In between the writing and production of the Lilly books, I was so struck by the loving support of friends, that I wrote a little poem about how our "soul friends" help us to be our very best.
Because my dear friend Mary Gilmore was already tasked with illustrating 2 of my books, I didn't know "who" I was going to ask to illustrate this. I shared my plight with my daughter Serena, who was 8 or 9 years old at the time, and who demanded (yes, demanded) that I give her a shot at illustrating the book. :) So, I left her, along with the tiny manuscript in my office for a few hours. I didn't give her any art direction or ideas for characters or settings.
She worked nearly non-stop all afternoon, while I, rehearsing having to tell her "those are really nice sweetheart, but they can't really go in the book", became increasingly curious about "what" she was actually drawing.
Needless to say, I was moved and humbled to tears by the sweetness and simplicity of her illustrations. I couldn't stop telling her how amazing and beautiful they were, but my daughter, wanting to make sure I "really, really" liked them, drafted a hand-written contract and charged me $5 per illustration. (True story!!!). It was the best and happiest $65 dollars I ever paid in my life.