Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Behind the Books: A Place for Frogs

This is the third book I’ve revised and updated in the A Place for series, and it was by far the most challenging.

When I revised A Place for Butterflies in 2014, the process involved changing a sentence or two on each spread to bring the stories up to date. In 2015, I took the same approach to revise A Place for Birds with one exception. We decided to replace one illustration so that we could discuss the problem of birds, especially baby birds, flying into windows—an issue that wasn’t widely recognized back in 2009 when A Place for Birds was first published. We also decided to change the cover of the book.

But when it came time to tackle A Place for Frogs, I hit some major stumbling blocks. As I plunged into the research, I realized both the text and the artwork would need significant changes. One frog had gone extinct. Another was now so plentiful, that it wasn’t even worth mentioning.

One example from the original book had involved scientific misconduct (The scientist admitted to falsifying data, so it really wasn’t clear how the frog was fairing or if it had ever been in trouble in the first place.) Whoa!

Plus there were some new examples that I really wanted include.

In the end, illustrator Higgins Bond had to create several new illustrations and make major alterations to others. Much of the book’s text was completely rewritten.

With so much work to do, we all worried that the book wouldn’t make it to the printer in time for Spring 2016 publication. But thanks to a whole lot of hard work, late hours, and teamwork, we did make our deadline, which means the new edition of A Place for Frogs will be available for sale starting tomorrow—just as planned. Hooray!

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