About:     The Preposterous Frog

Project Preposterous    In February 2008, when I was feeling a little dejected that my story of the Preposterous Frog was struggling to find a publisher, I happened upon an enchanting drawing of a small alien creature. The drawing, which was by her home-schooled daughter, was emailed to me by a South African poet, Maria Steyn. The drawing was so beguiling it was very difficult to grasp that the seventeeen-year old artist, Tumi K Steyn, had never had a drawing lesson.

Diffidently, I sent Tumi K my story to read. Her response to it was all I could have hoped. She loved the characters and the story. Cautiously I asked would she care to illustrate it. Shyly but gladly, she agreed.

Maria, was delighted for her daughter but also concerned that the project would be a long one. There were many days when Tumi K was ill and unable to draw. I didnít mind the time frame at all. And the code NTP [No Time Pressure] was devised and added to almost every email we exchanged over the following two years.

I can not tell you how excited I was when the first sketches of the frog, the fish and the owl landed on my desk. They were all as I had imagined them but the owl was even more beautiful, thanks to Tumiís careful pencil strokes. At about this time I became TWP (The Writing Person) and Tumi Kathryn became TDP (The Drawing Person). Maria was MoTDP (Mother of the Drawing Person). The critters, as we called them developed lives and personalities beyond the confines of the story, and we often wrote to each other about what mischief they indulged in.

At about this time we were faced with the reality of how difficult it was to send the original sketches here where the book would be produced. Even professional scans proved a problem and did not do justice to the quality of the drawings. Eventually and at different times, two pairs of friends, visiting South Africa, brought back some of the precious originals. Nearing the close of the project, Maria located another photographer, closer to home, who was able to make the remaining high resolution scans we required. While all this was going on over very many months, we named the endeavour PP (Project Preposterous). But somehow we all believed that eventually we would succeed and the tale of the Preposterous Frog would become a reality.

Once all the drawings were in place we called on my son Matthew George, the TGP (The Graphics Person) to design the book. The TGP, who is a professional graphic designer spared no effort in tonally adjusting the drawings and carefully arranging the text. He tried many fonts and experimented with a variety of paper stock to make the final choices. It all seemed like magic to the TDP and me, as we watched the integration of text and illustration into a book that each of us read every single night.

It was a joyous moment when two years to the month after the project began, a huge truck empty but for a single palette of boxes holding the precious books, arrived from the printer. It was an even greater one when Tumi Kís first copy reached her in the mail.

My hope for the Preposterous Frog is that the children who read the story, or the adults who read it to them, will be pleased to own this book. I hope too that, as a demonstrable example of Tumi Kís skill, it might provide a professional gateway for her into the world of illustration.

   Beverley George

About the Author: Beverley George lives on the Central Coast of New South Wales, between the Pacific Ocean and a freshwater lagoon that is a haven for pelicans, ducks, and wading birds. Beverley is a Writing Fellow of the Fellowship of Australian Writers and writes short stories, poetry, haiku and tanka. Her poems for children have appeared in The School Magazine and her first book for children was published by Blake Education in 2006.

The Preposterous Frog by Beverley George illustrated by Tumi K Steyn is available from:
PO Box 3274
Umina Beach

Enquiries: editor@eucalypt.info Please put the bookís title in the subject line.

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