I just have to share this excerpt from “No Dogs Allowed” by Jane Cutler and Tracey Campbell Pearson. Jason and Edward are brothers who decide to create a book together. Jason plans to write it and Edward is going to illustrate.
Edward sighed happily as he chose a sheet of pale blue construction paper and set it down squarely in front of him. He smiled to himself and hummed under his breath as he carefully arranged all of his art supplies neatly around the sheet of paper. He made sure he could reach everything, and that nothing was in anything else’s way. Then he picked up a Magic Marker.
Jason watched Edward. “What do you think you’re doing?” he asked grumpily.
Edward looked up, surprised at Jason’s surly tone. “I’m getting ready to draw a picture,” he said, “like I’m supposed to. For our book. That you’re going to write.”
“Not yet,” Jason said.
Edward put down his magic Marker.
Jason frowned at his sheet of paper and put the eraser end of his pencil to his lips.
Edward picked up the marker.
“I said not yet,” said Jason.
“Why not?” Edward asked.
“Because the writing has to come first.”
“Because that’s the way they do it,” Jason told him impatiently. “My teacher said so. First they write the words. Then they draw the pictures.”
“Why?” asked Edward,
“How should I know?” Jason shouted.
Edward sighed again, in frustration. “Then hurry up and write so I can start to draw,” he said.
“I can’t hurry up,” Jason said angrily. “It isn’t so easy to write a story. It takes time. It takes thought. It takes concentrations. Sometimes you have to write it over and over until you get it right. You have to think about it. It’s a very hard thing to do.”
Edward considered this. “So when do I get to draw the pictures?”
“I told you, not until after I finish.”
“If it’s such a hard thing to do, you might never finish,” Edward said, looking sadly at the art supplies arranged neatly on the table in front of him.
“Too bad for you, then,” said Jason. ”Now be quiet so I can think.”
“Too bad for you, too, then,” said Edward, picking up his Magic Marker again and beginning to work on a picture he’d thought of while he and Jason were arguing.
I write about, with, for, and around kids all day. (Well, maybe I do the dishes too. Sometimes.)