A year of kid’s books #4

Pinky Panda Goes Potty.  

 Here's the cover for the potty training book I did for my daughter.

Here's the cover for the potty training book I did for my daughter.

This is the first book completed for my first BDJ Makes project: A Year of Kids’ Books. The book has a very specific audience: my daughter who we are potty training. I guess it is also a test to see if books really can make a difference in the world. The jury is still out, but my daughter is making progress. That is more than I can say about anything I wrote about war and the military making an impact on what was or is happening in the Middle East.

At first I wasn’t sure if I should include this book on the list of books completed, but it makes sense because BDJ Makes is about making things that are fun and useful, and this can be both; additionally, this is the first book I finished after beginning this project. So, if nothing else, perhaps this little book will inspire some people out there to make things of their own that might help them to live happier lives. Hopefully it also motivates my daughter to use the potty like a big girl.

 Here is an interior page that shows the print quality. It's hard to "show" the sturdiness of the book, so all I can do is tell you it is as solid as any board book I've purchased from a big five publisher. 

Here is an interior page that shows the print quality. It's hard to "show" the sturdiness of the book, so all I can do is tell you it is as solid as any board book I've purchased from a big five publisher. 

I used Pint Sized Productions to print and do the layout of this book. This was the second time that I used them. The previous time I made a book about numbers for Shannon’s first Christmas. I did all the art for that book digitally (with a mouse; I will not willingly go back to that method). This book was done with watercolor paintings that I imported and altered digitally after the fact. 

I think the quality of the board books Pint Sized makes is high, and I like that the books are printed in the USA. So I decided to go with them again for this project. (There really is no other board book option I am aware of, and I didn't want this one to be a 20 page hardback book which is the minimum size that shutterfly will do.)

The illustrations were done on the remaining Canson XL watercolor paper in one of the notebooks I bought back when I was doing a bunch of studies. It’s become apparent to me over time that Canson XL is not great paper (at least not for the style I work in). But it got the job done, and I was just using the paper to get the look I wanted for the final digital images anyway. They did not all turn out as good as I wanted, but the book is done, and it needed to get here so we could resume potty training. So it is what it is. I am not going to sit around and dwell on it forever. There are plenty more books to write. 

I’ll just toss out the idea of doing a little tutorial on how to navigate and use the pint sized productions website in case anyone needs help, but I’m not going to do it unless someone specifically requests it. I do think the site is pretty intuitive; although, there were a few irritants along the way. Image sizing was the one that was most problematic, but that was most likely due to me painting on canvases that were not the same size as the final 8x8 pages. Live and learn. Adapt and overcome. And so on.

So there it is, folks. My first completed book of the year. Hopefully it gets one of my girls out of diapers and into the next more complicated thing my wife and I have to figure out how to teach her.

Keep on making. I will too.