The Problem With Pajamas: How This Book Got Made
Whether you're dealing with SPD or having a sensitive day, sometimes EVERYTHING is uncomfortable! For me, it was socks and underwear most of all. I worried that I would never, ever feel comfy like everybody else!
One thing that helped me to feel better was knowing that somebody else wanted to understand my struggle. That's why I wrote this book! I hope it helps you feel seen, and makes the world seem a little more comfy.
I haven't outgrown my own "Pajama Problem," but I now own a lot of t-shirts and flannels. I know there's someone out there wearing all the fancy stuff I never will, and I'm confident that the world needs us both!
Making the Art: from Sketch to Final
Books can change a lot from the first draft (AKA the 'dummy') to the final page! Here are four double-page spreads from sketch to finished art. Some stayed sorta the same, and some changed completely during the process!
Designing the Characters: Cody and Friends
Characters can change a lot, too! I had lots of ideas for Cody (the main character), and they were all very different! Some character designs stayed almost exactly the same, like Mr. Birdinhand (the pink fluffy one)! And for Moon-Bo (the deep-sea astronaut), I came up with a bunch of elaborate character designs, only to choose a much more simple version that I'd been using in my dummy sketches.
(PS - This is Deep-Sea Astronaut Moon-Bo. I realize that I didn't actually include their name in the book! But now you know. True insider knowledge! It's Moon-Bo.)
The Editing Process
There are SO MANY ways to tell the same story!
This story, in particular started out very differently than it ended up! (For example, in the first draft, it rhymed!)
My editor, Julia McCarthy, helped steer this story into its final form. This is the second book I worked on with Julia (the first was "The Best Worst Poet Ever"), and I love working with her! She is very attuned to the warmth and kindness of the stories she edits, and you can see that in the final product! If you experience a 'warm fuzzy' while reading this story, please thank Julia! (You can find her here on Twitter!)
Here are some of the very first idea pages I drew for The Problem With Pajamas...they almost don't look like the same book!
Book Design, from Spreads to Cover
A book designer has a very important job! Their work is what makes a story look like a BOOK. Designers lay out pages, choose fonts, design the title, correct colors, and create a cover/jacket that will tell the story of what's inside. Sometimes, that's a tough assignment: like for The Problem With Pajamas! How do you design something that's supposed to be, "cozy and bedtime, but also zany and fun"?
I think this cover does the job fantastically well!
Karyn Lee designed this cover, as well as the rest of this book! She also designed "The Best Worst Poet Ever"! She ALSO makes her own wonderful art, which you can see on her Instagram: @Karynslee
The Finished Book!
It takes a long time for a book to be published...often many months after the work is done. Publication day feels special to me because I get to revisit a story I loved working on, and share it with people who are going to hear and see it for the very first time!
The best way to read this book is: any way you can!
You can probably find it at your local library...and if your library doesn't have it, you can ask your librarian to order it. (Librarians LOVE to order books.) You can also buy it from your local bookstore, or order it online! Here are some links:
And here are some nice things people have said about this book:
"This perfect bedtime read is also a lovely example of a father-daughter relationship and a reminder that children need to be able to express their true feelings and be treated with patience and understanding." -School Library Journal
"Stohler’s (The Best Worst Poet Ever) story of underthings and understanding has all the marks of a well-crafted sitcom: a magnetic star player, an endearing supporting cast, expertly placed comic beats, and lots of jaunty dialogue." -Publishers Weekly
The best reviews are YOUR reviews! Leave one if you can...they really help!
I hope you check it out!