I am a little late with this post for a very good reason. A few years ago, I was ecstatic when Christy Hale herself sent me the original of this illustration from our first book together, Elizabeti's Doll. ( There was a little barter involved...)Master of procrastination that I am, it was only a few weeks ago that I finally took it into the frame shop. And I was hoping I could take a picture of it on my wall for this post. Alas, it is not yet finished, so I scanned this from the book. It is the moment when ELizabeti finds a rock perfect enough to call her own. A moment witnessed, of course, by a wonderful chicken who becomes a silent, constant, and ever-steady presence as the story unfolds. Elizabeti's Doll was the first story I ever sold. My editor called it a "gem in the slush pile" and not one word of my manuscript was changed. ( Believe me, that never happened with any of my other books!) So perhaps it was one of those things that was meant to be. As was, I believe, Christy Hale illustrating my story.