I had just come off of an SCBWI conference, and I was inspired! I decided that I wasn’t going to go to sleep until I got an idea. I just wanted to have a revelation. I kept thinking, brainstorming, trying to think of possible picture book ideas. I just wasn’t going to go to bed without one. And late that night (early in the morning) I caught the edge of my bookshelf with the corner of my eye, and the edge formed a LINE. And that’s when I thought, that’s it. Lines.
From there, I sat down quickly and started typing out LINES. For me, this is absolutely the best thing I’ve ever written.
I spent the next day making illustrations to go with it.
You can’t really understand it with just the words which seems to be typical of my books (it was subbed with my dummy book art). Whenever I shared LINES at conferences, it seemed to make an impact on people, so I hope people enjoy it.
I love the fact that a true line, according to the dictionary, goes on forever in both directions. Isn’t that cool? Forever east and forever west. It occurred to me that a circle is a line, because it also goes on forever and ever. And it is! A circle IS a line! It’s just a bent line. Or is a line an unbent circle? What came first, the chicken or the egg? In this case, I believe it is the chicken & circle, since almost all math is built upon the principles and equations relative to it (the circle, not the chicken). So I believe the circle came first.
If you take a straight line (180 degrees) and divide it into 360 segments, and bend each segment 1 degree, you will have a circle. So a circle is a line. Or a line is a circle. This is just a small taste of what makes this a STEM book. One may argue that LINES is for the very young, and very simple, but I absolutely disagree! I use LINES in the presentation I give to college students. We go from a line segment to Einstein’s theory of relativity. A line is a profound phenomenon. Things can be simple AND profound at the same time. Simple can be profound.
I really wanted LINES to be a picture book because board books don’t necessarily get the recognition they deserve, and rarely get reviewed. You can imagine how excited I was when LINES got a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly. I’m so excited to see LINEs go out into the world and hopefully make a profound impact on people’s hearts and minds. I feel so privileged to be the messenger that brings concepts such as LINES into the world.
Sarvinder Naberhaus is a the author of Boom Boom, a picture book about the seasons, illustrated by Caldecott Honor recipient Margaret Chodos-Irvine. Her most recent book, Blue Sky White Stars received 4 starred reviews and is a patriotic salute to the flag, paralleling the forces that forged this great nation, illustrated by Caldecott Honor artist Kadir Nelson. Look for her upcoming STEM book, Lines (book launch August 26, 10:30 at the Ames Library) and visit her website www.sarvinder.com.