Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to FOLLOW ME DOWN TO NICODEMUS TOWN!
FOLLOW ME DOWN TO NICODEMUS TOWN
Written by Alexandria LaFaye
Illustrated by Nicole Tadgell
Published by Albert Whitman and Company
I am so excited! I truly love picture books that uncover hidden gems of history…and both author (one of my amazing Storm Literary Agency teammates) and illustrator have done a magnificent job of bringing this story alive for young readers and listeners.
Here are just a few of the kudos the book has already received:
WOW! We’ll be finding out more about this must-have book when I feature it for Perfect Picture Book Friday and then on Saturday, Alexandria is stopping by to chat for Will Write for Cookies. And today, my lovely friends, Nicole Tadgell, the illustrator, is sharing her process.
ME: Welcome, Nicole! Thank you so much for stopping by to share some of your illustration process for this beautiful book. The cover alone makes me want to grab it off the shelf! And maybe you can let us know how you researched for this.
NICOLE: I’ve been fascinated with the Great Plains and frontier life in the 1800’s since about 8 years old. I read voraciously as a child, and felt an affinity to Laura Ingalls Wilder; the second daughter in a family of girls, moving around frequently, having adventures outdoors. I enjoyed sewing and cooking, calico dresses, As I grew older, my interest in that time period grew to exploring Native American life and culture.
My process follows three phases: Rough pencils, final pencils, final color. Research and lots of deep thinking are at the core from the start. With this book, I am grateful that I was free to travel to the Nicodemus National Historical site to see the land with my own eyes! Trip planning is often stressful, so to alleviate that I decided to just get out there and not have plans other than just see the site. I was lucky enough to meet descendants of the original settlers, including local historian, author, artist, and all-around creative force Angela Bates! She also is an amazing chef and runs Ernestine’s just up the road from the historic site. They have an enormous family reunion – homecoming – every year in June. I did just miss it as my trip was in August!
I got an iPad pro to draw on, and some of the sketches I did on the iPad, rough thumbnail sketches only, the finals were are hand-drawn. After the drawings are completed and approved with editorial, I scan and print them directly onto watercolor paper. That way, if I make a mistake painting, I can simply print it again and don’t have to redraw. This helps keep everything loose and experimental. After I’m satisfied with the paintings, I make high resolution scans with my scanner and upload them.bee
ME: Oh my goodness…Nicole, it sounds like you were the perfect person to illustrate this book. And I know everyone loved hearing about how you actually proceeded with this project. Thank you so much for sharing…and for creating this magnificent window on an important moment in history that has been all but ignored.
Dear friends, it’s a New Year…one that holds joys and sorrows, pleasure and pain, good times and bad for all of us. How fortunate we are to have each other to lean on and listen to and learn from. (you know me…I love to use the element of three)
Please don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway of a copy of this wonderful book. thanks to author LaFaye. Also, consider doing one or more of the following which are the best gifts we can give our favorite authors and illustrators.
- Buy the book.
- Request your local library purchase a copy for their collection.
- Tell a friend how much you enjoyed it.
- Leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, or other review sites.
And come back on Friday and Saturday to find out more about FOLLOW ME DOWN TO NICODEMUS TOWN and author Alexandria LaFaye.