by Chrysa Smith
It was done. A five book series of silly canine adventures. I was finished—or so I thought.
These books for ages 6-9 cover the gamut; from stolen bone mysteries to wild chases on snowmobiles to a Christmas that almost did’t happen. The Adventures of the Poodle Posse series was born out of a desire to tell some funny tales based on my own poodly fur balls and the quest for imaginative writing. So, after putting pen to paper, The Adventures of the Poodle Posse was born, and eventually, each and every one of my dogs, their quirky personalities and possibilities was included in at least one or more story.
But then, a lightbulb moment. A prequel for younger children that would step them along into the Poodle Posse series, and tell the story before the stories: ie, exactly how did the first two poodles in the story come together in the first place? Inspiration struck, and I set my sights on writing for an even younger audience: a picture book read-aloud.
Using a combination of reality and imagination, I set up a story about the initial character Woody, searching for a brother. This set up the possibility for a funny series of events leading up to the point when his desire culminated in his quest. How could I take one poodle to finally meet his forever brother? Through a series of flying feathers, nut-cracking and carrot-eating actions.
So, I introduced a goose, squirrel and bunny into the story; each presenting their own set of challenges that wouldn’t work as the right ‘choice’ for another indoor pet. This set up the final selection–finally another poodle that would become part of the family. Once upon a Poodle was packaged in an entirely different way. A simple, child-like cover with large, colorful illustrations became my first full-color book. Now it was complete–or so I think. You never know if another member of the ‘posse’ might come along or when inspiration might strike, yet again.