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When Booker and I first met, it quickly became clear to me that his intelligence, love for books, reading, learning, and eagerness to see the world, demanded a best buddy who’d compliment and challenge these qualities.
I considered the creatures that had intrigued me most as a child, especially the little insects that flitted around me outdoors in the summer. Dragonflies immediately came to mind! I loved their iridescent wings, how they jetted here and here, and could even stop in midair in front of me, as though studying and wondering about me. I was especially intrigued by their various body colors. There were green dragonflies, yellow, red, blue . . . and they always seemed to be on a mission. It was with these childhood memories in mind that Dahlya Dragonfly was born. She would be Booker’s best friend.
Excited, I set out to design her, needing to see her come to life outside my head and inside Booker’s world. Here’s my original rending of Dahlya:
Then along came our BRILLIANT children’s book illustrators, Traci Van Wagoner and Kurt Keller, of Imagine That! Design NY, and magically waved their sketch pencils to created a ‘dahl’ed up version complimentary to both my vision and to their creative style that produced the many wonderful, colorful renderings of the books’ characters and scenes.
She’s sassy, super smart, fearless, and like all dragonflies, Dahlya loves to jet around, explore, and discover. As Booker and I got to know Dahlya, we quickly discovered that her passion is not only to discover long, weird words and their meanings, but to EAT them!! And each time she pulls out a long, juicy word for us to learn, she says, “YUUUM! Words CRUNCH!” She and Booker make an odd but perfect pair!
Up next? “The Berry,” part three in the secrets behind the series.