I just illustrated my first picture book. What a fantastic learning opportunity. I want to take you through a few sneak peeks of what is in store in this ebook that will be coming out soon. I was so excited to be offered this project by a fellow S.C.B.W.I. member, Sarah Perry. The book is an alphabet adventure with the Old Woman (who lived in the shoe). So, OK, this woman has lots of kids. Sheesh! Lots of character sketch time here. But first, I needed an old woman. A hip mother--loving, spunky, with-it and funky--of a LARGE multi-cultural family.
"Who do I know who has lots of kids?" BINGO! Leone Trese! She was a one-time Clarkston, MI neighbor and resident. I had taken an O.C.C. extension biology class with her many, many years ago when I was in my teens. At the time, Leone, working toward her LPN degree, was pregnant with her 17th child! The family as it turned out lived right behind us years later when I moved to Clarkston (at the edge of Ortonville). She was an inspiration indeed. She and her husband not only cared for this large clan of loving children, who by the way, all looked alike, but they cared for other children as well through their social work in the Flint area and Oakland County.
My OLD WOMAN character would the sassy, savvy Leone. (You have to sassy and savvy to have that many kids and do what she did!) Leone, you are remembered. She was an Ortonville Optimist Club member, church volunteer and became an RN. I often saw her planting flowers and handing out smiles and wheeling around two fully loaded grocery carts. She was at one with her busy life that she chose joyfully. Sadly, she died from cancer at an early age. Cheers to you Leone, you did a great job. Here's my tribute to you...
|Most moms and caregivers spend their day in their cars, vans or in this case, Mom Shoe--|
getting kids to their classes, events, and activities on time!
|AND at the end of the day, after the car and kids have been parked...|
it's me time...for about five minutes!