NO YETI YET
By Mary Ann Fraser
For me, creating picture books is a lot like skiing. There’s the initial rush when you launch yourself into the project, followed by the silent screams when you realize that you may have taken the black diamond trail by mistake. You dig in your edges to carve around the twists and turns, dodge a few near collisions, and sigh in relief when at last you arrive at the end in one piece. But some books are more like the slow, steady slog down a bunny slope, so flat in areas you stall out and find yourself walking to the lift to go up and try again. Such was the case with NO YETI YET.
Once I had the basic story nailed down, I did a blizzard of character studies. The yeti went through several mutations before I was finally satisfied. The boys, with their skinny little legs poking out beneath their over-sized winter coats, were easier. They reminded me of Ralphie’s little brother in “A Christmas Story”—all bundled-up, arms scarecrow straight, hat pulled down to his eyes.
Start to finish it was a great run. So, yeah, NO YETI YET, did not have the rush of bombing straight downhill, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t without its heart-pumping spills, chills, and thrills. So, back in line for the next chairlift to the top. I wonder which trail I’ll take next?
To learn more about Mary Ann Fraser or NO YETI YET, visit maryannfraser.com.