Creating the Schoolies

Priddy Books - Schoolies At Priddy HQ, we first heard about the Schoolies back in 2011. As an editor, the prospect of working on a brand new license is an exciting one, so I was very happy when I found out that I would be working with Ellen Crimi-Trent to create a new range of preschool books.

Priddy-Books-Mrs MeowEllen provided what we call a style guide, which features all the information and artwork needed to make a book – every character has a biography and numerous poses are supplied to work with.

With six titles in the launch range, including two storybooks, we had our work cut out, but at Priddy we love a challenge! It was great to work with Ellen every step of the way, from gathering initial ideas to receiving the final printed books.

After our first discussions with Ellen, I went about planning and writing the content for each of the books, while Barbi and Katherine, the designers working on the range, set about creating each book page. If we needed any special artwork from Ellen, such as the world map in My School Day, she would magic this up for us. This is one of my favourite pages!

Priddy Books - Schoolies My School Day - Our World

But it’s not as easy as going from A to B, the book plans had many reincarnations before we got to the final layouts. Just look at the piles of draft plans, storyboards and proofs that Barbi and I have between us!

Priddy Books - Schoolies draft plans

Priddy Books - Schoolies Storyboards

Priddy Books - Schoolies proofs

I think the book I am most proud of in the Schoolies range is My School Day, which Barbi and I worked on together. We think this is a great title for little ones who are about to start school. There’s so much to see and look at – every page features a game or a puzzle – not forgetting the clock with hands that turn, helping children learn about different times of the school day.

Priddy Books - Schoolies My School Day - Let's count  Priddy Books - Schoolies My Day - Lunch time

I hope you’ll agree how great the Schoolies books look – and they’re even better when you get to hold one in your hands. Ellen’s artwork and characters really are something new for preschoolers. After all, how often is it that you get to meet a rolling skating owl?


Schoolies™ and the Schoolies™ characters are trademarks of Ellen Crimi-Trent, Inc.
Original Characters and Character Illustrations Copyright © 2013 Ellen Crimi-Trent, Inc.
Copyright © 2013 St. Martin’s Press, LLC.
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