If You Listen—A Picture Book's Evolution, Part One

Posted on June 20, 2015 by Erin Hughes | 0 comments

In the midst of the the love notes I created for Davis while he was in preschool, a poem emerged. The image above was the first in a series that became the text for If You Listen, a picture book about the wisdom in Nature.

After realizing that the shells that Davis and I gathered on a day of beach combing all had their own stories, we pondered the tides of the ocean and what they could tell us.


From the sea we moved on to watching the night sky and talking about the cycles of the moon, a subject that inspires infinite discussions.


After the moon the owl appeared, emerging out of a discussion about nocturnal creatures.


Then we spent a day in the garden, planting seeds and talking about how plants grow. This led to a fascinating discussion about how plants grow, always a good one with the preschool set. From this sprouted the seed and its tale.



This was the last love note I did for Davis in this series, but many more later appeared as illustrations to If You Listen. In the next blog post I will begin going through the book, page-by-page. All of the illustrations for If You Listen are paper collage since my drawing skills only go so far and I have a deep love of decorative paper! And some of those illustrations are currently available as greeting cards at  

In September of this year I will be launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund the publication of If You Listen. Check back soon for more information or sign up for our mailing list for updates!


Posted in Creating Art, If You Listen, Inspiration, Kids, Picture Books