Telling stories with visuals is an ancient art. We've been drawing pictures on cave walls for centuries. It's like what they say about the perfect picture book. The art and the text stand alone, but together, they create something even better. Kids who need to can grab onto those graphic elements and find their way into the story.
In my office in Jerusalem, there's an ancient seal. It's a signet ring of a Jewish official from the time of the Bible. The seal was found right next to the Western Wall, and it dates back 2,700 years, to the time of King Hezekiah. Now, there's a name of the Jewish official inscribed on the ring in Hebrew. His name was Netanyahu.
'Changes in Latitudes' began when I was looking at a photograph of a sea turtle swimming underwater. I had such a strong feeling for the beauty of this ancient creature, at home in the sea. On the spot, I wanted to swim with that turtle. I began to imagine a character who would do just that.
While Pickstown may not be what it once was, it still is framed by the natural beauty of the ancient river, the sweep of the Great Plains, and the long, unbroken shoreline of the lake behind the dam. It gave me a 19th-century childhood in a modern mid-20th-century town, and for that I will always be grateful.