“Brooklyn, August 2002. We are back from France and still fighting the jet-lag, mostly because Eggy is at his liveliest between 1am and 5am. He can climb out of anything now, even his slippery travel cot, so it is pointless trying to put him to bed as he simply gets straight out again. So yesterday we bought bunk beds at a stoop sale and Nick carted them, in pieces, the four blocks (and five flights of stairs)! We don't have mattresses yet, but the kids are sleeping on them anyway on their cot size mattresses, which leaves plenty of room around each for Olive to arrange her books and for Eggy to cram toys and cars and leftover toast. Eggy hasn't actually spent much time on his, preferring to roam the apartment in the wee hours before finally collapsing somewhere exhausted. I found him at 7am actually sitting in his highchair fast asleep...”
All of my previous books had been written by other people. I was overly excited to begin illustrating my own and then was completely unprepared for what happened. Or rather what didn’t happen. I couldn’t begin. I had so many different ideas, I just couldn’t pin one down. I thought perhaps it should be a very large book, and the conversations would be incorporated into the pictures, but the speech bubbles had me cornered. Then I wanted it to be a tiny, tiny, cloth bound book after Edward Gorey or Beatrix Potter, but it was feared such a size would get lost on library shelves.
One thing I was sure of, that the pictures would start off dark and inky and gradually lighten to an explosion of sunshine when the sun finally, finally comes up.
Here are some early variations:
|Eggy, aged 3|
|Eggy was always a bit nocturnal|