I love my job at It’s a Southern Thing (SouthernThing.com). I love writing about fun and quirky places and penning humor columns to try to help people smile during bad times. But my most recent project for SouthernThing.com may be my all-time fave. We have created a “Y is for Y’all” picture book of Southern ABCs and it goes on sale Sunday, May 17 at the Southern Thing online store.
The book and its coordinating merchandise for babies and children are EXCLUSIVE to It’s a Southern Thing and, for now, can only be purchased on the site. We may have some book signings and events later if things return to normal after this pandemic mess.
I am so proud of this project. I chose words and wrote poems to represent our Southern culture that you won’t find in most picture books – such as “bless your heart,” “grits,” “fixin’ to,” “uppity” and “veranda.” The brightly colored paintings of a diverse group of children were created by the wonderfully talented illustrator Michelle Hazelwood Hyde (who did an incredible bicentennial book called “Alabama My Home Sweet Home” with Alabama’s very own Father Goose, Charles Ghigna).
When I first saw her illustrations for the book, I was on cuteness overload. So the brilliant marketers at SouthernThing.com – creators of the original Bless Your Heart button – decided to create a baby/children’s line of merchandise that really show off Michelle’s work. The line includes:
A to Z Southern Alphabet Poster
- 11x 14 Glossy full color poster of all the letters with their Southern representations
ABC Toddler Tee
(The alphabet is represented with a small illustration on each letter: A is for azalea, B is for bless your heart and C is for cornbread.)
- Made by Rabbit Skins, 100% cotton, sizes 2T-5/6T
- Ruby Red short-sleeved t-shirt
ABC Infant Bodysuit
- Made by Rabbit Skins, 100% cotton, sizes 6M – 18M
- Kelly green short sleeved, snaps between legs
- Made by Rabbit skins, 100% cotton
- Velcro attachment at neck.