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PICTURE BOOKS

Crispin the Pig Who Had It All

Background Information


Crispin and the Best Birthday Surprise Ever is the third book in the Crispin the Pig trilogy.

It was inspired by the series of 'power birthdays' I had to endure in the London toddler birthday scene. It was remarkable how well-meaning parents, usually the mums, felt like they should keep up with the high standards set by other parents, staging elaborate parties in their homes and at venues.

I was visiting the Palisades Mall in New York with David Yazbek, who had just left New York City and was living in the suburbs for the first time in his life and having to make the serious adjustments necessary. The mall was the cultural and commercial centre for the whole area. He was fascinated and appalled by the place, and gave me a tour and his interpretation of what it all meant.

The Crispin Birthday book was in the process of hatching while I was taking the tour, and that's when I came up with the over-the-top Cheezy Mouse birthday venues.

I'm as guilty as most dads of becoming absorbed in capturing moments on video, sometimes missing out on being part of the moment, or even ruining it. It's a tricky dilemma--harvest the moment at the expense of compromising it, or enjoy it fully and let it all slip through your fingers.

I now err on the side of letting go and relying on imperfect and fading memory.

This is the first book where Crispin actually gets a hug from his dad--maybe even the first time in Crispin's life outside the books.