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Flossy is the bossiest girl around. She’s bossy at home and she’s bossy in school. She’s bossy with her friends, and sometimes she’s even bossy to her teacher! Well-meaning Flossy doesn’t understand why no one will listen to her.
Then Flossy meets Edward, a boy who is just as bossy as Flossy. But the collision of these two strong-willed forces has a surprising result: they learn how to be a friend.
How did Bossy Flossy come to be?
by Paulette Bogan
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I was a bossy girl. My three children are all bossy in their own way. And so Bossy Flossy was born. Flossy is bossy and she doesn’t understand why no one will listen to her.
Initially I worked with a freelance editor, Simone Kaplan. (I refer to her as my other brain!) We fleshed out the story around the fact that Flossy knows what she wants and when she wants it, but didn’t seem to get that other people have thoughts and feelings too. She needed to learn how to communicate and be heard, instead of being tuned out, or getting sent to time out! We worked hard to keep her learning process exciting and engaging and not didactic or boring.
Because I’m as illustrator first, I think visually. Flossy evolved many times, as did Edward. But I constantly go back and forth between the story line and the sketches. I cannot do one without the other.
My writing process always starts on a legal yellow pad. I revise and edit and do lots of scribbly sketches in the margins. After many edits I’ll go to the computer.
The act of typing gives me another chance to edit and another chance to look at my words and how they flow.
My next step is thumbnails. Again, very rough, scribbly sketches, but very active! Thumbnails allow me to see the whole book at once. I can see if I have too many of the same view or need to vary the perspective or design of the pages. Thumbnails give me a sense of how the story is flowing. Next I enlarge the sketches and trace them. This keeps the drawings loose and fresh. Using layers of tracing paper, I am constantly refining and making changes and edits.
I like to do character studies, drawing the main characters in various positions and with different facial expressions. Keeping the characters looking the same throughout the book is difficult!
Then the story goes to my editor, Sally Doherty. She is a word wizard! We work together to further refine the story, often just talking on the phone, bouncing ideas back and forth.
Once the sketches and the text are approved it’s time for illustrations. Bossy Flossy was done in a new style with an interesting source of inspiration. My daughter, Lucille, did a children’s book for a high school biology project in Ms. Serpagli’s class. The main character, a white blood cell, was named Detective Albus, (Latin for white) who searched through the different systems of the body looking for a bacterium on the loose. When she did the art she cut out Detective Albus and the other characters leaving a white border around each of them, and then glued them onto colored paper.
I loved the technique and decided to try it in Bossy Flossy. I told Sally and my art director, April Ward, that I had never done this technique before. I showed them a sample and they told me to go for it! April came up with a really cool way to do the speech bubbles and the typeface. I loved it!
And here we have Bossy Flossy!
Children’s Book Review
Bossy Flossy by Paulette Bogan is a children’s picture book that does an excellent job of teaching children about bossiness and how not to be bossy. Flossy is the bossiest girl around. She bosses kids. She bosses her toys. She bosses grown-ups. She gets put in time-out because of it. Then one day, while she is being bossy, she meets another bossy kid, Edward. They butt heads for a while, until finally…they realize that no one needs to be bossy.
The illustrations and the story line are so much fun. My 5 year old bossy girl loved this story! So much, in fact, that we read it three times right in a row. She quickly realized that Flossy was being bossy, like she is sometimes. Also, that being bossy isn’t very nice. This is a great book that I will recommend to other parents in the same situation. It is one that I will be adding to the library where I work. A beautifully illustrated story that teaches an important lesson, Bossy Flossy by Paulette Bogan is a children’s book that has earned a place on our keeper shelf. In addition to the wonderful illustrations, this children’s book teaches a great lesson about manners and about treating others as you would like to be treated. I will be seeking out more of Ms. Bogan’s work.
About the Author
Paulette Bogan admits she was bossy as a child. She is the author and illustrator of Virgil & Owen, which was chosen as one of Bank Street Best Children’s books of the Year 2016, Virgil & Owen Stick Together, which won a Mom’s Choice Award Gold Medal for Picture Books, and Lulu The Big Little Chick, which won a Children’s Choice Book Award. She lives in New York City with her husband, three daughters, and two dogs. They ALL think she is STILL bossy. But they’ve never told her to go to her room!
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