I (Leah/Tiny) was approached shortly after my accident and asked if I would like to possibly illustrate a children's book.
As I read the manuscript, I couldn't believe the similarities between the story and my own life.
This story is about a dog and boy, told in rhyme with the dog as narrator. It has a refrain of " Best Day Ever!"
Why it was so crazy that this whole book happened:
- I am dog obsessed, and dogs are one of my favorite things to draw.
- The dog in the book sounded exactly like my chihuahua terrier mix. (Mostly sweet and happy, but definitely a little naughty.)
- HMH was looking for an illustrator in a wheelchair as the artist because they wanted to portray the boy as using a wheelchair. The editor had been looking for about two years, and then, someone (who worked at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and knew of me as an illustrator) heard about my accident and realized I might be a good fit for the book. Being freshly paralyzed but still able to use my hands to draw, this seemed like something the Universe would be mad at me if I didn't try for.
- Three years proceeding them asking me if I was interested in the job, my favorite mug which was from a thrift store said, "Best Day Ever!" on it.
- The book came out the same day my baby got to come home from the hospital.
You can purchase "Best Day Ever!" Written by Marilyn Singer at most big box stores online, and your local bookstore should be able to bring it in as well.