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Editorial cartoonist Kevin Tobin illustrated the book with his daughter, Jessica
Yvonne Bryant has had the idea for her new children’s book so long, the first manuscript was on a floppy disk, she says.
About 17 years ago, Bryant awoke from a dream with the idea for “Bizzie Tizzie is Gonna Be Everything From A to Z” in her mind. She has no idea why she dreamt such a thing, but she wrote it in the following two days.
“I’ve never let it go and it’s always been in the back of my head, I never forgot about it,” she said. “But I never had the artistic ability to do the rest.
“And then, in the spring (of this year) I found Kevin (Tobin). … He has been an enormous help, a fountain of information and guidance.”
It’s the first children’s book for Tobin as well, a freelance artist who has done the editorial cartoons for The Telegram for 30 years.
He illustrated the book with his daughter, Jessica, filling it with pages of colourful scenes, cute animals and Bizzie Tizzie acting out being a gardener or an inventor, depending on what letter of the alphabet she’s on.
“I’ve always been interested in children’s books and as a matter of fact I drew one a long time ago, but I never published it,” Tobin said.
And a pandemic is as good a time as any to finally get done something he’s always wanted to do, he said.
“It came at a time that it kind of slowed down a bit, so I could really jump into this,” he said.
Bryant says Bizzie Tizzie is a whirlwind little girl.
“One minute she’s doing this and the next minute she’s doing that,” she said. “She’s just a busy little girl.”
The rhyming book follows her, and her little dog, as they dress up as everything from an astronaut to a zookeeper, always in a pair of odd socks.
Bryant is now focused solely on this project. Realizing she would have to give up creative control of Bizzie Tizzie if she went through a publisher, she decided the best route would be to publish it herself.
“This is my career now. I’ve just started my own small business,” she said. “This little character, there is some special elements in this story that I want to brand.”
Her odd socks, which are inspired from Bryant’s daughter, as well as book bags and plush toys, are all things she is looking to sell.
“It’s going to be more than a book,” she said.
She traded her SUV in for a red Volkswagen Beetle, which she plans to turn into a ladybug.
“Whenever COVID ends … I want to go to schools and do readings, and libraries, and daycares, and go to Ronald MacDonald House, and the Janeway and spend my day surrounded by children,” she said. “I love children. Children bring out the best in me, always.”
Bryant is holding a book release in New Perlican, where she is from, on Nov. 1 from 2-4 p.m. at Brookside Place. There will also be a book release at the Manuels River Interpretation Centre in Conception Bay South on Nov. 14 from 3-5 p.m. Because of restrictions put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this event is invitation only. For more information, contact Bryant at [email protected]