When it comes to the children’s picture book publishing world, there may not be a bigger name in the genre than that of Margaret Wise Brown.
Brown, who died in 1952, is author of “Goodnight Moon” – one of the top selling children’s picture books in history.
Books-a-Million recently launched another of Brown’s children’s picture book “On Christmas Day.” Brown’s work was aided in the process by illustrator Phyllis Harris of Raymore.
Harris, who has illustrated more than 35 children’s books to date, will host a book signing from 1 to 3 p.m. Dec. 1 at KD’s Books, 241 S.E. Main St. in Lee’s Summit, to celebrate the Books-a-Million launch.
The signing will be the first in the Kansas City area for “On Christmas Day.”
“It’s just a really exciting thing for me,” Harris said of illustrating the work of the renowned author. “It was at first very intimidating. When they first asked me to do it I was nervous. But then, you know what, I just prayed about it. I asked God to guide my hand and He did and it ended up a very pleasant experience. It was amazing.”
The event will feature a reading of “On Christmas Day” along with Christmas caroling and other festivities.
KD’s Books owner Cheryl Collier, who first established a professional relationship with Harris and her husband, Bradley, in 2006 when Collier hosted a signing for the Harris’s collaborative children’s picture book effort “My Brother and I,” was happy to lend a hand again.
“We are so excited,” Collier said. “I’ve known Phyllis and Brad for several years now. As a couple, they are just extraordinary folks. It’s just so exciting that we are getting to do this again. Phyllis has been an illustrator for a number of years, but the fact she got to illustrate one of Margaret Wise Brown’s books is exciting. We are just so looking forward to it. It will be an exciting event. I think it will really be fun. I can’t wait.”
The feelings toward Collier and KD’s Books are mutual, said Bradley Harris.
“Phyllis and I are thrilled to be doing her first book signing for ‘On Christmas Day’ at an independent bookstore,” he said. “We have long been avid supporters of the independents, and KD’s Books is our all-time favorite. It is a treasure in Lee’s Summit, and Cheryl Collier is just wonderful in every way.”
Bradley Harris, who wrote “My Brother and I,” will also be on hand to assist in the signing. The husband-wife duo expects a grand time as the holiday season gets into full swing.
“We just love the feel of KD’s Books,” Phyllis Harris, naturally the illustrator of “My Brother and I,” said. “It’s a very wonderful, independent bookstore that’s still around that wasn’t swallowed up by all the big stores. We just love the feel of it. We felt like it was a great place. Cheryl has been good to us. She had our first book signing so we thought we’d do that again because this is an important project for me. It was such a positive experience.”