Sunday, January 07, 2007

more time en el Bano

Carmen Diana, who works for Ediciones Ekare, was kind enough to describe the transformation of Toilet Tales into En el Bano:

"We first published it as a board book with the original design in a small format and had to eliminate some illustrations to accomodate the fewer number of pages, hence the child disappearing (and some animals too). Our boardbooks didn't do so well and were expensive to produce in those days. So when we started a new collection for pre-schoolers called El Jardín de los Niños, taken literally from the word Kindergarten, we decided to include it. Our art director was not happy with the white spaces in a bigger format, so she and the editor proposed a redesign and hired a very young, very kooky new designer to make it more playful and colorful. We also added the animal dialogues and ellipses because, as you wisely say, the text was a bit too factual.

It was a great team effort, done with the consent and cooperation of our good friends from Annick Press, going back and forth between Venezuela and Canada and it just seemed to flow. It was much fun and we were all happy with the results. The only diffciult part was deciding on a title as in Spanish there are many different words for toilet, depending on each country. The board book title was EN LA POCETA, but we had complaints from Mexico and Spain saying they couldn't understand the word, so we changed it to the generic "bathroom".

With the new design, we thought it would be more fun and open ended (like the ellipses) to leave the toilet empty so that the reader could sit herself or himself on it without having to identify (or not) with a specific child.

Thank you for the kudos. We are delighted."

Thank you for the insight into the process; it's very gratifying to wonder about something and then get to find out the answer.