Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Missing Hat, a new book by Jennifer Wilson

Earlier this year, my daughter, Jennifer Wilson, brought home a "book" she made at school. The book was called "The Missing Hat" and it had been a school assignment. When I read it, I told her I thought it was pretty good. Since I've been publishing her books through Createspace, she asked me if I would publish this one, as well. I told her I'd be happy to do it; it did have an appeal to kids who have a favorite hat/cap, and it was a good story about a brother and sister learning how to work together and get along. It also sent an important reminder about how we shouldn't let our hobbies or obsessions make us neglect our siblings. But first, a bit of edits on the manuscript had to be done.

When I edited her manuscript, the first thing I pointed out was that, technically, the story was about a missing "cap" and not a "hat." A cap is more recognized as the kind of headwear she had in her pictures for this story. It's actually inspired by her beloved Kidsports baseball cap that she got for the last season she played baseball, although the cap in the book does not have the "KS" logo. (She stopped playing baseball for a while because in her very last game, she got hurt, but now she's ready to get back into sports again except she wants to play softball next year. She didn't want to play basketball again this year.) She LOVES that cap and she wore it to school practically every day fo her last year in elementary school, except for a time while it was lost. (Maybe that's what inspired her to write this story?) And, against my wishes, she even wore that cap for her school picture! (GAH!!!) So, it is technically a "cap." But Jennifer said she likes "The Missing Hat" better than "The Missing Cap." So, we kept "hat."

Next, I tackled the story itself. I asked Jennifer to clarify a few things ("how old are your characters?" and "where is the story set?"), as well as a reminder to show and not tell. I asked her to show me how her character was sad when he realized his hat was missing. I also asked her to add a bit of background to the story ("why did things all of a sudden change between the character and his sister?").

After Jennifer finished the requested edits, I next took a look at her illustrations. The big issue I have seen with her books is that reviewers complain her illustrations are not in color. Like they are only "sketches." When looking at her drawings, I thought it would be nice to add some color to them so I asked her if she would do that. At first, Jennifer said she would, but after several weeks of nothing, I checked in with her about them. She finally admitted she didn't want to add color to her drawings. She WANTED them to be that way. She wanted her illustrations to be in black and white. Now, I know we should respect how an artist wants her pictures to be, so I told her okay, we'll leave them without color.

So I proceeded with the "fun" job of getting the manuscript turned into a book. (Until I get better at this publishing stuff, it usually takes me a week to get everything done!) After it was satisfactory, I ordered the proof. Jen approved the proof (yay!) and I clicked on the link to make the book go live. A few days later, Jennifer's new book, The Missing Hat, was on Amazon. Yay!

We are very excited that she has a new book out and I'm proud of Jennifer for putting in the effort to make her story shine. I hope other readers enjoy her book, too.

Congratulations, Jennifer!

Here is the blurb:

Koku dreams of being a professional baseball player, so he is excited when his parents buy him a baseball cap. But he spends so much time practicing and playing baseball that he forgets about his little sister, Kokuboro. Kokuboro hides his hat, but then it disappears! Can this brother and sister work together to find the missing hat and have fun together again?

And the links:



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  • At 11:00 PM , Blogger Night Moon Shade said...

    Black and white is my favorite way to draw! Plus it was the begining of TV! I'm really one for color, you almost never see me drawing with color, besides when I make videos on the computer. Sorry if it sets readers off. :/

  • At 10:49 PM , Blogger Dawn Wilson said...

    Thanks for commenting, Jen. :) I think you should just keep doing your thing. It seems like there is always going to be somebody out there who doesn't like our stuff or how we do things. It happens. Just keep doing your own thing and march to the beat of your own drummer. That's what I do, anyway. :) And remember what Kate said.


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