If I had to choose a favorite illustration from “How To Explain Christmas To Chickens,” it would probably be the one above. (Each illustration is framed by a different border based on discarded gift wrap collected by Pearl on Trash Truck Tuesdays. Each border tries to compliment the mood or tone of the chapter.)
Hopefully this image is just as happy and joyful and full of movement as Pearl herself. And she is quite unstoppable in real life and on the pages of this book. She never gives up. This is also the only illustration in the book that shows Gracie, Bessie, Blanche, Pearl, Emily, and Amelia all together. The amazement on Emily’s face (second from the left in the audience) is so much like her.
The backdrop you see to the right is based on a poster by one of my favorite artists, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Pearl picked it out as part of the backdrop for her comedy show because the Parisian dancing ladies remind her of white-feathered chickens like herself. (I did not tell her about how the yellow-orange background reminds me of an egg yolk, but it does!)
This chapter follows a chapter where all of my chickens, including Pearl, are practicing their ballet, a much more “refined and elegant” form of dance than the “rowdy and raucous” can-can. This chapter ends with Pearl’s statement, “There’s more than one kind of dancing in Paris, so maybe there’s more than one way to be a chicken!”
To end this post, I’d like to share this video clip from the movie “Can-Can” starring Shirley MacClaine. The music and choreography are simply brilliant. They make me want to dance right along with them, and my heart certainly does dances even if my legs can’t!
The exuberance and joy in this dance are exactly what Pearl has in her own heart. She absolutely loves everybody and everything, and by the end of the book, she embraces exactly who she is because of what she can give.
Our latest paperback book, “How To Explain Christmas To Chickens,” is finally now available through Amazon around the world! With its 64 pages, 6 inches x 9 inches trim size, 10 chapters, and full-color illustrations, it will be sharing the story of Blanche and Pearl with readers around the world. It’s definitely time for a happy dance!