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Little Lola
posted: March 25, 2014
I've always wanted to make picture books.
Two years ago, I was contacted by the art director at Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins asking me to come in and pitch some ideas. Naturally, I was thrilled.  I had quite a few one-book stories on reserve, but they were clearly looking for a cat character that would sustain a series. They had seen one of my drawings of a dancing cat buried deep within one of my online galleries, and at the meeting, the publisher asked if I could spin a story around her. Meanwhile, my lovely wife Julie, who studied literature and teaches English, had been brainstorming story ideas about a city cat who goes on misadventures.  I suggested that Julie write the story, and they agreed. And so the exciting process of crafting a story and dummy book began.
Making a children's book is quite a departure from my solo career of turning around socio-political drawings to adrenaline-driven deadlines, and seeing the results published the next day.  But our collaboration has been an amazing experience. Our trust and respect for each other's ideas has been the key to the making of the book. We have two small children, and so although creating the time to work together has been a challenge, we couldn't have asked for better inspiration. 
When the dummy was finished and presented, the publisher gave us exciting news: they loved the book and offered us a two book contract. And thus, Little Lola was born.
The first book will be shipping out to bookstores April 2. We are learning as we go, about marketing, school visits, reviews, promotion on social media, etc. It has been, and continues to be a great ride. With the help of the uber-talented, Mr. Zimm- whom I have known and respected since the freelancer bullpen days at The New York Times- we have a website ready at LittleLolatheCat.com. And the book received a positive review from Kirkus here and an unexpected boost from Amazon, whose editors selected it as one of the top 20 picture books of the season. We are indebted to our wonderful publisher, Virginia Duncan (also our fine editor) and talented art director, Paul Zakris for their guidance and support. And to everyone at Greenwillow, where it feels like home.
What follows is a selection of art from the book.
16 comments
Joe Ciardiello March 25, 2014
Looks great Dave. Congrats to you and Julie on what I'm sure will be a fruitful new venture. Interesting where life can take you.
Gothard March 25, 2014
Yes indeed Joe - thanks!
Michael Greaney March 26, 2014
Wow, Great job....
Patrice Kesmedjian March 26, 2014
Congratulations. I'm sure it will be a "classic" very soon. Back from US in 2010 we got a little cat. Her name ? Lola!
Julia Breckenreid March 26, 2014
How sweet! Looks like it was a really fun project for you, David. :)
Gothard March 26, 2014
Thanks, all.
Hal Mayforth March 27, 2014
Congratulations, David. Beautiful work.
Victor Juhasz March 27, 2014
Great fun and plenty of love here in the work. Lots of luck with the book.
Gothard March 27, 2014
Thanks Hal, and you are so right, Vic - thanks.
Rob Dunlavey March 28, 2014
LOVE that spread with the **** mouse!
Robert Neubecker March 29, 2014
Beautiful work- thoughtfully presented- good luck Lola!
Andy Ward March 29, 2014
It's PURRR-FECT. She looks such a fin and lively character, congratulations!
Gothard March 29, 2014
Thank you Robert and Andy!
Steve Wacksman April 1, 2014
Well done, Dave! And good to see you here at Drawger headquarters -it's been a dog's age! (*rimshot) Good luck with this one- I've got a good feline about Little Lola (*rimshot, curtain)
Gothard April 1, 2014
We will introduce a dog character in an upcoming Lola book, just for you Wax. Thanks for the kind words, and yes...it's been awhile.
Elias Chadd April 3, 2014
Hello Dave. Congratulations my friend. I have no doubt that you will succeed with this new venture. good luck Elias & Joan D'arc
davidgothard.com