Pages With Bob:
came up with this story in November of 2007 -- and ten years
later I was finally published. After BLUEBIRD received such positive
reviews, a number of publishers wondered what I would do next
-- and 'The Book Of Gold' is what I decided to do. There was
incredible interest in the book, numerous publishers made offers
to publish it, and in the end I was absolutely delighted that
it would come out under Random House's Schwartz & Wade imprint
(publishers of BLUEBIRD.) There are way too many behind-the-scenes
stories to go into here, because if you saw my work folder for
this book, you'd see that it is over 5" thick with manuscripts,
notes, emails, revised manuscripts, cover concepts, sketches,
rejected sketches and false starts. How a book this complicated
on EVERY level (mechanics, story, sepia-to-color art, aging the
lead character 75 years from beginning to end, etc) ever became
a reality is truly stunning to me. That said, I am SO proud that
it was published -- and will forever be indebted to Lee Wade
for her shrewd, insightful and consistently gracious oversight
as my editor."
-- Bob Staake
book has two covers. If you detach the wraparound cover with
the image that everyone associates with the book, you'll find
the paper-on-board cover -- which I designed to look like an
artifact squirreled away in the recesses of any dusty attic.
It's my hope that children will find the book years from now
(minus the wrap) and realize that THEY have indeed found the
elusive Book Of Gold.
countless NYC trolley routes to confirm that one could travel
in 1935 across the Brooklyn Bridge into lower Manhattan.
story referred to the "old shopkeeper" as "the
old gypsy shopkeeper." Of course my publisher objected,
but I insisted that within the context of 1935 that the commonly
used word "gypsy" would have been acceptable in a children's
book. In the end I agreed to remove it.
travels to India (presumably in the 1960s) he visits a street
bazaar in "Calcutta", though we now know the city as
Kolkata. Still, all the signage in that scene is hand-painted
in authentic Bengali.
of the Queensboro Bridge is intended as an homage to cinematographer
Gordon Willis' iconic (black and white) image from Woody Allen's