A few months ago, I revealed Jeremiah, the main character for my children’s book, “The Hat Peddler.” My illustrator just sent me the cover, and I can finally share it. I’m so excited and can’t wait to see Chris Comstock’s vision for the rest of the book. I’m hoping to have it out this October.
“The Hat Peddler” is a wilderness adaptation of “Caps for Sale” by Esphyr Slobodkina. In 1998, when Wisconsin had its Sesquicentennial, my husband and I participated in a voyageur adventure. At the end of a long day of canoeing, protecting our “precious goods,” portaging and other activities such as fire starting, ax throwing and shooting a black powder rifle, we all gathered around a campfire and told stories or sang songs. Al put me in charge of telling a story.
“Caps for Sale” was a book I used when I taught kindergarten. For some reason the story popped in my head as we rounded a bend in the river. I adapted it for Wisconsin, but kept the monkeys. As time went on, I decided to re-create the story using wild animals from Wisconsin. Jermiah, the main character, was heading down the Fox River to the Wisconsin River on his way to Prairie du Chien for the spring rendevous. Instead of monkeys, along the way, he encounters many problems with the deer, skunks, coyotes and raccoons, just to name a few.