I was thrilled to receive an email yesterday from Nikki Shoemaker, the amazing illustrator who is doing my Critter Series, who shared the other two covers with me. The first book, Lemur Troops & Critter Groups, is complete and ready to go to print. I don't have a date for that yet, but there is a chance it might go as early as November. The other two books, Stork Musters & Critter Clusters and Pony Strings & Critter Things, will be out in 2010 by 4RV Publishing, LLC.
These are going to be super fun books for kids. What they are is a collection of rhymes that teach children animal congregations, or group names. Most of us know a group of lions is called a pride, but do you know what a group of skunks are called? A group of swans? A group of lizards? How about a group of worms? There are 66 groups in all. That would have made for a long picture book, so we stretched it out into three books, which we now refer to as the Critter Series.
Nikki's delightful illustrations have added so much more to these books than I ever could. Her illustrations go beyond cute. I know kids are going to love these books. The hardest part for me will be having to wait for each one to come out. However, Nikki has graciously completed the covers to the series, so we can start showing them as a set. Normally, authors and illustrators don't have much contact with each other, but our wonderful publisher, Vivian Zabel has allowed us to work together on a few things to make these books the best they can be. I am just as excited as they both are about the Critter Series and can't wait to start sharing these books with everyone!