This project is inspired by a true story from my childhood. I’ve had my stuffed animal, Puppy Puppy, since I was about 2 years old. One time when I was a child, I left Puppy Puppy at an Outback Steakhouse, overnight. I had the worst separation anxiety while attempting to fall asleep without him. The next day, my grandparents went to go and pick him up, and they had sent my parents and I a picture of him riding an alligator statue by the hostess stand. I’ve always remembered that as such an imaginative way of spinning a scary situation for a child.
I wanted to create a children’s picture book based on this story, in hopes that it could remind others to not focus on worst-case scenarios when faced with anxiety. These illustrated spreads would belong to a larger children’s book where the child leaves Puppy Puppy at school for the night. I had such a fun time bringing this story to life.