Tottie and Dot

?????Today I have great pleasure in hosting two lovely young ladies on my blog. Tottie and Dot.

These delightful young ladies were created by the lovely Tania McCartney and the brilliant illustrator, Tina Snerling. Congratulations to them both.

To tell you a little about the process of bringing these young ladies into our homes, we welcome also the publisher’s editor who was clever enough to select this book.

A Publisher’s Picture Book Perspective

I would be the first person to admit that my job is not brain surgery. I am not saving lives. However, I like to think that creating picture books is a job that improves lives. Every time I see a child open a picture book (any book, not necessarily one I’ve worked on), and watch as their face lights up, I realise once again the importance of books. Which means that when I spend hours fretting over the tiniest details, I can reassure myself that I’m not wasting my time. It all matters. Take Tottie and Dot for example.

This gorgeous explosion of happiness was created by two incredibly talented people. Author Tania McCartney has the gift of making little girls’ dreams come true, while illustrator Tina Snerling has a knack for turning words into visual magic. As you can imagine, that combination of talent and passion meant we had several ‘key’ issues to resolve in the book. Here are just three!

1. The great font debate.

The original ‘T’ in ‘Tottie’ had a curvaceous kick at the end. The only problem was that at first glance it might have been difficult to read for some — a major consideration for possible foreign rights sales, where English isn’t the first language and alphabets can differ. We didn’t want ‘Tottie’ becoming ‘Jottie’! So a more refined, pared-back ‘T’ appeared.

  1. The mystery of the missing bird

Each girl in Tottie and Dot has a cat. And each cat appears on every spread. Similarly, each girl is always accompanied — somewhere — by a little bird. Except for when we lost one … Tina knew she’d put it in, but at one point in the process we just couldn’t find it. We really couldn’t. Eventually I enlisted the help of my six-year-old daughter, who found it in a flash. Crisis over.

  1. Numbering houses

Originally, Tottie lived at number 35 and Dot lived at number 36. They were neighbours. But then, one day, driving home I realised that that’s not how we number houses. It’s odds on one side of the street; evens on the other. So Tottie and Dot changed addresses. Tottie now lives at number 36 and Dot lives at number 38.

I won’t even go into how we agonised over how the foam should look on the wave page, or how many frogs should be in the frog pond, or whether we needed another splash of pistachio on a Dot page or mauve on a Tottie page … Suffice to say, we fretted over it all, but we hope the end result brings a smile to your child’s face (and yours too!).

 Select14 08 22 Tottie and Dot blog blast web the Blog Blast logo to find out where you can get more fun facts and information on this wonderful book.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Dimity Powell
    Sep 07, 2014 @ 10:10:45

    Brilliant publisher’s pov Elaine. Loved it!


  2. Tina snerling
    Sep 07, 2014 @ 10:28:07

    Amazing review, thanks for your support, Tina Snerling!


    • elaineouston
      Sep 08, 2014 @ 00:06:57

      My pleasure, Tina. I just wish I had realised that the ‘5.30am’ time I slotted for it to post was American time not Australian. It missed most of the day. Still, I can leave it there for a while so you get more chances for it to be seen.


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