A self-taught artist from Abbotsford has illustrated her daughter’s imaginative ‘animal facts’ for a new children’s picture book.
The idea behind Stephanie Vanderpol’s “Cheetahs Eat Cantaloupe” began during the first COVID lockdowns. She said her seven-year-old daughter used to walk up to her at random and state make-believe facts about animals from the top of “her pretty little head.”
“A giraffe’s neck never stops growing,” is one example, illustrated by the head of a giraffe stretching out in space wearing a spacesuit.
Vanderpol said she would write down each animal fact as it was said, then started illustrating them later, asking her daughter what she had on her mind.
“She was very involved in the whole process,” said Vanderpol. “I would sketch it, and either she was laughing, then I knew I had hit the mark, or she wouldn’t laugh, and then I knew I had to try again.”
What started out as a form of mental stress relief quickly gained popularity on Instagram, so Vanderpol re-illustrated them in a self-published children’s picture book.
She said making the book was a great bonding experience with her daughter.
“I would sketch it and ink it and paint it, and she was criticizing it… Sometimes her reviews were just ridiculous, and sometimes they were really, really good.”
Vanderpol says it took almost a year to put the book together, and it started on February 1, 2021. The book will be available for pre-order in mid-February 2022.
If you would like to order a copy, contact Vanderpol’s Instagram account: @stephanielorinda.