• Steven Heller

Close Encounters of the Poppins Kind

Stephen Savage has authored/illustrated a number of children’s books but this one, Babysitter From Another Planet is among the most wonderful for its fantasy laden concept . . . and just a little bit of, “It could be, couldn’t it?” I asked Savage to show us his early sketches and how closely he followed this concept to its end product.

What is this book about? It’s the story of an extra-terrestrial babysitter who mysteriously shows up at the midcentury home of a little boy and girl and does all the things most babysitters do but with a lot of intergalactic pizzazz.

How did you develop the story? Did it just flow or was it a process of development? I started with the title (which doesn’t often get you a story). I was riffing off of a John Sayles’ movie I’d always loved called “The Brother From Another Planet”. After that, the story flowed pretty easily. It took 2 or 3 drafts to settle upon the babysitter’s character, which is “E.T. + Mary Poppins”.

How do you want your readers to react? If my book elicits a few LAUGHS, SMILES and “AWS”, then my work here is done!

Did you have a sitter from outer space? Nah. But I wished that I had. Every kid wants some magic person to take care of them, right?

#childrensbookillustrations #DailyHeller #ET #StevenHeller