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:
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.