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CHILDREN'S PICTURE BOOKS:

Baby Gets the Zapper

Background Information

Baby Gets the Zapper is my first baby book. Everyone who has babies around the house knows just how hard it is to keep them from getting ahold of those remote control units that adults leave in low-lying places around the living room. Even before the babies know what these plastic slabs with buttons actually do, they know they need to get them. Then one day they figure out that the slabs change the pictures on the TV.

So why shouldn't they work just as well on the stuff that's not on TV?

My daughter Pandora was less than a year old when she decided she had to take command of the zapper. And when she did, she would shake with delight, as if she were getting an effective electrical shock. I took a roll of photos of her just reaching and grabbing and clutching the zapper and hollering like a gold prospector who'd just dug up a big nugget.

So I thought it would be a good idea to make a book about that. About a baby changing the world with the zapper. I made up a little girl baby who sort of looked like Pandora when she was one year old, but didn't want to make it too obvious just in case it would embarass her later on in life. I've heard that the real Christopher Robin was a miserable old man, constantly bedevilled by his weirdly androgynous spectre in those boring old Winnie the Pooh books. I always thought he was a milky sissy-pants in the pooh books, and I probably would have teased Mr. Robin if I'd met him as an adult. And I wanted to spare Pandora a similar fate.

Of course, Pandora didn't need to have a zapper to change the world. As soon as she was born, it changed a lot. Now I really am a grown-up, no doubt about it, even if it still feels like I'm a kid.

Still, she gives me lots of ideas, and then she takes away the time I need to draw them. She hasn't scribbled all over my drawings on my drawing board at home yet, but all the other illustrators I know have had that happen to them at one time or another. So I'm just waiting for the dreadful day to arrive...