Sunday, March 11, 2012

Idea Garage Sale: Hunting the Native Garden

I put together a picture book dummy once, to prove to myself I could do it.

In it, a kitten stalks the denizens of a Texas native plant garden. Each picture would show the kitten, the prey, and the garden feature; so, hummingbirds among Turk's cap and trumpet vine, cardinals and finches at the sunflowers, white-winged doves in the birdbath till the grackle chases them out to soak some dog food; barn swallows under the shed eaves; a cactus wren in the prickly pear; a blue jay in the woodpile; a woodpecker on the pecan tree; a mockingbird displaying in the top of the live oak; lizards in the rockpile; possums in the brush pile; a skunk in the compost heap.

Each creature escapes the kitten's attempt to hunt it, and the kitten finds some face saving reason why he didn't really want to catch that particular animal. The skunk encounter would be the ultimate one, with dusk coming down. The skunk is rummaging, the kitten is stalking, and the skunk says, as if to thin air: "Really? You're sure about this?"

And the kitten say: "I think I hear my human calling," and runs in to eat his Kitten Chow.

I couldn't possibly actually write this. I'd get sidetracked by the characters of the critters and everybody would have long conversations and then something would come up to throw a monkey wrench into everything and -

I just can't write short, or leave as much to the artist as a picture book requires.

A book like this would totally sell in State Park gift shops and through conservationist catalogs, though. I don't know how kids would feel about it, but there's a kind of grownup who'd love it.

1 comment:

  1. I think this is a wonderful idea! I too would love to be able to write picture books, but it's a real art form I have yet to learn.