Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tommy's Adventure

Today Nancy and I drove up to Beaver's Pond Press in Edina to drop off the 25 completed water color illustrations for A Farm Country Picnic, where they will be scanned and then given to the designer to layout the book. Then it will go to the printer after our approval, and we expect the final product to be ready for sale by the end of June.
After we visited with the friendly staff members at Beaver's Pond, we continued north on Highway 100 and picked up copies of our new book If I Were a Farmer: Tommy's Adventure, which is the last book illustrated by David Jewell, who passed away in July, 2010.
David's strongest point as an artist was his ability to create likable characters. Originally, when I had asked him to work on Nancy and Tommy, I asked that he sketch out several faces and postures and then discuss with me which ones would work best. He was very open about the process and seemed to have fun creating and changing the characters.
I  created Tommy from an idea sparked by a book I had when I was a child entitled If I Were a Cowboy, which begins with a little boy looking at a book about the wild west. He imagines himself dressing up in cowboy costume, catching and taming a pony, and having an adventure where he catches horse thieves, befriends Indians, and pretty much becomes a hero before he awakens from his nap.
In my story, Tommy pages through farm books and then imagines himself getting fixed up in a farmer's costume of bib overalls complete with pocket watch, pliers, and red handkerchief. He goes fencing, rescues some city folk who are stuck and out of gas, and then he  saves them from being robbed. I figured a farmer could be a hero as well as a cowboy.
Here are a few pictures from the story:
Later, he loads up to go fencing:
He helps folks who are stuck:
Then he saves people from robbers:
And he becomes the hero in his own imagined adventure: 

The book is available at www.gordonfredrickson.com. It's not yet posted to 
the website, but you can just click on "contact us" and email or phone your order to me.
As you can see in the picture below, I have a few copies for sale:

In a few days I will get copies out to Mosaic Alley in New Prague and Ben Franklin and The Pink Door in Lakeville. Barnes and Noble will have it some time in April.


  1. Gordon, congratulations on the release of your newest book and the upcoming publication of your "picnic" book. I'm certain they will be just as charming and educational as your previous titles.

    Also, congrats to your wife Nancy also as I know she plans a major role in producing and marketing your books.

    Also, is the Ben Franklin in Lakeville really an old-fashioned Ben Franklin store? I didn't know they still existed and have fond memories of the Ben Franklin in Redwood Falls from my childhood days. The Pink Door and the Mosaic Alley also sound like interesting places. What types of businesses are those?

  2. Yes, the Lakeville Ben Franklin does not disappoint. The owner is friendly and aims to please in the old-fashioned sense of customer service. My wife likes it especially because it carries lots of fabric. The Pink Door is a gift shop that sells interesting items from ladies' apparel to some pretty unique cards and other items focused on the female's perspective but aimed at us all. Mosaic Alley is a gift shop in charming downtown New Prague and carries a wide variety of interesting gifts and assorted items, including apparel.