A Bit About Us
Nikki Johnson is my partner in children's books. We met when she came to me with her first book project, Nightlight, a story about two little bears who see the northern lights for the first time. Nikki and I worked closely together with Jeannine Anderson, the author of that book.
Nikki is a terrific artist. She began to experiment with a new paper. She showed up one day with four or five animals painted in brilliant colors in her inimitable loose style, plus a moose with blue antlers. We talked about feeling like the moose in the room, about ruby-colored bears, and so forth. The moose became an agate, the other animals gems, and we were off and running.
We wanted Agate to be a book that had a message kids could really use in their lives. We did not want to talk down to kids. We wanted the look and text to be bold, clean, and upbeat to showcase the paintings. As Nikki says, children's books are like mini galleries. Nikki and I are a good team. We both love books and language, and both of us are artists. So our collaboration runs deep, with lots of give and take.
It's been great fun. Agate appeals to all kinds of people. People buy it as a baby shower gift and for their 90-year-old mother, the retired teacher. People have been overwhelmingly supportive, many with heartwarming stories. It's wonderful to feel that people see just what we were trying to do and then take things even further.
We have more books in the works. We're a little slow at this because we both have day jobs, and as a rule, the publishing business grinds slowly.
But this is our fun in life. Sincerest thanks to all who know and love Agate.