Okay, I know I talk a lot of talk about ducks, about Duck the First and Duck the Second as if they are actual books, rather than just ideas quacking softly in a corner of my brain.
But over the last few months I have been watching quietly while Duck the First came into being. I have seen pencil sketches of a little girl working at her desk, of a slightly grotty boy hanging over her backyard from a branch. I have squeed over colour roughs of Abby and Noah and Mrs Melvino and most of all, Max – the
difficult demanding different duck who takes up residence in Abby’s class.
I have been thrilled and delighted by the work of the wonderful Leila Rudge. It’s not that the characters are as I’d imagined them, that I feel satisfied seeing ‘my’ vision come to life. The truth is that I’m not much of a visual thinker and am not sure I had imagined them in any great detail at all. It’s rather that they are just so absolutely right for the book. Illustrators are wizards, I tell you.
And now I have something marvellous. I have an officially approved and definitely final cover. Ahh. I love covers; somehow for me seeing the cover is the moment when the book comes into its true bookness. And bookness, as we know, is a very fine thing.
In related news, I have just learned that Duck the Second is also on its official way. But in an unexpected twist, it may end up being less about ducks and more about not-ducks, except not quite in the way I had planned.
Hold that bemused look for a while. All will be revealed at a much later date.