GAP FAMILY BLOG WELCOMES Roey Ebert, AUTHOR and ILLUSTRATOR OF Put it Back, Jack. Congratulations on the release of Put it Back, Jack. Please tell us more about it.
Roey: It is the story of two young brothers who take a walk through the woods. The younger brother, Jack, decides to take something from the woods much to the surprise of his older brother, Max. Both brothers end up falling in love with this creature but know it must return to its family. This book brings together the beauty of nature and family and how they must always stay intact.
What was the inspiration for this book?
Roey: My son, Jack, found a baby deer hidden in our ivy. It was so small he could have put it in his pocket. Instead of that option, I convinced him to let me write a book about it. And, that’s exactly what I did.
Roey: The moment when big brother Max starts to love the baby deer as much as Jack. It is the moment when they kick the soccer ball in the basement, just as best friends would. He was no longer the big brother but a best friend.
What is your favorite illustration from the book?
Roey: Without a doubt, the picture of Jack kissing the baby deer in the basement. This was the painting that I felt I really had it right. I had Jack the way I like him and the deer the way I wanted him. And you could feel the love between this little boy and this little forest animal, just by the way the deer reached up to kiss Jack.
Is this your first published book?
Roey: I have illustrated before but never authored a book. So this is my first published book that I have written.
What medium did you use for illustrating this book?
Roey: I used acrylic gouache and black ink.
How do you choose?
Roey: It was definitely trial and error. I started with acrylic…my favorite medium and then had a workshop with Lindsay Barrett George who encouraged me to use gouache. I had tried charcoal pencils and watercolor and did not like the outcome. So, I tried gouache and was hooked. I loved the pigment and the control. I also used black ink to outline.
Did you have to do any research to illustrate this book?
Roey: Yes, my son, Duke, gave me pictures of deer and gave me his toy deer to sketch. I also made my children pose in all kinds of positions to get it right. I used old photos of my 15-year-old, from when he was 2 years old, because he had the look I was going for…big head, big belly and lots of mischief.
We’d love to hear more about you.
Roey: I am the mom to 6 kids…15 years to 2 years. I recently started my own company called Roey’s Paintbox Parties, canvas painting parties, out of the belief that you should never waste your talents. This company combines my love of art, teaching and just plain, fun into a business. I am so proud of this first book. Even as an 8th grade teacher, I would incorporate children’s storybooks into my lesson planning. To me, there is nothing like the feeling of being read a good story.
Roey: Yes, I did multiple school visits during Catholic Schools’ Week in the Lehigh Valley, PA. I have events planned at a large elementary school in Allentown, PA called St. Thomas More for April and another for St. Theresa’s in Hellertown, PA in April. I plan on visiting local bookstores and other schools in the near future.
How can our readers learn more about you and any upcoming Put it Back, Jack events?
Roey: I have a website http://www.roeyebert.com/ which lists my events.
Thank you for stopping in to share Put it Back, Jack with us. Readers can purchase a copy direct from the GAP’s website. We are proud to add it to the ever-growing line of quality titles from Guardian Angel Publishing.
To find these and other titles by our talented GAP family members, please visit us online at http://guardianangelpublishing.com/.