PEACOCK IN THE PINE TREE
Sandra Cramer’s debut children’s story, Peacock in the Pine Tree, encourages us to celebrate all the wonders waiting for us in our own backyards. Illustrated by Jocelyn Cramer.
A Grackle Book: hardcover, 20-page story with color illustrations.
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How did you come up with the idea for your book?
Sandra shared, “When I noticed something moving in the tree and that peacock appeared, I was sure that I was dreaming. What impressed me most was how quietly and how slowly my five kids walked up to greet the bird. They spent the whole day watching him and later helped to pick up the feathers he dropped. Though they now look tattered, I still have two of those feathers.”
Are you and Jocelyn working on your next book?
“All three of my daughters have Usher’s Syndrome and each wears two hearing aids. Even at an extremely young age, they would watch me all the time, responding by association: if I put plates on the table, they put silverware; if I ran the tub, they got their pj’s. So I was not surprised how well Jocelyn and I worked together. We share a lot of laughter and pride. We make a good team. And yes, we are already working on the next two books!”
What is it like working as a mother/daughter team?
“Jocelyn draws as a child would so that young readers can better relate to her illustrations. We collaborate to fine tune the details; I offer suggestions like let’s make that character’s hair be curly so that it will better match her face or let’s change this one’s smile to this–at which point Jocie snaps a picture of my face to capture the example smile. She takes many, many such pictures. Now mind you, when we work at home, anything goes! We might still be in our pj’s with hair sticking up and no make-up. So, all those pictures shouldn’t be shared with others, right? Image how happy I was when Jocie accidently, absolutely not on purpose, sent those pictures out to friends! I print out copies and delete the photos–and make her swear to destroy each and every one of them!”
Sandra continued, “We have great fun working together. We don’t just laugh, we howl to the point of crying and not being able to speak. But a couple of months ago after a continual rain, we cried tears of sadness. That pine tree that housed the peacock fell down and so ended an era. We both prefer the laughter.”