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Creative and Colorful Illustrations
Copyright 2023 © by Jim Potter
Everyone’s heard the expression about how something is so special it’s “icing on a cake.” The icing is an extra step. It makes something that’s already excellent, even better.
When I complete a draft of a book, I print it out and assemble the pages in a three-ring binder so I can hold the work in my hands. I also make sure that I have the title of the book displayed on the cover. Sometimes, I’ll even add a rough drawing of how I want the final, professional cover to look.
My old-fashioned, tactile routine of assembling mockups, without a hint of illustrations, never prepared me for the exciting visual world of colorful art and design required to build a children’s book.
Looking back, I feel like I’ve been a colorblind author. As I marvel at color illustrations created by Gina Laiso, Integrita Productions, I feel like it’s my first springtime when I appreciate the beauty of a wide assortment of sensuous flowers.
K-9 Kudzu: Observations of a Working Dog Who Loves to Play, my first children’s book, is written. Now, Gina continues to add images to enhance the reading experience to our targeted audience of 5th and 6th grade level students. I’m pleased to say that professional illustrator Laiso has already surprised me with her imaginative, creative, and colorful work. Her illustrations knock my socks off!
Here are a few illustrations that we’re using in K-9 Kudzu in the first three chapters. A small portion of each chapter is included with each illustration. If you haven’t heard, K-9 Kudzu is a German shepherd police dog who is the narrator of this book.
“A” is for Accident
One time, Tom left me locked in our car for too long. Eventually, I needed to pee. When Tom didn’t return, I had an accident. It wasn’t planned. I didn’t do it on purpose. It was an accident.
I’ve been on duty with Deputy Jennings when he’s worked car accidents. In the summer, the asphalt on the highways can get so hot it feels like my feet are on fire. In the winter, I’m glad to be wearing my heavy coat.
After an accident, Tom always asks the driver, “What happened?” I’ve heard a lot of responses. Sometimes the driver blames another driver. Other times people admit to falling asleep or texting on their phone.
I’ve also heard people blame dogs for running out into the road. I don’t take it personally. I know dogs who don’t have a lick of common sense.
“B” is for Badge
The letter “b” is the first letter in badge, but it’s also the first letter in ball. I love playing with my blue ball. Tom picked that color because he knows it’s easy for me to see.
Deputy Jennings and I both wear a silver-colored badge that’s in the shape of a star with six points.
Both of our badges say, “Sheriff’s Office.” Tom’s badge also has his radio call number, “431.” Mine says, “K-9.” As a bonus, my badge is personalized with my name, “Kudzu.”
“C” is for Car
Every day—or night—when I work on patrol with my partner, Deputy Tom Jennings, he’s always using his car, computer, or camera.
While Tom drives our SUV, I’m usually in my kennel, which is located behind the front passenger’s seat. Since I don’t wear a seat belt, the kennel—or crate—is for my safety, not because I’m being punished.
Some states have dog restraint laws. They require the driver of the vehicle to secure their dog with a seat belt or crate when the vehicle is moving on the road. Other states have laws against distracted driving. That means drivers can get a ticket for having a dog on their lap.
On traffic stops, I’m always ready to assist Tom. If he’s outside the car and needs my help, he can press a remote button on his belt that opens the door of our SUV.
Tom can be funny. I try not to laugh at him when he gets tangled up in his seatbelt. He has more trouble getting out of the car than I do. Of course, I’m much faster. I have four legs and I’m in shape. Toms big. He tells people he’s “jumbo size.”
Our SUV is solid blue, but I’ve seen officers driving cars that are other colors. Some are black and white.
Until next time, happy writing,
To contact Gina Laiso, Integrita Productions, click on the following Facebook link.
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