There are few pleasures in bookmaking greater than that moment when you're paginating a picture book text, and suddenly it all clicks.
I have no idea how others do it, but I make a 40 page Word document (so I can include ends—hence the “[pasted down endsheet]” tag shown above). Then, I dump in the manuscript and work backward from the key spreads and page turns.
I find the manuscript’s dramatic high points really reveal themselves in this process, especially when you put in the page turns.
And sometimes, like the one I worked on last night, the thing just calls for one of my favorite parts:
Now I get six months or so of anticipating what the illustrator will do with this blank space. Delicious.
This is Vaunda Micheaux Nelson picture book, by the way. To be illustrated by the marvelous Elizabeth Zunon and designed by @carkneetoe. It’s becoming very clear in my imagination. You’re going to love it.