A pair of paws balance on a book, while I needle sculpt their toes. This book is perfect for anyone who’s about to expand their family, or recently has. It’s relatable for anyone who ever suddenly found themselves a big sister or brother to be. As a three year old I can recall the chaos in the house starting the night my sister was born at home, and snippets of memories like tip-toeing past a pram, or the poo landing on the carpet, one nappy change! Oops!
I was excited to receive an early copy of Since The Baby Came by my good friend Kathleen Long Bostrom, and illustrated by Janet Samuel, because I knew I was going to be making a plush from this lovely story, told in poems. The family is adorable, and I’m sure my sister and I both identify with the children's gorgeous curly hair. However, I made their dog.
This is Ellie. Can you see the E on her collar? The awesome publishers offered to include Kathleen’s dog, when they discovered the sad loss of the real life Ellie, and sent photographs to Janet. Just like in the story Ellie has a sweet tag on her collar with the letter E. I carefully embroidered this on thick felt. I also enjoyed making those expressive ears.
Soon I will send plush Ellie across the pond, and I will miss her company. I like dogs a lot and I love that our protagonist has a faithful companion in every spread. There are 16 kinds of poems in the book, with helpful back-matter explaining and naming each kind. I usually do learn from each picture book I read, but there was a lot I didn’t know about poetry. Maybe I’ll write in rhyme for a change. Haha.
Ellie dog is posing on a quilt I made in my 20s from an idea I had when I was 16. I shaded her ears with chalk and set them with a short spray of fixative. I think about the artist at work on the illustrations when I do things like this. Most of all I love Ellie’s toes and her gentle smile. She also has wired legs and tail so she can enjoy many author-visits and stand firm. I hope you enjoyed meeting her, I know I did.