Alison Seda and Susan Finch met in 1995 when Susan owned an art gallery in Laguna Beach, California. Susan was impressed by Alison's talent and humor. When the idea for “Dino Manners” came to her, the first person she thought of to create the sweet and naughty dinos was Alison.
Susan had been working on the main poem and the concept that the book would include dinosaur facts, manners tips and a little bit about the color wheel. She has taught Art Lit at her daughter's elementary school for two years. Through the courses she realized how much the children enjoyed discovering one more element of books, even though they may have read them dozens of times.
"Dino Manners" is a fun way to teach children the basics of good manners and how to be a good friend. With the dinosaur facts and manners tips, children find something new and interesting each time they read the book.
Susan's family camps regularly throughout Oregon. They are especially fond of the campground on the coast. Typically they stay in Oregon state parks. With the lush vegetation and open spaces, these family trips seemed like the perfect setting for the dinosaurs.
Next we had to find line drawings to show what they really looked like based on dino digs. After thinking about it for a while, Alison added to her already daunting tasks. She decided that this book would be 100% our product. She didn't want to owe anybody anything. We are also not fans at obtaining permission. It's just easier to create it all ourselves. So we did.
Every illustration, line drawing, photo are originals. We hope you enjoy our work. We'd like to make it a habit and get moving on the next two books.
Who would have thought there was a rhyme for, "Oviraptor?"
A bit more back story:
In 1984 college was calling and Susan wanted to fulfill a dream to write children's books. She attended a Children's Literature course with a couple of friends, knowing that was her dream. She never wanted to teach a classroom, but wanted to create for children to get them excited about reading and learning in different, unexpected ways.
Her career took a turn for corporate and the world of advertising and public relations, another turn - antiques and travel across the country and still another to bring her to the art gallery in Laguna Beach where she met Alison Seda.
The love for children's books had never left her and when she had her first child she began to spin stories regularly. One or two were loved so much that Susan created small personal books for her daughter, Savannah. They involved known characters, so on the shelf "Cinder Piggie" sits. It is still one of Savannah's favorite stories, perhaps because of the horrendous Photoshop work on Miss Piggy and Kermit in this contemporary take on the old classic with a twisted Jim Henson spin. At least she knew she was NO illustrator and needed the help of a very talented and funny professional - ALISON SEDA!
As Susan realized the manners and graces we grew up with were becoming EXTINCT - something had to be done to make it fun again. Along the way, the realization that there were bigger issues than "which fork to use" that needed to be tackled. Kids were in daily conflict and needed a solution to stay calm and get through their days. This is what led to DINO MANNERS.