Picture book dreaming

Meet Mannymanny2Manny is a praying mantis who lives on a quad bike on the farm.


My Husband came home for lunch one day and told me a story about a Praying Mantis he found living in a compartment on the quad bike. Every once and awhile he would stop the bike. This beautiful insect would climb up his arm and just sit for a while. Then he would climb back into his hole and go for a ride all over the dairy farm.


Fascinated by this short, but very cute story. I had all kinds of imagery going on in my crazy head. I imagined him with a scarf and a set of goggles. With a passion for speed mannyand adventure. I pleaded with my husband to get a photo of him the next time he saw him, unfortunately, he was never spotted again.

This did not stop me. I set about trying to photograph a praying mantis, I found a dead one, a baby and not much else. I then noticed on a photography blog I followed by

Shot Just Right Photography | Suzanne Robertson Photographer

An Aussie like me, a bush photographer with many stunning images of our beautiful land. Suzanne had a gorgeous photo of a praying mantis. I asked Suzanne if she did not mind me sketching him. I agreed to email her an image.

Thanks Suzanne I hope you like him.

It is challenging to find characters to embellish a story. Manny needed a friend and a reason to show off his new home on the quad bike, I thought about how quick and cunning he was and decided to make his friend a bit slow.

Meet Skids


Skids is a snail if you had not noticed, my Husband took some fantastic images of a snail  in action and I knew he would make a great friend for a Manny. Skids does not have a home, he can’t even sleep in the one on his back because he hates cleaning and it is far too messy in there.

Up to this point I am not sure where this story is going  just yet, it could have something to do with a wild ride together across the dairy farm, who knows. I like to draw and I like to write, I think I need to combine the two. These drawings take time because I love stippling with an art-line pen. It is just a wild experiment at present, but one that I enjoy playing around with. Maybe you will see Manny and Skids on an adventure one fine day.

I’m not sure where the real Manny went or why he decided a quad bike would make a great home for a little while, but it stirred the imagination. Please share how you have come across a good story, sometimes the truth is crazier than fiction.

About Minuscule Moments

Everybody has a DREAM. Today is the first day of the rest of my writing life. Its a lonely world out there when you are learning the craft. This year, as the same as last year, I want to finish my first children's picture book. I have learn't many wonderful lessons on this journey. You are never too old to learn.
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38 Responses to Picture book dreaming

  1. Pingback: THE BEST MOMENT AWARDPosted on May 10, 2013by | Barbara C Rowe Author

  2. Desi Clown says:

    Nice peek into how your imagination works! The snail looks so cute, has a ‘good dependable friend’ look about him. He hates cleaning his room…sounds like me! :p The stippling that you’ve mentioned adds a unique feel to the drawing. I can only imagine how laborious it must’ve been. The finished product looks wonderful though!

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