Publisher’s Weekly shared the good news! SAFE CROSSING will be available spring 2024, acquired by Ariel Richardson at Chronicle Books. Special thanks to Teresa Kietlinski at Bookmark Literary for finding the right home for this picture book on wildlife conservation.
Here is sample art I made to pitch the book. I wanted to convey the spine-tingling excitement of seeing amphibians on a rainy night using vivid yellows, white and deep purples and blues, and lots of mark-making to show the water drops. I think my vision came though!
Big thanks to Vermont author/illustrator Ashley Wolff and Viking art director Jim Hoover, who encouraged me to pursue and develop my artistic vision during a mentorship through the New England Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (NESCBWI) in 2017. I included this pitch in my portfolio at SCBWI conferences and was awarded a Don Freeman Illustrator Grant in 2020, thanks to judges Christy Ewers and author/illustrator Corinna Luyken.
Thanks also to vernal pool ecologist Matt Burne, my picture book critique groups, Friends with Words and Crash Test Picture Book Dummies, Sherry Lyons, who read and helped me polish so many of my drafts. Thanks to Patty and Dave Gale, Jeanne Nevard, Paula Terrasi, and our friends in Pepperell Conservation for showing us where the spotted salamanders cross the road and where the peepers sing. Special thanks also, to my sweetheart Greg Cook and my children who have supported my vision throughout, and have witnessed and documented amphibian migration nights with me.