A curious toddler’s question led Sharon McGee to craft her first book.
“Why Are You Following Me?” centers on a thought from McGee’s daughter Chloe at age 2, more than seven years ago, while riding in the car. Chloe noticed the moon and asked why it was following her. McGee drew inspiration from her daughter, realizing she asked the same thing at Chloe’s age.
“The concept of the man on the moon fascinates me,” McGee said.
The idea led to developing a book and the opportunity to pursue one of McGee’s earliest dreams of being a children’s author.
McGee, 31, recruited her brother Andrew Moon, 28, to illustrate.
The book tells the story of a young girl who discovers the moon following her while she is on a car ride. She speaks to the moon and they become friends.
The next morning, she wakes up and discovers the moon is gone and becomes upset. At night, the moon reappears and he explains his trip around the world visiting little boys and girls.
McGee said anybody can enjoy the book but it’s especially tailored for children ages 2-10.
“It’s a great, simple story with a classics feel to it,” McGee said.
Moon and McGee said the book’s pictures have a purposeful “Dick and Jane” feel.
“We wanted something nostalgic,” she said.
Asking Moon to illustrate was McGee’s intent all along.
“He was always willing to illustrate but he didn’t think he was good enough to do it,” McGee said.
Moon, an amateur artist, worked in drywall for six years under his father, Greg Moon, before changing his focus to studying massage therapy at Peninsula College. He said illustrating the book is a good way to keep his interests varied.
The siblings’ passion for the book’s concept never waned but life got in the way of finishing it — in a good way. Creating the book took seven years because Moon got married and had two children and McGee had two children.
McGee said to work around their busy schedules she arranged weekly Monday night meals for both the families so Moon could come over and finish the artwork.
“The book itself didn’t take long but everything else in our lives made it slowly come together,” she said. “I wanted to get it done and out there.”
She’s now a stay-at-home mom with four children, ages 11, 9, 7 and 3. Moon has two children, ages 3½ and 4 months.
Like Chloe and herself, McGee continues to find people who ask about the moon following them.
Her daughter Ava, 3, with no knowledge of the book, asked the same thing. Moon’s son Benjamin asked, too. McGee said finding people who can relate to the book’s innocence is common.
“One lady busted into tears because she remembered asking the same thing,” McGee said.
Since “Why Are You Following Me?” is mostly a nighttime book, McGee said it’s perfect for bedtime.
“You can tuck your kids in night after night and they’ll still want to read it,” McGee said. “It still works with my kids.”
Now that the brother and sister have finished their first book, they are halfway into their next — “Why Boots Are Best.”
It’s another picture book that draws inspiration from McGee’s life as a little girl who loves to wear red rubber boots everywhere.
She said it relates to one of her daughters who wears cowboy boots everywhere she goes.
“It doesn’t always look good, but I remember I was like that,” McGee said.
The new book’s style is closer to Moon’s, who grew up loving Japanese animation.
Upon completion, McGee plans to write tween chapter books and Moon hopes to create a science fiction graphic novel.
For now, they are selling “Why Are You Following Me?” for $9.99 at The Good Book, 108 W. Washington St., Sequim; Speedi Mart Grocery, 320 Old Olympic Highway, Port Angeles; and online through Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It’s available for checkout through the North Olympic Library System, too.