January Hedge a gram

     Several years ago, I needed chicken models for one of my books. The day old chicks I brought home from the feed store soon became beloved pets. They were happy to pose for me on my art desk. They amused me, and I amused them. They lay eggs and talk to me in their language. So far I can understand when they say, "I laid an egg.", "How dare you!", "Danger!", "Wow, here's a yummy treat.", and "Everything is right with the world." After all this fun with the hens, I received another little present, a new book idea, Daisy Comes Home.
      I went to China with my daughter in law, Yun Li to do the research for the new book. The book, Daisy Comes Home is like a postcard album of my and Yun's trip to Guilin. I hope when children see the tame cormorant birds that fish with their masters, the mischievous monkeys, and the yellow water cow, they will want to go to China someday to see them.
     I'm eager to see how long it takes for readers to see the animals hidden in the folds of the mountains. You can find the twelve animals in the Chinese Zodiac.
Each painting is signed with a seal that says, "Jan" in Chinese characters. It is the most beautiful color red, and it was carved for me in stone when I visited Guilin. Mysteriously, the top part looks like chicken foot prints!
     Daisy Comes Home is about standing up for yourself when looked at from the hen's point of view, and about loyalty when told from the little girl, Mei-Mei's perspective.
I hope my new book reflects the feelings of discovery and affection I felt toward Chinese culture too!

Bye for now, Happy New Year!

Your friend,

Jan Brett