born!  The picture book officially hits the shelves today, November 1, 2009.  It was quite a labor and delivery, fun actually...now how many women can say that!  Written by Kelly Bennett and published by Bright Sky Press (see link below), it's a story of one night at a country dance hall where family and friends pack away their worries and dance into the night.  The story is loaded with characters young and old--Grandpappy Skittle who plays musical "spoons" on stage, the mischievious Harlin and Beau taunting girls, and Buck the Dog who tries its best to get into the mix.


Toward the end, the focus switches to Sallie and Jem who just got married, engaged in dance.  I knew I wanted to convey a quiet moment between these two, oblivious to the gaiety of their surroundings, so I used an old photograph as inspiration. Changing costumes and faces, I concentrated on that kiss to the cheek and the sparkle in her eye.  It's one of my favorite illustrations in the book...one I hope will resonate with viewers.

As with the illustration of the newlyweds, I hope readers see something of themselves in the book--their own family celebrations through music and dance--and how, often, we are more alike than different.

Family, after all, can be seen in a tree-or-forest kind of way.  Dance Y’all, Dance!


Link: http://www.brightskypress.com/infostore/ca.cart.asp?sAction=DisplayDetails&pid=155&id=227</a>

Currently working on:  Music and dance, again!  Art for a children’s cd called “Boogie Villa.”