Rooney Gooney is done

A project that I’ve been working on for the past year and a half is finally finished. I’ve been working with Charles Bush, M.D. to illustrate and facilitate self publication of his original children’s story, Rooney Gooney.

Before retiring, Dr. Bush oversaw a lead poisoning diagnosis and treatment program. His story uses his experiences and the real life situation of the gooney birds (aka the Laysan albatross) of Midway Island, that have experienced lead poisoning from abandoned military buildings, as inspiration. It tells the tale of Rooney Gooney’s diagnosis with lead poisoning. Rooney’s family and doctor work together to develop a treatment plan for him. The story is intended both as a teaching tool for children undergoing diagnosis and treatment for lead poisoning, and as a general story about family, teamwork, and dealing with adversity.

This project was a big learning experience for both of us. I have had a lot of education about children’s book illustration and publishing, but I had never completed a full dummy book and a full set of book illustrations from start to finish. Now that I’ve been through this process once (albeit without a publisher or art director involved), I feel more ready to tackle some of my own projects.

You can buy Rooney Gooney through the print on demand service Lulu.com. And until December 12th, Lulu is offering free ground shipping with the code “HOLIDAY305.”

I’m really pleased with the final quality of the books Lulu produces. They are indistinguishable from any paperback full-color book produced through a traditional publisher. Navigating their online print specs in order to prepare a full bleed style children’s book was a little challenging, and I think Lulu could make that more user friendly, but overall I would highly recommend the service to anyone who wants to self publish art or writing. It would also be a great service to use to make a few copies of a photo album book or a promotional portfolio.

I also recommend the very affordable program “Image2PDF” for preparing the final PDF file Lulu requires for printing if you want full control over the final appearance of the book. I created my final page layouts in Adobe Photoshop, but I was able to use this program to combine the images into a single multi-page PDF file.

More preview images are available in my website gallery.

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