I first began the sketches for "Granite Baby" in early 2002. The book was set in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. One of the iconic elements of the White Mountains at the time was the Old Man in the Mountain profile which we decided to use in the sketches.
In fact, one of the early jacket sketches had a profile of the baby in place of the Old Man's face!!
And in another sketch, Beryl, one of the sisters, was shown carving the face of the Old Man and accidentally chipping off a full head of hair - leaving the familiar profile we all knew and loved.
A few weeks later, we were all surprised to hear that the Old Man had fallen off the mountain side! I secretly wondered if I was partly to blame for the Old Man's demise. Maybe I was the last straw! The thought of me doing his portrait for this tall tall sent him over the edge, literally!!
What to do? After some discussion, the decision was made to leave those references out of the book, so we went ahead without it.
I'll always wonder what might have been if the old guy had stayed put!! Regardless, I love this tall tale and had so much fun creating these larger than life New Hampshire sisters set in the beautiful White Mountains!
If you want to take a piece of this New Hampshire tall tale home, take a look at the Granite Baby show featuring the original artwork as well as a beautiful print.