It's Rozanne the author of Financial Literacy for Kids.
I'm so very excited to introduce my NEW 6-book series featuring the basics of financial literacy for kids. While I've authored five beginner reader series for CTP (over 250 books!), this was the first that gave me the opportunity to expand my authoring experience to write longer, more involved stories for early readers. While it was challenging at times, it was a great experience and the books were so fun to write, especially since my pals Cat and Dog are the main characters.
You may wonder how a book series like this comes to be. Well, it involves a lengthy process and a team of people. I usually follow the same series of steps with all the books I write.
I gathered all the children's books and materials I could find with money and financial literacy themes. These came from many sources such as:
- My own collection including several I wrote!
- Online resources and bookstores
- Current educational materials and websites
I researched in the marketplace:
- Visited banks and other financial institutions for ideas and talked to bankers about programs and materials they offered to kids.
- Quizzed toy store and teacher store owners, and parents too!
- Looked at lots and lots of books with a similar format, such as the Pete the Cat series to help decide what elements work best with our themes.
I ended up with a nice big file filled with ideas, great information and expert/valuable content.
Along with Team CTP we came up with the six areas of financial literacy that would be our focus.
- We looked at current standards, reviewed all of the products gathered while researching, and started brainstorming story concepts for each of the six book topics.
- Cat and Dog were the ideal main characters since they are fan favorites who appear in lots of my books and have personalities perfectly suited for these financial literacy themes
Cat is funny and free-spirited, while Dog likes to think things over a bit more. Their friend Mouse tags along in each book, and just might grow up to be a banker, an accountant, or an investment specialist!
Since I am a very visual person, seeing how the art and text come together on each page gives me ways to improve the story so I created a sample/mock-up book. This also supplies ideas for the designer and artist. Along with my own sketches, I used photo-copied pictures of Cat and Dog from my other books to cut and paste on the pages.
Writing the Stories
I created each story, one at a time. How?
- I like to draft ideas in a notebook to start.
- From there I create a rough sample book, tweaking the text from my notebook. I make a lot of changes at this point and when I'm pretty satisfied with the story I type out the story and include detailed ideas for art and questions for my editor on story, wording, and art options.
- Then I send the manuscript and sample book to my editor. Together we work on refining the story and notes to the artist, as well as getting any additional outside feedback if needed. When we are in agreement on the changes, the manuscript and the mock-up book go to the art department.
Adding the Art
In the art department, the covers and pages are laid out in book format. The designer places text on the pages and notes the available illustration space for the artist. Once the designs are approved, the book is sent to the illustrator to create sketches. The art and editorial departments review to confirm that the sketches and text make sense. After approval, the illustrator sends back finished art.
And voila! After several rounds of more detailed editing to be sure our i's are dotted and our t's are crossed, we have a book ready to send to the printer. The printing company sends a print-ready sample book for approval and then puts the book into production. After several weeks, we receive the finished book! That is always an exciting day!
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