The idea to write Boris and Stella and the Perfect Gift first came to me about 15 years ago when my children were small. It was bedtime, and I was looking for a picture book to read out loud that I hadn’t already read a million times. That’s when I found The Gift of the Magi. It was a beautifully illustrated retelling by Lizbeth Zwerger, and a story I loved. My version had a lot of text. It was too sophisticated for my children, so I improvised and simplified it as I read.
O.Henry’s gentle tale is about the art of gift giving but, it is also about love, generosity, and thoughtfulness. I thought it was a story that young picture book readers would enjoy, and a message that was important. My only question was, “Will they be animals or people?
Pssst ... When I first drew Stella, she was a pig.