Book: Ben's Day by Mark C. Collinscategories: Book, Picture Book, Imagination, Summer, Only-Child, Activities, Boy, Rhymes, Summer Day, Children's Book
Mark C. Collinsabout this book: My children's picture book, "Ben's Day" is simply a fun glance at the imaginative activities of a young boy on his first day of summer, set to rhyme. Ben's an only-child, and never encounters other kids in his adventures – instead he takes on the day accompanied only by his dog pal, Fred. The action is linear, fast-paced, and the activities are for the most part non-segued.
Ben's willing motivations take him from one activity to the next, in the absence of television, cell phone, and video/computer games. It's an 'old-school' day of imagination and play! Obviously Ben is never bored, as he plows through his fun-filled day.
I've been a professional freelance illustrator and designer for many years. I've created pictures for numerous top publishers, magazines, and other authors' books for over a decade. I've also written poetry since I was a teen, and began writing short stories several years ago. "Ben's Day" is my first time putting pictures to my own words. The book was initially intended to be a picture book (showcasing my illustration talents) presenting each picture as a stand-alone where the visuals would progressively tell the story, and words would be unnecessary. However, my poetic inclination took over, and matching the rhymes to the illustrations gives the book a better pace and rhythm than if it were without text.
The text was written over the course of weeks (with the help of my wife) over two summers ago. It had gone through countless revisions and re-writes in the process, and continued to be revised as I created the illustrations. It took almost 2 years to complete the illustrations (in between my regular commissioned illustration work), and I even rejected and reworked several of the pictures along the way.
Although the book is not preachy, nor does it teach any particular lessons, the reader can still come away feeling that anything is possible with the right motivation and imagination – even in the absence of others.
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